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Safety First


Question:

In light of the recent terrorist attacks in Israel and Paris would you say that it’s safer to live in the States or certain “safe” places in the Diaspora instead of a place where there’s already been terrorism or serious threats of terrorism?



AskTheRabbi.org answered:

Good question. Unfortunately, I am not a prophet and cannot give you a guarantee of safety for any place in the world. Here is a true story (that I heard from a person who heard it from the person that the story is about):

There was a billionaire who was very concerned about living in the most “ideal” place in the world. He decided that if he could determine what that place is, he would move there with his wife and children.

What did he do? He hired a research staff to spare no cost in determining the ideal place to live in the world. The factors that they were to take in account were safety, climate, crime, friendly people, (no or low) taxes, education — and many other relevant factors.

The research team — each one of them top in his field — investigated, studied and delved into this question for months. Their conclusion? The Falkland Islands — one month before the war.

You can draw your conclusion about trying to figure out where it’s safe.

Having said this, however, it’s very important to note that our Talmudic Sages teach that following in the ways of the Torah provides a certain degree of protection (Tractate Sotah 21). Obviously, this teaching requires an in-depth understanding, which can only be obtained by study with a teacher who is wise and has a “good grasp” of the Torah. The “personal” factor also plays an important role, and different people have different needs and lifestyles. Therefore, I suggest finding a local Orthodox Rabbi with whom to discuss this matter. And whatever you decide, I wish you much success and happiness — and safety of course.


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