A person on the spiritual path goes through states of darkness, emptiness and various problems, and he must constantly rise above all of this by acquiring the quality of bestowal.
The Shechina walked ahead of them, and they followed it.
If a person asks for help so he will have something to follow, and if he chooses to follow the Creator instead of his egoistic nature, then he sees a “pillar of fire” and “clouds of greatness” – signs that help him ascend up the spiritual ladder.
“The Shechina walked ahead of them” means that their only thought was about how to unite together into one gathering of souls, called Schechina.
The Shechina walked accompanied by all the clouds of greatness. And when the Shechina ascended, so did Israel, as it is written, “When the cloud rose above Sinai.”
When the Shechina ascended, the cloud rose to the highest peak. And all those inhabiting the world saw and wondered, “Who is that rising from the desert, like pillars of smoke?”
The desires that are able to follow the Shechina do so. And those that aren’t yet able to follow her are called “the nations of the world.” However, they also receive a revelation, and when everyone ascends, these desires also advance with them.
This is how a person advances by clarifying which desires within him are called “Israel” (straight to the Creator), “the nations of the world” (the desires that he is unable to correct for now), “Klipot” (desires that are completely unfit for correction until the end of all corrections). A person continuously sorts his desires and sacrifices them, causing the sacrificial smoke to rise, which means that he changes their use from “for my own sake” to “for the Creator’s sake.” Smoke (“Ashan” in Hebrew, also translates as “world, year, soul”) is the Reflected Light.
If a person works on himself in this manner, sorting his desires and attaching them to the Creator, then He attains similarity to Him. Thus, he raises the Reflected Light and opens the way to his next degree. In other words, he constantly reveals a new world, a new year, and a new soul.