Answer: Our egoistic nature doesn’t let us think about real values or to feel true reality. It doesn’t let us worry or think about those that we don’t feel naturally. Some distant group that I don’t quite even know the location of, I can’t feel it close to me and it can’t be the focus of my concerns. I don’t have the same deficiencies and needs that they have, so what can I do?
We have to work on this artificially according to the advice of Kabbalists about the work with the environment. We don’t feel any attraction to the environment either, and it’s only later that we begin to feel that we depend on it. If you don’t drown in the friends and don’t throw yourself into their arms, you will not be able to advance. All your spiritual development depends on them, and it’s only from them that you can receive spiritual bestowal. This understanding comes as a result of years of careful work with the environment.
We mustn’t wait for the feelings of all the groups to reach us on their own; we have to work on it artificially. This is why we were given this Mitzva (commandment): Go and start working, “Go and make a living from one another,” start connecting!
It is written, “Love thy friend as thyself,” a commandment. Is it possible to force someone to love? On the contrary, if you love, then it’s impossible to detach from this. Here, however, you are pushed and told, “Love!” How can that be?
It means that there are certain actions that we have to perform in order to attain the love of others. This commandment has nothing to do with your emotions; you are not obligated to love, but to perform an action by which you will attain this love. This action has to be performed against your will. If they were compatible with your will it wouldn’t be necessary to command a person to love.
Suppose, I serve you gefilte fish, which is a traditional Ashkenazi food, and I tell you “love it!” However, you are used to Sephardic food and you are disgusted by the cold tasteless fish. But if there is a commandment, then you have to start getting used to this against your will so that a habit will become second nature.
So you force yourself to eat this fish, although you feel like throwing up. But you try again and again together with a prayer. You curse the fish but you eat; you start from totally mechanical actions. In your emotions, you curse me for having given you the fish. Clearly you have no control over your heart, but you curse me and eat the gefilte fish again and again because you are obligated to love it.
The commandment of “love thy friend,” is worse than any disgusting fish. This commandment includes all the strange and hated dishes, but after you exert yourself enough, the Light that Reforms influences you and the unbelievable happens! You suddenly begin to get used to that fish. It seems that it has a different flavor and that it’s not as disgusting as it used to be. You are not repulsed by it as you were before and you begin to accept it.
This is thanks to the performance of physical actions above reason, against your will, by following the advice of Kabbalists. By having fulfilled their orders and in general the orders of the Creator that were passed on to you by Kabbalists, you receive the Light that Reforms through them. Thus, you receive new attributes and begin to love gefilte fish, the friends, others, and the Creator.
The commandment “to love” has nothing to do with emotion but with actions. Now we have a chance to perform such actions in the form of an attack! There is always an option for such actions, but especially now, when the European convention and Passover are approaching; it’s a special time that we can attack. In the next two weeks, starting today, we all rush to this attack.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/15/13, Shamati #38