Answer: Before receiving the Torah, the people are considered just a gathering of people.
Question: But why? After all, they were already called “Israelites” in Egypt?
Answer: They were called so by their natural aspiration. But what it meant, they did not know and did not understand. Therefore, there is nothing to say about their spiritual state, it was only minimal.
They partially began to feel themselves in egoistic bondage during the second half of their stay in Egypt and later in their attempts to get out of it.
But when they approached Mount Sinai, they were faced with the need to accept the Torah, the upper force, the quality of bestowal and love, and started using this quality to correct themselves, then they gradually revealed the meaning of the light of the Torah.
The light must transform human nature in all its 620 egoistic qualities from “receiving for oneself,” self-gratification, to the quality of bestowal, in order to please and fill others.
Thus, initially, Abraham gathered people around him who simply strive for the quality of bestowal. Therefore, they were called “Israel” (Yashar-El), directly to the Creator.
Then they began to examine themselves, their egoism, meaning that “they entered Egypt.” And only after leaving Egypt did the correction of their egoism begin and the Torah was given, instructions for its correction. This is the difference between the people before and after receiving the Torah.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 4/9/21