Baal HaSulam, “Matan Torah (The Giving of the Torah)”: Here before us is a clear law, that in all 612 Mitzvot (commandments) and in all the writings in the Torah there is none that is preferred to the commandment, “love thy friend as thyself.”
This is because they only aim to interpret and allow us to keep the commandment of loving others properly, since he specifically says: “The rest is its commentary; go study.” This means that the rest of the Torah is interpretations of that one commandment, that the commandment to love your friend as yourself could not be completed were it not for them.
“The Torah” is the Light that corrects our desires. We have to correct all our 613 desires and turn them into bestowal. It can be bestowal for the sake of bestowal (“whatever is hateful to you, do not do to another”), in the state of Hafetz Hesed when we do not harm another . And in addition, we can love the others as ourselves, meaning to receive for the sake of bestowal. In this way, we have to advance.
Only man exists in this world, and if he wants to correct his relationship with a fellow human being, then he reveals in himself 613 kinds of this relationship, which represent 613 corrupt desires. Then, he starts to correct them through the Light that Reforms by studying the corrected system. The Torah talks only about the corrected states, about fulfilling the “commandments,” meaning about the corrections that we have to go through.
The “Introduction to The Book of Zohar” explains that the Torah is divided into 613 counsels and 613 deposits. It is about 613 Lights that correct in us 613 egoistic desires directed to another.
We are talking about neither ourselves nor this world, but about the relationship with the other. Wishing to get closer to him, to reach him, I reveal 613 corrupt desires: This is the realization of evil. Then, I want to correct them, and in response to each desire a corresponding Light comes and performs correction. How it does it exactly, I do not know, and this is not my business. I just want to disclose evil and correct it to good, but I leave “technical details” to the Light.
As a result, my desires become corrected (obtain the intention to bestow instead of the initial intention to receive) and become filled with this altruistic intention. This means that the Light is present in them.
In reality, what can the corrected desire be filled with? It can be filled only with the following: I want and actually can bestow to the other. This is the fulfillment that we call NRNHY. Initially, from the side of the Creator who created the desire to receive, only the small Light of Nefesh was given, a spark, thin Light, acting in reality.
There are only a spark and the point of desire created as “existence from absence.” Everything else, without exception, comes only from the relationship between the Creator and the creature, who want to kindle the flame of love between them. According to the law of love, it is enough to give at least a fraction to the one who loves me, and then my attitude attached to this gift makes it infinite.
We should realize that by identifying our 613 desires that are revealed in relation to the other and correcting them from reception to bestowal, we obtain a large vessel of bestowal. And it is based on the very point of “existence from absence” that feels only its desire for pleasure. We have this point, and above it, we build a huge vessel which is all attitude, bestowal, and love.
Its essence is that very point. Expanding, being imbued with sensations, the desire remains the same. All it has is the sensation of what, how, and from whom it receives. In other words, it is the perception of the Creator’s attitude to it.
In the four phases of the Direct Light, there are just the desire and the Light of the first phase. Everything else comes from the reaction, the creature’s response as it perceives the Giver rather than gets filled. Once the first phase (a point of desire with the tiny spark of the Light of Nefesh) begins to feel itself at least a bit, it immediately starts to develop in relation to the Giver.
Thus, we must understand that the entire spiritual vessel, the entire spiritual world, is based on the interrelationship between the creature and the Creator. Nullifying this relationship, either through our own fault or not, we remain in our small, dark desire, which is our reality.
From the 5th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/21/11, “Matan Torah (The Giving of the Torah)”