Monday, December 20, 2021

a "left handed" redemption

 On Friday I posted a Meshech Chochma that explains that the right hand, which Yaakov placed on Ephraim's head, signifies hashgacha lma'alah min ha'teva, matching Ephaim's Torah-only focus, and matching the open miracles done for Yehoshua.  The left hand, which Yaakov placed on Menashe's head, signifies Hashem working within teva, matching Menashe's work as Yosef's assistant in administering the affairs of state, and matching the help Hashem have Gidon, which did not manisfest itself in any open miracles. 

I realized afterwards that based on this we have a deeper insight into the gemara (Pesachim 56a):

 דאמר רשב"ל ויקרא יעקב אל בניו ויאמר האספו ואגידה לכם ביקש יעקב לגלות לבניו קץ הימין ונסתלקה ממנו שכינה אמר שמא חס ושלום יש במטתי פסול כאברהם שיצא ממנו ישמעאל ואבי יצחק שיצא ממנו עשו אמרו לו בניו שמע ישראל ה' אלהינו ה' אחד אמרו כשם שאין בלבך אלא אחד כך אין בלבנו אלא אחד באותה שעה פתח יעקב אבינו ואמר ברוך שם כבוד מלכותו לעולם ועד

Note the gemara's language: Yaakov wanted to reveal  קץ הימין.  I would say that קץ הימין means (see Rashi) the keitz of the right hand -- a redemption with open miracles, where the world becomes a Torah only world and is completely transformed.

The reason ונסתלקה ממנו שכינה is not an onesh, but rather because that is not the reality of our redemption.  As the Rishonim explain, based on the level we are on the redemption is one that will occur -- that is occurring! -- b'derech ha'teva.  It is not קץ הימין, but rather a left-handed redemption where Hashem does not reveal Himself openly, but is nonetheless guiding history.  


  1. My father, a"h, never had time for folks who said "this is how the redemption must occur!". Or the time the local Lubavitcher quoted me a Rambam and said "It's a halakhah that the redemption will happen like this". We're bound by Halakhah. God has supreme free well and who are we to tell Him how to do things?

    1. Of course G-d can do what he wants. From Yaakov's desire to reveal the keitz to Daniel's visions of the same to all the various calculations done by Rishonim and Achronim as to when mashiach will come, the point is for us to understand what G-d's plan is so that we can better fulfill our tzipisa l'yeshu'a and do our part. For example, if you believe that the creation of the State of Israel is a gift from G-d acting through teva, you will feel a greater sense of obligation toward supporting and building the State than if you just see it as a secular country no different than any other place we have found ourselves during our exile.