Vayahi - Tshuva and the End of Days

Yaacov called for his sons. [When they came,] he said, 'Gather in, and I will tell you what will happen in the course of time. Come together and listen, sons of Yaacov; listen to your father Yisrael.'
וַיִּקְרָא יַעֲקֹב אֶל בָּנָיו וַיֹּאמֶר הֵאָסְפוּ וְאַגִּידָה לָכֶם אֵת אֲשֶׁר יִקְרָא אֶתְכֶם בְּאַחֲרִית הַיָּמִיםהִקָּבְצוּ וְשִׁמְעוּ בְּנֵי יַעֲקֹב וְשִׁמְעוּ אֶל יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲבִיכֶם
Breisheit 49:1-2
In this parshah there is an interesting use of language.
The consecutive verses use dual terms for the same thing. First it says 'Gather in' then followed by 'Come together', why not use the same language consistently?

Dual Terms
The Kli Yakar comments on this verse. "Here the term 'Gather in' (האספו) refers to someone who is standing outside and exposed, and is gathered into the house, a place of privacy.

"But the term 'Come together' (הקבצו) describes a people that are scattered around all over and gather together at one spot, even an exposed area where many pass by."

Rashi also comments on this verse, noting the phrase 'I will tell you.'
Rashi says "Yaacov requested to reveal the end and the shechinah departed from him, and he started to say other things.[quoting the Talmud Mesechaet Pesachim 56A]"

Reveal the End
The Talmud states
Yaacov wished to reveal the ketz, the end of days, but the Shechinah (God's presence) left him. He said, 'Perhaps, G-d forbid, there is an inadequacy in my bed (offpsring) like Avraham who fathered Yishmael, or my father Yitzhak who fathered Esau. ' His sons said back to him 'Hear O Israel, the L-rd is our G-d, the L-rd is One'
Pesachim 56A

The Kli Yakar also notes this in explaining the double language used. "Thus he requested to reveal the end and it is not appropriate to reveal something so secret in public lest someone who is not honest hear this."

The Kli Yakar reads the original verses as:
"Yaacov called for his sons. [When they came,] he said, 'Gather in, and I will tell you what will happen in the course of time - at the end of time. And immediately he felt that 'the end' was closed from him. And so he diverted from the language of  'gather in' and said:
Come together and listen, sons of Yaacov;  to hear things that are not secret and can talk about in public. "

Technically this explains the significance of the change in language. The spirit that moved Yaacov to bring his sons together was no longer with him. But what was the morale significance?

When Yisrael is Worthy
The Kedushat Levi quotes the Zohar on this verse as well. But first, I think it is noteworthy to bring a little background about who the author of the Kedushat Levi was and what he was known for. The author was Reb Levi Yitzchok of Berditchev, best known as The Defender of Israel. One story they say about him (Hasidic Masters - Aryeh Kaplan page 71) "According to one anecdote his wife and family were once cruelly offended by the opponents of the Hasidism, and the latter were hailed before leaders of the community. After the matter had been investigated and the culprits were about to be sentenced, the gentle rabbi was found praying in a corner. When people leaned over to hear his words, they discovered that he was praying that G-d might forgive those who had wronged him."

His love for his fellow Jews was boundless, and he would go to incredible lengths to explain the behavior of his fellow Jew (no matter how far from observance) was another form of love of G-d. And, as shown by the story above, when he couldn't find merit in their actions, he took it upon himself to pray on their behalf, even on matters that were directed against him.

"When Yisrael is worthy, then they come together (מתקבצים) and hear an uplifted voice that announces give the dear children of Yaacov, and this is what Yaacov said to them 'Come together and listen, sons of Yaacov; listen...' The explanation of this verse is:  Listen to an uplifted voice that says to you, children of Yaacov my servent.

Doing Tshuva
And the coming together of Israel, brings the hearts of Israel together so they can do tshuva and purify the hearts of Israel.  'Listen to your father Yisrael' means that you should listen and understand the words that I am hinting to you now - the secret of the end of days, the redemption."

So that when we apply the words of the Kedushat Levi to this verse, we come away with that 'come together' is not just a technical differentiation from the previous verse, when Yaacov was ready to reveal the end, but that 'come together' is literally a directive for all of Israel to come together and become close to their fellow Jew. This language not only brings as closer to each other, but ultimately closer to the days of Moshiach.

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