Answer: Without them, we are unable to reveal the Light (the Creator) because all we are able to do is modify the intention. Egypt is the intention for one’s own sake.
The land of Israel (Eretz Israel) is a desire (ratzon) directly to the Creator (Yashar-El). The same desire that exists in Egypt transforms to Israel after changing the intention.
We have only one desire. When we first reveal it, it seems like ancient Babylon because everything seems so confused. It is a huge egoism that mixes all states together. The first time we exit our ego due to Abraham’s method we strive to rise above our will to receive and detach from our prior states as much as we can.
This phenomenon is called “Abraham.” Abraham leads us out of Babylon and separates us from our usual, corporeal egoism.
In the beginning, when one comes to a group, one is taught how to work beyond one’s egoism and to connect with friends. While making attempts to achieve unity, one suddenly experiences a tremendous downfall.
This is an entrance to Egypt: a more egoistic and harsh intention. One wants to receive all the worlds. It is a more egoistic and focused intention. One even wants to use the wisdom of Kabbalah for the sake of one’s personal wellbeing. This is called the power of Pharaoh.
If we continue working, the group and the Surrounding Light influence us. We don’t sense the Light, but notice the consequences of its impact on us. We feel that we are obligated to exit our egoism, to get rid of it. We apply efforts and experience troubles and numerous problems that help us detach from our ego.
Sometimes we fall very deep into our egoism. Sometimes we detach from our ego and rise over it. We go through ups and downs. Our egoism (the Pharaoh) keeps receiving blows until we rid ourselves of it.
The first detachment from the egoistic intention is called exodus from Egypt. This is what we hope to go through all together when we unite. I anticipate that this coming Pesach won’t be just a holiday on the calendar for us and that we will experience a spiritual leap.
What will change in us if the leap happens? First, Babylon will turn into a sensation that we are in Egypt, in slavery, still inside the will to receive. Everything depends on our perception. In Babylon, everybody acted within their egoism and it was considered normal because this is human nature.
But we do not agree with this state and want to rise above the ego. When we tried to elevate, we transitioned from Babylon to the land of Canaan, the future land of Israel. There, we suddenly sensed that we simply cannot do it the way we tried and that we have to stay inside the will to receive, otherwise we won’t advance at all. This means that we have entered Egypt.
When we acknowledge the necessity of changing intentions from egoistic to bestowing, we start working on exiting Egypt and continue our work until we manage to disconnect from our egoistic intention. Detachment from the latter is the exodus from Egypt.
Then, we are uncertain of what should be done next: We have detached ourselves from the egoism, but what now? At this point, we start acquiring the intention to bestow that we add on top of the same desire that we had when we were in Egypt. That’s why each commandment that we observe, each bestowing action, is just a recollection of our exodus from Egypt.
I use the desire that previously was called Babylon, then was Egypt, and then transformed into the Sinai Desert, and in the end it finally became the land of Israel. The desire remains the same, but the intention improves each time.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/3/14, Q&A with Rav Laitman