Baal HaSulam, “The Arvut (Mutual Guarantee),” (abridged version): The purpose of Creation lies on the shoulders of the whole of the human race. But because of the descent of human nature to the lowest degree, which is the self-love that unrestrictedly rules over all of humanity, there was no way to negotiate with them and persuade them to agree to take upon themselves, to exit their narrow world into the wide spaces of the love of others.
The exception was the Israeli nation because they were enslaved in the savage kingdom of Egypt. Because of these two forewords, they were qualified for it, as it is written, “and there Israel camped before the mountain,” as “one man in one heart. This is because each and every person from the nation completely detached himself from self-love, and wanted only to benefit his friend, for only then were they qualified to receive the Light that Reforms.
The correction of the world is done gradually. It cannot take place in one person, but must be divided among many souls. It cannot be realized in one time, in one generation, but rather in a sequence of generations. The correction cannot take place if everyone is the same. On the contrary, there should be different kinds of people. All these conditions were intended to ease the way.
The correction is always done by two forces: The force of suffering pushes us from behind, and the force of the Light pulls us forward. It makes no difference what kind of people are involved. Thus, we can understand why the souls are not the same. Some begin the correction first—they are called Israel, meaning those who aspire “straight to the Creator” (Yashar-El). They correct themselves before all the other souls join the process.
People who belong to the category of Israel feel the evil of their growing egoism, which is called “the Egyptian bondage.” They want to acquire the spiritual world, but encounter resistance: They are thrown backward, and weights are tied to their feet, which prevent them from rising. It is namely Israel who feel many interruptions on their spiritual pathway.
Accordingly, they are given a burning spark of the spiritual desire. Eventually, they find themselves between two opposing forces that pull them forward and backward, practically tearing them in two. On the one hand, they feel a pull upward and, on the other, the Egyptian exile.
This contrast is accompanied by difficult conditions in a difficult historical process, in hostile relationships on the part of the world, and so forth. However, all this helps us fulfill the correction faster than others and then help them. If it weren’t for the final goal, to perform the Creator’s actions in our world, one could only pity us. We can justify this way only if we understand the mission we have been given.
There are forces that push us forward, and there are other forces that won’t let us advance. We experience a very unpleasant development, “between the hammer and the anvil,” but we must understand that we are actually in the center of the corrections, and it all depends on us. Humanity already needs us.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/21/2011, “The Arvut (Mutual Guarantee)”