Question: How do we build a student’s readiness to perceive the wisdom of Kabbalah in the group?
Answer: Through the connection. A person cannot be ready to perceive if he is not connected to the friends. They have to unite by raising the teacher’s greatness in their eyes, thus building the right connection. Someone small can only receive from someone great, from the group, from the teacher, from the Creator, if he lowers his head before them. This is the path up the spiritual ladder.
When the students connect, they create the necessary condition, and become one whole. It is a sign that each one has annulled himself before the others, and considers himself the smallest in the group, ready to bestow upon others. Being connected means to keep all the society’s conditions.
We begin to connect, and after many years go through the hardening of the heart, which is also called “the ten plagues of Egypt.” First we may think, why don’t the plagues begin immediately when they arrive in Egypt? But it isn’t so; first it is nice and pleasant to connect, just like it was nice and pleasant for the children of Israel when they settled in Egypt and received all their nourishment through Joseph who connected everyone to Yesod.
Joseph is Yesod that connects the five phases or the five senses: Hesed, Gevurah, Tifferet, Netzach, and Hod. Rabash used to give the example of a salad that is made of five ingredients: tomatoes, cucumbers, pepper, onion, and parsley. If you cut them all up and mix them, they will create something new, which is the result of the connection between them. It is the same with Yesod; it has nothing of its own, but it is the outcome of the connection, of their attributes. Through it, the children of Israel acquire thickness in Egypt and an increasingly greater desire, but in the meantime, during the “seven years of satiety,” this thickness operates in favor of the connection between them.
It was at the beginning of the exile in Egypt that the sons of Jacob together with Joseph sang “How good and pleasant it is when brothers sit together.” They felt that it is worthwhile to connect since together they succeed; together they are strong. Thus Egypt enslaves us by an egoistic connection.
This is the process until such a great thickness is revealed that it is impossible to do anything with it. Then Moses escapes from Egypt to the desert. He simply couldn’t be together with his ego. During the “seven years of hunger,” we discover that this enslavement, the adhesion to the corporeal values, is not in our favor, but the opposite, it detaches us from the goal. Suddenly I begin to understand where I am and what is happening to me. I look at my “animal” desire that has grown into a giant heavy body, and I see that this “animal” is no longer mine, that I am under its control, under it.
This is called “a new king rose in Egypt who didn’t know Joseph.” It is a good thing, since he shows us the truth, our true state compared to the Creator, and thus he brings us closer to our Father in Heaven.
Then, at the end, there are the ten plagues: We hold on to our unity and these plagues hit us in order to break us apart; they are all aimed against the connection.
If I am ready to rise above the ego, to beat the king of Egypt, I rise above these plagues in order to remain connected and united. It is more important for me than Pharaoh’s afflictions. On the background of the plagues, I ask the Creator to keep us connected since without this connection, we will not be able to leave Egypt; this is all our work.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/26/12, “The Wisdom of Kabbalah and Philosophy”