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Yehuda Leib HaLevi Ashlag (Baal HaSulam)

Unity of Friends

Do what you can and the Lord’s salvation is in the twinkling of an eye. The important thing that stands before you today is the unity of friends. Toil in that more and more, for it can compensate for all the faults.

It is written, "An exiled student; his Rav is exiled with him." Our sages were perplexed: How can complaints govern the student’s Torah and work to the extent that repels him from being in God’s domain, especially once he has become attached to a genuine Rav?

And they explained that when the student declines, it appears to him that the Rav has declined with him, as well. And because this is so, it is indeed so. That is, he will be able to benefit from his Rav only to the extent that he assumes in his heart. Hence, he only has a lowly and inferior Rav to the extent that he has measured him thus. And so, his Rav is exiled with him.

The beginning of the exile and enslavement in Egypt begins with the words, "Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who knew not Joseph." This means that a new dominion appeared in everyone’s mind, a newly risen dominion, for they have fallen from their previous degree, as it is written, "An exiled student; his Rav is exiled with him." Thus, they did not know Joseph; that is, they attained him only to the extent that they assumed in their hearts.

For this reason, they pictured Joseph’s image the same as they were, themselves. And for this reason, they did not know Joseph and the enslavement began. Otherwise, the righteous would certainly protect them and no exile and enslavement would be depicted for them.

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