Can someone who lives in "Halachic" Eretz Israel visit a part of Israel that is not part of its Halachic borders? For example, IIRC, people in Eilat keep two days of Yom Tov. Does that mean that a person from Tel Aviv would be forbidden from visiting Eilat (unless it is for business, learning Torah :) etc.) ?

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    The question begs the question. Not everyone keeps 2 day yom tov in Eilat. And people keep 2 day yom tov in parts of Jordan and Syria which are 'halacic' Israel by those standards. – avi Nov 3 '11 at 12:50
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    Sure. Take bus #444 from Jerusalem. Leaves every hour. – Shmuel Dec 4 '11 at 9:38
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    This question seems to be assuming that Israelis aren't allowed to leave Israel. Which I'm pretty sure isn't a consensus opinion, especially for short periods. – Shmuel Dec 4 '11 at 9:45
  • Are you asking about going into Eilat on YomTov, or just on a regular day? – SAH Mar 23 '15 at 1:38
  • @SAH Any day... – ertert3terte Mar 23 '15 at 1:40

Machlokes haPoskim. When my yeshivah visited there, we did have birkat kohanim during the chazan's repetition of shachris.

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    Birkat kohanim, if I'm not mistaken, is a matter of minhag hamakom, not of kedushat ha-aretz. Given that Eilat is at least socially part of Israel, I'd expect the general minhag to follow the rulings of the GR"A to apply there too, regardless of its kedusha status. – Isaac Moses Dec 2 '11 at 7:54
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    @AdamMosheh, we certainly do recite a berachah before Birchat Kohanim [source: duchening in ch"l]. – Noach MiFrankfurt Feb 23 '15 at 21:43

Rabbi Aviner has stated clearly that Eilat is part of Israel, and living there fulfills the mitzvah of Yeshuv Ha'aretz. (Question 2 in the link)

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    However, its unlikely that it's the same Eilat in Tanach, and there are many ways in which the state of Israel falls short of having the halachik power to expand the land. – Ariel K Nov 3 '11 at 14:25
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    And there are many ways in which it does not fall short. – avi Nov 3 '11 at 16:16
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    @ArielK both of you were quite vague and assumed everyone knows something which is not necessarily obvious – LiquidMetal Jan 5 '17 at 0:54

In order for any piece of land to have the status of "Eretz Yisrael" for the purposes of the doing the mitzvah of living in and conquering the land, two conditions must be fulfilled:

  • The land must be within what G-d promised to Abraham

  • The land must be under the sovereignty of Bnei Yisrael

Eilat fulfills both criteria. Thus, a Jew who lives in Eilat fulfills the mitzvah of living in Eretz Yisrael; also, he/she keeps one day of yom tov, and follows all other Eretz Yisrael customs (bircas kohanim daily, no tefillin on chol ha moed, etc.)

When it comes to the agricultural mitzvos, it could be that we need a Sanhedrin to sanctify newly acquired land in order to be obligated in trumot, maasrot, shmitta, etc.

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    Citations for your claims ("two conditions must be fulfilled", "Eilat fulfills both criteria", and that that implies that someone there "fulfills the mitzvah... keeps one day... follows all other Eretz Yisrael customs") would vastly improve your answer. – msh210 Feb 6 '12 at 17:53
  • @msh210 see the link provided in the answer. – user1095 Feb 7 '12 at 7:11
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    Link is now dead – andrewmh20 Jan 11 '17 at 17:08

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