For donations Click Here



אנכי ארד עמך מצרימה ואנכי אעלך גם עלה

I [God] shall descend with you [Yaakov] to Egypt, and I shall raise you out and also rise [Myself]

Yaakov had every reason to be ecstatic. After all those anguish-filled years, during which he had thought his beloved son Yosef dead, he was on his way to Egypt for a reunion like no other. And yet, he worried. As the grandson of Avraham, who had been forewarned that his descendants were destined to be exiled in a foreign land, Yaakov understood what the implications of this trip to Egypt were. Terrified of what this exile might mean, he is visited by God, Who reassures him in a vision that He will be holding his hand throughout. “I”, says God, “shall descend with you to Egypt, and I- when the time comes- shall raise you out and also rise Myself” [see Kli Yakar, Bais Halevi, among others].

Comforting indeed. God Himself joins us in exile, and eventually accompanies us out as well.

Yet why when it comes to going into exile, we wonder, does God say that He will accompany us, and yet when we are redeemed, God says that He will first bring us out and only afterwards also come out Himself- almost as an afterthought? Why would He not simply state that He will come with us into exile and come with us out?

Bais Halevi explains that herein lies the greatest insurance policy any nation could ever hope for from their Maker. God is stating that He will only allow His Name to experience an elevation, so to speak, as an adjunct to the Jewish nation’s own promotion. Not only will God refrain from promoting His honor while the honor of the Jewish nation remains tarnished, He will likewise refrain from promoting His honor as a separate entity even while simultaneously rehabilitating our honor as well. Instead, He will only promote His own Name through promoting us, giving us the sole rights of serving as the vehicle for promoting His agenda. We are thus assured that forever, it is only we who will represent the manifestation of Godliness in Creation.

Perhaps, however, there is an additional message in God’s choice of words, encapsulating the very essence of exile’s purpose.

Upon descending into exile, says God, you and I will be two separate entities. I, however, will nonetheless accompany you as you face adversity. I will be there for you to grasp My Hand and hold Me tight. You will only leave exile, however, when You and I are so tightly interlocked in an embrace, that by you going up I will follow by default.

When will I allow you to arise from the fiery furnace of exile?, says God. Only when that furnace has morphed us into one entity to the point where if “I shall raise you out”, then “I shall also rise Myself”.

We ask God: When will You finally embrace us and lift us out of our personal and collective exiles on Your coattails?

And yet God asks us: When will you finally embrace Me so that I can come out of My exile on your coattails?

A piercing question indeed.

And a piercing lesson to remember as well:

We are not being put through the grinder by God to be ground; we are being put through the blender with God to be blended.

And so, the sooner the batter the better.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *