Vayaitzay - Yaakov's (Jacob's) Ladder
The Midrash says:
"on that night, Hashem revealed Himself to Yaakov" in a prophectic dream, it's purpose was to strenghten Yaakov (who was being persecuted and pursued by Esav, and was now on his way to beit lavan (a known swindler) assuring him of Hashem's assitance throughout all future events.
Yaakov had a vision of a ladder that extended from the earth to the heavens. He visualized an angel climbing it whom he recognized to be the Sar (protective angel). (Our sages say that each of the seventy nations have their own protective angel, a nation's downfall is preceeded by the downfall of it's Sar).
The first angel was the Sar of Babylon (present day Iraq). The angel ascened seventy rungs and then fell. Yaakov understood then that his descenants would be in exile 70 years in Babylon. Next was the Sar of Persia (present day Iran), this sar climbed 52 rungs the fell. As did the Sar of Greece, 120 rungs and fell. All of these exiles came and went. He understood the order and length of each of these exiles.
Finally Yaakov was shown the Sar of Edom (Rome and all the Western nations which by nature are an extention of it and cultural inheritors, which is considered our present Jewish exile). He started to climb and continued higher and higher till his apparently endless ascent went into the very heavens. Yaakov did not see the angel fall and was griped in fear.
He asked Hashem? "Will the fourth exile be unending?"
"NO"! Hashem thundered!
(and as gentle as a father said) "Even if the angel climbs as high as the stars, I myself will bring him down when the time comes!"
See the prophecy in Ovadiah 1:4, and previously written about here on this blog by Akiva, here.
The Midrash continues: Yaakov overheard the angels of the nations speaking amongst themselves saying, "This Yaakov will in the future dominate and subdue all the kingdoms, come let us kill him now!" But Hashem appeared Himself and stood over him to protect Him.
Israel has no Sar, Hashem Himself protects us.
I do not know when this exile will end, but Hashem promised our father Yaakov that it would end in it's time, so it is for us as well in this 4th exile. Hashem said that He would end it in it's time and until that time comes He is our protection as He promised our father Yaakov that would protect him.
"Then Yaakov fell on his face and made a vow, saying "Hashem if you will be with me on my way and guard me from speaking lashon hora (evil speech), from imorality, from bloodshed and murder, so that I return to my fathers house, spritiually and physically perfect, I shall offer Todah (thanksgiving) and Olah offerings to you, if you will provide me with bread to eat and clothes to wear I vow a tenth of all that I earn."
Yaakov's only request was for the necessities of life, but not for luxuries (since they are determental to Avodas Hashem, G-dlys service). These are what hold us in the present exile.
May Hashem, G-D of our father Yaakov deliver us intact from this Golus (exile).
AMEN - Yehi Ratzon, may it be His will. Shabbat Shalom
BS"D - בסיעתא דשמיא