Baal HaSulam, from “The Arvut (Mutual Guarantee)”: If a handful from Israel betray and return to the filth of self-love, without consideration of their friends, that same amount of need that is put in the hands of those few would burden Israel with the need to provide for it themselves.
This is because those few will not pity them at all; hence, the fulfillment of the commandment of loving one’s friend will be prevented from the whole of Israel.
This is talking about an incontestable mutual guarantee, about group responsibility that links everyone into one whole so strongly and tightly that the life and death of everyone depends on this. If one of them were to violate the Arvut, all would be sentenced to death. This is already something greater than the usual interdependence.
Therefore, everyone in a group needs to understand that this is a condition that cannot be changed. The issue here is not the faces of the friends, not their nature or their habits. To me, none of this matters. The main thing is: Am I creating with them a system of mutual guarantee like this or am I not?
Along with this, none of us know what is going on with the others. It is as if each is responsible for his plug sealing a hole in the shared boat. However, no one sees this. No one even feels what he himself is doing. When I take out my plug, I don’t notice that our ship is sinking.
We work in conditions of complete concealment, and we need to demonstrate responsibility, to yearn for adherence and unity; we need to remember that we depend on the upper one. Only He will unite and protect us.
Efforts on the way will help us understand what else we are missing.
Thus, these rebels cause those who keep the Torah to remain in their filth of self-love, for they will not be able to engage in the commandment, “Love thy friend as thyself,” and complete their love for others without their help.
I need to reach a state where I require the Torah, the method, to be united with the friends. This is my goal, and I am concerned only about that. Unity with friends is the supreme value in my eyes, and in order not to harm them, not to betray them, I require the help of the Creator, of the Torah.
I am dedicated completely to the group and fear only one thing: harming the friends. So, I ask the Creator: “Help prevent me from causing harm. This is all that I need from you, nothing else.”
Meanwhile, I am not thinking about how to satisfy Him. That level is still far from me. Being concerned about it now would be like not being concerned at all. What is waiting for me now is not love for the Creator, but love for people, love for the friends.
However, I am not ready to love like this. I only hate them, am jealous of them, reject them, or at the very least, don’t care about them. I forget about them all the time. So, I ask for strength from Above to be devoted to my friends, to be responsible for them, and to do everything that depends on me only so that I will be incorporated wholeheartedly in a group.
So, nothing will remain of me at all other than this intense concern that fills all my thoughts and feelings.
This is all that I ask from Above when I know that I cannot maintain this kind of devotion by myself. This is all I expect when I rely on help that will come and not leave me so that I will be able to protect my friends.
This is the first level that we need to attain, and if I truly want this, I merit receiving the Torah. You see in a case like this that I really need the Light that Reforms that will unite my vessels, my shattered desires, that will correct my soul, transforming it into a boat for everyone. In it, I will hold and protect my friends, making sure that nothing bad will happen to them.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/5/13, “The Mutual Guarantee”