Dvar Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin
Before Jacob’s death, the Torah tells us:
“And Ya’akov (Jacob) called to his sons, and he said, ‘Gather together and I will tell you what will befall you in the end of days’ ” (when the Jewish people will be redeemed from galus/exile) Genesis 49:1.
What did Ya’akov mean when he used the phrase “Gather together”?
When Ya’akov told his sons to gather together he meant that they should have achdus, unity amongst themselves. Only when there is unity among the descendants of Ya’akov can there be redemption. If there is not yet unity, it is not yet time for redemption.
With this we can understand what Yosef’s brothers meant when they said to him later on (Genesis 50:16-7) that before Ya’akov’s death he requested that Yosef forgive them. Nowhere in the Torah is it recorded that Ya’akov asked Yosef to forgive his brothers. However, the commentary of the Shaloh tells us that the answer can be seen in our verse where Ya’akov asks the brothers to “Gather together.” Ya’akov was asking all of them, including Yosef, for unity and the deep love that comes from unity. Where there is love, there is forgiveness.
This is a crucial issue for our time. People are very different from one another in many ways. However, if all the descendants of Ya’akov realize how important it is to have achdus, this unity will bring about a love that transcends the specific complaints one person has against another. Judging favorably helps brings unity.