Baal HaSulam, “Mutual Guarantee” (abridged version): The merit of the forefathers is that from the height of their souls, they realized the principle of love for the neighbor without preliminary actions, which they were unable to realize. Thus, only the nation of Israel entered the mutual guarantee.
The Creator made one receiving desire, consisting of four “layers”—four levels of depth or Aviut. We start to discern the layers of egoism from light to heavy. The souls that have already completed the analysis and correction then help to perform the work on the following, coarser layers of desire of the common, single, broken soul.
First the souls belonging to the level of the forefathers are corrected. We also call them “the house of Abraham.” This is talking about thousands of people who attained the spiritual world under his leadership. Their Aviut was very small and therefore they did not need to attract the Light that reforms during the study. It was enough for them to unite with one another a little because there was no repulsion between them as they did not fall into egoism yet on all of its four levels.
The fall happened later, in the Egyptian exile, and only then did Israel start needing the Light that reforms, meaning the method received on Mount Sinai. After all, a person corrects only what surfaces in him. The Torah, the method of correction, is intended for work with the evil inclination. When it became revealed in Egypt, the force of the Light capable of correcting it became revealed.
However, on the level of the forefathers, there was no need for this yet. This is the most “transparent,” purest degree of level zero of Aviut, comparable to the state of conception. At this stage, the Torah and the Light that reforms are not necessary for correction since there is nothing to reform yet.
Next comes the level of the sons, with the Aviut of the first and in part, the second level. And then comes our turn, the second, third, and fourth levels of Aviut, belonging to the “period of the Messiah.” Every generation in this lineage corrects its own layer of the common desire, the common soul.
Thus, the forefathers did not need the study that evokes Light, being in states of “the desert.” It was enough for them to be in the situation that surfaced in Ancient Babylon. Each of them revealed his evil somewhat, which the Torah describes metaphorically by talking about how Abraham and Sarah came down to the Land of Canaan, how Isaac solved problems with Esau, and other issues.
Next, Jacob and his sons came down to Egypt and died there, in this great, receiving desire. Then the sons of Israel went through the burdening of the heart and wanted to work on unification together to rise above hatred. However, first they descended even lower in their Aviut, which is called “visiting the cities of Pitom and Ramses.” Stated differently, by attempting to unite with each other, they did not build wonderful unity, but instead created something petty, sordid, and dangerous.
That is how they reached the need to run away from egoism and then went through the “ten plagues,” meaning unsuccessful attempts to escape. Every time they asked Pharaoh to “let them go,” they were denied, until the sorrow became unbearable. Only then, in the state of pitch darkness, does a person run away from his egoism, ready to rise above it at any price, “Better death than this kind of life.” A person reaches the final decision, really wishing to unite with others, as one man with one heart in mutual guarantee, and then he receives the method of correction.
This method leads him along the stages of the spiritual path: Tme after time, he discovers destruction inside of him and corrects it with the help of the Light that reforms. As a result, he reveals and corrects his entire, enormous egoism.
This process does not occur in all of humanity, but in a small group of Abraham’s descendants. On the path, it goes through breakings, analogously to the spiritual world, and falls down. And only later, in our days, does the true work of correcting the common soul begin.
Thus, even though since the times of the sin of the soul of Adam HaRishon, the forefathers and sons completed their work and attained their end of correction on the level of the First Temple, nevertheless descents followed after that, corresponding to the spiritual breakages. Both Temples were destroyed, similar to the two Partzufim in the world of Nekudim.
Now, after millennia of intermixing, we are reaching the analysis and correction—the self-realization. Precisely now, after all of the necessary “introductions,” the real work begins. The preparation is finished, and all that’s left is to correct ourselves.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/15/11, “The Arvut (Mutual Guarantee)”