The story of the exodus from Egypt and the traditions related to it are intended only to point to our inner states. We are in a notch, in trouble, with blows falling upon us, in the atmosphere of an escape, a rush, and darkness. In essence, this is the process of spiritual birth, comparable to the birth of a physical body.
This is what we have to achieve. But how? After all, we are always running away from suffering. So how can we not run away from the state of coming out of Egypt? In the material world I can find myself in a situation where there is only one way out. But in spirituality everything happens according to my desire. If I don’t want to experience Egyptian plagues, then I don’t experience them. But then I will take the thorny path along with all humanity under pressure from the “developmental press.” However, I want to accelerate the path. So will I really put myself under the blow?
Kabbalists answer: You shouldn’t reveal the blows and problems somewhere out there, but only in the current state. How? Could it really be that in my sensation I have to “turn” reality from good to evil? That’s right! You might say, “But when I feel the evil, I will run away!” Actually, no, you won’t. That’s because you will reveal the evil in relation to the higher goal. You have to assess spirituality as something desirable and truly priceless. Then the current state will seem bad to you. That way you will be able to move forward without abandoning the path.
We awaken the spiritual goal so it would shine for us. Then we desire to attain it, while the current state becomes exile, darkness, Egyptian plagues. This enables us to raise the importance of spirituality in our eyes, to elevate the importance of bestowal, love for the neighbor, and the unity of friends to such a degree that the exile will become unbearable and we will have to run away from it.
Question: If the exit from Egypt happens in such difficult conditions, how should this be combined with the optimism and energy that fill us after the convention?
Answer: We aspire only to goodness, and then the current state seems unbearable to us. On the path of acceleration I reveal good states ahead and compared to them the current situation seems bad to me.
I do not have to suffer in a dead-end at all, not knowing what to do with myself. The latter approach is called “advancing in due time” until the “developmental press” will nevertheless We have to reveal the goodness ahead. This makes all the difference. By comparing the current state with the desired unity, with love for the neighbor and bestowal, I feel that I am in trouble, in darkness. That is how I prepare myself for spiritual perception, already now forming spiritual values within myself. By elevating bestowal in my eyes, I prepare for redemption and accelerate the path.push me forward.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/10/11, Preparation to Going Out From Egypt
Our egoism is “help from the opposite,” which we have to use in order to ascend to the Creator’s level. And it works in two areas. The first is a person’s connection with the group where his egoism works against “Israel” (the intention “straight to the Creator”). The second is when our ego comes forth against the only force that controls the world, meaning against the Creator. Our ego rises up against these two forces and resists them by every means possible and at every moment. That is why all of our work is aimed only at this.
The more we aspire to attain a connection among us in bestowal, love, and mutual guarantee, the faster we will reveal that we are incapable of this! And then we will have to turn to the Creator and deal with Pharaoh who stands against Him. We know from the story of Egyptian slavery that Moses, the leader of the nation of Israel who spoke with the Creator, did not appear right away. All of this occurs after many years of exile in Egypt when the nation of Israel already cried out from the difficult work and screamed out to the Creator. Only then did one Jewish woman give birth to a boy Moses, and then this entire story begins to unfold. This new force called Moses rises up in a person.
That is where the work against Pharaoh begins. We discern whether it is worth it for us to attract the upper force in order to create a connection in the group that will fuse us together as one nation with one heart, so much that we will reveal the Creator inside of that unity. That is to say, the work takes places in two areas. First of all, this is difficult work that made “the sons of Israel cry out,” which is when we want to build our spiritual vessel (desire) and are unable to. And then we scream, not knowing what to do.
That is when the second phase begins, where we discern: Whom do we yell at and how? We have to reveal the upper force. We want it to be present inside of our union, and not just in order to make our connection with each other come true. Our entire connection has to happen in order to reveal the force fo the Creator, the force of bestowal and love.
We work through these two phases, and as long as we don’t complete them fully, uniting all of Israel and attracting the Creator instead of Pharaoh inside of us, we will not be able to come out of Egypt. This exodus occurs as an escape in darkness, extremely rushed.
There are several steps that we have to make in the direction of this exodus. The Light that illuminates these steps leads us to realize that there is just one upper force, “There is none else besides Him.” Only He influences us and leads us through all of these steps and all of the states. All of our sensations, thoughts, and desires comes to us from above. What depends on us is only one single point of freedom: To relate everything that is happening to the Creator.
We realize this free choice in the group by uniting as one man in order to reveal Him, and He is present inside of the group. That is how we prepare for the exodus from Egypt in order to ascend above our ego and to shift to being ruled by the force of bestowal.
This is the greatest event in a person’s life. It’s not an accident that the whole Torah starts with the Exodus, and the month when it happens is called the beginning of all the months. The beginning is enumerated from the exodus from Egypt because all of the Torah and all spiritual life is built only on this foundation. This is the beginning of a “human being” who starts to grow up from the animate existence, the growing force of faith called the force of the Creator, which rises above the earthly, animate knowledge. All of this begins with the exodus from the egoistic Egypt.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/10/11, Writings of Rabash
Writings of Rabash, “Until The Ruler Of Egypt Fell”: One must work for the sake of the heavens, meaning for the sake of bestowal. In exile this assessment was made under the power of Pharaoh, the King of Egypt.
I do not know what real bestowal is or how it is possible to give anything to a person who is completely detached from me, when there are no “common foundations” for kindness, such as commonly accepted morals, the respect of others around me, or anything else.
Some people throw money around and squander entire fortunes, and they feel pleasure from this. They receive sufficient compensation for their “bestowal.” One person is satisfied by a kind word, another by being remembered well by the future generations, and a third by self-respect.
In the West there is a new trend called “a dollar a day.” A person contributes a dollar a day to feed a hungry African child who will never find out who he is. Yet, contributions like this also bring satisfaction because I am giving someone life. What is a dollar compared to the feelings this elicits in me?
However, we are talking about total separation from self-gratification. We cannot imagine or feel such a thing in our life. We do not understand how it is possible to give to someone without any response in thought or sensation. This is concealed from us.
This is the meaning of exile when we first encounter it: It turns out that I do not know what pure bestowal is. I am separated from spirituality precisely in this regard.
Egypt (Mitzraim) means a notch (Metzer), and a notch means a scantity of mercy when a person only knows how to receive, without bestowing anything.
We are yet to discover that we are devoid of any premises of bestowal and only know how to receive. If I receive, then I give. But in general, this is not bestowal. I just call it that way because in our world we judge a person by his actions instead of his intentions. Intentions belong to the science of Kabbalah, while actions belong to the opinion of this world.
“Width” is generosity, great bestowal. A “notch” is the opposite, a lack of bestowal. Thus, the power of Egypt was that every person could make actions only in return for payment.
This is us. But we don’t really realize this and that is why our state is still not considered exile. Our lives our OK. True, we’re Egyptians, but so what?
He does not let them carry out even one action without payment, only for the sake of bestowal.
This is our Pharaoh. And we don’t even realize that he controls us. The power of Pharaoh becomes revealed only when you want to do something for the sake of bestowal and discover that you are unable to. That is when Pharaoh, the Egyptian King, is revealed. But until then, you are sitting on the throne yourself and doing whatever you want.
This means that Egypt was a notch for Israel.
In other words, it obstructed the direction of straight to the Creator (Yashar El).
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/11/11, Preparation to Going Out From Egypt
Answer: When I read alone, I also have to think that we all are connected together. It is as though I plunge into our collective desire which connects us into one, where we are united all together even though we don’t feel it.
I try to be on the same level. Being together with everyone inside the system that connects us all, where we all share the same desire and energy, I wish to sense that there are no differences between me and the others.
Then, when reading the text, I try to penetrate into its essence as much as possible and, most importantly, not to disconnect from the inner connection between us. If I need to give 99% of my strength to the thoughts about our connection, I have to do that. Then I use only 1% for understanding what I read. Sometimes I don’t even know what I am reading about: So big are the distractions that come to me.
However, I should not worry about the fact that later on I won’t be able to tell what I just read. The key is to wish to connect with everyone when my eyes follow the letters. This is enough for the text to influence me.
I specifically want to emphasize that first of all you have to think about the connection between us, and only then you may read and understand the text as much as you are able to.
From Lesson 4, WE! Convention 4/2/2011
In our world the only thing we know to do is to receive. Therefore, without the science of Kabbalah the world would slide down to total self-destruction. If not for the notions of the Creator and creation drawn from Kabbalah, if not for the opportunity to attract the upper Light, the force that corrects us, if there was only this world in front of us, only the earth rotating in cosmic space and us on its surface driven by our nature, then we would exterminate life here over the next few decades. This is confirmed by scientific research, which can definitely be trusted. The earth’s resources are limited, and after eating them all up, we would die of starvation.
In our world there is no solution to this process. We are deliberately being led to an irreversible state in which we will have no means of salvation left. The purpose is for us to reveal our Pharaoh, our egoism, which destroys us and does not allow us to do anything. As a result of this process, all of humanity has to feel a need for the Creator.
Research shows that over the next few years the world will face an extremely cruel lack of fresh water and other necessary resources. Theoretically, by the end of this century we will finish off the remains and will have many chances to die. And there is no solution. The world’s best minds cannot find it. But they are so smart that they can see a dead-end that has no way out.
And indeed, how can we come out of it? We do not have a chance of restricting our evil inclinations. You cannot advise people to consume less due to lack of any other choice. If everyone starts receiving the minimum wage and no more than that, then starting tomorrow no one will be able to make a move. And what would be the point of that? That is exactly what happened in Russia after the revolution. If motivation were to disappear, then the world would freeze. Even if you gave out medals for selfless work, it wouldn’t help.
I have to feel that another person is lower than me in some way, that I have earned more or have attained something greater. If I don’t have this, then what compensation can you offer me? If my neighbor receives 5000 dollars, then I need at least 5001. But if everything is equal, then a person just can’t live that way.
That is why today we are facing a problem that does not have a solution in our world. We are unable to achieve balance with nature. Eventually everyone will understand what is a global, integral world and what is homeostasis. There are many movies and research on this topic which all talk about how we have to practice moderation. The only problem is that we are unable to hold ourselves back.
Pharaoh comes forth from the shadows inside of us, obstructing all attempts to tame our appetite. Soon this will come to the surface: People will look at themselves, seeing how they are powerless, walking toward death and not being able to stop. Baal HaSulam describes this through an allegory: The angel of death brings you a drop of poison on the tip of a sword and you open up your mouth to swallow it and die. You are unable to overcome yourself and are waiting for this final drop.
That is why the dissemination of the science of Kabbalah is necessary. An exemplary group is needed, capable of demonstrating the true solution to the world. This group has to become “a Light for the nations” and from above to pour upon them the spiritual mind and feeling. Otherwise the world has no chance.
Similarly, in our particular case there are also no chances. The difference is that we ourselves want to feel this dead-end state because we know that after that the upper Light will become revealed to us, being a new force, the force of bestowal that will pull us onto a different level. And we must do the same thing for the world even though people are unable to aspire to this ahead of time.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/11/11, Preparation to Going Out From Egypt
Question: Does it make a difference in a person’s correction process whether he reads Kabbalistic sources from a book or from a computer screen?
Answer: When I’m talking about something, in my mind I picture the source of my words: a book or Rabash’s words. I never had this question because at that time I couldn’t have had it; therefore, I don’t have a clear answer. But in my opinion, there is no difference.
There are people who are used to reading a written text, and there are those who have become used to reading from a computer screen. I open the books only during the lessons. All of our books can be found and downloaded from our website. One can accommodate his or her needs: make notes, change the font size, and so on. Yet, it’s still important to open up a printed book.
I think that all our books should be a part of every friend’s home library. After all, a book is more than just a collection of printed pages. It is a reflection of a spiritual object, a certain idea that contains a deep inner meaning.
A book’s prototype and its predecessor is a scroll (Megillah), from the word “Gilui,” meaning revelation. Try reading from a book and from the screen: You will sense a greater depth in the way you relate to the written pages.
During our lessons, when millions of people are studying together, I would like all of us to read from the books and to see each other on the computer screen.
From Lesson 4, WE! Convention 4/2/2011
Question: How is our intention while reading The Zohar different from the intention to win a lottery? Isn’t it egoistic in both cases?
Answer: A little child playing with his toys doesn’t know what he is really doing. He breaks the toys apart, puts them back together, spoils them, and in the meantime learns, grows, and gains wisdom. Had he not been given the games that develop him, had he lived in the forest, he would have grown up as an animal.
It’s amazing how much wisdom we put into toys, constantly improving them and adapting them to each age group, to enable a newborn person to become, within a few short years, a part of the modern world!
Games are a very serious engagement, and all of our development happens through them. Playing a game means that I am trying to reach a higher state than my present one. That degree is unknown to me, but I am aspiring to it. Game means development, it’s just that the word “game” misleads us.
We are in the same situation. If we are occupied with something serious but don’t understand that future state, it’s called a game. The only question is whether our game has the developmental power or not? If I play with animals in the forest, it doesn’t bring the Light that Reforms; there is no developmental impact. That means that I will stay on the level of a beast because such is my environment.
But if, with the help of the Surrounding Light that shines to me while reading The Zohar, I make the environment of Rabbi Shimon part of my own, I associate myself with a higher degree. Then I progress to the degree of Human.
From Lesson 4, WE! Convention 4/2/2011
Question: In order to approach the people who don’t have the point in the heart, we’ll probably need to unify and focus even stronger among ourselves….
Answer: Dissemination to the masses demands higher concentration from us. After all, we want the words that are seemingly unrelated to Kabbalah to carry the force of oneness, the spiritual force. You can write about some external events and predicaments, but you have to put all our unity into it.
It is similarly difficult to write children’s books which have to explain very deep things in the simplest words. Try to explain to a child how a plane is made. How can such a great heavy vehicle fly? Imagine what wisdom is needed to deliver it in a simple and clear form.
There has to be a true specialist to do this, one who is familiar with all the details, feels them, and is talented on top of that. Like Rabbi Aba who could disguise the words of Rabbi Shimon, he must channel all this knowledge into an easy language and bring it to a child in a finished form so that he may easily understand everything.
Dissemination to the public is a very complicated task.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/8/2011, “The Freedom”
If you don’t belong to “Israel” (in Hebrew “Isra-El” means “straight to the Creator”), meaning if you don’t aspire to attain the Creator, to become equal to Him by the quality of bestowal and love, then you don’t have to descend to Egypt, meaning to suffer due to the lack of a connection with the Creator. Instead, you continue living without these problems.
But if you do aspire to attain the Creator, then you have to want this very much and prepare this desire. And the way to prepare it correctly is in the state called “exile,” the sensation of exile from the perfect state.
In exile we acquire the aspiration, need, and desire in all the tiniest details, forms, and qualities which later participate in revealing the Creator, the redemption from exile. Therefore, the exile is an important preparation and it does not end until a true desire for revelation is ready.
That’s because there is no Light without a desire. The Light is simple, but only when the desire attains the qualities that have to be present in it with their depth, force, and form, only then does the fulfillment become revealed inside of it.
Therefore, there’s no use crying about why we haven’t attained revelation yet. That means we still haven’t completed preparing the desire in its entire fullness so it would become revealed as the correct, suitable vessel for revealing the Light. We have to work on the desires, while the Light is at absolute rest and is ready to be revealed.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/11/11, The Zohar