Question: What is the Egyptian exile in relation to the friends?
Answer: The exile means that I cannot establish the right kind of connection with the friends because Pharaoh stands between us and rules over us. It turns out that I am forced to work for Pharaoh instead of working for the sake of friends. This means that I am in the Egyptian exile, in slavery.
At first, I feel good in this exile. I don’t care about the friends, I only care about Pharaoh, the king, who lets me live well and brings me egoistic fulfillment, fulfilling my jealousy, lust, ambition, and the urge for strength and power. I unite with Pharaoh and I am ready to work for him.
Yet gradually, I begin to reveal that this is not good and I can’t live like that. Since I do not advance this way and do not clarify the goal of creation, I begin to feel that I am in exile. As it is said: “And the sons of Israel cried out from the work,” when they revealed that the splendid cities of Pithom and Ramses that they are building for Pharaoh are becoming poor and unfortunate cities for them.
All of this building does not bring any benefit to them. On the contrary, there is a danger (“danger” or “Sakana” in Hebrew is also related to the word “poor” or “Misken”) that they may forever remain in Egypt, in this state of opposition to each other, in an unfortunate life that has no purpose. And then we begin to try to turn this state into a state leading us to salvation.
From the moment when this starts to be revealed for us, Moses is being revealed (the point in the heart), who runs from Egyptian slavery to another place. That is, this quality of Moses inside of a person separates one from Pharaoh, from the ego, and begins to grow on his own, wanting to take the rest out from the Egyptian exile. This is how a person comes to be at war with Pharaoh.
Pharaoh and Moses fight each other while between them is the Creator. On one hand, He hardens Pharaoh’s heart, and on the other, He strengthens Moses and tells him: “Do not be afraid, come unto Pharaoh together!” This is how the Creator teaches Moses to keep to the middle line.
Pharaoh stands on the one hand, on the other hand there is the power of the Creator, and Moses grows between them, through the ten Egyptian plagues. Thanks to them, he obtains the ten main qualities with which he can now run away. And when he runs, all of his other qualities join him, which also agree to come out of Egypt as well.
This is how we come to the state when the fact that we ran away from Pharaoh, from our egoistic desire from which we have separated, is not enough for us anymore. Now we need to obtain the quality of bestowal, and that is why we come to receive the Torah. That is, the Light that Reforms has to begun to work practically here, and we attract it towards ourselves. Our unity with each other must become stronger. We are constantly moving forward towards an ever stronger connection.
We enter Egypt due to the fact that we all hate each other, especially the point of Joseph, the beginning of the middle line, meaning that we separate. However, the Egyptian exile already begins from “how wonderful and pleasant it is to sit together as brothers,” but only Joseph knows and understands this.
Now he wants to join all of his brothers, all of the “first nine Sefirot” (Tet Rishonot) to himself since he himself is the last Sefira Yesod. For this reason he says: “How wonderful and pleasant it is to sit together as brothers,” when he unites all of them, and a spiritual vessel is formed.
Afterwards, an even greater unity is being reached in Egypt, when the seven years of famine arrive, and they begin to reveal that they have one common hated enemy, Pharaoh. And when they run from their ego, the desire to enjoy, all together and are ready to unite, when they agree to be as one man with one heart, in mutual guarantee, meaning to fulfill the conditions of receiving the Torah, this is already the next level of unity.
Each time unity becomes ever greater. All of the transgressions they commit and then correct in the desert are directed against unity and afterwards—towards unity. There is nothing else besides the realization of the principle of loving thy friend as thyself, the great rule of the Torah.
All of the commandments, meaning the actions of correction, are included in it, until we reach the correct connection and enter the Land (Eretz) of Israel (Yashar-El, “straight to the Creator”), meaning the desire (Ratzon) that is similar to and united with the Creator. Such is the path.
That is why this is not simply the love of friends, but the means to reach and realize the goal of creation.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/14/2011, Writings of Rabash