Our Sages teach (Ketubot 110b) that someone who lives "in diaspora" is compared to a non-believer (someone who does not have a God, God forbid).

However we do find many Jews, rabbis and tzadikim, who settled and died in diaspora. Our Talmud Bavli is from Babylon which is in diaspora.

So are Jews in diaspora non-believers? In what way? Can we understand our Sages in this regard?

  • can you provide some sources for the underlying beliefs you refer to?
    – rosends
    Apr 11, 2016 at 15:48
  • 3
    Yamin what is your native tongue? Can you make an effort to spell check your questions? I and others will help for the first few ones but then you have to try on your own
    – mbloch
    Apr 11, 2016 at 15:52
  • @mbloch my hope was that sources would be incorporated into the question. Is this question incorporating the later statement that living outside of E'Y is akin to helping others serve idolatry?
    – rosends
    Apr 11, 2016 at 16:22
  • bnei menashe tribe from india speaking our local tribal language known as thadou Kuki
    – Yamin
    Apr 12, 2016 at 2:42
  • @Yamin well that is quite impressive, I don't think we have many native thadou Kuki speakers here, so I'm happy to continued spell checking your posts :->
    – mbloch
    Mar 17, 2019 at 18:18

1 Answer 1


The gemara doesn't end there ... it clarifies the baraita you cite and continues

Whoever lives outside of the Land of Israel, it is as if he is an idolater.

artscroll elucidates this

According to Rambam and Meiri a person who lives outside of Israel is considered to be engaged in idol worship because he is dwelling among and associating with idolaters [...] Living in an idolatrous country is conducive to behavior that is antithetical to the Torah. A Jew who resides there, even if he lives in a Jewish town, cannot help but acclimate himself to his surroundings. By contrast living within a Torah observant country exerts the opposite pull upon a person's soul.

Rambam explains (Hilchot Deiot 6:1) that man is created in a way that he is drawn to emulate his friends and colleagues. Therefore it behooves a person to associate with righteous people and to distance himself from the wicked.

Meiri points out that any country in which wisdom and the fear of sin are common will have the same status as Israel regarding the decision of where to live.

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