“Jacob called for his sons and said, ’Come together’… ‘Gather together’” (Genesis 49:1-2). Jacob wanted to reveal the time of the Redemption to his children, but the Divine Presence left him (Rashi).
It was the end of Jacob’s life and he had brought together all of his holy offspring, the twelve tribes. Jacob had accomplished what no one before him had: he merited having only righteous children. In this great gathering of holy tzaddikim, Jacob thought he would be able to reveal the secret of the time of the Final Redemption. But just as he began, the Divine Presence departed, signaling that something was missing, something was still not complete.
Jacob originally said to his children, “Hei’asfu—Come together.” This term is used when speaking to people who are close by. Jacob was talking to his children who were all great tzaddikim. He thought that in the merit of this elite group, he would be able to reveal the secrets of Creation and streamline the timing of the Final Redemption. But now he realized something much deeper: God was holding off the Redemption because of His great compassion for Jews who are still far from holiness.
Realizing this, Jacob now said, “Hikavtzu—Gather together.” “Gathering” refers to assembling people who are distant. God’s main enjoyment is when He sees Jews who were previously removed from holiness join the gathering of holiness.
Jacob said, “Gather and listen, sons of Jacob, and listen to Israel your father.” When the Jews are being gathered, they are referred to as “Jacob,” signifying a lowly state, a state of conflict. Jacob was saying to all the distant souls, “Gather and listen – listen to the words of the holy Torah and return to God.” “Israel” signifies an uplifted state and the means to be victorious. Only when the Jews have gathered together from all their distant spiritual places and are now spiritually united can they be victorious.
YiSRAeL (Israel) is an acronym for Yesh Shishim Ribo Otiot LaTorah (“There are 600,000 letters in the Torah”). There were also 600,000 souls present at the Giving of the Torah. When all Jewish souls gather together in spiritual harmony, the time of Redemption will finally arrive. May it happen speedily and in our days! Amen.
(Based on Likutey Halakhot, Hilkhot Ishut 5:4)
 “His hand was holding the AiKeV (heel) of his brother” (Genesis 25:26). YAaKoV (Jacob) was named after this incident, which describes the conflict he had with his brother Esau before they were even born.