Lesson 4: From Me to We
1. There is indeed only one soul in the world. That same soul exists in all the children of Israel, complete in each and every one, as in Adam ha Rishon, since the spiritual is indivisible and cannot be cut—which is rather a trait of corporeal things.
Yet, saying that there are 600,000 souls and sparks of souls appears as though it is divided by the force of the body of each person…
For this reason, two discernments were made in the corporeal body. In the first discernment, one feels one’s soul as a unique organ, and does not understand that this is the whole of Israel.
In the second discernment, the true Light of the soul of Israel does not shine on him in all its illuminating force, but only partially, by the measure he has purified himself by returning to the collective.
The sign for the body’s complete correction is when one feels that one’s soul exists in the whole of Israel, in each and every one of them, for which he does not feel himself as an individual, for one depends on the other. At that time, he is complete, flawless, and the soul truly shines on him in its fullest power, as it appeared in Adam haRishon.
—Writings of Baal HaSulam, “600,000 Souls”
2. A man of Israel who desires to who desires to attain the Light of Life in Truth, must agree to plant himself in the Assembly of Israel with all his heart and with all his strength and might, physically and spiritually.
—Rav Kook, “Whisper to Me the Secret of HaVaYaH”
3. One must not exclude oneself from the assembly, or pray for himself, not even to bring contentment to the Creator, but always pray for the entire assembly (collective), since the one who excludes himself and asks only for himself does not build, but rather, he brings destructions upon his soul… And one must be connected to the assembly of Israel with all his strength, in all his requests from the Creator, whether in prayer or in the work, that he may be included in the root of all Israel.
—Baal HaSulam, Pri Chacham on the Torah, “It is not Yet Time to Gather the Sheep”
4. My teacher of blessed memory warned me and all the friends that were with him in the society, that prior to the morning prayer we should accept upon ourselves the positive commandment to “love your friend as yourself” with the intention to love all Israel as our own soul. And thus his prayer will rise together, with the prayer of all Israel, and achieve the correction above.
And concerning the love of friends among us, each and every one of us must include himself and feel as if he is a limb inside of his friend. And my teacher, blessed be his memory, warned me greatly, concerning this matter.
—Haim Vitall, “Gate of Reincarnations,” Introduction #38
5. Advice and council to serve the Creator is to unite our hearts with the Love of Friends, to connect each with the other in love and One Heart, and to serve the Creator together… We need to connect with each other and lock our hearts together, that we may be as one bundle, to serve the Creator with our whole heart.
—The Light and the Sun, “The Secrets of Rosh Hashanah”
6. The advice for one to be able to increase his strength in the rule, “Love thy friend,” is love of friends. If every one is nullified before his friend and mingles with him, they become one mass, where all the little parts that want the love of others unite in a collective force that consists of many parts. And when he has great strength, he can execute the love of others.
—Writings of Rabash, Vol 1, “According to What Is Explained about Love Thy Friend as Thyself”
7. One must know that love is bought by actions. By giving his friends gifts, each gift that he gives to his friend is like an arrow and a bullet, making a hole in his friend’s heart. And although his friend’s heart is like a rock, still, each bullet makes a hole. And the many holes join into a hollow into which the love of the giver of presents enters.
And the warmth of the love draws to him his friend’s sparks of love, and then the two loves weave into a garment of love that covers both of them. This means that one love surrounds and envelops the two, and they naturally become one person because the clothing that covers them both is a single garment. Hence, both are annulled.
—Rabash, Dargot HaSulam, “Man as a Whole”
8. And once I have acquired this above-mentioned clothing, sparks of love promptly begin to shine within me. The heart begins to long to unite with my friends, and it seems to me that my eyes see my friends, my ears hear their voices, my mouth speaks to them, the hands embrace, the feet dance in a circle, in love and joy together with them, and I transcend my corporeal boundaries. I forget the vast distance between my friends and me, and the outstretched land for many miles will not stand between us.
It is as though my friends are standing right within my heart and see all that is happening there, and I become ashamed of my petty acts against my friends. Then, I simply exit the corporeal vessels and it seems to me that there is no reality in the world except my friends and I. After that, even the “I” is cancelled and is immersed, mingled in my friends, until I stand and declare that there is no reality in the world—only the friends.
—Writings of Rabash, Vol 2, “Letter No. 8”
New Jersey Convention – “Completing The Circle” Preparation For Lesson 1
New Jersey Convention – “Completing The Circle” Preparation For Lesson 2
New Jersey Convention – “Completing The Circle” Preparation For Lesson 3