Bava Batra 91 - Importance of Settling the Land of Israel


One should not export basic foods, such as wines, oils, and fine flour from the Land of Israel, if this will lead to shortages and high prices. One may not leave the Land of Israel and go live outside the Land, unless food prices have doubled. Rabbi Shimon says that this is permitted only when one can't find wheat at all, but if wheat is available, even at very high prices, one should stay, provided that he can afford to feed his family.

Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai also used to say that Elimelech (the husband of Naomi in the book of Ruth) and his two sons were the greatest man of their generation, and the caretakers of their generation, and for what reason did they die? For moving out of the Land of Israel in the time of famine, even though wheat was available to them.

Painting: Jozef Israels - Woman at the Window.