Firstly, when Jacob’s family first went to live in Egypt, his was a family of 70 people. Everything the Torah tells us about takes place only on the spiritual levels, and all the calculations are realized in the intensity of the bestowal that is felt among people who yearn for connection. This is their only yearning, desire, and action.
Abraham took thousands of his followers from Babylon in his time, but 70 or tens of thousands are different levels of measuring. Tens of thousands refers to the number of people, while 70 refers to their spiritual intensity. Israel is a big system (Partzuf), while Jacob is a small structure that contains seven Sefirot from Malchut to Hesed. Seven Sefirot that are multiplied by ten levels in each Sefira add up to 70 parts.
Secondly, according to the Torah, 600,000 men left Egypt. These numbers indicate that the Israeli nation naturally multiplied, and Jacob’s small family became a nation of millions of souls. There is nothing unnatural about this since Egypt is the egoism. When I am in huge egoism, all the desires in me naturally grow and swell and expand as a result of the environment I am in.
When the nation of Israel first entered Egypt, it was small, but full of Light. The attribute of love and bestowal was among them, and a person was among them despite his will. During the first seven years of satiety, it was normal, but, during the seven years of hunger that followed, the Egyptians enter me and begin to trouble me internally, forcing me to yearn for their ideals. I look at them and see how attractive they are, how they begin to live inside me, how I absorb them and cannot get rid of them.
However, the struggle between the Egyptians and the Israelis in me invoke the feeling of the slavery in Egypt. Up until now, I haven’t defined my state in Egypt as slavery because I wasn’t under the spiritual domination of the Egyptians and everything was normal. Now, however, I begin to discover to what extent they affect me, and therefore I must do something about it. I reach a state in which it is better to die in the Red Sea or in the desert than to live in Egypt. Spiritual death is better than living in complete rejection of the Creator.
Question: But why do I enter Egypt with a force of 70 people and come out of there with a force of 600,000 men with 3 million women, elderly, and children behind them?
Answer: This is what I could egoistically absorb from the Egyptians. Although I resisted them, they still entered me, and I absorbed different desires, yearnings, attributes, and goals from them. Then I corrected them inside me, which means that I grew in a spiritual sense and saw that I cannot remain among the Egyptians anymore otherwise I would be buried under them. These desires want me to remain in them, so I can thus influence the world.
It is the work in Egypt that the Jews gave the world in the last two thousand years. Basically, we shouldn’t have engaged in it, and this is the reason that these actions are called exile. This isn’t the reason that we were given such talents, and no one is benefitting from them. Therefore, humanity doesn’t take our corporeal contribution to the development of the world into account. They are expecting something else from us. We must come out of Egypt, which is the embodiment of the entire world, and isolate ourselves spiritually, attain an inner unity among us, and then correct Egypt and the entire world.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 12/17/14