Negative Commandment #192
Sefer Ha’mitzvos Ha’Katzar (The concise book of mitzvos)
By the Chofetz Chaim
This book lists the Torah mitzvos that can be observed today
Second Section – the Negative Commandments
192. It is a negative commandment "do not live in Egypt"
As it states in Devarim (Deuteronomy) 17:16, "you shall not return that way." For business reasons it is allowable to travel to Egypt. The only prohibition is settling in Egypt.
It is forever forbidden to leave the Land of Israel to go outside of it, except if it is to learn Torah, get married, or save someone who was captured by non-Jews, or for business purposes. To leave the land to live outside of Israel is forbidden, unless there is a famine in Israel. Anyone who lives in the Land of Israel, his sins are forgiven. Even if a person only walks four cubits in the Land of Israel, he merits the World to Come. If a person is buried in the Land of Israel, his sins are atoned for.
A person should always live in the Land of Israel, even if it is in a city filled with non-Jews, instead of living outside of Israel, even if the city outside of Israel is full of Jews. Anyone who leaves Israel to live outside of Israel is like a person who worships idols. Just as it is forbidden to leave the Land of Israel to live in other countries, it is also forbidden to leave Babylonia to live in other lands.
This applies at all times, for men and for women.