From Exile to Redemption (Chapter 3): Nothing Changes–All is Different

By: Rabbi Dovid Markel


This idea is specifically reflected in the Hebrew words for exile and redemption. The word for exile is “golah” (גולה) and the word for redemption is “geulah” (גאולה). Interestingly, the only difference between them is that golah – exile is missing the letter Aleph (א), which represents Alufo Shel Olam – the Master of the World, the Holy One, blessed be He. Introduce an Aleph (א) to golah (גולה)  and you have geulah (גאולה). In other words, by simply revealing the light of HaShem into the exile, we bring about redemption.


Figure I

גולה           גאולה         ג(א)ולה


When we perceive the world through a golah perspective, we are in exile because we are lacking the enlightenment that comes about through being aware of HaShem’s presence.  However, to leave exile we need not change the essential nature of the world. On the contrary, all we have to do is recognize it.  All we have to do is recognize the presence of the letter Aleph. That is, we have to recognize the presence of the Master of the World, the Alufo Shel Olam, and the world is transformed from exile to redemption. Through the Aleph[18] the world is changed from golah to geulah. Through the service of a Jew drawing down and manifesting the Aleph – the Master of the Universe, into the dimension of “exile”, it is thereby transformed into “redemption.”[19]

This is what we need to introduce into our lives[20]. We do not need to radically change our nature or to take drastic measures to radically change the world. All we need is to introduce the “Aleph,” and with the clarity of the Aleph, our lives will be changed. Adding the Aleph switches on the light of HaShem, and the world of confusion automatically becomes a world of clarity, goodness and holiness.

[1] See this idea in Sefer HaSichos, Achrei 5751, as well as Likutei Torah, B’ha-aloschah 35:3.

[2] See this whole idea in Sefer HaSichos, Achrei-Kedoshim 5751.

[3] See this idea expressed as well in the Ben Yehoyada, Bava Basra 10a.

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