Q: Geulah (“redemption”) and Golah (“exile”) are complete opposites. And if so, why is it that in Hebrew the world ‘Geulah’ includes all the letters of the word which stands for exile? In fact, four letters of ‘Geulah’ are taken from the word “Golah”! And only one letter – the Alef – seems to be related to the Redemption as such.
The Rebbe’s answer:
– Entering the time of Redemption does not mean that we abandon all the activities which we carry out in the exile. On the contrary, by definition, the word ‘Geulah’ implies that during the exile certain activities were carried out under subjugation to other forces, and in the Era of the Redemption, we will be freed from this subjugation.
The Redemption will involve freeing all the elements of existence that have been subjugated in the exile.
Nothing will be lost. On the contrary, everything will be redeemed.
Every single Jew will be redeemed. We will leave “with our youth and with our elders… with our sons and with our daughters” (Shemot 10:9, Michah 7:15). And “their gold and silver will accompany them” (Yeshayahu, 60:9). All the positive activities and achievements of the Jews – as well as all nations of the world – will not be nullified.
What will be nullified is the concealment of the world’s true inner being which is brought on by the material substance of the world and the subjugation to the rules of nature that exists at present. But all the positive aspects of the exile will remain.
And indeed they will be elevated.
From the Rebbe’s talk on Shabbat Parshas Acharei-Kedoshim (13th Day of Iyar, 5751 (1991). Free translation).