The Secret of the Redemption

“Jacob called for his sons and said, ’Come together’… ‘Gather together’” (Genesis 49:1-2). Jacob wanted to reveal the time of the Redemption to his children, but the Divine Presence left him (Rashi).

It was the end of Jacob’s life and he had brought together all of his holy offspring, the twelve tribes. Jacob had accomplished what no one before him had: he merited having only righteous children. In this great gathering of holy tzaddikim, Jacob thought he would be able to reveal the secret of the time of the Final Redemption. But just as he began, the Divine Presence departed, signaling that something was missing, something was still not complete.

Jacob originally said to his children, “Hei’asfu—Come together.” This term is used when speaking to people who are close by. Jacob was talking to his children who were all great tzaddikim. He thought that in the merit of this elite group, he would be able to reveal the secrets of Creation and streamline the timing of the Final Redemption. But now he realized something much deeper: God was holding off the Redemption because of His great compassion for Jews who are still far from holiness.

Realizing this, Jacob now said, “Hikavtzu—Gather together.” “Gathering” refers to assembling people who are distant. God’s main enjoyment is when He sees Jews who were previously removed from holiness join the gathering of holiness.

Jacob said, “Gather and listen, sons of Jacob, and listen to Israel your father.” When the Jews are being gathered, they are referred to as “Jacob,” signifying a lowly state, a state of conflict.[1] Jacob was saying to all the distant souls, “Gather and listen – listen to the words of the holy Torah and return to God.” “Israel” signifies an uplifted state and the means to be victorious. Only when the Jews have gathered together from all their distant spiritual places and are now spiritually united can they be victorious.

YiSRAeL (Israel) is an acronym for Yesh Shishim Ribo Otiot LaTorah (“There are 600,000 letters in the Torah”). There were also 600,000 souls present at the Giving of the Torah. When all Jewish souls gather together in spiritual harmony, the time of Redemption will finally arrive. May it happen speedily and in our days! Amen.

(Based on Likutey Halakhot, Hilkhot Ishut 5:4)

 



[1] “His hand was holding the AiKeV (heel) of his brother” (Genesis 25:26). YAaKoV (Jacob) was named after this incident, which describes the conflict he had with his brother Esau before they were even born.

Author: Yossi Katz

Yossi Katz currently lives in Lakewood, NJ where he runs the BRI American Office. He studied in Beth Medrash Gevoha, as well as the former Breslov Kollel of Lakewood headed by Rabbi Shlomo Goldman.

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3 Comments

  1. In http://emunahspeak.blogspot.com/2011/07/nu.html I quoted the Belzer Rebbe (the namesake of the present Belzer Rebbe) as follows:

    In his sefer Eim Habanim Semeichah, HaRav Yisachar Shlomo Teichtal Hy”d, gives a fascinating account of a great assembly of gedolei Torah that met at the home of R. Yisachar Dov of Belz ztvk”l in the city of Rutzfort, Hungary to where the Rebbe had escaped at the outbreak of the war in 1914. He describes how for almost an hour the senior member of the group, R. Moshe Dovid Teitelbaum z”l, av beit din of Madiar-Lapush in Zibanbergen, grandson and foremost disciple of the Yitav Lev z”l, petitioned the Rebbe of Belz to initiate a movement of awaking to repentance which “would undoubtedly influence the entire generation to return their hearts to our Father in Heaven.” When he finished, the Rebbe answered him briefly and to the point:

    “O Rebbe of Lapush, have you concluded your petition? When Mashiach arrives, the Jews will repent. In the meantime, it is of utmost importance that the Jews love one another. One must love even the lowliest Jew as himself. One must engender unity and keep far away from anything that causes disunity. The salvation of Israel during times of trouble rests on this.”

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  2. Hi Meir Zev and thanks for the story. I am not sure exactly what you are trying to imply. If you are implying that unity and bringing Jews close is a contradiction, I don’t believe Rebbe Nachman would agree. One of the most important lessons in Likutey Moharan is lesson 282 “Azamra.” In that lesson Rebbe Nachman teaches us that by seeing the good points in our fellow Jew, we can actually cause them to return to HaShem. This would hardly cause any strife. As one who is privileged to travel to Uman for Rosh Hashanah, I can attest to the awesome level of both unity and teshuvah to be found there, it is unique and remarkable.

    Rebbe Nachman himself played chess with the maskilim/leaders of secular Judaism and eventually was able to bring them back. Yet he was their greatest opponent and told his Chassidim not to act as he did. Instead he left them and us with a wealth of advice about how to bring ourselves and all Jews back to HaShem and to bring about our personal redemption and that of the Jewish people.
    Please see the lesson of Azamra and many other relevant teachings for his advice for how to accomplish this.

    Ashreinu that we know of Rebbe Nachman!

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  3. “I am not sure exactly what you are trying to imply. ”

    I don’t understand what you are not sure about. I brought this story simply to validate the point you were making. I don’t see how it could open to any other interpretation.

    Where exactly did you see in comment any evidence that unity and bringing Jews close is a contradiction?

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