There are relationships: Man and place. Man and his friend. Man and the rest of the people as "all Israel are friends." It is written: "Make yourself a Rav, buy yourself a friend, sentence every man to a scale of merit." What is "make," "buy," "sentence to a scale of merit"?
Making: If the intellect does not understand in order to determine what is good for me, or all things seem equal to the intellect, then it can still determine the action.
Man must work: Either in order to receive or in order to bestow.
The good inclination's claim: If you work in order to bestow, you will be more successful in life - "You will be happy in this world and content in the next world."
The evil inclination's claim: It is more worthwhile to work in order to receive.
The force of discernment: Only the force called action, which is above reason, determines, and not the intellect or the emotion. Hence, "making" is considered above reason and above the senses. The force of faith is opposite the intellect.
Buying: Within reason, as in purchasing merchandise, whether it is worth paying the merchant's price.
Rav: Friend/Haver (society) - When people unite and desire to bond into one, by equivalence of form, in order to care about the love of others. It turns out that they thereby unite and become one.
Love of friends: When the society is founded as a group, they should be people who suit each other in their opinions and virtues, for they see that they have some equivalence, and the others are not accepted into the group. Afterwards, the work of the love of friends begins.
The goal of the society: To attain love of friends. If initially, before entering the society, they had no equivalence with the society's goal, there would be nothing left to expect from this connection. Unless before entering the society, there was some equivalence, then they could be capable of beginning to work on the love of friends.
Between Man and Place
Between man and place: First make yourself a Rav and then buy yourself a friend. First one should believe above reason that the Creator is great and dominating.
To the extent one has faith in the greatness of the Creator, called "Rav," likewise, he has the power to acquire with concessions of self-love, in order to reach equivalence of form, which is called adhesion with the Creator. That is called "friend," which is the bond with the Creator. Just like when buying corporeal things, one must relinquish money or toil in order to acquire something, so in order to acquire the bonding with the Creator, one must relinquish self-love, otherwise there will be no equivalence of form.
When one sees that he is incapable of making concessions in order to acquire the equivalence of form - the reason is in "make yourself a Rav," meaning that he is not working on faith, since according to its importance, for him to have faith in the greatness of the Creator, to that extent he will have the strength to make concessions. The extent of his work in faith above reason is the same as the extent of the concessions of self-love.
Between man and his friend
Between man and his friend: First buy yourself a friend and then make yourself a Rav. Since when a person looks for friends, he needs to examine them first with his intellect, if he should connect with them. Thus it does not say "make yourself a friend," for "making" is above reason, rather he examines within reason. If one sees it is worthwhile to connect with him, one should pay by making concessions in self-love, and receiving the force of love of others in return. Then one can expect and also merit the love of the Creator. After one has already bonded with a group of people who desire to attain the degree of love of the Creator, desiring to obtain from them the strength to work in order to bestow, and to be impressed with their statements regarding the need to attain the love of the Creator, then he should regard each and every friend in the group as greater than himself. Each one must feel himself lowest of all, because the greater cannot receive from the smaller, not to mention be impressed with his statements. Only the smaller may be impressed with the system of the greater.
It turns out that when each one needs to learn something from the other, "make yourself a Rav," is practiced, for him to say that his friend is greater than himself, he has to use an action which is without reason, for only above reason he can say that his friend is at a higher degree than himself. Hence, the order is that first he should practice "buy yourself a friend" and then "make yourself a Rav."
Between man and every man
"Make yourself a Rav and buy yourself a friend and sentence everyone to a scale of merit."
Between a man and his friend: First buy yourself a friend, within reason. Then make yourself a Rav.
Sentence to a scale of merit - is that buying or making? - Making, not buying.
If people want to unite in a society to engage in the love of friends, ten out of a hundred decided to bond, why did they choose those particular ten to bond with and not the others?
The reason is that they found that out of all the people there, they are better, or worse and something must be done in order to raise the degree of Torah and fear.
They agreed to bond into one group, to engage in the love of friends - since each one of them feels that they have a single desire which can unite all of their opinions, for them to receive the force of the love of others. It is known from an essay of our sages, who said: "Just as faces do not resemble each other, so their opinions are not similar to each other."
Those who agreed to bond into a single group understood that their opinions are not so distant from each other, regarding the necessity of the work of the love of others, hence each one of them is capable of making concessions for the good of others, based on which they can unite. Whereas the other people have no understanding of the necessity of the work of love of others, hence they cannot bond with them.
It turns out that while engaging in the bonding of love of friends, each one examines the other, both in intellect and virtues, if he is worthy of entering the society within reason, as it says, "and distance us from an evil man and an evil friend." If he is proud, it goes against "be extremely modest in spirit." To that, there is the response: "Sentence each individual to the scale of merit." Regarding all other people, one should go above reason, that which is considered in practice, not in the intellect. Since from the intellect's perspective, it sees that they are not as prepared as those he unites with, and is proud with regard to everyone. This advice, "sentence each individual to a scale of merit" - to sentence them to a scale of merit, for they truly are greater and more important people than himself, rather he is incapable of appreciating the greatness and importance of all. Hence, within reason, he does not see their greatness and should use actions above reason. That is called "sentence each man to a scale of merit."