"Let's Be Honest, Most Of The Heterim Have Fallen Away"
Akiva commenting on Aliya Forum:
I did not say one should not plan and prepare, or leap blindly. However, a mitzvah is being ignored, unless one has taken upon themselves the position poskined by the Satmar Rov, that there is no mitzvah of yishuva ha'aretz at this time (without the coming of Moshiach). If one holds such, then just like there is no mitzvah of shemitta outside of Israel, there is no mitzvah of settling the land.
Assuming one is not Satmar, one is relying upon the various heterim that one is not obligated to settle the land due to: danger (not valid in our time, life expectancy in Israel is HIGHER than in the US, including terrorism and army service), famine (not valid for most Americans with some reasonably employable skill, but qualifies for some who have no employable skills), Torah (no longer valid as nowadays almost everyone comes TO Israel to learn), or to find a spouse (and since everyone is in Israel learning, they often find their spouse here).
No, I'm not trying to poskin for the world, and one should always consult one's rav or an appropriate halachic authority. But given current conditions, lets be honest, most of the heterim have fallen away. People aren't coming simply because it's hard, and it's foreign. It is!
But does that negate the mitzvah? In previous generations it was life threatening, barely survivable, or literally impossible. Now it's just really really inconvenient and a seriously huge change, at least for most people (there are lots of really good exceptions - children with special needs, health care problems, and others).
If for whatever reason you can't do it today, for most, you should be planning and preparing, targeting doing it. Otherwise, you're ignoring a mitzvah asay, and I thought we didn't do that!
I know I'm being harsh. And I know there's no major rabbonim standing up about this. But seems to me Ezra HaSofer had the same problem.
The great community of Alexandria, with the shul that fit 600,000 Jews is gone. The great community of Bavel wrote the Talmud, but it's also gone. The great community of America, that nutured and allowed the Jewish people to restore their lives and rebuild Torah and their souls after the Holocaust will one day be gone as well.