Baal HaSulam, “The Arvut (Mutual Guarantee)”: Therefore, the Creator did not find a nation or a tongue qualified to receive the Torah, except for the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, whose ancestral merit reflected upon them, as our Sages said, “The Patriarchs observed the whole Torah even before it was given.”
The “Forefathers” are the first, most pure level where the desire to receive is still very small. Therefore, they didn’t need to overcome the evil inclination because true evil had not been fully revealed.
At that time, the work amounted to a separation, a rejection of evil, but not discovery and clarification of evil. This was easy: On one side, there was Abraham, and on the other side, there was Ishmael; on one side, there was Jacob, and on the other, Esau. All these states were simple, “transparent”—they were small Lights, Aviut of level zero. Therefore, the forefathers acted according to the entire Torah, meaning they realized the principle of “and you shall love your friend as yourself,” and from this they discovered “and you shall love the Lord your God.” The work was easy because it was done on the highest “strata” of desire, with refined density, in which all serious problems had not yet been discovered.
Then this corrected network helped to correct Aviut of the first degree, deeper “layers.” Of this it is said that the merit of the patriarchs stood with them, even for their descendants. So the process is as follows: We always stand and rely upon corrections that our spiritual predecessors performed.
Further, as Baal HaSulam writes in the “Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot,” the Talmudic sages made new and additional corrections. With this they inserted the Light that Reforms into the method for us. Then, we advanced forward specifically through the Light, whereas previously penances had been more or less sufficient, as it is written: “Eat bread with salt, drink little water, sleep on the ground, lead a sorrowful life, and labor in the Torah.” Which is to say, in spite of all this we needed a method, the Torah, but this was along with physical torments since they are connected to Aviut of zero, first, and parts of the second levels.
And finally, from the time of the exile and on, the sons of Israel, who became the GE, began to mix with the nations of the world, meaning the AHP, and then we required the Light that Reforms in order to carry out corrections. The Talmudic sages supplied us with this possibility, removing the need for penances and giving us the Light that Reforms along with the merit of the corrections that they made in the common network. Its help is sufficient now and we can correct ourselves.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/7/13, “The Mutual Guarantee”