First, only one vessel was created that was shattered into many pieces, and we are these pieces. The fragments that must be collected first and then help all the other pieces gather are called Israel, Yashar El (straight to the Creator).
Baal HaSulam tells us about it in a very internal, emotional manner in his article, “Not the Time For Gathering the Herd,” in A Sage’s Fruit (Pri Hacham): In The Book of Zohar is a parable about two people who are floating in a boat, (since all of mankind are in one boat), and one of them drilled beneath himself. His friend reprimanded him, “Why are you drilling,” and the foolish one answered, “What do you care? After all, I am drilling under myself”—as if he weren’t part of the others and was harming only himself. How can he understand that he depends on everyone and that everyone depends on him if he doesn’t feel it?
All the parts of creation: the still, vegetative, and animate nature are connected to one another and sustain this connection instinctively, either by supporting one another or by eating one another. The forms they connect by make no difference, but there is harmony among them and the right, natural communication. However, among Israel it isn’t so, and neither is it among the rest of humanity. We don’t understand that at the moment, and it seems that everyone is drilling a hole only underneath himself. But, in fact, one person can destroy all goodness in general, and even because of one person, all of humanity can descend lower and lower.
In every generation, we feel that we are more and more divided and detached because our ego grows. We don’t care about others and we are even proud of being individualists, how special we are, and how inconsiderate of others we are. By that, of course, we bring about the general deterioration.
This is the secret of the praying in the society: The individual cannot differ, but actually always feel himself as part of the general, as an inseparable part of the cogwheels in this machine, and it is impossible to ask for oneself, even if it is from a desire to delight the Creator, unless it is for the general.
By asking to be able to bestow unto the Creator by himself, he brings about the corruption of himself and of everyone else. It is impossible for the individual to raise a prayer, a request, a deficiency, even if it is in order to delight the Creator, since it is the wrong appeal, which is not only futile but actually corrupts the whole structure of the general vessel.
This means that it is impossible to ask to delight the Creator before you ask that you should be able to delight the general. It is only when you are incorporated in everyone and in the desires of the general that you can raise a deficiency and ask.
This is since one who separates from the society and asks for himself individually doesn’t build but actually brings about the destruction of his soul. A person really wants correction and wants to bestow unto everyone, but he asks for himself individually. He doesn’t ask for himself in contrast to others, but actually wants to help others and to serve them. However, as long as he feels that he is an individual and not part of the general, melting among them, his prayer is invalid and is even harmful for his soul.
It is only by complete incorporation in the society, when there is no difference between him and the collective, that he can raise a prayer to the Creator. It is clear since the Upper Light that fills the general is the Creator, and so you cannot be in contact with Him if you are not incorporated in the society by disappearing into it.
This is because he who is proud, says the Creator, cannot dwell with Me in the same place. Why be proud because you cannot be an exception without being dressed in pride. The Creator says that anyone who is proud cannot dwell with Him in the same place, and woe to the one who brings about the destruction of his soul.
If you are different from others in any way, you are already in a state of destruction, and, if you raise a prayer to the Creator from the state in which you are different from others, although you want to be incorporated in everyone, you bring about destruction through that. All the requests can be only by incorporation. Even if I ask, “Help me be incorporated in everyone,” it is also pride and a prayer of the individual. We may pray to the Creator only for the society wherever we are and in whichever state we are.
Also, during the work, when a person prays individually, he separates himself from the general unwillingly and destroys his soul. Therefore, no individual of the children of Israel should awaken and demand anything for himself as each individual lacks nothing since they should not feel themselves as individuals. The “children of Israel” is the society in which no one feels himself, but only the general as a whole.
Therefore, there is the prayer of many, the prayer of the public, since there is only one soul, and there is no me or others, and this is their power to exit Egypt strong-handed, when everyone feels themselves as one asking to exit.
Every person should gather all his power in the society of Israel as a whole, in all the appeals to the Creator, in prayer and in the work, and should include himself in the root of Israel, and then all the herds shall drink from the well, from one source, since one receives from One. This is because the previous limit that was in the feeling of the individual will be removed from all the souls of Israel, both below it and above it, both in purifying and in attaining Aviut (thickness), and the general of holiness will greatly expand, even to parts that previously didn’t belong to Israel and are now connected to its unity. This is because the Light will be revealed from the Chazeh (chest) down where there were previously vessels of receiving that couldn’t connect into one, into bestowal that is the attribute of the vessels from the Chazeh (chest) up. This is because this is the nature of the general Light that dwells in the individual that is annulled with regard to the individual and doesn’t feel itself. This means that one is incorporated in the general Israel and ceases to feel his individuality.
Therefore, there is nothing that we can engage in but to learn and teach others how to attain the concept of Israel. This is the state that the created being must reach in order to get closer to adhesion with the Creator, to the goal of creation.
From the Preparation for the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/10/14