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The Secret of Redemtion and Why We Say “Baruch Shem” Together with the “Shema”

In this week’s parsha we learn about the final years of Yaakov, and finally his preparation for leaving this stage of life of this world. We learn about the time he called all of his sons to his bedside and blessed them.

וַיִּקְרָא יַעֲקֹב אֶל בָּנָיו וַיֹּאמֶר הֵאָסְפוּ וְאַגִּידָה לָכֶם אֵת אֲשֶׁר יִקְרָא אֶתְכֶם בְּאַחֲרִית הַיָּמִים:

Jacob called for his sons and said, “Gather and I will tell you what will happen to you at the end of days.

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ואגידה לכם: בקש לגלות את הקץ ונסתלקה שכינה ממנו והתחיל אומר דברים אחרים:

and I will tell you, etc.: He attempted to reveal the End, but the Shechinah withdrew from him. So he began to say other things. — [from Pesachim 56a, Gen. Rabbah 89:5]

Our Rabbis in the Gemara (Pesachim 56a) teach us that Yaakov wanted to reveal to them the end of days but the divine spirit left him at that time. Yaakov was worried that it left him because one of his sons was not worthy of this revelation of ‘Geulah’ and so to assure him that this was not the case, his sons told him

שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְהֹוָה | אֶחָד:

Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God; the Lord is one.

As we know, Yakov was called Yisrael.

At this point, Yakov replied

בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד

“Blessed be the glory of His name and kingship forever and ever”

{Sources for this in the Gemara, Medrash, and included in the actual Halachot of the Rambam as the reason why we say ‘Baruch Shem” with Shema every time:
(פסחים נו.):

“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’ אלוקינו 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”.
(בראשית רבה פרשה צ”ח):

“אלעזר בן אחוי אמר מכאן זכו ישראל לקריאת שמע, בשעה שהיה יעקב אבינו נפטר מן העולם קרא לשנים עשר בניו אמר להם שמעו אל ישראל שבשמים אביכם שמא יש בלבבכם מחלוקת על הקב”ה א”ל (דברים ו) שמע ישראל אבינו כשם שאין בלבך מחלוקת על הקב”ה, כך אין בלבנו מחלוקת אלא ה’ אלוקינו ה’ אחד אף הוא פירש בשפתיו ואמר ברוך שם כבוד מלכותו לעולם ועד, רבי ברכיה ורבי חלבו בשם רבי שמואל הדא הוא שישראל משכימים ומעריבים בכל יום ואומרים שמע ישראל אבינו ממערת המכפלה אותו דבר שצויתנו עדיין הוא נוהג בנו ה’ אלוקינו ה’ אחד”.

(Rambam, Hilchot Kriat Shema 1, 4)

הַקּוֹרֶא קִרְיַת שְׁמַע–כִּשְׁהוּא גּוֹמֵר פָּסוּק רִאשׁוֹן, אוֹמֵר בְּלַחַשׁ בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד; וְחוֹזֵר וְקוֹרֶא כְּדַרְכּוֹ “וְאָהַבְתָּ, אֵת ה'” (דברים ו, ה), עַד סוֹפָהּ. וְלָמָּה קוֹרִין כֵּן–מָסֹרֶת הִיא בְּיָדֵינוּ שֶׁבְּשָׁעָה שֶׁקִּבַּץ יַעֲקוֹב אָבִינוּ אֶת בָּנָיו בְּמִצְרַיִם בְּשָׁעַת מִיתָתוֹ, צִוָּם וְזֵרְזָם עַל יֵחוּד הַשֵּׁם, וְעַל דֶּרֶךְ ה’ שֶׁהָלַךְ בָּהּ אַבְרָהָם וְיִצְחָק אָבִיו. וְשָׁאַל אוֹתָן וְאָמַר לָהֶן, בָּנַי, שֶׁמֶּא יֵשׁ בָּכֶם פָּסֹלֶת, מִי שְׁאֵינוּ עוֹמֵד עִמִּי בְּיֵחוּד אֲדוֹן כָּל הָעוֹלָם, כְּעִנְיַן שֶׁאָמַר לָנוּ מֹשֶׁה רַבֵּנוּ “פֶּן-יֵשׁ בָּכֶם אִישׁ אוֹ-אִשָּׁה . . .” (דברים כט, יז). עָנוּ כֻּלָּם, וְאָמְרוּ לוֹ “שְׁמַע, יִשְׂרָאֵל: ה’ אֱלֹהֵינוּ, ה’ אֶחָד” (דברים ו, ד)–כְּלוֹמַר שְׁמַע מִמֶּנּוּ, אָבִינוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל, ה’ אֱלֹהֵינוּ, ה’ אֶחָד. פָּתַח הַזָּקֵן וְעָנָה, בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד; לְפִיכָּךְ נָהֲגוּ כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל לוֹמַר שְׁבָח זֶה שֶׁשִּׁבַּח בּוֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל הַזָּקֵן, אַחַר פָּסוּק זֶה. }

Rabbi Moshe Shapira Ztz’l explained that Yaakov was not merely going to reveal the time of the final redemption here, Yaakov was intending to reveal the light and truth of the final redemption at this point so that there would never be any exile. Yaakov wanted to bring the revelation of the redemption now into the world.

Rabbi Moshe Shapira explained that the final redemption is all about the revelation of Hashem’s oneness. This means that there is nothing but Hashem. It doesn’t just mean that there is only one Hashem, supreme power that runs everything and creates everything constantly. It means that all the many different part are creation are not really separate. Everything is part of Hashem.

On the outside everything looks like separate entities that are separate from other entities and separate from Hashem but on the inside, the truth behind everything is that that outer appearance of things is only an illusion which conceals that there is no existence and no presence in the whole of the universe(and beyond) but Hashem.

Our work as Jews is to reveal this truth in the world. The whole purpose of the creation of the world is for us to remove the concealment and reveal in absolute completeness and clarity, on every level, that there is only one presence. Ein Od Milvado.

We say this at the end of our prayers every day in the special praise of עלינו לשבח.
(Zecharyah 14, 9)

וְהָיָה יְהֹוָה לְמֶלֶךְ עַל כָּל הָאָרֶץ בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא יִהְיֶה יְהֹוָה אֶחָד וּשְׁמוֹ אֶחָד:

And the Lord shall become King over all the earth; on that day shall the Lord be one, and His name one.

The deeper meaning and the true meaning of this Pasuk is that it will be revealed that there is only Hashem.

The reason why Yaakov thought it the right time to bring about this revelation when all of his children assembled around his bed is because they were a representation of this revelation where all the parts of existence are united and reveal that they are only part of the one.

The holy Maharal taught that the word א-ח-ד that we contemplate at the end of the first pasuk of Shema alludes to and represents Yakov and his sons.
Yakov is one-א. His sons from Leah and Rachel are eight-ח, and his sons from Bilah and Zilpah are 4-ד.

This means that when all of Am Yisrael are united to the leader and father of Am Yisrael, the one who connects us to the divine consciousness of unity, and all the parts of Am Yisrael nullify the parts of themselves that are resistant to that unity, the unity among them and their subjugation to the divine consciousness being revealed in our thoughts, beliefs, and actions (Emunah, Torah, and Mitzvot), the whole universe follows suit and becomes unified under that revelation of Hashem Echad, Hashem is one.

Our job is to bring about this revelation through our subjugation to this consciousness through our unity and subjugation to the Yaakov of the generation, and to our fellow brothers and sisters.

When Yaakov sensed the divine spirit left him he worried that one of his children was not worthy of this revelation and that that left the א-ח-ד lacking.

They reassured him that this was not the case when they said the ‘Shema Yisrael’.
At this point Yakov realized that even though they were logically worthy for the redemtion at this time, Hashem did not want that at this time because there is another aspect of redemtion they were missing.

There is a most fundamental aspect of redemption that was missing here and can only be achieved through the pain and concealment of the exile. This is the anticipation, hoping, and longing for the redemption.
There are deep secrets for which Hashem wants this longing to be the proper preparation for the redemption, and without it we could still have everything else and not have that redemption.

One of the spiritual laws of the Torah is that we only merit a revelation of Godliness, redemption, clarity, and connection depending on how much we long for it and anticipate it.

This is what Yaakov expressed in his response:

בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד

“Blessed be the glory of His name and kingship forever and ever”

This intention and prayer was an expression of longing for that complete revelatiuon of Hashem’s glory and unity. This longing is itself what was missing from the unity of the brothers with Yaakov at this point and it could only be achieved through the actual exile.

The more we focus our hearts with longing and genuine anticipation for the Geulah instead of being distracted, the more we will merit the final redemption and the coming of Mashiach speedily in our days Amen!

May we merit the revelation of

וְהָיָה יְהֹוָה לְמֶלֶךְ עַל כָּל הָאָרֶץ בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא יִהְיֶה יְהֹוָה אֶחָד וּשְׁמוֹ אֶחָד:

And the Lord shall become King over all the earth; on that day shall the Lord be one, and His name one.

Shabbat Shalom!



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