Torah, “Exodus,” 19:12-13: And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying: Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it; whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death;
No hand shall touch him, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live; when the ram’s horn soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount.
Question: Why are there all these conditions for coming near Mt. Sinai?
Answer: A “Mount” stands for 125 degrees of ascent to the Creator, and it includes a person’s entire ego. Five worlds x five Partzufim x five Sefirot = 125 degrees. These are the stages according to which a person has to change internally as he climbs the levels to the very top, merging with the Creator.
In the meantime, the nation is standing at the foot of the mountain. It has not yet received the Torah, the instructions for the correction of the ego, and so it cannot “touch” the spiritual ascent without being ready for it.
When a person works with his ego and wants to start the spiritual ascent with it, in his current form, he will only be confused and destroy himself. It’s like a child who cries “I want to” and enters a place that he shouldn’t, and we have to protect him from endangering himself. It’s the same thing here, when a person who doesn’t know the instructions, cannot even approach the spiritual ascent unless he knows them.
After all, the instructions tell him how he should gradually correct himself, according to which stages and in what way, and it’s the only way a person can ascend. What’s more, he will face problems on every level: He will be pushed down from the mountain; he will fall and climb again, trying to climb from one level to another like a child who is not strong enough yet to lift a leg.
A person is thrown back, he falls, rolls a few levels downwards, and then has to climb again; however, as he climbs to the previous levels, he already understands them better. He thinks to himself: “Wow! Now I get it!” He tries to climb a bit higher, and he falls off two levels lower. Then, when he ascends from the lower level to the middle level and then to the higher one, he begins to understand the middle level better since he discovers in it not the Light of Nefesh but the Light of Ruach.
He begins to understand this level better, and then he falls three levels downwards. Otherwise, how can he understand that? In order to understand all the reasons, he has to descend. It’s from this state, when he is created as existence from absence, even before the creation of our world and before his current understanding of how he is and what he is, it’s precisely from this point that he has to understand his current self and how to go on.
So, from the current point of our life, we remember the years that have passed and understand them better than when we were just living them. Therefore we say: “Was it so or was I dreaming?”
That is, our life was like a dream. Now, if we attain the upper levels and look back from our current level, we begin to understand that all this was predetermined precisely so that now I, in my current form, will be able to see my whole past and agree with the one who has prepared all this for me: the Creator.
Question: Does this mean that I justify the whole way, no matter what I have been through, all the suffering?
Answer: The point is that now I don’t see all the suffering anymore. I see the necessary changes that I had to go through in order to be in contact with the Creator today. This is why there are always greater descents than the previous ones.
The Book of Zohar tells us about Rabbi Shimon who has been through all the levels of the spiritual attainment, and when he was just one level away from the end of correction, he descended all the way to the bottom; only then did he feel that he was facing the last 125th level.
Question: Does this mean that he had the spark of the last level left in him?
Answer: Otherwise he wouldn’t be at the bottom, since it’s possible to measure one’s self only compared to the top. So a person cannot advance spiritually if he doesn’t receive the method of correction and has not been through three days of alienation from his ego.
The three levels are necessary in order to totally detach one’s self from one attribute and to move on to the next one. It’s because the two levels that are close to one another have something in common, and a person has to be not between two levels but between three levels, which means that he has to move from the lower level to a higher one and then to an even higher one. Then through the middle level he detaches himself from the lower level.
Afterwards it’s possible to correct oneself in order to “wash one’s garments,” which means to correct a certain level of the ego, the fourth part.
Then you can come close to Mt. Sinai—to a certain circle. You have to see this circle and to understand yourself, your egoistic attributes compared to the altruistic ones. The more a person corrects himself, the higher he can climb the mountain, which symbolizes the ego and rising above it. After all, all of Pharaoh’s ego, everything that Egypt stands for, the universal ego, has turned into Mt. Sinai.
You could only escape from Egypt, but here you have to rise above your ego and to start working with it. The difference between these two states is that in the middle you receive that method of correction, the Torah. After all, without the method of correction you cannot even begin to correct yourself. Now you have a chance to climb the mountain.
Question: What does it mean “no hand shall touch him, but he shall surely be stoned,” and “when the ram’s horn soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount?”
Answer: A stone stands for the ego, “the stony heart.” The ram’s horn is the descent of the upper Light of the attainment, of the revelation. I receive it by hearing (the attribute of Bina). When I begin to hear the sound of the ram’s horn, it corrects me and I begin to see, which means that the sight, the understanding is revealed in me. Sight is a higher level.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 2/18/13