Is it proper to say "Welcome back" after someone visits Israel because of the lower level of Kedussah between Israel and Chutz LaEretz?

  • Do not understand the question. What does lower level of Kedusha have to do with whether you can say welcome back or not? – Gershon Gold Mar 9 '11 at 23:53
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    Do you mean to say "We'll come back" meaning to comfort him that he left Eretz Yisrael? Of course you can say that! ;-) – Yahu Mar 9 '11 at 23:55
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    That might depend on how you feel about welcoming them back after a trip to parts of Eretz Yisrael that aren't part of political Israel, or vice versa. Would you welcome someone back from Eilat, which is not treated by everyone as having Kedushath HaAretz? – Seth J Mar 10 '11 at 0:39
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    As some people claim it is a Mitzvah to be in Israel and once there one should not leave. As no one would claim it's a Mitzvah to live in the U.S.A for instance, I therefore attributed the higher level of kedusha to being in Israel then being in U.S.A. Welcoming someone back from a trip shows you are happy to see them, is that a proper feeling to have for someone now in a loweer state of kedusha then they were in recently. – Ken Mar 10 '11 at 3:43
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    Just because you are happy to see them, does not mean you are saying it is good to be in a lower level of Kedusha. – Gershon Gold Mar 10 '11 at 19:23

Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes, you should always welcome people and be nice to them.

Why would it be any different than someone leaving Shul and going onto the subway?

  • I always thought there is no special mitzvah to be IN shul, the mitzvah was in what you were doing there, either davening or learning. I was taught that being in Eretz Yisroel is a special mitzvah in itself. I remenber our old shul used to wish a tzeschem leshalom before someone left for Israel but never a welcome back upon their return (but did welcome members back from extended stays in Florida). This practise seemed odd to me, hence my question. – Ken Mar 10 '11 at 22:08
  • I think if you would write this in the question, how your old shul did not welcome back people upon their return it would make it more understandable. Was it the Rav who would not welcome them back? – Gershon Gold Mar 10 '11 at 23:58
  • Welcomning people back from trips was done by the President at the end of davening with the restof the announcements. Incidently, I was the President for two years, kept up the tradition even thought I didn't understand it. – Ken Mar 11 '11 at 22:28

I can't see the problem with saying "welcome back".

What might be considered innapropriate is "welcome home".

Jews should always consider their country to be Israel. Devarim Rabbah records a conversation between Moshe and Hashem, where Moshe complains that Yosef's bones will be buried in the land of Israel, wheras he, Moshe, will be buried outside of it. Hashem responds that Yosef identified himself as from the land of the Hebrews, wheras Moshe didn't correct Yitro's daughters when they described him as an Egyption. Moshe was reprimanded for this even though he had never even set foot in EY.

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