The story of the Exodus from Egyptian slavery depicts all the details of a Kabbalistic group’s spiritual path. It seems like we are ready to come out of Egypt and gain our freedom (out of egoism and into the quality of bestowal), and yet it is so difficult. We undergo the “seven years of famine” and the “Egyptian plagues” so that every one of us feels the Pharaoh (the evil rule of egoism over us) lurking within. We undergo a terrible inner struggle with a part of us willing to come out of Egypt (forsake egoism), but with another part unwilling to escape.
The escape from Egypt (the night of Passover) happens suddenly while we are in darkness, in a hurry, out of fear, and is prompted from Above. It is when we feel a force pushing us forward, toward bestowal. We are willing to flee into the darkness, which is how we perceive the quality of bestowal. However, the Creator leads us to freedom via the long path, by surrounding us with the Pharaoh’s followers (Erev Rav – mixed multitude).
Even when we tear ourselves away from true egoistic desires known as “Pharaoh’s forces,” we are still left with the “mixed multitude.” They are those who want to have their cake and eat it too, seeking to remain egoistic while at the same time receiving pleasure from the Creator and spirituality.
These desires bind us in exile, preventing us from escaping. And when we finally do escape, they may still attach themselves to us because they have a connection to the Creator. That is why they are called “mixed” – because both their desires are immediately apparent: hoping for a good life here in this world, as well as in the world to come. They are the ones holding us back.
Thus, the story of the Exodus talks about desires and intentions that exist in every one of us. When we come to the Red Sea, we aren’t ready to jump in – the sea seems like death. To cross it, we must reveal the single, special force that is capable of leading us across.
And when after all that we finally reach Mount Sinai, we are given the final and most difficult condition: “Unite as one man with one heart.” After all our discernments and efforts toward spirituality, we eventually reveal that we aren’t willing to unite with others.
However, this is the only condition that we must meet and we have no choice but to agree: “We are willing, but incapable.” If we really want this mutual guarantee, then the Creator has to be our guarantor – But do we really want that?
When we agree to this condition, we receive from Above the strength for the mutual guarantee and the Creator’s revelation. The Creator reveals Himself within us so as to give us a chance to bestow.
It is a very long and complex process, and The Book of Zohar teaches us how to be more sensitive to the changes taking place within us so that we can imagine every detail. All this takes place within us and nowhere else. That is why we must learn to recognize and understand these qualities internally. As we train ourselves to maintain such an inner vision, we move increasingly closer to perceiving the spiritual world.