Monday, January 16, 2017

Getting Through the End of Days

I received this excellent essay from one of our dear readers:

The verse says[1] says, “Yaakov called for his sons and said, gather together and I shall tell you what will befall you in the End of Days…”

Rashi[2] says that Yaakov wished to reveal the conclusion[3] of all the exiles of the Jewish people, but the Divine Presence departed from him and he was unable to do so. The Talmud[4] states, “Yaakov said to his sons: Perhaps, Heaven forbid, there is a blemish among the issue of my bed[5] like the case of Avraham, from whom issued Ishmael or like the case of my father Yitzchak, from whom issued Eisav. His sons answered him reassuringly: Hear, O Israel,[6] Hashem is our G-d, Hashem is One. They explained their response: Just as there is only One G-d in your heart, so there is only One G-d in our heart…”

Why did the sons say to Yaakov, “Just as there is only One G-d in your heart, so there is only One G-d in our heart?” The answer is given by Rav Shimon Schwab zt”l:

“During Golus, the Jewish people are split, not only physically-geographically, but also ideologically. One group does not see eye to eye with the other. This disparity exists not only in that the non-religious segment of our nation does not understand those who are religious, but even the people who keep the Torah and mitzvot are divided and subdivided many times among themselves.[7]

However, over 150 years ago, the disciples of the Vilna Gaon[8] and the disciples of the Baal Shem Tov[9]had made peace with each other. While both groups maintained their differences, both developed great respect and eventually a mutual love for each other.

So why should we be different today? The talmidim of our great yeshivos and kollelim who follow their Roshei HaYeshivah and devoted Chassidim who follow their Admorim, are all united in their absolute loyalty to Hashem’s Torah. Why can’t we tell the other, ‘I am deeply convinced that my outlook is true. So are you. We honor each other’s conviction and sincerity without any yielding an inch of our own sacred territory.’”[10]

When the sons said to Yaakov, “Just as there is only One G-d in your heart, so there is only One G-d in our heart,” they were telling us that we are one nation with one Torah. We might have different sects of Judaism, yet we all are learning from the same Torah that was given to us at Mount Sinai. As the Zohar[11] says, “Hashem, the Torah and Yisroel are one.” Thus, all three vital components united in the desert[12] fulfilling the dictum, “and the three-ply cord will not be severed easily.”[13]

When watching a movie, if the producer plans on making a sequel, he will give hints towards the end of it that the plot isn’t over yet. Before the Divine Presence departed from Yaakov, is there any hint that he gave us about how to bring this last exile to a close? It’s two words: gather together.

The Medrash[14] says, “The Jewish people are like a bundle of reeds: A single reed can be broken even by a child, whereas a bundle of reeds cannot be broken even by an adult. [Although each individual may be unworthy of a certain spiritual level, together they are worthy of that level]. So too, the Jewish people will not be redeemed until they become a single group.”[15]

Elsewhere, the verse says, “He was King over Yeshurun [Yisroel], when the leaders of the nation gathered and the tribes of Yisroel were unified.”[16] Rashi[17] explains, “When is He King over Yeshurun? Only when the tribes of Yisroel are unified and not when they are divided into separate groups - which, we know, happens as a result of Lashon Hara.[18]

The Medrash say that if Jews are worshipping idols, but they live in peace, no nation or cultural force can rule over them[19] and in Heaven the Satan is not able to accuse them.[20] For Hashem states, “My beloved children, what do I ask of you? Only that you love one another and respect one another.”[21] As Dovid HaMelech[22] said, “Indeed, how good and how pleasant is the dwelling of brothers, moreover, in unity.” The Belze Rebbe said that the salvation of the Jewish people rests on unity during times of trouble.[23]

With Hashem’s help, in the merit of becoming one like our Creator, with our brethren - through speech and action - may He soon gather us out of the lands to which we were scattered[24] and bring us to the Land that our forefathers possessed![25]

[1] Bereishis 49:1.

[2] Ibid. “ואגידה לכם”.

[3] i.e. duration of time or dates.

[4] Pesachim 56a.

[5] The Maharsha explains that Yaakov feared that perhaps the Divine Presence had departed from him because one of his children did not believe in G-d's absolute unity, and therefore was not worthy of receiving this prophecy.

[6] When the sons were saying Israel, they were addressing Yaakov (Rashi to Pesachim 56a “שמע ישראל”).

[7] Rav Schwab on Prayer, page 468.

[8] I.e. Eliyahu Kremer.

[9] I.e. Yisroel ben Eliezer.

[10] Selected Speeches by Rav Shimon Schwab zt”l, pages 72-79.

[11] Parshas Achrei Mos 73a.

[12] The verse says, “Israel encamped there.” (Shemos 19:2). Rashi explains this to mean one man, with one heart. Whereas, all other encampments were with complaints and argumentation. For Israel to rise to its highest calling, it must be unified. Only when it was united its goal of hearing the word of G-d could it receive the Torah.” (Ibid. “ויחן שם ישראל”).

[13] Koheles 4:12.

[14] Tanchuma, Netzavim 1.

[15] I.e. united.

[16] Devarim 33:5.

[17] Ibid. “ראשי” citing the Sifri.

[18] Sefer Chofetz Chaim – English Translation by HaRav Yisroel Meir Kagen zt”l, page 13. See also Life Insurance and Loshon Hora (

[19] Bereishis Rabbah 38:6; Tanchuma, Parshas Netzavim; The Wisdom In The Hebrew Months volume 2 by Zvi Ryzman, page 138.

[20] Bamidbar Rabbah 11:7; Tanchuma, Shoftim 18, Tzav 7; Sifrei, Parshas Nasso 42 and Maharal, Netzach Yisrael, chapter 25.

[21] Tana D’vei Eliyahu Rabbah, chapter 28.

[22] Tehillim 133:1.

[23] Quoted in Eim HaBanim Semeicha, chapter 1, page 111 in English edition; see Tanchuma, Netzavim 1; Bamidbar Rabbah 11:7 and Tanchuma, Shoftim 18.

[24] See Yechezkeil 20:34.

[25] Devarim 30:3-5.


  1. Apparently the anti-Israel conference in Paris ended up as a useless flat souffle. No armageddon. What do you think is going to happen next, dear rabbi? When our righteous Mashiach is going to be introduced? Beezrat Hashem Trump will take over in five days... I'm happy with that, but I was hoping for Mashiach Ben David.

    1. I have no idea what Obama and the Gog cabal have planned. I am sure he is disappointed if the conference didn't go his way, but his goal is to not let Trump become President. War? Nibiru? Civil war? Martial Law? Going into their underground fortresses, including Trump? Who knows? HASHEM (and possibly Eliyahu Hanavi and Moshiach)!!!!!

  2. The Jewish people is like a precious rare diamond. When you turn it in your hands there are many sides to it, each emitting the most beautiful color and light. So are the Jewish people. We are all like a small piece of a puzzle. No matter how exalted or how lowly the puzzle is not complete without the neshama of every single Jew. With G-d's help, we will all be united soon.

  3. What actually happened at this conference? After all the hype I didn't hear anything.

    1. I believed it failed for the evil ones, and is good for us, but I don't know for sure.

      I have been away from the computer most of the day. One of our dear readers has decided to make Aliyah. Her and husband came to Israel to visit possible places to live. They are staying with us for two days. Today I was a tour guide and took them throughout Betar Illit. They leave tomorrow and I will get back to this blog.

      This is one of my favorite things -- helping Jews come to Israel and start life.

  4. 70 Nations Paris Peace Conference Total Dud, Anti-Israel Gathering Defeated
    By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz January 16, 2017 , 1:30 pm


  5. BH

    One of my teachers of Torah said that in this verse: “Yaakov called for his sons and said, gather together and I shall tell you what will befall you in the End of Days…” is the date that the Mashiach will come Beezrat Hashem.
    Perhaps in "gather together" in Hebrew with the Numerology can we have the date?
    And maybe "gather together" mean that the majority of Yehudim we have to live in Eretz Israel?

    Sara from Mexico City

    1. I am sure there are lots of hidden messages in those verses. I haven't actually done a search, so I have nothing to report.