The Obligation to Make Aliyah at this Time

Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah Ha-Cohain Kook
[Sichot Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah – Bereshit p. 276]

The Pitchei Teshuvah (Even Ha-Ezer 75:10) wrote: "The obligation to fulfill this mitzvah applies at all times, and this is explained by all of the halachic authorities, the Rishonim and Acharonim, based on the ruling of the Ramban (Bemidbar 35:53 and additions to the Sefer Ha-Mitzvot of the Rambam, Positive Mitzvah #4).
There are those who have claimed that there is no mitzvah at this time because of the danger in traveling to Eretz Yisrael, as mentioned in the Tosafot (Ketubot 110b and see Mordechai ibid. and Shulchan Aruch Even Ha-Ezer 75:5). Ha-Gaon Ha-Rav Eliyahu Klatzkin wrote a small book of Halachah called "Dvar Halachah" in which he dealt with this strange and even somewhat funny claim, since people make more dangerous trips for business (#38 p. 27a).
And there are those who claim that there is no mitzvah at this time based on what is mentioned in the Poskim that there is no mitzvah to make aliyah when one cannot find a livelihood in Eretz Yisrael (Pitchei Teshuvah ibid. in the name of Terumat Ha-Deshen and Tashbetz). Ha-Rav Klatzkin wrote regarding this idea that in practical terms it is not accurate to say that there is a livelihood outside of Israel but none in Eretz Yisrael. On the contrary, there is a "kosher" livelihood of working the Land in Eretz Yisrael, while the livelihood outside of Israel is through profiteering and the persecution of Israel.
And there are those who claim that there is no mitzvah to make Aliyah since there is a concern that one will become corrupt by being distanced from the Torah. But on the contrary, the Gemara and Poskim explain that one should live in Eretz Yisrael even in a city where the majority of residents are idol worshipers (Ketubot 110b. Shulchan Aruch Even Ha-Ezer 75:3), despite the potential negative influence. Although some authorities write that heretics are worse than non-Jews in this regard, and there is a greater chance of negative influence, Ha-Rav Klatzkin explained that the same law applies in a city in Eretz Yisrael where the majority of residents are heretics. His proof is from the Gemara in Eruvin (61b-62a. Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim #385) where the law appears that it is impossible to make an "Eruv Chatzerot" (lit. mixed [ownership of] courtyards, which allows one to carry within the courtyard on Shabbat) with a Tzeduki (Saducee, i.e. a heretic), and various options are given if one lives in the same house as a Tzeduki. But there is no mention of a prohibition of living in such a place, or that one is obligated to live in a place solely populated by observant Jews. He adds that one's failure to observe the mitzvot of Hashem based on a concern that spiritual damage will result is discussed by the Gemara in Berachot (10a) regarding King Chizkiyahu, who did not engage in the mitzvah of procreation since he saw through Divine intuition that unvirtuous children would issue from him. The prophet Yeshayahu said to him: "What you are commanded to do, you must do!" And Ha-Rav Klatzkin added (ibid.): As if there is permission to act wiser that Hashem's mitzvot!
There is a story that after the establishment of the State of Israel, Jews from North Africa and Yemen made aliyah and were abandoning traditional observance. The person who headed the Department of Aliyah at the Jewish Agency was a Torah scholar named Ha-Rav Shlomo Zalman Shragai, and he was being eaten up inside by this fact. He did not know whether it was proper to continue to bring Jews to Israel under such circumstances. He went to the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, Ha-Rav Ha-Gaon Tzvi Pesach Frank, and asked him what to do. Rav Frank said to him: Can you do me a favor and hand me the Yalkut Shimoni? He opened it and showed him the words of the Yalkut Shimoni on Megillat Eichah (#1038): "Hashem says: If only my children, my Nation, would be in the Land of Israel, even though they make it impure." And he continued: What do you want from me - to transgress the words of our Sages?! You are not guilty for what is occurring. You must bring Jews to Israel and make every effort to connect them to Torah. Rav Shragai continued to bring Jews to Israel and he mentioned this story various times.
When the Belzer Rebbe (Ha-Rav Aharon Rokeach) made Aliyah, he came to Reb Noson (Ha-Rav Shalom Natan Ra'anan Kook, Maran Ha-Rav Kook's son-in-law) and said: You and I had differences regarding the way to bring Jews on Aliyah. We (much of the Haredi world) said that they should first be strengthened in Judaism outside of the Land and only then could they make Aliyah in order to build in holiness; you said that every one of them should quickly come on Aliyah without calculation. After the Holocaust, it has become clear to us that we erred, and we are greatly distressed over this fact.