Be Prepared To Escape
We all are outside of the spiritual world, in the same Egyptian bondage that the Passover Haggadah describes. Therefore, we need to sort through and realize how well we are prepared for the opportunity to escape which may be presented to us at any moment. Will we be able to flee?
For the time being, the spiritual work tastes like dry and bland Matzot (unleavened bread) for us. Moreover, the love of friends tastes bitter, and we don’t want it. All this means that we are in exile from spirituality. We feel that the spiritual world is much more exalted, but I am exiled from it because I am unable to appreciate and comprehend how good it is. In my sensory organs, I experience it as bad, which means that I am in the dark.
It isn’t Egypt itself which is dark; Egypt, as such, is an enormous and rich empire, dazzling and abundant. Darkness results from my seeking spirituality while I am in Egypt. I feel exiled in relation to spirituality, and for me it is the “bread of affliction.”
I experience this state only if I desire to exit Egypt, and I must agree to eat such simple bread in order to prepare myself to escape. I will agree to flee if I feel that Egypt threatens me with the Egyptian plagues, and I can’t bear such a state any longer. I will feel that I truly desire to unite with the others, but the Pharaoh won’t let me.
I wish to advance at least a little bit and from this egoistic bondage reach some form of bestowal. I feel that there is life only in bestowal, but for now, I am in Lo Lishma (not for Her Name), in egoism, and wish to use it to win, to escape from the Pharaoh who brings me misfortunes.
Such an attitude must be formed in the group so that we would start crying from such hard labor, Moshe (Moses) would pull us forth, and the Pharaoh would show himself in full force, letting me know that the use of egoism no longer promises us anything good in the future. After all, the point in the heart has reached such opposition to egoism that we cannot bear it anymore.
We connected with each other and raised the importance of the spiritual goal to such a height that we cannot stay in our ego. We wish to break free from it. Let me eat the bread of affliction in the future; it doesn’t matter. I must be in bestowal. All fulfillments that Egypt grants are at the animate level, but I don’t wish to live solely for my stomach and feed my animal. I wish to live a human life for the Human in me.
All these calculations lead me to escape, but the escape itself is a miracle from Above.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/31/10, “This Is for Judah”
Though I do recognize that I am entirely egoistic, egoistic aspirations, the appetite of egoistic goals, sought pleasure, righteously indignant actions, as I saw them, or correction of injustices, hold little pleasure for me now. Escaping from Egypt is quite appealing, much of the time, and when it’s not, it seems only because I have forgotten that each living moment is designed in some way to challenge my willingness to work for lishma, rather than for lo lishma, to embrace the group with a desire for unity, and for mutual bestowal. When I am firmly reminded of this, I most often feel a liveliness in the work, and am eager to study, and to meet with others, once again. Thanks Rav, once again, for the many fine summaries that teach me to seek the light that reforms.