Article "The Bond (Arvut)" - Talk 3

Lesson by Rav Michael Laitman, Bnei Baruch, Israel
November 20, 2005
  • Bold and in quotes: Original text of Baal HaSulam

  • Regular: Commentaries of Rav Laitman

  • lowercase italics: emphasized words

  • Capitalized italics: transliteration from Hebrew

We are continuing to study the article, Arvut ( The Bond), by Baal HaSulam, from the book Kabbalah LeMatchil (Kabbalah for Beginners), page 120, item 20. You can also find it on the Internet.

Until now we said that in order to reach a corrected Kli we need to reach the correction of our Kelim, of our emotions, which is called Arvut. Our corrected Kli will enable us to feel in it eternity and wholeness, the spiritual world, the world of Ein Sof, our existence in the soul and not our existence in the body. We can begin to correct our vessels of perception, starting with a small group and gradually increasing it to a larger and larger group until it becomes as big as the entire world.

Why the entire world? Because all the creatures are actually one Kli, one soul, as it was in the beginning, but the correction is a gradual correction, from the smallest measure of this big Kli to the entire Kli. Thus, in The Book of Zohar Rabbi Shimon usually speaks about the correction of the small Kli, the people of Israel. On the other hand, Rabbi Elazar, his son, (a more advanced degree because he is his son) speaks of the general correction of the entire world, which joins the correction of Israel.

20) But the end of the correction of the world will be by putting all the people in the world under His work, as it says: “And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: on that day the Lord shall be one, and his name one (Zechariah 14, 9).” And it said: “on that day,” and not before. And it also says: “for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord…(Isaiah 11, 9) …and all the nations shall flow on to him (Isaiah 2, 2)”

But the role of Israel toward the world resembles the role of our holy fathers toward the Israeli nation, meaning just as the righteousness of our fathers reflected upon us and helped us develop and cleanse ourselves until we became worthy of receiving the Torah, that if it were not for our fathers, who observed the Torah before it was given, we would not be any better than all other nations.

It is also upon the Israeli nation, through Torah and Mitzvot, to qualify themselves and all the people of the world, to develop so that they take upon themselves that sublime work of the love of a fellow man, which is the ladder to attain the purpose of creation, which is adhesion with Him.

Well, that’s obvious; we already talked about it quite a lot. The only question is at what pace and what progression do we have to correct ourselves and the world? There are many questions here, which nowadays in our world are becoming quite pertinent, as Baal HaSulam writes in “Time to Act” and other articles. [Rav drawing]

We know that the general and the particular are equal. If I correct a single degree in me, which is called say, Yisrael, do I also have to correct along with it the degree of the nations of the world? Even to a small extent? Or maybe, I am not talking at all about the nations of the world in me.

drawing No.1

If I look at all of it being me, then of course I develop the point in the heart and then I correct the heart. Once I correct the heart in one degree, I rise to the next degree and again do the same. But correspondingly, when I perform a correction in me, do I now with this correction have to relate like Yisrael that corrected itself (all of me being like that point) with respect to the entire world (without the point in the heart)? And thus advance gradually in this way?

Is it possible for us to correct ourselves 100 percent in our degree without touching the surrounding world? Or is our correction, in each degree, demanding some kind of connection and correction with respect to the surrounding world? So that’s the question. And in answering it there is much controversy. So do we have to turn to the world and disseminate Kabbalah throughout all the nations with whatever methods specifically right for them, or, are we forbidden to do so in the meantime, until all of Yisrael are completely corrected?

Because of this issue, there are complaints against us from the outside. These complaints are not really quite clear to those who make them, but here there really is a question. We have to answer this question for ourselves and then we’ll know what to do regardless of those who claim or don’t claim. What is important for us is how it stems from the structure of reality: do we have to do it or not? Do we do it now, or only after we correct ourselves completely?

Question: It is written, “It is also upon the Israeli Nation, to qualify themselves and all the people of the world, through the Torah and Mitzvot to develop so that they take upon themselves that sublime work of love of fellow man...” As I understand it, qualification of Yisrael and the nations of the world precedes love of man?

How can there be love without correcting the Kelim in that degree or that attribute? Can I love without correcting my Kelim? My Kelim, at the onset are hate, Mount Sinai—in all Sinai, the Desert of Sinai, in Hebrew is hatred. To reach love, meaning bestowal upon the fellow person, to feel the other's need as my own, above my own, as it says that if you have one pillow you have to give it to the other—for these things great corrections are needed.

What is love? Love is not about writing notes with little hearts drawn on them. Love means that I take the others’ needs, before and above my own. Just as we study how cells operate in the body: that the life of the body precedes in its priority that of the cell. In any group that wants to survive, even in the Army, the life of a soldier is less than the life of the group. If that unit wants to succeed, each soldier risks his life for the group; otherwise there is no life for the whole unit. That is the correction of the Kelim that then enters the law of love.

Question (cont.): It says that they qualified themselves and the entire world, meaning before they developed love among them, both Yisrael and the nations of the world should work on the Arvut?

Yes, of course.

In a way that each and every precept that each of Israel performs in order to bring contentment to his Maker, and not for any self gratification, helps, to some extent, with the development of all the people of the world,…

See, now he says this: to the extent that Yisrael correct themselves, they also seemingly illuminate the world with the light that begins to shine in them and through this the world also gets to be corrected, or else prepares itself for correction; there are also changes in the outside world with Yisrael’s appeal for it or without it.

...for it is not done all at once, but by gradual development until it reaches an amount that can bring all the world to the desired cleanness. And that is what our sages call: shifting the balance for virtue, meaning that the necessary refinement has been reached. And they compared it to weighing on a scale, where the shifting of the balance is the attainment of the desired weight.

This means to the same extent that the children of Israel or Yisrael perform corrections intended to bring contentment to their Maker, these corrections somehow shine on the entire world. To such a point, that the corrections within Yisrael, only within Yisrael, will influence the entire world in such a way that Yisrael, by performing these corrections will elevate the whole world to correction as well.

drawing No.2

Question: Baal HaSulam also said the relation between the patriarchs and Yisrael is like Yisrael and the nations of the world. So at first do we have to identify the patriarchs with respect to Yisrael and then Yisrael with respect the world?

Just as the patriarchs, because they were pure by nature received the Torah, adopted it, and developed it. To begin with, they were in a connection of Arvut with each other that came to them naturally without having to work for it. Similarly Yisrael will have to reach Arvut among them in the same measure of connection, of purification as the patriarchs. But the patriarchs were on a level of purification naturally.

drawing No.3

Yisrael, having been in the spiritual state called Egypt and also leaving it, now has to raise themselves to the level of the patriarchs. After Yisrael raises themselves to the level of the patriarchs, they can then appeal to the nations of the world and then raise the nations of the world to the degree of Yisrael.

Question: What should then be the order of the work for man?

The order of our work is only to concentrate within ourselves until our Kli becomes completely corrected, or be cleansed in such a way that we can, through our reciprocal inner bestowal, illuminate externally to the nations of the world. It will just flow on its own in such a way that they will begin to improve and move towards correction. They will start preparing themselves for correction. That’s what it seems to mean here. We will see afterwards.

What does it say in the first sentence? “In a way, that each and every precept that each individual performs in order to bring contentment to his Maker and not for any self-gratification, helps to some extent with the development of all the people of the world,” right?

By Yisraels act within themselves toward the Creator ( Yisrael, Torah, Creator), the way that they work, wanting through the Torah to raise themselves to the level of the Creator, they already indirectly influence the nations to some extent through the Ohr Makif (Surrounding Light.) So they work and they influence in such a way that the world begins to be corrected, to be prepared for the correction, to feel itself as somehow awakening toward receiving the point in the heart.

So first, it’s the patriarchs, then Yisrael and then the entire world.

21) Those are the words of Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon, who said that the world is judged by its majority etc…, referring to the role of the Israeli nation to qualify the world for a certain refinement until they are worthy of taking upon themselves His work, no less than Israel were worthy at the time they received the Torah. Our sages comment on this that they attained the majority of their virtues, by shifting the balance away from the fault, which is the filthy self-love.

And of course, if the side of the rights, which is the sublime attainment of the goodness of the love of a fellow man rises over the filthy side of the flaws, they become qualified for the agreement and the decision of “We shall do and we shall hear” as Israel said. But before that, meaning before they attained the right, self-love would certainly prevent them from agreeing to take on that burden.

Our sages said: “happy is the one who if he performed one mitzvah, he has made the whole world righteous” meaning that he adds his individual particle of Israel to the general decision as he who weighs seeds of sesame, and adds them one by one to the scale, until there are enough to shift the balance. Certainly everyone takes part in that shifting process, without which it would never have been completed. And therefore he says about the act of an individual from Israel that he makes the whole world righteous. Because when the shifting of the whole world is through, then each and every individual will have taken part in it, or else it would never have been completed.

Thus you find that Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon does not dispute the words of our sages, that all of Israel is responsible for one another, but Rabbi Elazar, the son of Rabbi Shimon, speaks of the correction of the whole world at the time of the end of correction, whereas our sages speak of the present, where only Israel takes upon itself the burden of the Torah.

This means that Yisrael must first correct themselves and the world will then come according to the extent to which Yisrael raises themselves upward. And thus they will inspire the world to start preparing itself for correction.

Question: Baal HaSulam describes here inner discernments and corrections. Can we somehow deduce how this will appear in the physiological body? What will happen there, all kinds of descriptions?

In the body? What can change in the body? The body has nothing to do with spirituality; it is corporeality. In this flesh and blood body what will change? If it’s spiritual or not, does it influence the body?

Say, before crossing the Machsom you had a cold, a flu or something, and with this cold and flu you cross the Machsom, with a running nose. Now you’re a Kabbalists above the Machsom with the same running nose. So what is the difference? I don’t get it. Why should it make any difference? Why should one have an effect on the other? There are those who think that Kabbalah can heal you, heal all kinds of diseases—it costs them a lot of money. It's irrelevant. The body is the same body; it remains the same body.

Of course, one desire dresses over another one, thoughts over other thoughts, yes. But the body itself functions by the same rules. You tell me that is it forbidden to implant organs from a non-Jew to a Jew? Of course it’s permitted. It says that the blood is a quarter of the soul, so are we forbidden to donate blood from one to another? Even for Cohen’s, to Levi’s, to Israel, to non–Jews—there is no problem with it. According to the ruling of the Halacha, no. Why? Because it has nothing to do with the body, it’s all a spiritual thing .

In certain things we behave with the corporeal bodies as in spirituality, but actually these are customs, habits. That’s what Rabash always said about the Mitzvot, the precepts we perform in our body, as the precepts of "trained" people. But these are actually customs—and by performing them we don’t perform or affect spirituality. Why should my spiritual body affect my physical body? Will I get younger all of a sudden, healthier? Why? We see the kinds of diseases that fell upon the Kabbalists and the way they ended their lives, no better than anyone else.

We should study these things again and again; we’ll feel it afterwards and understand it from, as it says, “working in the field.” We should not think there is no connection. The best thing to do is to separate the body and the soul (called the point in the heart and that which he should develop) and leave the biological body alone. Simply give it what it needs—keep it, put it to sleep, wash it, do with it what needs to be done, just like with your animal. All of the beasts, the animals that we read about in the holy books, pertain actually to the body. There is also an inner body, actually, that we work with.

Question: Baal HaSulam says "who weighs seeds of sesame." I don’t understand what’s new here. He says that Reshimot awaken and that one makes an effort and then gets a chance to perform a correction, correction by correction, until one finishes the work .


Question (cont.): So what is, “he should be happy because he shifts the balance and thus sentences the world or doesn’t shift it?”

No, this sentencing happens in every degree. It's not that after we correct ourselves and we are better than the entire world, and then the world is… no. In every moment that one adds even another sesame, another seed, one sentences the world. And accordingly, the world, which is sentenced, becomes heavier and more egoistic: then one once more has to sentence the world through his own cleansing, his own act.

It’s like a pendulum swinging between the right and left. It’s like within the individual with the will to receive and the will to bestow. And the more one wants to bestow the more he has the will to receive. It’s one against the other in order to give him the possibility to do the work.

We have the same situation with the outside world. The more we elevate ourselves, the world seemingly understands, is inspired and rises on the one hand. On the other hand, it gets Aviut corresponding to this inspiration and becomes heavier and thicker. Then it wins again and not us so again we have to add that Aviut to ourselves, purify it and then we sentence it and not the world. That’s how we work with the world, Yisrael and the nations of the world, as it is within us, with the right line and the left line, the part of Yisrael and the part of the nations of the world within it.

But here there is still a question if Yisrael works with the nations of the world within it. If we work this way that work is within us. Do we have to behave the same way and start working immediately— Yisrael and the nations of the world—also by the same ratio? From here it appears that it is seemingly so, that it’s as if we don’t have to worry about the outside world but only concentrate internally and the outside world will change accordingly.

You see how Baal HaSulam constantly gnaws at it and wants to explain to us that matter. It would have been simpler to say, leave the rest of the world, correct yourselves. This could be either the sons of Israel, those who are born to a Jewish mother as is accepted, or, it’s those who have a point of the heart. It does not matter how we decide who is the Israeli here, but just work among you. Why does he keep on mentioning Rabbi Elazar with regard to this issue?

22) And that is what Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon speaks of concerning the verse: “One sinner will lose much good.” Because it has already been shown (chap 20) that the impression that comes to a man by dealing with Mitzvot between man and his God, is completely the same as the impression he gets from the Mitzvot between man and his fellow man. Because he is obliged to perform all the Mitzvot in Her name, without any hope for self-love, meaning that no shine or hope returns to him through his trouble in the form of reward or* honor etc. For here, in this exalted point the love of God and the love of his fellow unite and actually become one.

It turns out that he makes a certain degree of progress on the ladder of loving his fellow man in all the people of the world, because that degree, which that individual awakened in his actions, whether large or small, ultimately joins the future in shifting the balance of the world to the right, because his share is added to the weight.

This means that part of the world enters and joins the act that he now performs.

And he who commits one sin, who cannot overcome and conquer his filthy self-love, which makes him steal or do something of the sort…

By stealing it is meant to do something in order to receive.

…shifts himself and the whole world to the wrong.

This means the whole world is incorporated in each individual.

Because with the revelation of the filth of self-love, the low nature of creation reinforces and he is found to be subtracting a certain amount of the right shift, much like a person would take back from the scale the sesame seed he has put there, which raises the wrong side of the scale that much upward. It turns out that he takes the world backwards, as they said that “One sinner shall lose much good,” for because he could not overcome his petty desire, he pushed the spirituality of the whole world backwards.

What does it mean? With one sinner with even one seed, you sentence the entire world to demerit.

...because he could not overcome his petty desire, he pushed the spirituality of the whole world backwards.

It's as it said before about drilling the hole in the boat. If even one person does it, it is considered a hole in the whole boat and that sinks it.

Question: Why is this thing not known to humanity?

If humanity had known it would have advanced toward spirituality by its own will to receive. They would say, ah ha, so we suffer, oh this is good; it’s worth doing it. It would never start out of darkness. For if you decide that it is worth doing in the darkness, you still would be deciding egoistically.

It cannot be done any other way, but there would still be some kind of connection there to being above reason, to the attribute of Bina. There is some work there, above the egoistic desire. Because if it is dark and I follow in the dark—even if it is because I don’t have a choice or because of troubles or if it’s by someone’s tip, but it’s dark—the will to receive does not push me there. By that I have some preparation to acquire the attribute of bestowal.

Question: Will the responsibility that each person has toward the entire world, will it not become apparent to egoists until Gmar Tikkun, the end of correction?

No, the Arvut, the mutual responsibility, the reciprocal connection, the bonding, appears to a person to the extent that he invests efforts to get into it, to be in it. As a result he begins to feel, to sense it, it becomes tangible. I would say that happens even before the barrier. You begin to get the importance and the sensation and the excitement about this spiritual bonding that exists among people. That picture appears somewhat even before the barrier. It’s a picture—you don’t live in it, but it’s a picture.

Question: It seems that outside the spiritual illumination that goes from the corrected Israel and that will be felt in the nations of the world, will awaken the bigger Kelim in the form of a sensation of emptiness and they’ll come to Israel. It sounds like it will be in the form of hatred.

No. When I come to a teacher, on the one hand I come with a request, a demand; on the other hand, I understand that I depend on him and he will know how to correct me and how to provide all the information and direct me in all my actions. Afterwards, when I work with him, of course, I may hate him to some extent because I can see that by acting according to what he says, I go from bad to worse again and again in my sensation.

And if I succeed in understanding that this sensation is only a sensation and not the truth—because there is a scrutiny between bitter and sweet, and true and false—and if I progress correctly, immerse myself correctly in the group next to the teacher, together with the teacher, then I succeed according to the increasing concealment to justify the concealment and be protected against it and use it correctly. If I fail to do so, within the work in the group and in the forces of bestowal that I get from him, then I start hating him and disrespect him.

The same applies for the nations of the world with respect to Yisrael, if Yisrael fails. If they fail to explain and direct the nations of the world toward Arvut as Rabbi Elazar says, all the problems in the group among friends and with respect to the Rav are only because they do not work with sufficient power to build the group. That’s the only deficiency. From that comes hate, brotherly hatred and hate for the Rav.

But we do have to feel these things, it’s not like we can go through them without… I know it from my own experience. We have to go through all the situations; the Creator gives all of them.

Question: Progress on our path is always in such a way that we rise in holiness, meaning the side of the demerit always promotes, and there’s always descent for ascent. And with the story about the sesame seeds we’re talking about it backwards, about a negative act that negates a positive act, that we take off a sesame seed. Doesn’t that contradict the principal of spiritual advancement?

No, no, no. That’s incorrect. It might sound like that in the explanation, but that is incorrect. You always increase and increase and increase. Yisraels ego strengthens, and sentences the world to the scale of merit and then the ego of the world gets increased.

Because, what kind of ego are all the nations in right now, what do they want? Food and football and just leave me alone. What do they want? You can see it. So their ego, too, still has to increase to the point of demanding God. You understand? It’s a huge ego that hasn’t appeared yet. Ninety-nine percent of mankind's desires have not appeared yet, even in us, who have already started in the right way. And in the nations of the world they haven’t even started yet.

It’s just as within a person, it’s the same ratio, as he says, between Yisrael and the nations of the world, within and without, it’s the same thing. The law is the same law, and there is no difference. You can just copy it from here to there.

Question: Why isn’t the process described in a way that the individual performs a Mitzva, sentences the world to merit, goes into the next stage, sentences it to merit too, and…

What will he determine to the scale of the merit in the next place? He’s already done that. There is nothing more to determine, to sentence. Now the world has to sentence him back. To defeat him, yes? Excuse me, the original situation is like this, so to speak, okay ?Yisrael, and the nations of the world. Yisrael get additional Aviut. Through the group they develop the force of the Arvut. That’s their effort. By that they get an attraction toward the Creator, so they are purified. Now they sentence the world to a scale of merit…

drawing No. 4

The world is egoistic so Yisrael raises it. They performed the action. Now the world should get the Aviut. Why? What will Yisrael do next? They have already brought the world to a scale of merit in the degree it was in. Let’s say they received 10 kilos of Aviut compared to the Aviut that was in the nations of the world, all of the nations of the world are also 10 kilos all together. What is the entire world? Nonsense, it is in its Aviut.

You did some work, so what do you do now? Or you can draw it not as Yisrael rising, but becoming heavier. So they sentence the world this way, to a scale of merit. It doesn’t matter. But now the world has to get additional Aviut and that will give Yisrael a chance to once more correct themselves, take the Aviut from the nations of the world, correct themselves, and sentence the world to a scale of merit.

The reason for your question is that you don’t want to see Yisrael and the nations of the world as one body; you think they are completely detached, that there is a separation here. But there is no detachment, it’s one body. Just like in one person, one goes up the other down, the other up, the other down, like two legs. That is how you ascend. That is why in the end our question should be cleared, should we give now to the nations of the world to be connected to them so that they give back to us and so on?

Should this pendulum be active or does it happen on its own? I work on myself and something happens there. Whether I feel it or don’t, it doesn’t matter. Should one have to worry about the rest of the world? Just from mere actions we see what Baal HaSulam says. He says that we have to give to the entire world until there is no one suffering in the world. He himself went to Poland for the first of May festivals and talked to everyone and wanted it to happen, to expand. We still have to clarify these things. But again, either spiritually or physically, in any case, these things are connected.

Question (cont.): If that had been the case there would be no question. As he gives the example about the wicked among nations of the world that in certain instances he says Yisrael rises and the nations of the world rise like Haman and Mordecai. But here it is not the case. He says the world falls because the individual in Yisrael shifts the scale towards demerit .

That way too.

Question (cont.): Why does he relate the increasing Aviut in the nations of the world to individuals in the Yisrael group?

Oh, sorry—there is a big difference, now I understand here. It’s as if the world gets one further kilogram of Aviut. Now it acquired that additional kilogram of Aviut to ascend, to bring work to Yisrael so that Yisrael will sentence the world to a scale of merit on a higher level. That additional kilo that the nations of the world receive corresponding to Yisrael is positive not negative, because it comes after the sentencing, it comes as an addition. The fact that I don’t see that I get a descent after the ascent, yes I see that I fall. But it is actually a fall for the purpose of ascent.

That’s what happens here, that is why I say don’t separate them, don’t detach these two things from each other. When I receive additional heaviness in my will to receive, after having been strengthened with the group, it is considered as given a chance to take this addition and add it to the work too, to connect it to GE, so to speak. It’s a positive addition. Whereas if I have not strengthened myself, did not bring the scale of merit here, but that one sesame that I should have had here was thrown out of the dish of the scale, then the bad Aviut appears in me. That is the reason that makes the nations of the world appear here, as negative. Understand? It is a big difference. Uncovered Aviut appears in me as that sesame that should be corrected.

Question: The difference is where the Aviut appears: in the nations of the world or Yisrael? That’s the game?

In Yisrael as well, it is also called the nations of the world, it doesn’t matter. It’s the will to receive. What do you think when we say the nations of the world is it, something on the outside? It’s not on the outside. It seems to me this way: internally and externally—that’s how I see it. There is actually no difference. I always sentence, vis-à-vis the entire world, which is the entire me. There is nothing else besides me. All of these nations are mine. The only question is how do I work? Do I first add the Aviut to Yisrael or do I first have to see to the Aviut the way it is outside of Yisrael vis a vis GE?

Question: Can you repeat the difference between a positive disclosure of evil and a negative disclosure of evil?

Why yes, of course, it is worthwhile. Let’s say, I have 10 kilos of Aviut, that is stage one. Stage two: through the group, I acquired Arvut. Arvut is the force of the Creator that appeared through the unification of the group. According to his contribution each and everyone gets strength from it, and fills himself in Bina above Malchut.

drawing No. 5

Therefore, now, I can add the 10 kilos of my Aviut into the intention of bestowal. This is called raising my ego to the discernment of Yisrael. I completed the operation. As a result, a new series appears in me. I get one more kilogram (but we’ll write 11 kilograms) and I do the same thing. That’s the positive.

It's obvious right? From zero the whole Aviut appears, all of the Aviut that appears is only in order to strengthen my point in the heart and turn it into a Kli, GE over the AHP. If there is no AHP what kind of GE do I have? There is none. It only grows on top of the AHP.

Now if I failed… I was given 10 kilograms of Aviut and I could, according to my preparations, come to the group, to the Arvut and to the sentencing and did not do it. So this Aviut appears in me as literally the nations of the world. In other words, it appears in me in order to receive. It is as if I added it to all of the previous defects. This is called instead of a rooster I become a bat. This Torah became a potion of death to me.

Then what happens is that I fall into the abyss, to hell. I get more and more ruthless and I grow worse. That is what happens if you don’t use the method correctly. Method meaning the whole Torah in general, even the literal.

Now with respect to what he says; again, Yisrael is the right, the nations of the world are the left. If the will to receive that is added to Yisrael makes them elevate or be heavier than the nations of the world—use further Aviut, it doesn’t matter how you turn this pendulum around—actually it is positive, if all of it joins Yisrael.

If, instead of Yisrael, appears this sesame and it goes to the uncorrected, uncovered nations of the world, then it’s a loss and a big loss; that is why it says “sit and do nothing is better” and about “unripe fruit,” and all these things. Because entering and performing an act where you lose is much worse than doing nothing at all..

There are many things here, but the bottom line is we have to see what the Aviut is added to. Anyone who is greater than his friend, his desire is greater than him, on the one hand. On the other hand, how does he put it? “I am happy with disclosed wickedness,” meaning, Yisrael, the concept of bestowal, is entirely based on the will to receive, otherwise how will the creature bestow?

Question: If at the end of the process everything is corrected anyhow, what do we pay with? What is the price? What’s the difference between negative and positive? What‘s the difference in the price paid whether I go with the positive or the negative?

You are saying, anyhow, “there is no outcast from him,” and “everyone will come to the end,” “everything is predetermined,” “there is no choice.” So what does it matter if it happens this or the other way?

The wording gives us this impression but that is not the case. Until you realize your free choice to the fullest, over each sesame seed, you will not reach the end. What is the end? The end is not about the train traveling while I can sleep, or be awake through it. Each phase, each motion, is caused only by my full participation in it, the building of myself as Adam, a person, from the word “I will be like the Most High” ( Doma in Hebrew means resembles). And the end will not happen by itself. Regrettably we imagine the situation is, “well, the pains will come and they’ll force me, so sit back and wait.” I can’t picture pains right now; also I can’t picture the force that draws me to spiritual evolution, to the goal that will illuminate me so much. Right now the goal does not shine for me and I am not suffering. So, I’m on standby, whatever happens, happens.

Why is it a loss to wait for the pulling or pushing forces? Because those forces of exertion that you don’t feel like applying right now, (since you simply have no need to move either negatively or positively from where you are) and if you are not attentive to them now, they will nevertheless come to you in a lengthening of the time and heaviness that you are building for yourself currently. It’s not like you are sitting and doing nothing now. By not doing anything now, you’re always working, you’re always doing. But you are working negatively for yourself because you are constantly increasing the process that you will experience in terms of length and negativity.

That is why Baal HaSulam says that the free choice is in the environment. To begin with, he says look buddy, you will not have the strength to advance: I will give you such situations that you will not want to advance, you will be despondent, powerless, desire-less, passive. In simple terms, you’ll just feel, ‘I don’t feel so bad, why don’t I skip the current situation?’ So he tells you the society is that which should draw you, pull you—that is where your choice is. And you on the other hand are pointing to yourself. There’s no reason to point to yourself.

We all want only rest. That’s it. Baal HaSulam says even more—rest is a good thing, idleness is a good thing. Why? It is because if you don’t get the forces for motion from the society, all other forces are wrong. Don’t follow any tips, either from you or from other environments because these are wrong directions. Only with the society is where you have free choice to advance in the right direction. Either you take this direction from it or not. But take it only from it. It is written in the beginning to the Introduction to Talmud Eser Sefirot; it explains this very straight forwardly.

There is a lot more to talk about here, especially with respect to the relationship between Yisrael and the nations of the world. We still have to clarify in what state and when Yisrael attains the correction of the whole world.

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