by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths
It states (Yeshayahu 27.6) "In days to come, Yaakov shall take root, Yisroel shall blossom and bud, and the face of the world shall be filled with produce."
The verse refers to the time of golus (exile). Though planting is on the level of Yaakov, growth is on the level of Yisreol. As we know, Yaakov and Yisroel allude to two spiritual levels. Yaakov is yud eikev (eikev means heel),a nd is at a lower spiritual level. Yisroel is the lofty level of li rosh - to me a head. Through spiritual service during golus, we ascend from the level of Yaakov to that of Yisroel.
Exile is known as a time of slumber. When a person sleeps, he dreams, and during a dream it is possible for totally contradictory matters to unite. So too concerning golus.
A mainstay of spiritual service during golus is the proper recitation of the Shma. When one says the words "Hear O Israel, the L-rd is our G-d, the L-rd is One", he should ponder their meaning. He should understand the phrase to mean that the four 'corners' of the world, the seven heavens and the earth, are totally nullified to the 'aleph' - the Infinite One, Master of the world.
Yet golus affects a person in such a manner that soon after this lofty contemplation, all sorts of stray thoughts enter his mind. It is as if G-d's unity was never pondered. This is particularly true when, after prayers, a person becomes involved in worldly matters. ...
All the above comes about because the state of golus is like a dream, in which opposites can unite.
- The 6th Lubavitcher Rebbe, HaRav Yosef Yitzchok Schneerson, Sefer HaMaamarim, vol. 1, maamar 3.5.
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