In this week’s parshah, Devarim, Moses blessed the Jewish people, “G‑d, G‑d of your fathers, add to you a thousand times as many as you are, and may He bless you as He spoke about you.”1

The Sifri,2 the Midrash Rabbah3 and Rashi4 explain that when Moses blessed them with a thousand times as many descendants, the Jewish people said to Moses: “Moses, you are setting a limit to our blessing. G‑d already promised Abraham5 ‘if a man will be able to count them . . . ’ ” Meaning, that they would be uncountable, like the dust of the earth, the stars in the sky and the sand by the sea. Moses responded: “This [blessing] is from me, however He ‘will bless you as He spoke about you.’ ”6

Many ask: Since G‑d’s blessing is unlimited, what does Moses’s blessing add?

There are two common answers.

a. G‑d’s blessing applies when we keep Torah and mitzvahs, and Moses’s blessing applies even when we do not observe Torah and mitzvahs.7

b. G‑d’s blessing applies after Moshiach comes, and Moses’s blessing applies before Moshiach comes.8

Both of these answers divide the blessings into two separate times or eras. The problem with this is that the verse says, “G‑d, G‑d of your fathers, add to you a thousand times as many as you are, and may He bless you as He spoke about you.” This seems to indicate that the blessings are simultaneous, and not at different times or eras. If the blessings are simultaneous and G‑d’s blessing is unlimited, what does Moses’s blessing add?

Another question: It is obvious that Moses’s blessing does add something. If so, you have G‑d’s unlimited blessing and Moses’s limited blessing simultaneously. How can something be limited and unlimited at the same time?

Limited and Unlimited Together

The Midrash says, “G‑d had a desire to make for Himself a dwelling place down here.”9 In other words, why did G‑d create the world? Because He wanted to dwell in it. And in which part of creation? Down here in our physical realm, which is the lowest. The word for dwelling place used here is dirah, the place where you live, where you can be yourself. Everything G‑d created is limited compared to Him, even the most sublime spiritual realms. And He wants to be Himself, as he is unlimited, in this lowly limited physical realm of ours. So He created us—the Jewish people—to accomplish this desire of His. Here again, we see the idea of meshing limited and unlimited.

How and why can we accomplish this?

G‑d’s desire comes from His will, which is beyond the created world. Mitzvahs are G‑d’s will, too. When we do mitzvahs, we draw G‑d’s unlimited essence from beyond creation into the lowest realm of creation.

Before reading or studying Torah, we say in the blessing: “You have chosen us.” In the Yom Tov Amidah (silent prayer) we say: “You have chosen us.” G‑d chose us, and true choice comes from one’s inner will; in this case, it is G‑d’s will that is beyond creation. His essence chose us. So we are connected to His will, and therefore, we can draw His unlimited essence from beyond creation.

But aren’t we in a limited physical world, making us limited as well? And aren’t mitzvahs done with limited physical objects? How are we able to draw the unlimited essence of G‑d?

In truth, we can’t, but because this is what G‑d wants (and He can do anything), He Himself puts His unlimited Self into our limited realm as a gift to us. Here is how it works: G‑d wants this to happen, but He wants it to come through our effort. When we do a limited physical mitzvah, we set the stage for G‑d to do His part. It is our physical act that makes G‑d want to gift us with His unlimited essence, thereby meshing the limited with the unlimited.

Now we can understand what Moses’s blessing adds and how they work simultaneously. G‑d wants His blessing to come into the limited physical world, but there has to be an action from below that draws the blessing down. Moses’s blessing, although limited, was the act that made G‑d’s unlimited blessing come into the limited physical world. Without Moses’s blessing, we would not have G‑d’s blessing.10

Right now, we can’t see the unlimited blessing or the unlimited essence of G‑d that is accomplished by our mitzvahs, but it is there. When we complete our mission, the world will be a true home for G‑d’s unlimited essence, and our eyes will be open to see our accomplishment. That is what the era of Moshiach is: G‑d’s essence dwelling openly in the world.

By now, we have done so much, and we are so close. May G‑d send Moshiach, and take us out of this dark and bitter exile. The time has come.