|Yaakov’s 70 Nation Builders
Published: Thursday, December 26, 2019 10:29:46 PM
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“The total number of souls of Yaakov’s household who came to Egypt was 70 persons.” (Bereshis 46:27) The Prophet Isaiah states that the mission of the Jewish People is to be a light to the 70 nations of the world. By descending into the Egyptian exile, the nucleus of the Jewish People (Yaakov and his family) began the process of elevating and transforming the 70 nations of the world, which they could not do until they themselves numbered 70 unique individuals.
The Talmud teaches that Yaakov’s granddaughter Yocheved (the future mother of Moshe) was born just as Yaakov’s family was entering the border of Egypt. She was the 70th person, thus enabling Yaakov and his family to begin the mission of refining the 70 nations of the world.
The Lubavitcher Rebbe explains that it had to be Yocheved who completed the number of 70 persons because as the Talmud teaches ACHRON ACHRON CHAVIV which means What is most precious and beloved comes last.
Thus Yocheved and her daughter Miriam, who were Shifra and Puah, inspired the Jewish People to trust in G‑d by defying Pharaoh’s command to kill all newborn male Jewish babies. (Shemot 1:17) Yocheved’s sons, Moshe and Aaron, rekindled the Jewish People’s faith and belief in G‑d’s redemption. Moshe and Aaron learned from their mother what it means to be a loyal and faithful Jew.
Therefore, Yocheved’s unshakable faith in G‑d played the key role in the Jewish People’s redemption from Egypt.
The Talmud tells us that it was because of all of the righteous Jewish women who never gave up their faith in G‑d that the Exodus from Egypt took place.
The Zohar points out that just as the First Redemption from Egypt took place in the merit of the righteous Jewish women, so too the Final Redemption through Mashiach will also take place in the merit of our present Righteous Jewish Women. As the Talmud in Nidah 45 states, G‑d endowed women with a Bina Yitera (women’s intuition) which gives them a much greater understanding than men have about the important matters of life.
Perhaps that is why we men make the Bracha every morning “G‑d, you did not make me a woman” as a reminder that we, in order to fully comprehend our life’s mission, must find a proper wife!