Some time ago (before the destruction of the Temple) the nation of Israel was on a spiritual level, and the commandments were spiritual actions for them – the Tefilin was not a black box, but the Light of an exalted state, which shines “in the forehead” of the spiritual Partzuf (ten Sefirot). It was not a root and a branch for them; it was united as one whole. They did not live in two worlds, but in one common reality. Therefore, the question regarding whether to carry out commandments in the material did not arise for them; for them the internal and external execution of the commandments were expressions of the same action.
Then a “breaking and a descent” occurred; our sensations of the spiritual world were concealed. With this concealment, we no longer sense what happens in the spiritual world. We are “cut off” from it, and no longer exist on a spiritual degree of “Tefilin” for example or “Talit” (surrounding Light, clothed onto Zeir Anpin of the world of Atzilut); therefore, these commandments have turned from spiritual actions into mechanical actions called “traditions” or “customs.”
Once they were true spiritual actions rather than merely traditions as they are now. Previously, I “put on a Tefilin” in the spiritual and in the material. They were the same thing for me; reality was one whole. As a result of our egoistic development, we uncovered our “breaking and descent,” the destruction of the common soul. Now the time has come to break this division so that there will, once again, be a single, whole world.
Should all people study these traditions and customs? No, we just need to break this division, and when it falls, gradually with our correction, the material reality will begin to vanish. If the all of humanity is corrected, rather than just the small part that came out of Babylon and was called the nation of Israel, then to the extent that the world begins to be corrected, it will “lose” its sensations of the material form. The lower layer, which you correct for bestowal, becomes spiritual, and you no longer perceive it as matter. It gradually seems to vanish from your sensations, until the whole material world vanishes, since it is imaginary (Olam Amedume). Therefore, all that Kabbalah teaches us is how to break the “iron wall” (see Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot, Item 1), which separates us from the spiritual world.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/12/10, “Exile and Redemption”
Laitman.com Post: Spiritual Roots Of The Traditions Of This World
Laitman.com Post: The Breaking Of The Iron Wall
Video: Lesson on Baal HaSulam Article: “Introduction to Talmud Eser Sefirot”, Item 1 (54:47)