i've heard a rav saying that every fourth step you do in Eretz Yisrael is considered a mitzva. does someone have a sources for this?

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    yosef, welcome to Mi Yodeya, and thanks for bringing your question here! You could make this question stronger by editing in more information about the rav you heard this concept from and the context in which he stated it. Please consider registering your account, to enable more site features, including voting. Please check out the eretz-yisrael tag for hundreds more questions about the Holy Land. I look forward to seeing you around. – Isaac Moses Nov 5 '15 at 20:40
  • In that case, running the Jerusalem marathon must be the most mitzvah-filled activity one can do. :-) – Popular Isn't Right Nov 5 '15 at 21:01

The Gemara Ketubot (111a) states that anyone who walks four amot (cubits) is assured a place in the World to Come:

א"ר ירמיה בר אבא א"ר יוחנן: כל המהלך ארבע אמות בארץ ישראל - מובטח לו שהוא בן העולם הבא

This would be roughly equivalent to four steps.

The K'nesset Hag'dolah (Orach Chaim 248) writes that he thinks he remembers the Shiltei Giborim writing that walking 4 amot is considered a mitzvah:

וכמדומה לי שראיתי בספר שלטי הגבורים, וכעת איני זוכר מקומו, דמהלך ארבע אמות בארץ ישראל מצוה קא עביד

The Gemara is referenced by the Rambam Hil. Melachim (5:11).

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    why is it considered a mitzvah? – Dude Nov 5 '15 at 19:22
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    and is it mashma that it's a mitzva once or every time ? – yosef Nov 5 '15 at 19:51
  • I don't know whether every 4 amot is a new "mitzvah" or not. – mevaqesh Nov 5 '15 at 19:56
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    @Dude Perhaps in this context "mitzvah" does not mean one the technical 613 commandments and however many rabbinic enactments, but rather simply a praiseworthy good deed. – mevaqesh Nov 5 '15 at 19:57
  • Why would a citation of the Talmud and poskim merit a downvote? – mevaqesh May 31 '16 at 22:49

aish brings the sources

You shall possess the Land and dwell in it - Bamidbar 33:53

and the gemara in Ketubot 111a

Whoever walks four amot in the Land of Israel may rest assured that he will be a denizen of the World to Come

Ohr Somayach cites the Maharal explaining the reason

Because of the intrinsic Holiness of the Land of Israel, a person gains spiritual merit by merely walking here

See also aish for more details on the relevance of this mitzva today

The question, however, is whether this mitzvah is compulsory in our times when the Holy Temple is not standing. This is the basis of a dispute between two great Talmudic commentators, Maimonides and Nachmanides. A leading 20th century sage, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, concludes that living in Israel is a "mitzvah kiyuma" – while it is a great mitzvah, there is no absolute obligation to do so.

See also here

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  • partly overlapping but was encouraged to post this as a complementary answer here – mbloch May 31 '16 at 19:09

The same pesak appears in Az Nidberu (every 4 amos in Eretz Yisrael is a mitzva of yishuv ha'aretz).

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    Where in that work does it say that? – Double AA Jun 1 '16 at 1:16
  • What is this work and where in it is the cited statement. What does it add to the existing answers which cite this from the Gemara and Poskim. This would make a better comment IMHO. – mevaqesh Jun 1 '16 at 2:34

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