Baal HaSulam’s article “Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot,” Item 8: Our sages have already said, “You have not a generation without such as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” Indeed, that Godly man, our Rav Isaac Luria, troubled and provided us the fullest measure. He did wondrously more than his predecessors, and if I had a tongue that praises, I would praise that day when his wisdom appeared almost as the day when the Torah was given to Israel. There are not enough words to measure his holy work in our favor.
The entire method of correction came to us from the ARI. He actualized everything that was prepared by all the preceding Kabbalists. The soul of the ARI has such a special place in the common system of souls that from his time onwards the Light begins to act upon all souls, bringing them to the final correction (Gmar Tikkun).
Before the ARI, all development occurred through the steps 0, 1, 2, 3, and only the ARI, through his corrections in the system of souls, entered the 4th stage and started building the true Malchut in its final form. He is Sefira Yesod (the last one before Malchut) and thus he is called Mashiach ben Yosef (Messiah Son of Joseph, where Joseph signifies Sefira Yesod), after which Malchut itself begins its correction.
All the previous souls pertained to the preparation stage of correction. And only with the ARI does the awakening of all souls begin. Obviously, this process takes hundreds of years, but the ARI opened the channel for the Light from the previous three stages to the last, the fourth stage whence the correction begins.
Messiah is the revelation of the Light in the common system of souls. This Light enters Malchut through Yesod. The ARI opens the gate for the Light, and therefore he is called Messiah Son of Joseph. Messiah is a force of correction. The ARI manifests this force that passes down through his soul. While he resides in the collective system, he performs corrections in his soul, and now the Light flows through it into Malchut and acts upon the souls.
Now, however, it is our job to prepare our souls for the ascent from Malchut to Bina. This process pertains to the correction of Malchut, Mashiach ben David (Messiah Son of David).
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/5/10, “Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot”
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