Midway through this week’s parsha Yaacov Avinu, shortly prior to his death, gathers his 12 sons together to bless them. As an introduction to blessing his sons he informs them that he is to gather them to tell them what is going to happen at the end of days (Bereisheit 49:1). Whether he actually told the brothers what was going to happen in the end of days, indirectly in the blessings he gives his sons which is the opinion of the Ramban (Nachmanides) and other commentators or that he meant to tell the brothers what was going to happen at the end of days but he was prevented from seeing this vision which is the opinion of Rashi, the Torah specifically uses the language of gathering for when our forefather Yacov plans to tell his sons about the end of days and the time of Moschiach.

The Slonimer Rebbe, in his work The Netivot Shalom on the book of Beresheit (see Parshat Vayechi “ Haesifa lachem”), points out that the reason why Yacov tells his sons to gather before him ,when he is going to tell them about what is going to happen in the times of Moschiach, is because it is specifically when Jews are gathered together, united that Moschiach will come. Today was the fast of the 10th of Teve. The Tenth of Tevet is the day that the city of Yerushalayim was sieged ultimately leading to the destruction of both the first and second Batei Mikdashot (Holy Temples) several months later on the 9th Av. According to the Talmud in Tractate Yoma (and other places) the reason for the second Beit Hamikdash’s destruction was due to baseless hatred between Jews.

May we merit like Yacov our forefather did to his sons to gather all of our fellow Jews together in love and brotherhood. However, unlike Yacov may we merit to not only speak of what is going to happen when Moschiach comes but actually bring about his coming speedily in our days.