As we all know, all the commandments of the Torah come down to one main rule “Love thy friend as thyself.” All the commandments are the correction and the changing of our desire to receive from the intention of in order to receive to in order to bestow. So if the people of Israel performed all these corrections and kept the principle of love, they wouldn’t suffer from all the afflictions of being in exile.
On the other hand, we have to understand that the exile is essential; we have to feel it and to actually be immersed in it for some time.
It isn’t by chance that a couple of centuries ago Kabbalists in eastern Europe used to exile themselves, a person would leave his home and wander not knowing where to. He walked around among people and encountered different troubles and problems and found himself in different situations that allowed him to “mingle” among all those who hated him.
Such voluntary exile helped hasten the general exile so that it would end much sooner than the predetermined date. Kabbalists didn’t do it for themselves but actually in order to bestow. Today it is hard to imagine what situations and afflictions they put themselves through. Yet, they felt they had to go through all that in order to acquire the real power to turn to the Creator.
Theoretically, however, if the people of Israel had kept the law of love and had not adopted the manners of their neighbors, they wouldn’t have been incorporated in them in exile and wouldn’t have discovered the evil and hatred others feel towards them. So all the bad things that are discovered are actually the same “hardenings of the heart” that we didn’t manage to turn into ascents and which thus have caused us to descend…
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/12/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam