Israeli chief rabbi to Ukrainian Jews: don't procrastinate, make Aliyah

"Our brothers and sisters in Israel in Ukraine... At such times [when] the sounds of war are heard, it is fitting for every religious Jew to hasten his journey to the Holy Land."

 ISRAEL’S SEPHARDI Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef attends a rally against Religious Services Minister Matan Kahana’s conversion and kashrut reforms plan, at the International Convention Center, on February 1. (photo credit: NOAM REVKIN FENTON/FLASH90)
ISRAEL’S SEPHARDI Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef attends a rally against Religious Services Minister Matan Kahana’s conversion and kashrut reforms plan, at the International Convention Center, on February 1.
(photo credit: NOAM REVKIN FENTON/FLASH90)

The Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef, sent a "letter of encouragement", as his team has called it, to all the Jewish communities in Ukraine on Monday. In the letter, Rabbi Yosef, Sephardic Chief Rabbi, calls for all Ukrainian Jews to be safe - but also to make Aliyah.

"Our brothers and sisters in Israel in Ukraine... At such times [when] the sounds of war are heard, it is fitting for every religious Jew to hasten his journey to the Holy Land." Yosef adds that "things are not clear [yet] if there will be a war ... only God ... knows what will be. Therefore we must pray for peace in the whole world. In any case, the ascent to the Holy Land is always a great and very important commandment, and at all times (Jews) should strive to reach the Holy Land and especially the Holy City."

The Jews in Ukraine, the Rabbi states, "fear of war, yet this situation is a kind of call from heaven, to ascend from all the foreign lands throughout the Diaspora, to the Holy Land, and especially Jerusalem, the Holy City, these are the places where the Divine is, and were g-d gives us more protection."

Rabbi Yosef asks for Jews around the world to pray: "The main thing is to be strengthened in faith and prayer."

He again repeats his message of promoting Aliyah: "There is a sacred duty upon every Jew or religious Jew in all the lands of the Diaspora, to make an effort to hurry and hasten his way to the Holy Land, and to make a speedy ascent to our holy land, and not to procrastinate at all, and hurry to purchase a plane ticket. G-d willing [they will have] a good apartment, good absorption, food and livelihood."
 A young child arriving in Israel as part of Aliyah Week (credit: LAURA BEN-DAVID/COURTESY OF SHAVEI ISRAEL) A young child arriving in Israel as part of Aliyah Week (credit: LAURA BEN-DAVID/COURTESY OF SHAVEI ISRAEL)