Rabash, “What to Look For in the Assembly of Friends”: …that a person should make an effort to obtain love of others. And this is called “labor,” since he must exert above reason. Reasonably thinking, how is it possible to judge another to a scale of merit when his reason shows him his friend’s true face, that he hates him?
It turns out that we must exert ourselves when we don’t want to. I don’t feel any urge to work, have no desire for it and no interest in it. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be considered exertion. I am not attracted to love the friend and value him. Perhaps, I actually must look for such states when the friend doesn’t interest me, and I don’t enjoy being with him, and I feel that I am opposite to him. Then, I can see to what extent I can love the other and can check whether it obligates me to exert myself.
Sometimes, during a big convention or a special event I am impressed by the general spirit that is shared by everyone. Then, of course, I feel fine. However, the moment I leave this external influence, I immediately fall. This means that I don’t wake up by myself. I don’t feel like thinking about the love of friends and about connection. The greatness of the goal also disappears, and I pass the time aimlessly until I feel another awakening from above again.
However, it is during this time when we feel lifeless that we must exert ourselves since when I am revived from above, I have nothing to add of my own, and I am totally operated on from above. It seems that I operate myself, but I am totally operated on from Above and am under the domination of the upper. Therefore, everything that I do is not on my account at all.
Only when I don’t feel the spirit of life and I obligate myself to exert myself is it considered on my account. Then, it is called exertion, a prayer, an intervention from below that draws the Light that Reforms. This Light will make me feel attracted to others, to love the friends, and this will now be on my account.
This is all true provided that I have brought about the intervention from below, in response to which there is an intervention from above, which is the Light that Reforms that I have drawn. Thus, my correction also will be mine. When I feel distant from the friends, low and uncaring, I revive the spirit of life. The problem is only in how to exert myself, how to yearn for the love of friends in times when one feels totally lifeless.
Thus, as it is written, “Everything that is within your power to do, do.” You should think about this, discuss it, and consult one another as to what needs to be done. This is actually considered our exertion.
From the Preparation for the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/28/13