The work against Pharaoh, against men’s egoism, is truly enormous because egoism in its corrected form is the spiritual vessel that contains all the upper light, the entire Creator, all His revelation. The Creator wants to bestow pleasure to the created beings, that is, to reveal Himself in them entirely, so the desire must be enormous. The Pharaoh is equal in size to the Creator, only his intention is opposite.
The holy and the impure forces, the Creator and the Pharaoh, are fighting for the same desire. Man is in the middle between them and decides who will rule him. It is clear that he is not the master of himself; he only decides which king to choose.
In the same way, during elections we think that we are making a choice and making a decision. But even before the elections someone governed us and after the elections somebody will govern, we only choose our ruler. It works in the same way both in spirituality and corporeality because the latter follows the former. It is good if we make the right choice so that the good force governs us. But if not, we will be governed by an evil ruler until we want to replace him with a good one. Only at this point of choice do we have freewill; therefore, all our work is only there.
Since the desire to enjoy is huge, equivalent to the Creator, it cannot be corrected at once; many separate actions are required until the correction is fully completed. That is why the Egyptian exile must last four hundred years, that is, four degrees, to its full state.
Therefore, we should not think that we can jump into the spiritual world at once and quickly go through the exile. We should not despair that the states repeat themselves all the time, but perceive all of them as new and make new clarifications. In this way, “Many pennies join into a great amount.”
We wish for patience and perseverance. A person advances not qualitatively, but quantitatively, by multiple repetitions of the same work until a tangible result is accumulated. By repeating, a state is added to all previous ones and it brings about a qualitative change. But quality is a consequence of quantity.
It is like a computer with nothing but zero and one. But from numerous zeros and ones, we get a huge number of operations and possibilities. The most complex formula can be resolved through a sequence of zeros and ones: entrances and exits, light and darkness.
We must strengthen ourselves in such a way that we can perceive our ascents and descents as advancement, as a new state each time. It is precisely in the darkness, not in the light, that we are tested, that is, how much I do not care that I entered the darkness. After all, I do not check the state on myself, I am above it. Let there be darkness because it is in the darkness that I build up the properties of bestowal and faith. A person is tested when he has nothing, when nothing shines in the present and in the future and he does not require the Light, but only one thing: to relate this state of darkness to the Creator and live in the darkness as if in the light. This is how his faith is tested.
The whole work is precisely in the darkness, and therefore, Kabbalists have decided that it is necessary to study at night. Baal HaSulam always woke up at midnight and started his day. Therefore, we need to get used to studying in the dark, until darkness shines as light. Darkness will remain darkness, but it will shine to me because it is there where I will find the light of faith and then in it, the light of Hochma.
The light of Hochma, without faith, leads to darkness. If I try to add the light of faith, then I turn on the light and illuminate the darkness.1
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/23/19, Writings of Rabash, Vol. 1, Article 20, “He who Hardens His Heart” (1985)