Restore our judges as before and our counselors as at first. Remove sorrow and agony from us. הָשִׁיבָה שׁוֹפְטֵינוּ כְּבָרִאשׁוֹנָה וְיוֹעֲצֵינוּ כְּבַתְּחִלָּה וְהָסֵר מִמֶּנּוּ יָגוֹן וַאֲנָחָה
Rabeinu Bachya, describes how Yissachar understood how warfare and military life was not suitable for him. He instead saw the Menucha that Torah offered as good.(Bereishis, 49:15)
He goes on to explain how it is impossible for True Torah study to be successful if a person’s demands on the physical body tires them out, or by troubles, or is engulfed by mental stresses and sorrows. In this bracha we are seeking to restore the judges, and advisors of before who can prepare us to use our higher intellect to know Hashem. He says it is an impossibility to know Hashem with any sense of Shleimus, (using our highest self) with a state of anguish. We need to have Simcha combined with Menucha (calm). This is necessary for Geulah, Redemption. Therefore it precedes the next blessing of Tika Bishofar Gadol, a bracha of redemption, gathering in of exiles.
I find it interesting how this is what Yaakov blessed Yissachar with and how it precedes years of slavery. I think of it as an example of Refuah before the Makah. I learned an idea from Maras Debbie Weinberg, who thought of the brachos given by Yaakov to his sons as the tools they needed to live and overcome a world of Mitzrayim.
It seems like we have to study the tools shared by Yaakov to overcome our state of exile and access redemption. The power of Yaakov is Tefillah. I think we are meant to use the tools taught by Yaakov Avinu in the Brachos he gave his childrent, (us) and combine it with tefillah as taught by Rabeinu Bachya to open the fountains of these brachos. Perhaps this is the key to the ultimate bracha of Redemption, of Yisrael seeing the Keitz, the time of Mashiach.
May we be zoche to learn from the Shoftim, and Yoatzim of before, like our ancestor Yaakov Avinu to know Hashem so that we can also know Him, and access redemption, B’mhaira Biyameinu.