|Rabbi Eliyahu Leon Levi of Bnei
Delivering a lecture at the Kotel
Rabbi Eliyahu Leon Levi, a 73-year-old sage of Turkish Jewish descent who continues a tradition of Kabbalah from his grandfather and father, issued a passionate cry for the Jews of the United States to purchase homes in Israel and begin planning their move. He said that just like in Iran before the Shah was ousted, the Jews were prospering financially. But then suddenly everything changed, and many couldn't leave with their wealth.
"A similar scenario will occur in the USA," he warned. "Jews must leave and take their money with them. when they won't be able to leave with their wealth," he said.
The Or HaChaim (Rabbi Chaim Ben Attar) taught that the tragedies of the exile are Divine signals to prod the Jewish People to return to
In his native
Morocco, the Or HaChaim was
targeted by the government, and falsely accused of things that he had no part
in. He was thrown into jail on more than one occasion, and even thrown into the
lions den from which he came out unharmed.
In 1738 when hunger plagued
reached the conclusion that he must move to Israel, and he began his long
In the introduction to his Torah commentary, the Or HaChaim writes:
"Those who pursued me didn't relent. I prayed for peace, but behold, enemy after enemy assaulted me, one trouble after another, until I was up to my neck in distress. I wondered from town to town, becoming a fulfillment of the verse, 'He that flees from terror, shall fall into the pit."
"And then G-d opened my eyes. I realized that the reason for these troubles and plagues was none other than to signal me to ascend to the place of the Shechina, the city which is so exalted and so dear to G-d of the world."
Note that the final straw that convinced the Or HaChaim to make aliya was the financial collapse in
by famine. It was not a decree specifically targeting the