The role of the spiritual guide is to connect the student to him so that through his efforts the student can constantly rise and come closer to the level of his Rav. The teacher explains from his level and creates several intermediate “stations,” actions that the student makes on his way toward him.
This is what we do when we explain things to children; we adjust ourselves to them, even changing our voice, depending upon whether it is a son or a daughter, or a child of two or seven. Everything changes accordingly.
Students have an opportunity to hear a story, an explanation by the teacher, and to work with him externally, in other words, to understand and to feel him, to absorb him inside and join that to what he already has experienced before, to serve him, to build a layer and another layer of new knowledge and sensation above that which they already acquired during the study.
This is called studying wisdom. However, in studying Torah, he must adhere to what is in the teacher and try to be in the same state. This means not just hearing what comes down to him from above, but trying to rise to that level, at least to hold on to the teacher in some way.
This can be done through what is called “serving” the teacher, in other words, doing all kinds of actions that the teacher recommends. In particular, this is connected to the group and dissemination. This is called serving the teacher.
How else can you serve him? It is only by helping him to realize the method. We see this in the example of Moses and Joshua ben Nun. Joshua helped Moses arrange benches in the study hall and take care of his students, and the students of Moses were great sages, the leaders of the people who studied with him everyday throughout the forty years of wandering in the desert. They didn’t just wander in the desert. Indeed, it is possible to go through the entire Sinai desert in a maximum of two weeks, even with sheep, women and children. However, they walked for forty years. This means that they walked a little, and then would sit somewhere for a few months or even years. After that, they again would walk and stop again for a long time.
That is how they learned and advanced spiritually, and, accordingly, also physically, and, on the way, they learned. Indeed, the main thing was to acquire the level of Bina through the study, for without this, it is impossible to enter the land of Israel. Israel is Bina, Yashar-El, and begins to connect Bina with Malchut. This is called being in the land of Israel.
It is written that Joshua didn’t study. Rather, he only helped Moses organize the people and the Kabbalists who were in Moses’s group to disseminate, to use our terminology, and, specifically by meriting to help Moses teach and disseminate, he merited being the leader of the people after Moses.
For us, this is a very clear and prominent example that a person reaches spirituality not through wisdom, but through devotion to the way of his Rav. When you go out now to disseminate and try to disseminate the Torah to the people of Israel and after this, to the world, you essentially are doing necessary work. This is what Joshua did.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/14/14, Writings of Rabash