Rabbi Yonasan Eybeshutz (1690-1764)

Rabbi Yonasan Eybeshutz asks why the oath in Shir Hashirim uses a feminine verb “techpatz” – she desires: “I adjure you, daughters of Jerusalem, not to arouse or awaken the love before she desires.” He explains, based on Rashi’s comment on Yishaya 40:9, that there are two redemption scenarios: it may be quick like a man, or it be weak and slow like a woman. It depends on how much merit the Jewish people have. The speaker of the oath is the Jewish people, and the daughters of Jerusalem are the nations:

The Jewish people cries out to the nations, “Do not awaken the love towards the ingathering of Israel! Perhaps I don’t have enough merit for an early, masculine redemption. Even if all the Jews are ready to go to Jerusalem, and all the nations agree, still, G-d forbid, I will not go there. For the end is hidden, and perhaps now is not the true time, only a temporary moment of favor. In a short time they will sin, and be forced into exile again, G-d forbid, and that exile will be worse than the previous one. Therefore, let us stay in exile until ‘she desires’ – until the feminine redemption arrives. Then I will know that the redemption will be permanent.” (Ahavas Yonasan, Vaeschanan)


Rabbinic Quotations

Rabbi Yonasan Eybeshutz