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Jacob is on his deathbed. He assembles all of his sons for his parting words. The Chidushei HaRim on Genesis 49:2 looks beyond the obvious convenience of addressing all of his sons at one time and wonders, what is the value of them being present at the same time.

He explains that there are some aspects of the Torah, some secrets of the Torah that can only be understood in a unified gathering. He elaborates that every individual Jew holds the key to understanding a piece of the Torah and the understanding can only be unlocked in a wider gathering. There are parts of the Torah which no person can grasp on their own and they need to be connected and united with other Jews to access that Torah.


But there’s more. That unique part of the Torah that is the personal heritage of an individual Jew is also a blessing. Just like that understanding of the Torah, the blessing is only revealed, is only transformed from potential to reality, when the Jewish people are united.

However, the unification of the Jewish people is not only meant to be a physical, political, or even social unity. For those hidden elements of the Torah to be revealed and for the hidden blessings to come to fruition, it can only happen when the unification is around God. When Jews seek the deepest truths and seek to connect to God, when Jews unite without any other ulterior or distracting motives, the Chidushei HaRim states that is when the deep wellsprings of Torah will be accessible and blessings will abound.

May we indeed reach such levels of unity.

Shabbat Shalom.

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Rabbi Ben-Tzion Spitz is the former Chief Rabbi of Uruguay. He is the author of over a dozen books on Torah themes, including a Biblical Fiction series. He is the publisher of a website dedicated to the exploration of classic Jewish texts, as well as TweetYomi, which publishes daily Torah tweets. Ben-Tzion is a graduate of Yeshiva University and received his Master’s in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University.