Baal HaSulam, “Matan Torah (The Giving of the Torah),” Item 5: We must first understand why the Torah was given specifically to the Israeli nation and not to all the peoples of the world equally. Is there, God forbid, nationalism involved here? Of course, only an insane person would think that. In fact, our sages have examined this question, and this is what they meant by their words (Avoda Zarah 2): “God gave it to every nation and tongue and they did not accept it.”
But what they find bewildering is why, then, were we called “the chosen people,” as it is written: “The Lord thy God has chosen thee” (Deuteronomy 7:6), since there was no other nation that wanted it? Moreover, there is a fundamental question in the matter: Can it be that the Creator came with His law in His hands to negotiate with those savage peoples? Such a thing has never been heard of and is completely unacceptable.
The upper Light brought the Babylonians the feeling of the shattering, the feeling of destruction, the feeling of a crisis, when everything fell apart before their very eyes. People felt hatred and an inability to sustain themselves.
So what did they do? The same thing that we do when a family cannot live together anymore, the parents separate and get divorced.
In fact it was a very clever solution, and they did the right thing: “Why should we torture one another? Let’s separate, you go to one side and I will go to the other.” This is also what Abraham said to Lot: “You go to the right and I will go to the left, or you can go to the left and I will go to the right. You choose which way you want to go. We shouldn’t go the same way, why should we fight?”
This is how the crisis in ancient Babel was solved. It raised the collective question: “What should we do?” And as an answer, some began to think about the purpose of life and about what to do with this life; how to raise it to a higher level, while others pursued their self-benefit in order to simply manage in life.
Of course, the crisis brings along troubles. Here there should be an external awakening, some pressure that makes a person feel bad. The new phase doesn’t just arrive, but is accompanied by some blow by fate. The masses encounter massive disasters, which leave them on the same level but with the question: “How do we get along? Perhaps we should create new situations? Revolutions for example? Or perhaps some element of bestowal, an internal or an external one?” The other, small part is evoked by being drawn from Above. So the Creator turns to everyone, but only a few who connect wake up and they are called the “nation of Israel.”
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/24/12, “Matan Torah (The Giving of the Torah)”