Baal HaSulam’s article “Exile and Redemption” (Synopsis):
Harmony Between Religion and the Law of Development or Blind Fate
“And among these nations shalt thou have no repose.”
“And that which cometh into your mind shall not be at all; in that you say we will be as the nations, as the families of the countries.”
The nation of Israel cannot exist in exile. It will find no rest there, as other nations that mixed with others and dissolved in them without a trace.
Not so is the house of Israel. This nation will find no rest among the nations until it realizes the verse, “And from there you will seek the Creator.”
And we say about all the rebuke that is happening to us that it is chance and blind fate. This has but one cure—to bring the troubles back on us to such an extent that we will see that they are not coincidental but steadfast Providence.
Due to the wisdom of Kabbalah, a far more rapid development than the other nations has come to us. And because the members of the nation developed so, there was always the necessity to go forward and self-correct.
And because they would not do it, but wished to include their narrow selfishness, this developed the ruin of the First Temple, since they wished to extol wealth and power above justice, as other nations.
But because the wisdom of Kabbalah prohibits it, they denied it and the prophecy and adopted the manners of the neighbors so they could enjoy life as much as selfishness demanded of them.
And because they did that, the powers of the nation disintegrated: Some followed the kings and the selfish officers, and some followed the Kabbalists. And that separation continued until the ruin.
In the Second Temple, it was even more conspicuous, since the beginning of the separation was publicly displayed by egoistic disciples. Their mutiny against our sages revolved primarily around the obligation of Lishma.
Because they did not want to retire from selfishness, they created communities of this corrupt kind and became a great sect called “Tzedokim” (Sadducees) who were the rich and the officers, pursuing selfish desires.
And they fought the Prushim (Pharisees), those who exited from their egoism, and brought the Roman kingdom’s rule over Israel. They are the ones who would not make peace with the imperious, as the Kabbalists advised, until the house was ruined and the glory of Israel was exiled.
The Difference Between A Secular Ideal and A Religious Ideal
A secular ideal stems from humanness to raise itself, in similarity to humanness.
But a spiritual idea, which stems from the Creator, can raise itself above humanity.
This is because the basis for a secular ideal is equalization and the price of glorifying man, and he acts to boast in the eyes of people, even if they don’t know him.
A spiritual ideal, however, is based on glory in the eyes of the Creator. Hence, he who follows a religious idea can raise himself above humanness.
In exile, for as long as we followed the intention of Lishma, we retained strength. But because people rebelled against this in their aspiration to execute their selfish ploys, we have lost life’s purpose.
Instead of scattering monetary surplus on collective needs, they were scattered on the joys of life.
The wisdom of Kabbalah, the natural law of development, goes hand in hand in wondrous unity even with blind faith. Thus, the bad incidences in the exile, which we have much to tell of from the days of our exile were all because we embezzled the Torah. And if we kept the commandments of the Torah (unity and Lishma), no harm would come to us.
Congruity and Unity Between the Wisdom of Kabbalah and Blind Faith, and the Development of Human Calculation
Hence, we must say to our troubles, “Enough!” and at the very least, make a human calculation regarding our country as well: We have no hope of remaining on this earth as a nation as long as we do not accept the work with the intention of Lishma, and not for oneself.
If we do not establish ourselves accordingly, then we will undoubtedly be pushed right and left as all nations are, and much more so. This is because the nature of the developed is that they cannot be restrained, for any important notion that comes from an opinionated person will not bow its head before anything and knows no compromise.
This is a psychological law.
They believe that in the end, the other side will understand the danger and will bow his head and accept their opinion. But the nature of the developed will not allow one to surrender to the other even a little, and no danger will interrupt anyone from carrying out his ambition.
As long as we do not raise our goal above the corporeal life, we will have no corporeal revival.
We are the children of the idea. And even if we are immersed in materialism, we will still not give up the idea. Hence, it is the holy purpose for His name that we need.
Baal HaSulam, “This Is For Judah”