Question: There are many characters in the stories of the Torah, each of which personifies the inner desires of a person. The basic state in Kabbalah is the exodus from Egypt, meaning from your egoism. Who are the “Egyptians” within us?
Answer: “Egyptians” are all kinds of our egoistic properties. They can be small or large, depending on these characters.
In Rabash’s articles it is written that “Egyptians” are desires within me that say: “Do actions, intention does not matter. This is not for you, you are not yet mature enough.” That is, my egoistic properties calm me down and drag me away from intentions; intentions are not the main thing, the main thing is actions.
Comment: Even in primary sources, you can find some kind of support for actions without intention.
My Response: It depends on how we see the primary sources. Indeed, the Torah speaks of intentions.
Comment: But you also often say: if you do not have the strength, the main thing is to do something, and the intention will come later.
My Response: Yes, but you do it and the intention will come later.
Comment: We also have desires within us that are called “secular.” They are practically neutral. They lack not only the intention, but even the strength to do actions to unite.
My Response: Such states also occur in a person who is already moving toward a goal. And the rest of the people have no action or intention. They are simply in their elementary egoism.
Let’s say you have to go to class. But there is no strength to go to do something in a group, let alone an intention. This is called secular desire. A person acts like a small animal, guided only by his natural movements, motives.
And the desires of the “Egyptians” are already an ideology: the main thing is to clearly fulfill what is prescribed while the intention is not at all important. This is called “Mitzvot anashim melumadam” meaning, I was taught that way and I do it. That is, by my actions, it seems that I can reveal the Creator without changing my nature, without changing my intention.
I am like a machine that must perform mechanical actions. And with them, I still have to say all sorts of phrases that supposedly replace the intention: blessings and so on.
In addition, there is a kind of desire in man, which is called “Erev rav” meaning “mixed multitude.” These are people organized into groups who perform actions with the intention “for their own sake.”
Question: Unlike the Egyptians, do they have an intention?
Answer: No, the Egyptians are the next level of egoism: “I do everything in order to achieve reward both in this world and in the next world.”
And about “Erev rav” it is said that they are afraid of the Creator, but work for Pharaoh, because all their actions are for themselves.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 4/22/19