After standing at Mount Sinai, the people of Israel began the process of internal self-correction called the forty years of wandering in the desert.
Forty years stands for a period of time (although it has nothing to do with actual time, but indicates a certain number of steps) covered while rising from complete egoism and correcting its portions to the point of attaining complete altruism.
However, it doesn’t mean that they were connected to the Creator. They reached a state of only standing in front of Him, but not yet merging with Him. Even though the property of mutual bestowal was already shaped in them, they didn’t ascend to the degree of reciprocal love.
At this point, they had to implement another tendency called mutual love, i.e., to transition from a condition of “not doing to others what they didn’t want for themselves” to “loving their neighbors as themselves.”
The first criterion was achieved in the desert and signified that all of them would never have a desire or a thought of harming others no matter how beneficial it seemed to them.
And yet, it is not the degree that allowed them to reach the level of loving thy neighbor as thyself, which is a prerequisite for the restoration of huge, universal, internal egoism and re-directing it towards altruism and connection with others.
This level can be reached in the process of conquering the land of Israel, where seven nations (seven gigantic egoistic qualities) had to be overcome and surmounted. This process is called the war of liberation. In other words, conquering the nations, making them leave the land or killing them stands for modifying the egoism that is associated with the last step of correction in the land of Israel.
By internally correcting, the Israelis attained the state called the Temple, i.e., they achieved the revelation of the Creator among them that kept them united for about 800 years before the Temple was destroyed.
This period of time was full of numerous twists and turns, rapid ascents and crucial downfalls, wars with Rome and Greece, and various local conflicts. The only reason for these events taking place was to enhance the connections among the people of Israel.
The people reached the state of correction and attained the Creator. They knew the purpose of their lives and realized that they existed in the eternal, perfect, infinite world. Their physical actions and spiritual attainment were inseparable. However, they began gradually sliding down from this height until they completely lost it.
The question is why was this situation created if they reached the state of complete correction?! It was given to them in order to correct the Babylonians throughout the world. They still remained at an egoistic degree of ancient Babylon, at a low, selfish level. The Babylonians had not gone through the stage of Egypt or did the stage of the golden calf.
This explains why the people of Israel, who stood way above their egoism, fell from their degree and reached the level of other nations, but still preserved a huge egoistic potential.
Here is the point when the antagonism between the people of Israel and the Babylonians (the rest of humanity) appeared. The nations of the world do not associate the people of Israel with this material civilization this people do not feel like they belong to this world. There is something strange, not like other peoples.
It can be felt through numerous tiny details. No matter how much some Israelis want to be similar to other nations that inhabit our planet, they just cannot be similar to them, since they do not come from this world. Instead, they fell from spirituality to this realm.
From KabTV’s “Short Stories” 10/22/14