Baal HaSulam, “One Commandment”: The 613 names, considered the Holy Names, concern Private Providence for all who approach the reception of the Godly Abundance. One must experience all these orders without missing even one. Hence, the complete crave them with their hearts and souls, to keep them down to their corporeal branches, as it is written, “in every place where I cause My name to be mentioned I will come unto thee and bless thee.”
“The 613 Commandments” are the essence of the correction of the vessels-desires, in order to get them to 613 Lights with the intention to bestow.
In general, the created desire to enjoy is divided into 613 parts. By properly realizing them, we thus correct and fill these parts until they all gather into one whole.
You can put it another way: Malchut of the world of infinity, the sole creation, is divided in order to correct the 613 parts, and we gradually, from easy to difficult, correct and fill them until we reach the common vessel, which receives entirely for the sake of bestowal. Thus we will reveal the “Torah,” the general light, that has corrected the vessel and filled it.
Thus, the obligation to observe the Torah and the commandments is the duty to come to the complete final correction. In the end, this world will also rise to the world of infinity. Nothing will be left on the worst of the degrees.
Question: Baal HaSulam says here: “down to their corporeal branches.” Does this mean that performing the commandments physically is also good if I add the right intention?
Answer: The “corporeal” in Kabbalah is called the egoistic intention for the sake of receiving, and the “spiritual” is the altruistic intention to bestow.
Of course, I do not deny the physical performance of the commandments if it is an addition and not the main thing.
Indeed, “personal” actions get support and approval from the environment, and I also feel that I have done something. And that is why I am willing to perform them. They are visible, they can be counted; whereas, spiritual actions are not countable from the side, not visible to others. The person himself is not sure whether it was successful or not because in his eyes everything changes every second.
So, the question is: Does a physical addition strengthen the spiritual essence? If not, then we have a problem. After all, we can see that since the time of Rabbi Akiva who urged his disciples to love one’s neighbor as oneself, the spiritual core has been lost, and this devastation continues to this day. Moreover, it is not caused by the fact that we do not observe the commandments “physically,” but by the fact that we do not perform them spiritually. That is what the exile is.
I repeat: I am in no way against physical actions. They should be carried out because all the “corporeal” commandments are a projection of their spiritual prototypes that represent real corrections of desires. However, we must take the corporeal as a projection, as a reminder of spirituality, and then of course, it is worth it. If you can combine one with the other, please do, it is even better. But there is no coercion in this.
In short, the main thing here is the attitude. The problem is that for two thousand years the people have become disconnected from the spiritual foundation, from the intention, and now it is difficult to return to it.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/27/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam