90. "And he said, 'Let me go, for the day breaks.' And he said, 'I will not let you go, unless you bless me'" (Beresheet 32:27). Rabbi Yehuda quoted the verse, "Who is she that looks out like the dawn, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners?" (Shir Hashirim 6:10). Although this verse has been taught, "Who is she that looks," refers to Yisrael, at the time when the Holy One, blessed be He, will raise them and bring them out of exile. He will first open a tiny, very thin aperture of light for them. Then HE WILL OPEN FOR THEM a slightly larger opening, until the Holy One, blessed be He, opens wide the supernal gates of the four directions of the world.
91. Everything that the Holy One, blessed be He, does to Yisrael and the righteous among them is done in this way, TO ACHIEVE REDEMPTION LITTLE BY LITTLE instead of all at once. THIS IS SIMILAR TO a person who always dwells in the dark. To give him light, first we should shine upon him a small light, thin as a needle, and then a slightly stronger one, and so on until full light shines upon him.
92. This is true for Yisrael, as it is written, "Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you be increased" (Shemot 23:30). It is also true for a man who is recuperating. He does not recover all at once, but becomes well little by little. This is not so for Esau, for he received illumination at one time, and it was lost to him little by little, and will continue until the children of Yisrael become stronger and wipe him from this world and the World to Come. Because AT FIRST, light shone on him instantly, he was completely destroyed. However, the light of the people of Yisrael shines brighter, little by little, until they are strong. Then the Holy One, blessed be He, will shine on them forever.
93. Everyone asked about them, as it is written, "Who is she that looks out like the dawn?" THE DAWN (HEB. SHACHAR, FROM SHACHOR, MEANING 'BLACK') refers to the early morning, NAMELY, TO THE DARKNESS THAT GROWS STRONGER BEFORE MORNING LIGHT. It is the thinnest light MENTIONED. Then, "fair as the moon," because the light of the moon is stronger than that of dawn. Then, she is "clear as the sun," whose light is stronger even than that of the moon. And finally, she is as "terrible as an army with banners," WHICH MEANS that her light has reached full strength.
94. Come and behold, in the early morning, it is dark and the light is concealed. Then, the morning begins to light up. It shines little by little until the light reaches its full strength. Similarly, the Holy One, blessed be He, will shine on the Congregation of Yisrael. First He will shine like the dawn, which is black, then "fair as the moon," and later, "clear as the sun." Eventually He will shine "terrible as an army with banners."
95. Come and behold, IT IS LITERALLY WRITTEN that "dawn has gone up," rather than 'day breaks.' This is because when dawn comes, the minister OF ESAU grows stronger and attacks Jacob. This act enables Esau to recover and grow stronger.
96. But as the darkness of dawn emerges, the light comes and Jacob becomes stronger, for it is his time to shine, as it is written, "And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he limped upon his thigh" (Beresheet 32:32). Thus, "the sun rose upon him," because it was the time to shine.
97. The verse, "and he limped upon his thigh," alludes to the fact that as long as the children of Yisrael are in exile, they suffer pain, sorrow, and evil mishaps. However, as soon as day breaks after they have rested, they will look back with sorrow in their hearts on all the afflictions and pain they have suffered, and they will wonder about them. Therefore THE SCRIPTURE SAYS, "the sun rose upon him," NAMELY, THE SUN of the time of rest, when "he limped upon his thigh," WHICH MEANS THAT he was filled with pain and sorrow for what he had suffered.
98. When dawn rose, JACOB grew stronger and seized him, for the strength OF THE ANGEL failed, since he is only powerful at night, while Jacob rules during the day. Therefore it is written, "And he said, 'Let me go, for the day breaks,'" and I am in your hands. This we have already learned.