Yaakov was about to die and he called his sons to gather around him and he would tell them: אֵת אֲשֶׁר־יִקְרָא אֶתְכֶם בְּאַחֲרִית הַיָּמִים, “…what will befall you in the end of days.” (Gen. 49,1) Rashi, based on the Midrash, explains that he was going to reveal to them when the Galut would end but the Divine Presence deserted him. Many commentaries discuss why Hashem did not want Yaakov to reveal the end.
The Malbim offers a very interesting parable to understand the reason. In his days travel was very difficult. A business man travelled with his son from Poland to Vienna to do business there. The usual way of travel then was by horse and wagon. Soon after starting the journey the son asked his father if the distance to Vienna is far. His father looked at him with a smile and an expression that the question was not reasonable.
After a few weeks the son heard his father asked the driver of the wagon if they were still far from their destination. The son looked at his father and inquired why when he asked the same question his father made him feel foolish. His father replied that it is true that they both asked the same question but the difference was in time. The son asked when they were still thousands of miles away. The father asked when they were coming close.
When Yaakov wanted to reveal the end of the Galut it was far away. Had he revealed the time he would have discouraged his family for they were yet to endure bondage and other deprivations.
We are fortunate in our time that we are living in a time nearing the end of our present Galut. We still don’t know how long it will take but we can start acting like it is coming close. The sooner all Jews make Aliya and return to the ways of Hashem, the sooner the end of Galut will be upon us.