The spiritual vessel (Kli) is not ten people, but a ten, which has become a single whole. To the extent that they can be included in the concept of “one,” they become a spiritual vessel. All our work is directed at this unity, and only by working on it do we begin to feel the obstacles that Pharaoh and his ministers put in front of us. The Creator purposely hardened their hearts to bring us to the understanding of what separation and unity are, as well as to help us achieve the qualitative unity in which the new state is revealed.
Everything is evaluated not by the group of ten people, but by its ability to unite into one whole. And the group becomes like one only if it has the connection with the upper force, besides which there is nothing else, and can concentrate all problems into one.
Therefore, we are always need a guarantee. Everyone receives his hardening of the heart at different times, in different ways, and everyone else helps him overcome it, as it’s written: “And he should help his friend.” There is never a situation when one is unable to help another, because one always has something that another lacks. Therefore, even if I am in a decline that I cannot come out of, I am still able to help another rise. After all, his heart is hardened in different ways.*
At first, a person works only for the reward that is customary in this world, meaning egoistic success, higher understanding, knowledge, to rule. Gradually, he acquires a different understanding of success, seeing its signs in how devoted he is to the group, and through the group how dedicated he is to the upper force. He considers his reward for all his efforts to be the ability he acquires to annul himself to the group and the upper force. This means that he is already working toward gaining desires for bestowal in order to move on to Lishma.
This is what the process of going through the Egyptian exile is all about from beginning to end. We enter Egypt with the desire to earn and succeed in our regular egoistic parameters. In reality, it corresponds to what Joseph is talking about. This is why we coexist so well with the Egyptians; all our desires to bestow work inside the desires of the Egyptians to receive. Egypt is prospering, the desire to receive is enjoying, and everything is fine!
Gradually, as a result of our work and the Creator’s influence on us, we start feeling our separation, the oppositeness. Our system of rewards changes and so does our understanding of work. Egyptian exile is a very special period, and that is why we remember Egypt on all the stages of our correction, up to the very end. **
At first we imagine spiritual success in ordinary egoistic terms and we feel a connection with Egypt. The previous stage called “the land of Canaan” already exhausted itself and was followed by a famine. And the next stage, “Egypt,” promises an ocean of pleasures. And therefore we descend into Egypt.
But gradually, through the hardening of the heart, the increased desire to receive, we understand that our work has to be different and that this is not unity. The main thing is that the Light that reforms is working on us, which changes us. We would never achieve success without it, because no matter how much we connect in egoistic desires, the only thing that comes out is pure egoism.
Therefore, all we need to do is carry out actions of unity, diligently following the advice of the Kabbalists. This is what is called the work in Egypt. Pharaoh organizes our work precisely to lead us to spirituality. We will feel that our egoism does not agree and it receives blows; we are unable to unite despite all our efforts.***
Try to work for the benefit of others, and you will see how easy it is. You will work to the extent that you can without worrying about anything. This instantly frees a person from numerous concerns, giving a sense of freedom. After all, you do what is needed, and not worry about the outcome, because it goes outside of yourself. In this case, the desire to receive does not limit the person. In this way you can outwit your egoism, which made us worry about ourselves.****
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/12/18, Writings of Rabash, Article 15, 1990, “What Does It Mean that Before the Egyptian Minister Fell, Their Outcry Was Not Answered in the Work?”
* (Minutes 34:00 – 36:44)
**(Minutes 36:44 – 39:36)
*** (Minutes 40:08 – 43:07)
**** (Minutes 45:00 – 46:26)