The Faces Of Pharaoh

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe vessels of bestowal that once were separated, fell to the vessels of reception, and now are found there, under their control. This state is called “exile” and it is expressed in the fact that the desire to receive is using the quality of bestowal in order to bestow in order to receive.

This means, “exile” is a spiritual concept, that is not simple. I reach it truly, when I know that I bestow to the Creator in order to receive pleasure from Him. I am all Klipa, and this is to say that I am in exile, on a very high spiritual level of tainted connection with the Creator. There are only two forces: to receive and to bestow. And I, the receiving force, received the force to bestow, I hold and use it for self-pleasure.

Today, however, I do not feel that I am in exile; to the contrary, I identify with the desire to receive. If I would identify with the desire to bestow, then I would have said that I am in exile, under the control of Pharaoh, meaning of the ego. Each time that I want to bestow, I would have suddenly felt that I act in order to receive.

We can divide the exile of Egypt into phases, according to the feeling of the exile. Baal HaSulam writes about it in his Letter 14: And the thing is that the measurement that the people of Israel thought that Egypt enslaved them and disturbed them from their work for the Creator, and in the same measurement they really were in the Egyptian exile. Everything depends on the “user,” the one that receives, feels. For example, when Moses killed the Egyptian, the Jews denounced him. They didn’t feel that they were in exile, but to the contrary, it is Moses and not Pharaoh making their lives hard.

So when the breaking happened, the vessels of bestowal, or the souls of Israel that are called Yasher Kel, meaning the intention to bestow, fell to the vessels of reception, to the intention to receive. But this thing itself doesn’t mean anything. We need clarification, the results of which we will be able to identify either with the vessels of reception or with the vessels of bestowal. If in Egypt, I identify with the vessels of receiving, I am blossoming, like Pharaoh, that is building beautiful cities, Pithom and Ramses, for him.

And from the other side, to the one that wants to reach bestowal, these are poor cities, cities of danger: “Maybe we will not be able to exit the control of the ego, the control of Pharaoh?”

Therefore, we must understand where we are. The one who has a point in the heart, the one who already yearns to the wisdom of Kabbalah, to the revelation of the Creator, he needs to always check himself: “What in me prevails now, the desire to receive or the desire to bestow? If it turns out to be the desire to receive, then I am a worker of Pharaoh; if the desire to bestow, then I am “Israel in exile.”

This is the first discernment, then from it, if one develops it, one finally exits the exile. As Rabash writes in Shlavey Sulam (The Rungs of the Ladder) (1985/1986),  Article 6: It is found, that exile is the state of the Kli, and redemption is the Light and bestowal. And precisely from within the troubles, when we feel that we are under this control, that the new vessel begins to form, with which one exits exile. There are no ready vessels; “vessels” are new discernments that we give birth to from the work in Egypt, in exile, the four phases, which eventually create a complete desire, that then feels that it became redemption for us.

Actually what is escape from Egypt? Who are you running away from? From the desire to receive? No, it remains as the desire to bestow remains. So why does Pharaoh invert?

In the first stage, the group of Abraham exits Babylon, meaning, from the desire to take advantage of the Creator for their own good. In other words, vessels of bestowal made a “restriction” on their desire to receive, which at that time couldn’t be corrected, and they separated from it. Later, this desire grew—Isaac appeared, who represents the “left line,” and he separated from Esau. Each time desire to receive is added to us, and we make clarifications and disconnect from it, leaving it for the future, until we will be able to work with it.

We only add to ourselves, to the intention to bestow, the vessels that we are able to correct.

So “Pharaoh” is a very big desire to receive that came after the people of Israel prepared themselves for the new stage. First they completed the next degree in the desire to receive called “Jacob.” Then the need to continue to grow was created, that is called “hunger in the land,” and they descended to Egypt.

In the beginning, Pharaoh was good and their life in the new place was good. They felt that the addition of the desire to receive did not disturb the desire to bestow. So at first, they managed in Egypt—they controlled their desire to receive. So it wasn’t the exile yet, but “seven years of satiation.”

And later, when the sons of Israel connected to the new vessel, it turned to the “seven years of famine.” The desire to receive continued to grow, and at some point, I am not capable of doing anything with it Slowly he “swallows me,” and puts me into the desire to bestow in order to receive. Pharaoh takes more and more from the children of Israel, and they are powerless against his control. This desire simply swallows them, like a crocodile, and nothing is left from bestowal, and Pharaoh grows. Finally, from within the total darkness, the point in the heart awakens in us—Moses that will take us out of Egypt.

This is the path of the desire to receive, and these are the typical discernments for it. The whole story is developed inside the desire. After exiting slavery in Egypt, we come to “Mt Sinai,” the mountain of hatred (Sina). This is the same Pharaoh, only in a different form. Later, again and again, we are faced with growing egoism. Each time in a different form, and this allows us to continue to make corrections.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/29/12, “Exile and Redemption”

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