From the Preface of Chaim Vital to Shaar Akdamot: “Harvest passed, the end of summer, but deliverance did not come to us. There was no cure for our diseases, no cure for our wounds, for the destruction of our Temple, which today is already 1,504 years old. And hope ran out, the son of David still has not come. But it is said that every generation that does not build the Temple in its days, as if destroys it. And I decided to study and find out why our punishment dragged on, our exile, and salvation has not yet come…”
In the time of Abraham, the people of Israel formed as a group of his apprentices. Abraham asked the Creator: “Whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it” [our mission and achieve a common correction]”? [“ (Genesis 15; 8) What did the Creator reply? It is written, “And He said unto Abram: Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them, and they shall afflict them four hundred years.” (Shamati #86)
Abraham then realized that one needs to join in a huge egoistic desire, which is called “exile.” This was an Egyptian exile, slavery to the Pharaoh, but we are talking about the internal state of this group. Exile was a shattering because the desires of the Egyptians, that is, the reluctance to unite, penetrated between the Jews, between the aspiration to unity (yichud), and estranged them from each other and from the Creator.
In exile, they absorbed all the other people’s egoistic thoughts and intentions and became ready for liberation, for the correction of the desire to enjoy. Therefore, after ten plagues, they were able to leave Egypt.
It was impossible to leave without the plagues because they already liked being in egoism, as we do now. Ten plagues will also come to us. These are blows to Pharaoh, who lives inside each person and all of us together, to help us break away and leave it. The egoistic desire that separates us is called Pharaoh.
When we separate from the desire to enjoy for our own sake, we can move on to the next stage of correction and receive the Torah. We undertake being in mutual guarantee (Arvut) and unity, and want to receive the force that will connect us. Because this power comes, we get a method that contains the reforming light, and begin to use it.
For forty years we correct ourselves to bestow for the sake of bestowal. After that, correction within the desire itself already begins, to receive for the sake of bestowal. The desire to receive for the sake of bestowal is no longer a desert, but a “Land of Israel.” That is, we begin to build ourselves: we build the First Temple, and then the Second. After the destruction of both Temples, one needs to wait until all desires fall and break, and then one can begin to correct them in order.
The process of correction begins from the time of Ari and after. Therefore, in the 16th century, such a high soul as the Ari was revealed in the world that transferred the method of correction to us.
Chaim Vital was a student of the Ari; he wrote down everything that he learned from his teacher and passed these books on to us. He sat and cried that time passed, but there was no correction, the Messiah ben David did not come.
Why did he not come? It was because the people were not ready for it, that is, they did not require correction. According to the rule, “there is no coercion in spirituality,” the upper light cannot come and start correcting us without our desire. We have to initiate it with our prayer, tremendous work and efforts, and reveal the need for correction and good deeds.
That is, we have to try and correct ourselves and be sure that we cannot do this, and then ask for help. As a result of our efforts, we will understand what to ask for. While this is not in place, the Messiah—the light of correction—will not come.
Five hundred years have passed since the time of the Ari, when will the correction come? Baal Shem Tov asked the Messiah when he would finally come. And the Messiah answered: “When my sources spill out,” that is, when the wisdom of Kabbalah is revealed.
This is what we need to do. The light cannot come and begin to correct desires if people do not want correction and do not know why they live. They do not care about the meaning of life; filling themselves with something from morning to evening and from evening to morning is the most important thing to them.
So a hundred and two hundred years pass, and nothing changes, but in the meantime, we are destroying the world. The situation is getting increasingly worse because the light increasingly enters the desire, only we do not feel it. This is called the path of suffering, the natural course of development (Beito). Nevertheless, some corrections occur, but due to blows, for a long time, without the consent of the lower and his request.
We have had the opportunity after the Ari to wake up and finish our correction, even then in the 16th century. We seemed to have missed this chance. The main thing is not to miss it now: to reveal the correction method to the world and implement it.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/30/19, Lesson on the Topic “Tishaa BeAv (Ninth of Av)”