Baal HaSulam, “The Sages’ Fruit about the Torah,” “It Isn’t Time to Collect the Herd”: When the seventy souls of Jacob spread to 600,000 souls, things went back to the way they were before, that the herd have to be collected, and the stone should be rolled from the well, and when the strength is lacking from one part it causes the exhaustion of the full measure. And this is the secret, that the individual and the general are equal and everything that was included in the general and became an exception doesn’t come to teach us about the exception but rather about the general… and this is what the fable in The Zohar means when it tells about two who came to a boat and one was drilling a hole underneath him and his friend reprimanded him saying, why are you drilling a hole, and the fool answered him: “What do you care, I am drilling underneath myself,” since indeed the individual ruins the beauty of the whole figure.
… and this is the meaning of a prayer for the public, that the individual mustn’t be an exception and ask for himself, even if it is to bring contentment to his Maker, except for the general as a whole… since he who is an exception and who asks for himself, doesn’t build but rather brings about destruction upon himself, since there cannot be an exception without the dress of pride, and alas for the one who brings destruction upon his soul… and every person should be included with all his might in the general Israel, in every appeal to the Creator, in praying and in the work…since this is the nature of the Light of the general that resides on the individual that annuls his individuality so that he doesn’t feel himself.”
We must constantly remember that all our thoughts come as ‘help against” and it is thanks to them that we can get stronger and develop. We have to rise above every interruption and connect as much as we can to the feeling of the general family, “as one man in one heart.”
We mustn’t leave these thoughts, the feeling that we are all part of one family. The general feeling of “one family” is the feeling of the Creator that resides among us, in us, when we constantly yearn for the feeling of connection among us despite all the interruptions.
This is our work. We have to remind each other about this and it is even better to try to do it with our thoughts: to keep this thought and to try to influence all the friends and the whole world by our thoughts and to pass on the emphasis on internal actions. This is our goal at the moment; we have to reach adhesion and to succeed.
This is the meaning of the “Israel, the Torah, and the Creator are one”—all those who yearn for the revelation of the Creator (Yashar – El) in the connection between them following all the advice of the Kabbalists in order to reach connection in which the Creator will be revealed.
So even the purest prayer with the best intention doesn’t help if it isn’t a prayer for many, for the general as one whole, but is rather a prayer of a person who separates himself from others. Not only isn’t it helpful, but it is actually harmful! We should regard separation and division, especially if it is intentional, as unacceptable conduct. It is the most serious obstacle and we should try to root it out.
From the Preparation to the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/17/13