Everything begins with the feeling of exile. A person can study a lot, invest, but the question is when (if at all), will he begin to feel that he is in exile? It’s possible that he has a lot of desires, he wants to know the next world, wants to change himself and the world, but that still isn’t considered exile.
Exile is the lack of our ability to work for the Creator, to giveHim pleasure, and nothing else. This means that exile is a very honorable level, a high and difficult stage. As it is said, “One against the other was created by the Creator.” I begin to discover that I am in exile only with the help of the Light that bestows that shows me my situation and brings me to the feeling of exile.
The Light strengthens more and more and brings me the feeling that I am passing the way of the 49 gates of Impurity, because I am within the egoistic desire and can’t give pleasure to the Creator. And so I shout, “Let my people go!” I understand that I am not able to reach bestowing and giving pleasure to the Creator even though it was my only goal and passion.
Only then I reach the end of the exile and receive Kelim (desire) for redemption. After all, I went through all the gates except the 50th gate, which I don’t feel and am not able to correct.
Thus, one has to exert great efforts in order to clarify the discernments that govern us as opposed to the discernment of bestowal and love of others. That will be the true state of discovery, which means the discovery of exile.
This means that “from the love of the created beings to the love of the Creator.” I don’t know what the Creator is, where He is located, how to relate or to be in contact with Him. We have no means of communication between us. Thus, instead of this I am given other people and the great rule of the Torah, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If I connect everything together, then I can attract the Light that Reforms, which is called “Torah,” which raises me to the level of the Creator.
This means that instead of the Creator, we were given the group, the work field where we can design ourselves in relation to the Creator. Numerous systems are built according to this principle. There are very simple systems where I see myself, see the goal, and the way to reach it. This system was created for simple, non-developed people or small children.
A more advanced person can make longer-term plans that realized in a few years. This is the way all the means of communication work. Even a rocket that is fired doesn’t see the target that is beyond the horizon. But I know how to calculate according to the present data and aim myself towards the goal.
And here it is the same. If I direct myself correctly, with the help of all available means—the Rav, books, group, and dissemination—then I direct myself towards the Creator and I will reach Him. Thus, it is said, “from the love of the created beings to the love of the Creator and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” This means that in this world I always have exact means in order to direct myself to the Creator.
If I understand this, then I feel that I am in the correct exile. This means that I am lacking the contact point with the Creator. And even without any contact with the Creator and without knowing Him, without any hints, I can nevertheless, with the help of the available means at hand, reach the feeling that I am in exile, that I cannot give pleasure to the Creator, and I am far from Him. He is there somewhere! And then I clarify where that “somewhere” is, where the “49 gates of Impurity” are, and understand that the Creator is the opposite of impurity. From within this gap, between exile and redemption, the feeling of deficiency is born that I equip myself with and am able to exit Egypt with great possessions and to continue to work with them to transform the “49 gates of impurity” into gates of purity.
Thus, we shouldn’t think that we have no means. We have everything that is needed, except for the spiritual attributes of bestowal that we will receive only if we desire them. And we were given all the means to desire them.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/7/14, Writings of the Ari