The Fulfillment of Jacob’s Dream
by HaRav Dov Begon – Head of Machon Meir
As of Now
Jacob was facing difficult times. Relentlessly pursued by Esau, who wished to kill him, he left his parents’ home in Be’er Sheva for the exile of Charan, alone and bereft of possessions. Along the way he had a good dream. In his dream, he saw “G-d standing over him” (Genesis 28:13), “to protect him” (Rashi). G-d promised him, “I will give to you and your descendants the land upon which you are lying” (Genesis 28:13). G-d folded the whole Land of Israel under him thereby hinting to him that it would be as easy to conquer as four cubits. (Rashi, Ibid.). And G-d further promised, “Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth. You shall spread out to the west, to the east, to the north and to the south. All the families on earth will be blessed through you and your descendants” (v. 14).
Regarding Jacob’s bleak situation just then, G-d said, “I am with you. I will protect you wherever you go and bring you back to this soil” (v. 15).
So too, Hashem is with us during the war we are fighting against Hamas to purge the world from it evil. Jacob’s remarkable dream is the dream of the Jewish People which has accompanied us throughout all the generations, even in the most dark and difficult periods of our bitter and gloomy exile. In times of destruction, pogroms and the Holocaust, as well as today, Jews never ceased to believe in the fulfillment of Jacob’s dream.
It is true that there were, and continue to be, some who try to blot out the dream. They think that by doing so they stop the Jews from continuing on to their goal of returning to their land and fulfilling their destiny — which is to bring light and goodness to the world. All the same, “many are the thoughts in man’s heart, but it is the council of G-d that will come to pass” (Proverbs 19:21).
Right now, “with G-d bringing back the return of Zion, we are like dreamers” (Psalms 126:1). Our generation is privileged to see the ingathering of the exiles. We are already living Jacob’s dream in a wakeful state, as in G-d’s promise, “I will bring you back to this soil” (Genesis 28:15). It is no dream. It is already a reality. The day is not far off when we will see as well the promise made to both Abraham and Jacob: “All the families on earth will be blessed through you and your descendants” (v. 14).
The Appearance of the Nation’s Glory, Brilliance and Splendor
“Jacob left Beer Sheva and he went to Charan” (Genesis 28:10). Rashi comments:
“It had only to be written, ‘Jacob went to Charan.’ Why, then, mention his departing? This tells us that the departure of a righteous person from his place makes an impression, for while a righteous person is in the city, he is its glory. He is its brilliance. He is its splendor. Once he has left there, its glory has departed, its brilliance has departed, its splendor has departed.”
True, Jacob left Beer Sheva, but G-d promised him that he would return to the Land, and on a very large scale: “Suddenly he saw G-d standing over him. G-d said, ‘I am G-d, Lord of Abraham your father, and Lord of Isaac. I will give to you and your descendants the land upon which you are lying. Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth. You shall spread out to the west, to the east, to the north, and to the south. All the families on earth will be blessed through you and your descendants’” (28:13-14).
Indeed, just as Jacob left Beer Sheva, so were the Jewish People exiled from their land for two thousand years, and the land was left desolate, losing its glory, brilliance and splendor. Yet it wasn’t just the Land that lost its luminance. Rather, all mankind was left in spiritual and moral darkness, as long as the Jewish People suffered the darkness of the long exile.
Today, the Jewish People are coming home to Eretz Yisrael. We are seeing with our own eyes the fulfillment of the Prophet Ezekiel’s words: “For I will take you from among the nations, and gather you out of all the countries, and will bring you into your own land” (36:24).
Yet presently, during the ingathering of the exiles, the glory, brilliance and splendor of the Jewish Nation in their land is not yet noticeable. We have a need to be cleansed of the contamination of the exile. One of the worse forms of corruption it caused was the blurring of the Jewish People’s identity as a special nation, as a kingdom of priests and a holy nation, chosen to bring benevolence and light to the world.
The worldview that sees the Jewish People as a nation like all others, and the State of Israel as a country like all others, and nothing more, degrades our people and endangers our existence. We have to return not just to our land but to ourselves as well. We have to recognize the special value of the Jewish People and their historic role of being a light unto the nations. In this regard the Prophet said:
“I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean…. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you. I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. I will put My spirit within you…. and you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers. You shall be My people, and I will be your G-d…. Then the nations that are left round about you shall know that I, the L-rd, have built the ruined places, and planted that which was desolate” (36:24-36).
The call of the hour is to study and to recognize and to explain the identity of our beloved nation. Through this shall be revealed for all to see, the glory, brilliance and splendor of our nation in the land of our life’s blood.
Looking forward to complete salvation.