I grab onto everything that I can possibly carry and run just to hide myself. But where is there to run, if there is sheer Egyptian darkness around me? I am locked within my desire, so where can I run from it? After all, I don’t have anything else.
I may be incapable of doing this on my own, but I need to aspire to it. Otherwise, I have no chance to survive. A person takes all the vessels of the Egyptians and runs from Egypt at night, in the dark. Where can he run if there is darkness around him? The next state is also dark, but he feels that it is closer to freedom.
Even if I hate others right now and I am not connected to them, I still know that the next state is more advanced. In other words, I come out of my desires into the desires of my neighbor as much as I possibly can. I simply run away. However, I don’t see any Light in them for the time being. I need to show my readiness to come out of them in spite of the darkness.
I achieve the Final Sea (the Red Sea), and I’m ready to jump into it, since I see that there is nothing shining to me in the back, and I am incapable of remaining in my ego any longer. I am ready to kill it just to enter the common desires, the desires of my neighbor.
Despite the fact that I won’t receive anything for myself there, I see that the next degree, a spiritual one, is situated there. A person understands that the external desires of other people are a higher degree in regard to one’s own, inner desires.
We are in the seven special days of the holiday of Passover.Throughout these days we must maintain a correct, uninterrupted intention, because this is a special time. We don’t celebrate religious rituals or customs. We are very distant from actions people carry out simply because they were taught to do so as children, or because they are driven by egoistic goals to receive a reward, either in this world or the next.
First and foremost, those who study Kabbalah want to reveal the Upper World and the spiritual actions, and only after they see their consequences (branches), they are prepared to also respect and observe them with the same intention as the spiritual actions above.
Abraham and his students were the first to attain the connection between the roots and the branches. Before then, Abraham was an idol-maker and a priest in ancient Babylon. But having revealed the spiritual world and its consequence in the corporeal, having discovered the forces that descend from the spiritual world into our corporeal world and having set it in motion, he created the language of branches. This language is a description of the Upper World, the roots, using words of this world, the branches.
That was when he revealed the whole reality, both the corporeal and the spiritual, as one whole. That is why both the spiritual and the corporeal actions merged within him into a whole, and that is how he taught his students.
Of this it is written that the forefathers (the first Kabbalists) observed the entire Torah even before receiving it at Mount Sinai. Indeed, they have revealed the Torah by attaining the spiritual world with its spiritual actions. Based on that, they carried out the same actions in our world, perceiving all of reality as one whole.
The Zohar, Chapter “Bo (Come unto Pharaoh),”… And the Lord your God brought you out of there..Remember this day in which you went out from Egypt…And brought thee out with His presence, with His great power, out of Egypt…The Lord brought you out from this…Fifty times is the exodus from Egypt mentioned in the Torah….
Fifty is the full degree, the ten Sefirot of Malchut together with the forty Sefirot of Bina. Malchut in its entirety needs to rise above itself, to its full degree. These two forces need to be felt inside of a person – one against the other.
Therefore, salvation will not come until we end the exile, after reaching a horrible sensation that we have no strength to exit our egoism, and feeling at the same time, it is absolutely necessary for us to do this! When we will feel this opposition to the full extent, the waters of the Red Sea (in Hebrew called the Final Sea) will open up, and we will cross it.
A person doesn’t know how it is revealed. This is called a miracle. However, this miracle is caused by the person himself, when he comes to a dead end. On one hand, a person doesn’t understand how it is possible to exit – he has no power or strength for this. Furthermore, he doesn’t understand that there can be some force from Above, which can somehow change his nature. On the other hand, this force that exists above nature is revealed.
This occurs only like a miracle. It occurs above that state, that nature, which is called “Egypt” and comprises the whole inner sense of a person.
Spiritual roots also have an influence on their material branches. Everything is determined by the order of dissemination of the forces of Light, which affect our material, the desire to receive pleasure. There is a special periodicity and causality in the affect of these Lights.
They have a mechanism, which puts into gear and controls everything from the head of the World of Atzilut. From there, from Arich Anpin, Aba ve Ima, YESHSUT, and ZON, which exist in special relationships to each other, we receive changes, which are called: year, month, week, days, minutes, nights, as well as many different more internal states.We are talking about qualities and the combination of qualities, which have a great influence on this world.
If a person wishes to connect himself to the spiritual root and to place himself under a greater influence of the Upper Light, in order to become closer to it, then one must use these periods of a special influence on us from above. If one wishes to ascend spiritually, then during such periods in our world, which are called holidays, he needs to unite with the intentions that pertain to such influences.
In ARI’s book, The Gates of Intentions, he explains how a person should act during such special periods of influence on our world, as Rosh HaShana, Sukkot, Pesach (Passover), Shavuot, and so on. If we are talking about Pesach, then its most significant characteristic is the Light of Hassadim. When a person receives the Light of Hassadim for the first time in his life, he acquires the quality of bestowal and rises above his ego.
Therefore, it pays for us to think more about the Upper Light, which, at this time, has a greater power to raise us above our egoism and to keep us above it, in the quality of bestowal. Subsequently, we will already be able to advance further and to feel the spiritual world with all its details.
Thus we should spend all the days of Pesach thinking about the unification between us and the Upper Light, which raises every one of us above his personal egoism. This needs to be our main intention over the course of the whole holiday.
In his book, Gates of Intentions, the ARI explains the meaning of all the spiritual actions of Passover and their reflections in material customs. The commandments (Mitzvot) refer to the correction of the 613 egoistic desires (of the soul) to altruistic ones with the help of the Upper Light (the Torah). Many are familiar with their reflections or corporeal copies in the customs or traditions (Minhagim) of the holiday.
Many follow these traditions because they are willing to carry out corporeal actions (customs) under the condition that they will help them achieve the results, the execution of corporeal actions (commandments). This is the only reason these traditions are followed.
The more we ask ourselves about the goal and the meaning of every material action (tradition), the more it will help us connect more tightly to their spiritual roots. In this manner, we will learn about the Upper World from the lower world. It is only its connection to the root that gives a custom importance and the right of existence.
After the destruction of the second Temple (the destruction of the quality of bestowal and love of the level of Neshama), people stopped feeling spirituality (the quality of bestowal). Then instead of performing actions of bestowal and love (commandments), all that was left for them were corporeal traditions, the copies of the spiritual actions. From the time of the destruction of the second Temple, people have continued to follow these traditions.
Kabbalists, who were leaders throughout these generations, supported following these traditions and customs in the nation. Gradually, as egoism grew and there was a descent of the generations, people lost the understanding of the connection between the traditions and their desired spiritual execution. They simply carried out mechanical actions, thinking that this was what the Creator demands from a person. They were promised a reward for this in this world and in the other world.
It is written in the Talmud that if there is no connection between the corporeal and spiritual performance, the corporeal actions are lifeless and they kill a person. The corporeal actions that are not connected to spirituality distance a person even more from spirituality and from the Creator because they satisfy the person. It is also written in the Talmud that “the Creator does not care how an animal is killed (meaning, whether or not it is done correctly according to rituals) since the commandments are given in order for a person to be corrected through them.”
If a person seeks a connection between his material actions and their spiritual roots, then when he performs these actions, he reminds himself about spirituality, and in this case it pays for him to perform them. However, if this connection is not there, then carrying out mechanical actions can distance a person from spiritual development, since he becomes satisfied by corporeal actions, “commandments,” and does not feel that anything is lacking in them.
Without the connection to spirituality, the Torah will become a deadly poison for a person. Instead of loving his neighbors, he will feel that he is perfect and will become full of pride in regard to others, thinking that everyone owes him, and this is the poison of spiritual death.
The Zohar, Chapter “Shemot (Exodus),” Item 247: Sixty is Malchut, the mighty ones above, from the side of Gevura that cling to carvings, meaning to the externality of the holy Haya of Israel, which is Malchut. This is why they are named after her, sixty queens [Malchuts]. Those are angels appointed over the nations. Eighty maidservants are the angels appointed by the carvings of Malchut, beneath the sixty queens. This is why they are called maidservants and not queens. And there is no number to the maidens….
Everything that we read in The Zohar transpires within desire. There is nothing else but desire. We are reading about its inner phenomena, changes, and various relationships between its parts.
It is a great device, collectively called Malchut, which needs to change, each time bringing itself to greater equivalence to the Light. Therefore, all the names and terms written in The Zohar exist within Malchut, within our desires, in their various interrelationships.
Hence, we need only think of how to draw the Light to the desire described by The Zohar. Though we don’t understand specifically which qualities or changes are being depicted, or anything that’s going on there, still we await redemption: for the Light to influence this desire, for us to understand and sense the desire and the Light that fills it, and to feel them together. Indeed, it is impossible to feel one without the other, but only if there is contact between them, even to the very first, minimal measure.
That is what we are waiting for. And all the words and letters that we read in The Book exist only in this desire – in our soul.
Preparation to the Lesson, Shamati #41 “What is Greatness and Smallness in Faith?“
The first revelation of the Light of faith is the essence of Passover. Our intention should be aimed at this Light because it is the only thing that can lift us above egoism into bestowal.
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The Book of Zohar – Selections for Passover, Chapter “Bo (Come Unto Pharaoh),” Item 119
Exodus from Egypt constitutes the exit from the end point of egoism, an escape to one’s friends, and a revelation of the spiritual world among friends.
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Shaar HaKavanot, Concerning Passover Exodus, Lesson 2
The events of the Passover Haggadah take place within a person, regardless of what processes are taking place in the material world.
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Writings of Rabash, Shlavey HaSulam, Vol. 1, Page 110
On the animal level, existence is measured by the degree of suffering, whereas on a human level it’s measured by the degree of truthfulness, which is a higher criterion.
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