My Answer: There is a part in the general system of souls that has already completed its correction. They are called the Patriarchs. This part exists in a corrected state, filled with Light. These were very luminous souls, which is why they were able to fully correct their parts in the general system of Adam HaRishon.
But now how do we correct ourselves? We will be able to reach correction by attaching ourselves to them. If I strive to do this, I am called righteous for I want to come to the same state as them to justify the Creator and the creation. And that is when “the fathers’ merit” begins to influence me (otherwise it does not), and I receive from them the Light that returns to the Source.
For this I need a system called the Kabbalistic group, so that within it I could realize the advice given by these Kabbalists (fathers). They tell me what I need to do to place myself into their corrected part within the general system of souls. This is called “to make use of the fathers’ merit.” They have given me Kabbalah (the Torah), told me how to achieve correction, and how to utilize the correction they’ve already made in the general system. I need not torture my body; I only need to draw the Surrounding Light onto myself through their corrected system.
My choice lies only in connecting to the group, through which I can aim myself at the corrected system, called “fathers.” “Fathers” have made corrections within the broken system of Adam HaRishon, and thanks to these corrections anyone can, regardless of time or situation, use the right environment to become like the fathers to connect to them so as to receive from there the Light that returns to the Source, thereby utilizing the power of the light they had attained.
In our Kabbalistic group we want to become like that corrected group of souls, called “fathers.” Therefore, everyone ought to say: “When will my actions be like those of the fathers?” Thus we will have an example how our group can connect to their group.
In this lies our entire choice and inheritance of the fathers’ merit. If our group enters the corrected part of Adam HaRishon, called “fathers,” equalizes its qualities with theirs, and connects to them, in so doing we will make use of their “merit” and return to the corrected state that exists there.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/3/10, Article “Ancestral Merit”