Baal HaSulam, “The Arvut (Mutual Guarantee)”: “When all of Israel became responsible for one another.” [In other words, each individual is completed by others.] “Because the Torah was not given to them before each and every one from Israel was asked if he agreed to take upon himself the precept of loving others in the full measure, expressed in the words: “Love thy friend as thyself.”
Here we see the description of the situation when everyone feels that the main question surfaces in him. Everyone asks himself: “Do I really agree to love the other?”
This is a principal question and it determines my whole life. After all, I don’t want to go on living in this “interest club”; I am here in order to attain something. I’m here all the time, and put a lot of money and energy into it, although I could succeed in many other areas. In fact, there are many very talented people here who can have everything the world can offer, but they have given up the rewards of this world, and sit in the lessons motionless. Is that right? Is this the way one should live his life?
So, we have to ask this question about love persistently: “When will it finally surface?” “When will the need of loving the other as myself grab me by the throat?” Why do I need to analyze the current situation as to how much I love myself now and how I relate to others?
After all, I see myself as part of the nation of Israel, which means those who want to reach Yashar-El (straight to the Creator), to be similar to Him by actions of bestowal. This is the only way we can reach adhesion with Him, which is the purpose of creation. What can I give Him? The only chance I have to learn the attribute of bestowal from Him is to be like Him in my attitude to others. I have to discover that He loves everyone and bestows upon them. Then by operating in the same way towards others, I become like Him, I am in adhesion with Him, and I evince Him in my action that realizes the love of others.
This means that each and every one in Israel would take it upon himself to care and work for each member of the nation, and to satisfy all their every needs, no less than the measure imprinted in him to care for his own needs.
This is already the measure of my attitude towards the friend: to care for him as much as I care for myself. It’s similar to how a mother constantly worries about her baby. Until I reach that, I don’t fulfill the goal of Israel, don’t have the minimal equivalence of form with the Creator, and I remain on the “animate” level. But if I care about others more than about myself, I am called “human.”
Question: What is the “nation of Israel”?
Answer: These are people who have to reach adhesion with the Creator. Practically, I identify them by their ability to act mutually, to make mutual efforts. With whom can I stand before Mount Sinai? With all due respect, it isn’t with members of parliament and not with my neighbors, but with people who understand me and who are ready to step forward with me on the path of mutual concessions and mutual connection in order to discover the upper force in it and to bring Him contentment. They are my “nation” for the time being.
Later this concept will expand and envelop the whole world.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/22/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam “The Arvut (The Mutual Guarantee)”