The period of preparation is the most important and special time because it is particularly during this time of concealment and darkness that we try to discern all of our qualities, goals, means, and inner definitions. Later, when we rise above the Machsom, we only correct the evil in us which we exposed and prepared for correction during the period of preparation.
Baal HaSulam explains that during the period of preparation, we “perform” (reveal in ourselves) Zdonot (intentional transgressions) and Shgagot (unintentional mistakes or negligence). We correct these mistakes and negligence after the period of preparation, during the stage called “bestowal for the sake of bestowal,” and even later, we correct the intentional transgressions during the stage of “reception for the sake of bestowal.”
The period of preparation is a time of revealing all the “sinners” inside us. We reveal them gradually, to the extent that we are capable of doing so. But most importantly – we expose them to the extent that we are able to tolerate them in us, as much as we are able to reveal them without running away from the spiritual path! And until we awaken all of them, we will not be able to cross the Machsom.
We cross the Machsom under the condition that we rise above the transgressions and negligence. We should not engage in trying to correct them, but instead, to rise above them. Then, above the Machsom, we correct them and acquire the intention of “bestowal for the sake of bestowal.” We use them as they are, and we are willing to remain in them, but for the sake of bestowal. This means that we cross the Sinai Desert.
Then we correct them with the intention of “reception for the sake of reception,” which means that we enter the Land of Israel (the revelation of the Creator). It turns out that inside the very qualities that we revealed inside us before the Machsom, we later reveal the Upper World, the Creator.