LESSON 3: FROM “ME” TO “WE” IN THE PATH OF ACHISHENA
The Work between the friends in the Ten
One of Israel who truly wishes to be awarded with the light of life, has to agree to plant himself in Knesset Israel (The assembly of Israel) with all his heart, all his senses and all of his physical and spiritual strength.
-Rav Kook, “Whisper to Me the Secret of the HaVaYaH”
And a certain man found him, and behold, he was wandering in the field. And the man asked him, saying: “What seekest thou?”[…], meaning,”How can I help you?” “And he said: ‘I seek my brethren.’” By being together with my brothers, that is, by being in a group where there is love of friends, I will be able to mount the trail that leads to the house of God.
This trail is called “a path of bestowal,” and this way is against our nature. To be able to achieve it, there is no other way but love of friends, by which everyone can
–Writings of Rabash, Shlavey HaSulam, (Rungs of the Ladder), 1984, “Love of Friends,” Article No 3
A good way to serve the Creator and the right way to repent is to unite our hearts with the Love of Friends, to see the friend’s advantage in the service and the knowledge of the Creator, and not to notice his deficiencies. The principle of repentance is to connect each with the other in love and One Heart, and to serve the Creator together… Meaning that we must connect with each other and lock our hearts together… and be as One Bundle, to serve the Creator with a whole heart.
–Maor VaShemesh (Light and the Sun), “The Secrets of Rosh Hashanah”
We must remember that the society was established on the basis of love of others, so each member would receive from the group the love of others and hatred of himself. And seeing that his friend is straining to annul his self and to love others would cause everyone to be integrated in their friends’ intentions. Thus, if the society is made of ten members, for example, each will have ten forces practicing self-annulment, hatred of self, and love of others.
-The Writings of Rabash, Vol 1, “Concerning Love of Friends”
Those who agreed among them to unite into a group understood that there isn’t such a great distance between them in the sense that they recognize the necessity to work in love of others. Therefore, each of them will be able to make concessions in favor of the others, and they can unite around that.
–Rabash The Social Writings, “Make for Yourself a Rav and Buy Yourself a Friend – 2”
And it is known that the Shechinah dwells in each Ten, which is a complete degree. And a complete degree is made up of a head, arms, legs and heels… and when each one sees himself as “nothing” in the holy society, he is considered to be the heel in the society, and they are in the state of Rosh (head) and Guf (body) and the upper parts. And when each one thinks of himself this way, their actions open the gates of abundance and all goodness in the world. But most importantly is that righteous who is able to grip the state that is more “nothing” than the others, and through him the abundance flows.
–Maor VaShemesh (Light and the Sun), “Parashat Ekev”
The main reason why a person needs to buy a friend and work in love of others is that by that he can be rewarded with the love of the Creator. But the friends should primarily speak together about the greatness of the Creator because according to the greatness of the Creator that one assumes, to that extent he naturally annuls himself before the Creator… Thus, the friends’ discussions of the greatness of the Creator awaken a desire and craving to annul before the Creator because he begins to feel longing and desire to bond with the Creator… And this is what a person needs to receive from the friends.
-The Writings of Rabash, Vol 1, “What to Look for in the Assembly of Friends”
According to what is written, “In the multitude of people is the King’s glory,” it follows that the greater the number of the collective, the more effective is the power of the collective. In other words, they produce a stronger atmosphere of greatness and importance of the Creator. At that time, each person’s body feels that he regards anything that he wishes to do for holiness—meaning to bestow upon the Creator—as a great fortune, that he has been privileged with being among people who have been rewarded with serving the King. At that time, every little thing he does fills him with joy and pleasure that now he has something with which to serve the King. Thus, he can walk all day in the world of gladness and joy.
-The Writings of Rabash, Vol 1, “The Agenda of the Assembly – 2”