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Daily Aliya for Massei, Shlishi (3rd Aliya)

Aliya Summary: G‑d instructs the Jewish people to eradicate all Canaan’s inhabitants and destroy their idols after crossing the Jordan River. The borders of the land of Israel are delineated. The land was to be divided by lottery among the nine and a half tribes (Reuben, Gad and half of the tribe of Menashe were going to settle on the eastern bank of the Jordan).

The Ramban sites these verses as the source of the mitzvah (commandment) in the Torah to dwell in Israel – a mitzvah that he says applies today. The Ramban counts this mitzva as one of the 613 mitzvot of the Torah. The Rambam does not. This does not mean that the Rambam does not consider it a mitzvah to live in Israel. He echoes the Talmud in saying that “a person should always choose to live in Israel, even in a city with a majority of idol worshipers, rather than live outside of Israel, even in a predominantly Jewish city”.