Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Halevi Epstein, Maor va Shemesh (Light and Sun), Chapter “VaYakhel” (And He Assembled): There is a great advantage in the connection of simple people to the righteous of the generation since simple people don’t have the heart to understand how to really worship the Creator and how to do everything clearly so that their actions will illuminate for the Creator.
It is only by connecting the righteous of the generation and by spurring their hearts with enthusiasm by the righteous’ holy words that they can understand how to really worship the Creator.
By connecting to the righteous of the generation whose work is clear and illuminating in all the worlds, it also illuminates the souls of Israel who will leave all their doings and also raise a scent of incense to the Creator.
The nature of the Light and the vessel, the created being that was created by the Light, is a circle in which at first there is no difference between all its parts, but if we speak about correction, we can see a hierarchy there.
The first restriction is made equally on all sides around the central point, but then by working with the Masach (screen) of the created being himself who wants to resemble the Light, the circle cannot remain anymore because on every level of Aviut (thickness) of the desire—the root level, levels one, two, three, and four—the created being tries to resemble the Light each time. Thus, we reach a form of a square as the corners of the square stem from the attributes of phase one, two, three, and four.
After the restriction, when it is impossible to work with Malchut itself anymore, but only with Malchut that is sweetened in Bina, the square becomes a triangle, and a Star of David is formed from these two triangles, the lower and the upper.
This is how the hierarchy of attaining the upper is created on the part of the lower, and thus the difference between the souls is created. It is because before the shattering, the souls are on different level of Aviut, and he who is greater than his friend, his desire is even greater, but he is greater since he has a Masach.
However, after the shattering and the loss of the Masach, those who had a greater ego fell lower than the others, from the high mountain to the bottom of the abyss. This is how the hierarchy of the correction is determined, from the lightest to the most serious. So there the levels of the patriarchs, the sons, the sages, the prophets, the kings, and the Kabbalists, and so forth, from the time of the second Temple until our time appears.
The corrections are derived and continue in a chain from the purest desire to the coarsest, and so the Light is conveyed from the top down, which means according to the purity of the vessels that are attained by the size of the Masach. First of all, it depends on the Reshimot (reminiscences) that are left in the shattered vessel. They actually determine when it is a person’s time to be corrected.
It isn’t up to a person who can only participate in the correction of the Reshimot by organizing the right environment. From the time of Moses until the receiving of the Torah, we constantly are drawn to the high souls that are before us, trying to adhere to them. It is because through them, we receive the Light from above, and, through them, we raise our prayer, MAN, and thus correct ourselves.
From the Preparation for the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/23/14