The Faces Of Pharaoh

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe vessels of bestowal that once were separated, fell to the vessels of reception, and now are found there, under their control. This state is called “exile” and it is expressed in the fact that the desire to receive is using the quality of bestowal in order to bestow in order to receive.

This means, “exile” is a spiritual concept, that is not simple. I reach it truly, when I know that I bestow to the Creator in order to receive pleasure from Him. I am all Klipa, and this is to say that I am in exile, on a very high spiritual level of tainted connection with the Creator. There are only two forces: to receive and to bestow. And I, the receiving force, received the force to bestow, I hold and use it for self-pleasure.

Today, however, I do not feel that I am in exile; to the contrary, I identify with the desire to receive. If I would identify with the desire to bestow, then I would have said that I am in exile, under the control of Pharaoh, meaning of the ego. Each time that I want to bestow, I would have suddenly felt that I act in order to receive.

We can divide the exile of Egypt into phases, according to the feeling of the exile. Baal HaSulam writes about it in his Letter 14: And the thing is that the measurement that the people of Israel thought that Egypt enslaved them and disturbed them from their work for the Creator, and in the same measurement they really were in the Egyptian exile. Everything depends on the “user,” the one that receives, feels. For example, when Moses killed the Egyptian, the Jews denounced him. They didn’t feel that they were in exile, but to the contrary, it is Moses and not Pharaoh making their lives hard.

So when the breaking happened, the vessels of bestowal, or the souls of Israel that are called Yasher Kel, meaning the intention to bestow, fell to the vessels of reception, to the intention to receive. But this thing itself doesn’t mean anything. We need clarification, the results of which we will be able to identify either with the vessels of reception or with the vessels of bestowal. If in Egypt, I identify with the vessels of receiving, I am blossoming, like Pharaoh, that is building beautiful cities, Pithom and Ramses, for him.

And from the other side, to the one that wants to reach bestowal, these are poor cities, cities of danger: “Maybe we will not be able to exit the control of the ego, the control of Pharaoh?”

Therefore, we must understand where we are. The one who has a point in the heart, the one who already yearns to the wisdom of Kabbalah, to the revelation of the Creator, he needs to always check himself: “What in me prevails now, the desire to receive or the desire to bestow? If it turns out to be the desire to receive, then I am a worker of Pharaoh; if the desire to bestow, then I am “Israel in exile.”

This is the first discernment, then from it, if one develops it, one finally exits the exile. As Rabash writes in Shlavey Sulam (The Rungs of the Ladder) (1985/1986),  Article 6: It is found, that exile is the state of the Kli, and redemption is the Light and bestowal. And precisely from within the troubles, when we feel that we are under this control, that the new vessel begins to form, with which one exits exile. There are no ready vessels; “vessels” are new discernments that we give birth to from the work in Egypt, in exile, the four phases, which eventually create a complete desire, that then feels that it became redemption for us.

Actually what is escape from Egypt? Who are you running away from? From the desire to receive? No, it remains as the desire to bestow remains. So why does Pharaoh invert?

In the first stage, the group of Abraham exits Babylon, meaning, from the desire to take advantage of the Creator for their own good. In other words, vessels of bestowal made a “restriction” on their desire to receive, which at that time couldn’t be corrected, and they separated from it. Later, this desire grew—Isaac appeared, who represents the “left line,” and he separated from Esau. Each time desire to receive is added to us, and we make clarifications and disconnect from it, leaving it for the future, until we will be able to work with it.

We only add to ourselves, to the intention to bestow, the vessels that we are able to correct.

So “Pharaoh” is a very big desire to receive that came after the people of Israel prepared themselves for the new stage. First they completed the next degree in the desire to receive called “Jacob.” Then the need to continue to grow was created, that is called “hunger in the land,” and they descended to Egypt.

In the beginning, Pharaoh was good and their life in the new place was good. They felt that the addition of the desire to receive did not disturb the desire to bestow. So at first, they managed in Egypt—they controlled their desire to receive. So it wasn’t the exile yet, but “seven years of satiation.”

And later, when the sons of Israel connected to the new vessel, it turned to the “seven years of famine.” The desire to receive continued to grow, and at some point, I am not capable of doing anything with it Slowly he “swallows me,” and puts me into the desire to bestow in order to receive. Pharaoh takes more and more from the children of Israel, and they are powerless against his control. This desire simply swallows them, like a crocodile, and nothing is left from bestowal, and Pharaoh grows. Finally, from within the total darkness, the point in the heart awakens in us—Moses that will take us out of Egypt.

This is the path of the desire to receive, and these are the typical discernments for it. The whole story is developed inside the desire. After exiting slavery in Egypt, we come to “Mt Sinai,” the mountain of hatred (Sina). This is the same Pharaoh, only in a different form. Later, again and again, we are faced with growing egoism. Each time in a different form, and this allows us to continue to make corrections.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/29/12, “Exile and Redemption”

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Dr. Michael LaitmanAbraham’s group exited Babylon and became a nation. It reached its private end of correction at the level of the First Temple, the Light of Mochin de Haya. Immediately following that a descent occurred. In other words, a chain of exiles followed.

During the Babylonian exile, the people of Israel still remained at a spiritual level that was higher than at the time of the Egyptian exodus. Only after the Second Temple was destroyed, did it fall completely. First the bestowing vessels (the spiritual part of the nation) were shattered, then the receiving vessels collapsed, resulting in the desire becoming subordinate to the egoistic intention. In the first stage, the altruistic desire only changed its vector, but it didn’t break completely. In the second stage, the broken receiving vessels were included into the desire that belonged to the nations of the world, fully applying the pressure of exile on Israel, which now is coming to an end. Compared to the situation today, all previous exiles were just “temporary zigzags downward” and only at the last stage, the people of Israel were mixed with other nations and joined them in their genuine opposition to the Creator.

So, if all the other exiles were measured at the prior stages, the last one plunged Israel to the very bottom, depriving Israel of all spiritual Light. In Babylon, they still were a nation, although they were fairly disconnected. When Haman gave them the impetus to unite, Mordecai only needed the Light of Hassadim to bring the people together. But today, that would not be sufficient, since the shattering has penetrated much deeper and now requires a more powerful correction. At the time of Mordecai, Jews were detached in their bestowing Kelim, but they didn’t hate each other, and and it was very easy to reconnect.

In Shamati , Article 144,  Baal HaSulam writes: Haman said that in his view, we will succeed in destroying the Jews…, meaning that he can separate them even more and bring them to an even bigger egoistic desire that would lead their bestowing vessels to shattering and would force them to hate each other even more, thus making them subordinate to the receiving vessels. …because they are separated from one another; hence, our force against them will certainly prevail, as it causes separation between man and God. And the Creator will not help them anyway, since they are separated from Him. The law states: The Light cannot impact desires that are in the state of detachment.

This is why Mordecai went to correct that flaw, as it says: “the Jews gathered,” etc., “to gather themselves together, and to stand for their life.” This means that they had saved themselves by uniting. There is nothing but the force of unity and the power of separation. The latter is Haman, Pharaoh, etc., and the former is the righteous in every generation.

Hence, “exile” and “redemption” are measured by the level of unity or the level of separation. One should not imagine some periods of time, distances, or nations… The only thing that matters is unity: When the nation was more united, it was the level of the First Temple; when the unity weakened, it was the Second Temple; when the unity is even less than that, it is exile. Once again, our states depend on the degree of our connection.

The evil forces aimed towards disintegration elicit an egoistic desire in the people of Israel. Behind these forces, there is the Creator, because there is none else besides Him. He instigates these states to make people comprehend the heaviness of the burden they are carrying and make them go through multiple hardships in order to force them to wake up and rise to unity out of their helplessness and weakness.

So, the real exile happens when all bestowing vessels work for Pharaoh. They build the prosperous cities of Pithom and Ramses; they aspire to bestowal, but the results of their work are applied towards egoistic desires. It’s bestowing for the sake of receiving; it fills the “treasury” of egoism.

Even those who disagree can’t rid themselves of slavery, since egoistic profits keep them in their selfish shell and make them bestow for the sake of fulfilling their receiving vessels. Our desires keep growing, but they permanently stay empty. We spin our wheels until we begin screaming to the Creator; in other words, until the global crisis hits us. This is exactly what is happening now. Let us hope that we will be able to wake up the “Egyptians” and entice them to act.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/27/12, “Exile and Redemption”

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