Parasha Vayechi is the last parasha of the book of Genesis, where we read about our last great father, Jacob, who is preparing himself to leave this world by blessing his children before he dies. But before he blessed them, he expressed the following words:
” Gather and listen. I will tell you what will happen to you in the end of days, sons of Jacob.”
Our sages in the Talmud teach us that Jacob intended to reveal to his sons the end of days, when and how the final redemption will happen. But the divine inspiration departed from him. Hakhamim learned that Jacob did indeed plan to tell his sons about the end of days, when the troubles and hardships of the people of Israel would end, and they would reach their resting place and their inheritance; And when the Mashiach will appear in the world.
But when Jacob opened his mouth to do so, the divine inspiration left him. As a result, he gave up his desire to reveal the “end of days” and decided to bless his sons instead.
However, by looking at these verses we can see another layer in this concept. Indeed, from the beginning, Jacob wanted to share with his sons how and when the complete redemption would take place, but when the divine inspiration departed from him, he realized that it was not right to do so.
Our nature often strives to know the end: to read the last page of the book from the beginning, or to know in advance when and how we will be able to find our spouse, or the path to our financial well-being. But in our world things are not usually done that way. In order to achieve a certain goal, we must go through a path, which requires us to invest in ourselves and grow.
Going through the said path is necessary for us to ensure the full desired result. In other words, it is the journey which prepares us for our destiny. If we read in advance the last page of the book, and if we know in advance the final stations in our lives, both the road and the destination will lose their value.
When the divine inspiration left Jacob, he realized that G-d wanted us to experience the path, and not just suddenly show up at our destination. We must not know our future, because it is up to us to create it for ourselves. That is why the blessings with which Jacob blessed his sons were actually the road maps for their lives. Jacob showed his sons the path on which each and every one of the twelve tribes is supposed to walk, through which – with some hard work and sweat they will be able to lead the world to redemption and perfection.
Rabbi Refael Cohen