Purpose of Society - 1. 1-1 (1984)
Purpose of Society - 2. 1-2 (1984)
Concerning Love of Friends. 2 (1984)
Love of Friends - 1. 3 (1984)
Each One Shall Help His Friend. 4 (1984)
What Does the Rule "Love Thy Friend as Thyself" Give Us. 5 (1984)
Love of Friends - 2. 6 (1984)
According to What Is Explained Concerning “Love Thy Friend as Thyself”. 7 (1984)
Which Keeping of Torah and Mitzvot Purifies the Heart. 8 (1984)
One Should Always Sell the Beams of His House. 9 (1984)
Achieve in Order Not to Have to Reincarnate?. 10 (1984)
Concerning Ancestral Merit. 11 (1984)
Concerning the Importance of Society. 12 (1984)
Sometimes Spirituality Is Called “a Soul”. 13 (1984)
Forevermore One Sells All That Is His and Marries a Wise Disciple's Daughter. 14 (1984)
Can Something Negative Come Down from Above. 15 (1984)
Concerning Bestowal. 16 (1984)
Concerning the Importance of Friends. 17-1 (1984)
The Agenda of the Assembly - 1. 17-2 (1984)
And It Shall Come to Pass When You Come to the Land that the Lord Your God Gives You. 18 (1984)
You Stand Today, All of You. 19 (1984)
Make for Yourself a Rav and Buy Yourself a Friend - 1. 1 (1985)
The Meaning of Branch and Root. 2 (1985)
The Meaning of Truth and Faith. 3 (1985)
These Are the Generations of Noah. 4 (1985)
Go Forth From Your Land. 5 (1985)
And the Lord Appeared to Him at the Oaks of Mamre. 6 (1985)
The Life of Sarah. 7 (1985)
Make for Yourself a Rav and Buy Yourself a Friend - 2. 8 (1985)
Jacob Went Out. 9 (1985)
And Jacob Went Out. 10 (1985)
Concerning the Debate between Jacob and Laban. 11 (1985)
Jacob Dwelled in the Land Where His Father Had Lived. 12 (1985)
Mighty Rock of My Salvation. 13 (1985)
I Am the First and I Am the Last. 14 (1985)
And Hezekiah Turned His Face to the Wall. 15 (1985)
But the More They Afflicted Them. 16 (1985)
Know Today and Reply to Your Heart. 17 (1985)
Concerning the Slanderers. 18 (1985)
Come unto Pharaoh - 1. 19 (1985)
He who Hardens His Heart. 20 (1985)
We Should Always Discern between Torah and Work. 21 (1985)
The Whole of the Torah Is One Holy Name. 22 (1985)
On My Bed at Night. 23 (1985)
Three Times in the Work. 24 (1985)
In Every Thing We Must Discern between Light and Kli. 25 (1985)
Show Me Your Glory. 26 (1985)
Repentance. 27 (1985)
The Spies. 28 (1985)
The Lord Is Near to All Who Call upon Him. 29 (1985)
Three Prayers. 30 (1985)
One Does Not Regard Oneself as Wicked. 31 (1985)
Concerning the Reward of the Receivers. 32 (1985)
The Felons of Israel. 33 (1985)
And I Pleaded with the Lord. 34 (1985)
When a Person Knows What Is Fear of the Creator. 35 (1985)
And There Was Evening and There Was Morning. 36 (1985)
Who Testifies to a Person. 37 (1985)
A Righteous Who Is Happy, a Righteous Who Is Suffering. 38 (1985)
Hear Our Voice. 39 (1985)
Moses Went. 1 (1986)
Lend Ear, O Heaven. 2 (1986)
Man Is Rewarded with Righteousness and Peace through the Torah. 3 (1986)
Concerning Hesed [Mercy]. 4 (1986)
Concerning Respecting the Father. 5 (1986)
Confidence. 6 (1986)
The Importance of a Prayer of Many. 7 (1986)
Concerning Help that Comes from Above. 8 (1986)
Concerning the Hanukkah Candle. 9 (1986)
Concerning Prayer. 10 (1986)
A Real Prayer Is over a Real Deficiency. 11 (1986)
What Is the Main Deficiency for which One Should Pray?. 12 (1986)
Come unto Pharaoh – 2. 13 (1986)
What Is the Need to Borrow Vessels from the Egyptians?. 14 (1986)
A Prayer of Many. 15 (1986)
The Lord Has Chosen Jacob for Himself. 16 (1986)
The Agenda of the Assembly - 2. 17 (1986)
Who Causes the Prayer. 18 (1986)
Concerning Joy. 19 (1986)
Should One Sin and Be Guilty. 20 (1986)
Concerning Above Reason. 21 (1986)
If a Woman Inseminates. 22 (1986)
Concerning Fear and Joy. 23 (1986)
The Difference between Charity and Gift. 24 (1986)
The Measure of Practicing Mitzvot [Commandments]. 25 (1986)
A Near Way and a Far Way. 26 (1986)
The Creator and Israel Went into Exile. 27 (1986)
A Congregation Is No Less than Ten. 28 (1986)
Lishma and Lo Lishma. 29 (1986)
The Klipa [Shell/Peel] that Precedes the Fruit. 30 (1986)
Concerning Yenika [Suckling] and Ibur [Impregnation]. 31 (1986)
The Reason for Straightening the Legs and Covering the Head During the Prayer. 32 (1986)
What Are Commandments that a Person Tramples with His Feet. 33 (1986)
Judges and Officers. 34 (1986)
The Fifteenth of Av. 35 (1986)
What Is Preparation for the Selichot [Forgiveness]. 36 (1986)
The Good Who Does Good, to the Bad and to the Good. 1 (1987)
The Importance of Recognition of Evil. 2 (1987)
All of Israel Have a Part in the Next World. 3 (1987)
It is Forbidden to Hear a Good Thing From a Bad Person. 4 (1987)
What Is the Advantage in the Work More than in the Reward?. 5 (1987)
The Importance of Faith that Is Always Present. 6 (1987)
The Miracle of Hanukkah. 7 (1987)
The Difference between Mercy and Truth and Untrue Mercy. 8 (1987)
One’s Greatness Depends on the Measure of One’s Faith in the Future. 9 (1987)
What Is the Substance of Slander and Against Whom Is It?. 10 (1987)
Purim, and the Commandment: Until He until He Does Not Know. 11 (1987)
What Is Half a Shekel in the Work - 1. 12 (1987)
Why the Festival of Matzot Is Called Passover. 13 (1987)
The Connection between Passover, Matza, and Maror. 14 (1987)
Two Discernments in Holiness. 15 (1987)
The Difference between the Work of the General Public and the Work of the Individual . 16 (1987)
The Severity of Teaching Idol Worshippers the Torah. 17 (1987)
What Is Preparation for Reception of the Torah - 1. 18 (1987)
What Are Revealed and Concealed in the Work of the Creator?. 19 (1987)
What Is Man’s Private Possession?. 20 (1987)
What Are Dirty Hands in the Work of the Creator?. 21 (1987)
What Is the Gift that a Person Asks of the Creator?. 22 (1987)
Peace After a Dispute Is More Important than Having No Disputes At All. 23 (1987)
What is Unfounded Hatred in the Work. 24 (1987)
What Is Heaviness of the Head in the Work?. 25 (1987)
What Is a Light Commandment. 26 (1987)
What Are “Blessing” and “Curse” in the Work?. 27 (1987)
What Is Do Not Add and Do Not Take Away in the Work?. 28 (1987)
What Is “According to the Sorrow, So Is the Reward”?. 29 (1987)
What Is a War Over Authority in the Work – 1. 30 (1987)
What Is Making a Covenant in the Work. 31 (1987)
Why Life Is Divided into Two Discernments. 1 (1988)
What Is the Extent of Teshuva [Repentance]?. 2 (1988)
What It Means that the Name of the Creator is “Truth”. 3 (1988)
What Is the Prayer for Help and for Forgiveness in the Work?. 4 (1988)
What Is, “When Israel Are in Exile, the Shechina Is with Them,” in the Work?. 5 (1988)
What Is the Difference between a Field and a Man of the Field, in the Work?. 6 (1988)
What Is the Importance of the Groom, that His Iniquities Are Forgiven?. 7 (1988)
What Does It Mean that One Who Prays Should Explain His Words Properly?. 8 (1988)
What Does It Mean that the Righteous Suffers Afflictions?. 9 (1988)
What Are the Four Qualities of Those Who Go to the Seminary, in the Work?. 10 (1988)
What Are the Two Discernments before Lishma?. 11 (1988)
What Are Torah and Work in the Way of the Creator?. 12 (1988)
What Is “the People’s Shepherd Is the Whole People” in the Work?. 13 (1988)
The Need for Love of Friends. 14 (1988)
What Is “There Is No Blessing in an Empty Place” in the Work?. 15 (1988)
What Is the Foundation on which Kedusha [Holiness] Is Built?. 16 (1988)
The Main Difference between a Beastly Soul and a Godly Soul. 17 (1988)
When Is One Considered “A Worker of the Creator” in the Work?. 18 (1988)
What Are Silver, Gold, Israel, Rest of Nations, in the Work?. 19 (1988)
What Is the Reward in the Work of Bestowal?. 20 (1988)
What Does It Mean that the Torah Was Given Out of the Darkness in the Work?. 21 (1988)
What Are Merits and Iniquities of a Righteous in the Work?. 22 (1988)
What Beginning in Lo Lishma Means in the Work. 23 (1988)
What Is “The Concealed Things Belong to the Lord, and the Revealed Things Belong to Us,” in the Work?. 24 (1988)
What Is the Preparation on the Eve of Shabbat, in the Work?. 25 (1988)
What Is the Difference between Law and Judgment in the Work?. 26 (1988)
What Is, “The Creator Does Not Tolerate the Proud,” in the Work?. 27 (1988)
What Is, His Guidance Is Concealed and Revealed?. 28 (1988)
How to Recognize One Who Serves God from One Who Does Not Serve Him. 29 (1988)
What to Look for in the Assembly of Friends. 30 (1988)
What Is the Work of Man, in the Work that Is Attributed to the Creator?. 31 (1988)
What Are the Two Actions During a Descent?. 32 (1988)
What Is the Difference between General and Individual in the Work of the Creator?. 33 (1988)
What Are Day and Night in the Work?. 34 (1988)
What Is the Help in the Work that One Should Ask of the Creator?. 35 (1988)
What Is the Measure of Repentance?. 1 (1989)
What Is a Great or a Small Sin in the Work?. 2 (1989)
What Is the Difference between the Gate of Tears and the Rest of the Gates?. 3 (1989)
What Is a Flood of Water in the Work?. 4 (1989)
What Does It Mean that the Creation of the World Was by Largess?. 5 (1989)
What Is Above Reason in the Work?. 6 (1989)
What Is “He Who Did Not Toil on the Eve of Shabbat, What Will He Eat on Shabbat” in the Work?. 7 (1989)
What It Means, in the Work, that If the Good Grows, So Grows the Bad. 8 (1989)
What Is, “Calamity that Comes upon the Wicked Begins with the Righteous,” in the Work?. 9 (1989)
What Does It Mean that the Ladder Is Diagonal, in the Work?. 10 (1989)
What Are the Forces Required in the Work?. 11 (1989)
What Is a Groom’s Meal?. 12 (1989)
What Is the “Bread of an Evil-Eyed Man” in the Work?. 13 (1989)
What Is the Meaning of “Reply unto Your Heart”?. 14 (1989)
What Is, “The Righteous Become Apparent through the Wicked,” in the Work?. 15 (1989)
What Is the Prohibition to Bless on an Empty Table, in the Work?. 16 (1989)
What Is the Prohibition to Greet Before Blessing the Creator, in the Work?. 17 (1989)
What Is, “There Is No Blessing in That Which Is Counted,” in the Work?. 18 (1989)
Why Is Shabbat Called Shin-Bat in the Work?. 19 (1989)
What Does It Mean that the Evil Inclination Ascends and Slanders, in the Work?. 20 (1989)
What Is, “A Drunken Man Must Not Pray, in the Work?. 21 (1989)
Why Are Four Questions Asked Specifically on Passover Night?. 22 (1989)
What Is, If He Swallows the Bitter Herb, He Will Not Come Out, in the Work?. 23 (1989)
What Is “Do Not Slight the Blessing of a Layperson” in the Work?. 24 (1989)
What Is “He Who Has a Flaw Shall Not Offer [Sacrifice]” in the Work?. 25 (1989)
What Is “He Who Defiles Himself Is Defiled from Above” in the Work?. 26 (1989)
What Is the Meaning of Suffering in the Work?. 27 (1989)
Who Needs to Know that a Person Withstood the Test?. 28 (1989)
What Is the Preparation to Receive the Torah in the Work?-2. 29 (1989)
What Is the Meaning of Lighting the Menorah in the Work?. 30 (1989)
What Is the Prohibition to Teach Torah to Idol-Worshippers in the Work?. 31 (1989)
What Does It Mean that Oil Is Called “Good Deeds” in the Work?. 32 (1989)
What Are Spies in the Work?. 33 (1989)
What Is Peace in the Work?. 34 (1989)
What Is, “He Who Is Without Sons,” in the Work?. 35 (1989)
What Is “For It Is Your Wisdom and Understanding in the Eyes of the Nations,” in the Work?. 36 (1989)
What Is “A Road Whose Beginning Is Thorns and Its End Is a Plain” in the Work?. 37 (1989)
What Are Judges and Officers in the Work?. 38 (1989)
What Is, “The Torah Speaks Only Against the Evil Inclination,” in the Work?. 39 (1989)
What Is, “Every Day They Will Be as New in Your Eyes,” in the Work?. 40 (1989)
The Daily Schedule. 41 (1989)
What Does “May We Be the Head and Not the Tail” Mean in the Work?. 1 (1990)
What Is the Meaning of Failure in the Work?. 2 (1990)
What It Means that the World Was Created for the Torah. 3 (1990)
What It Means that the Generations of the Righteous are Good Deeds, in the Work. 4 (1990)
What It Means that the Land Did Not Bear Fruit before Man Was Created, in the Work. 5 (1990)
When Should One Use Pride in the Work?. 6 (1990)
What Are the Times of Prayer and Gratitude in the Work?. 7 (1990)
What It Means that Esau Was Called “A Man of the Field,” in the Work. 8 (1990)
What Is, “A Ladder Is Set on the Earth, and Its Top Reaches Heaven,” in the Work?. 9 (1990)
What Does It Mean that Our Sages Said, “King David Did Not Have a Life,” in the Work?. 10 (1990)
What Placing the Hanukkah Candle on the Left Means in the Work. 11 (1990)
Why Is the Torah Called “Middle Line” in the Work? - 1. 12 (1990)
What Does It Mean that by the Unification of the Creator and the Shechina, All Iniquities Are Atoned?. 13 (1990)
What Is True Hesed in the Work?. 14 (1990)
What Does It Mean that Before the Egyptian Minister Fell, Their Outcry Was Not Answered, in the Work?. 15 (1990)
What Is “For Lack of Spirit and for Hard Work,” in the Work?. 16 (1990)
What Is the Assistance that He who Comes to Purify Receives in the Work?. 17 (1990)
Why the Speech of Shabbat Must Not Be as the Speech of a Weekday, in the Work. 18 (1990)
Why Is the Torah Called “Middle Line” in the Work?-2. 19 (1990)
What Is Half a Shekel in the Work? - 2. 20 (1990)
What Is, “As I Am for Nothing, so You Are for Nothing,” in the Work?. 21 (1990)
What Is the Order in Blotting Out Amalek?. 22 (1990)
What Does It Mean that Moses Was Perplexed about the Birth of the Moon, in the Work?. 23 (1990)
What Does, “Everything that Comes to Be a Burnt Offering Is Male,” Mean in the Work?. 24 (1990)
What Is, “Praise the Lord, All Nations,” in the Work?. 25 (1990)
What Is, “There Is None as Holy as the Lord, for There Is None Besides You,” in the Work?. 26 (1990)
What Is, “Every Blade of Grass Has an Appointee Above, Who Strikes It and Tells It, Grow!” in the Work?. 27 (1990)
What Is, “Warn the Great about the Small,” in the Work?. 28 (1990)
What Is, “The Torah Exhausts a Person’s Strength,” in the Work?. 29 (1990)
What It Means that “Law and Ordinance” Is the Name of the Creator in the Work. 30 (1990)
What “There Is No Blessing in That Which Is Counted” Means in the Work. 31 (1990)
What “Israel Do the Creator’s Will” Means in the Work. 32 (1990)
What Is “The Earth Feared and Was Still,” in the Work?. 33 (1990)
What Are “A Layperson’s Vessels,” in the Work?. 34 (1990)
What Is “He Who Enjoys at a Groom’s Meal,” in the Work?. 35 (1990)
What Is, “The Children of Esau and Ishmael Did Not Want to Receive the Torah,” in the Work?. 36 (1990)
What Is, “The Shechina Is a Testimony to Israel,” in the Work?. 37 (1990)
What Is, “A Cup of Blessing Must Be Full,” in the Work?. 38 (1990)
What Is, “Anyone Who Mourns forJerusalem Is Rewarded with Seeing Its Joy,” in the Work?. 39 (1990)
What Is, “For You Are the Least of All the Peoples,” in the Work?. 40 (1990)
What Are the Light Mitzvot that a Person Tramples with His Heels, in the Work?. 41 (1990)
What Are a Blessing and a Curse, in the Work?. 42 (1990)
What Is, “You Shall Not Plant for Yourself an Asherah by the Altar,” in the Work?. 43 (1990)
What Is an Optional War, in the work? - 2. 44 (1990)
What Is, “The Concealed Things Belong to the Lord Our God,” in the work?. 45 (1990)
The Order of the Work, from Baal HaSulam. 46 (1990)
What Is, “We Have No Other King But You,” in the Work?. 1 (1991)
What Is, “Return, O Israel, Unto the Lord Your God,” in the Work?. 2 (1991)
What Is, “The Wicked Will Prepare and the Righteous Will Wear,” in the Work?. 3 (1991)
What Is, “The Saboteur Was in the Flood, and Was Putting to Death,” in the Work?. 4 (1991)
What Is, “The Good Deeds of the Righteous Are the Generations,” in the Work?. 5 (1991)
What Is, “The Herdsmen of Abram’s Cattle and the Herdsmen of Lot’s Cattle,” in the Work?. 6 (1991)
What Is “Man” and What Is “Beast” in the Work?. 7 (1991)
What Is, “And Abraham Was Old, of Many Days,” in the Work?. 8 (1991)
What Is, “The Smell of His Garments,” in the Work?. 9 (1991)
What Does “The King Stands on His Field When the Crop Is Ripe” Mean in the Work?. 10 (1991)
What It Means that the Good Inclination and the Evil Inclination Guard a Person in the Work. 11 (1991)
These Candles Are Sacred. 12 (1991)
What “You Have Given the Strong to the Hands of the Weak” Means in the Work. 13 (1991)
What Does It Mean that Man’s Blessing Is the Blessing of the Sons, in the Work?. 14 (1991)
What Is the Blessing, “Who Made a Miracle for Me in This Place,” in the Work?. 15 (1991)
Why We Need “Reply unto Your Heart,” to Know that the Lord, He Is God, in the Work. 16 (1991)
What Is, “For I Have Hardened His Heart,” in the work?. 17 (1991)
What It Means that We Should Raise the Right Hand over the Left Hand, in the Work. 18 (1991)
What Is, “Rise Up, O Lord, and Let Your Enemies Be Scattered,” in the Work?. 19 (1991)
What Is, “There Is Nothing that Has No Place,” in the Work?. 20 (1991)
What Does It Mean that We Read the Portion, Zachor [Remember], Before Purim, in the Work?. 21 (1991)
What Is “A Lily Among the Thorns,” in the Work?. 22 (1991)
What Is the Meaning of the Purification of a Cow’s Ashes, in the Work?. 23 (1991)
What Does It Mean that One Should Bear a Son and a Daughter, in the Work?. 24 (1991)
What Does It Mean that One Who Repents Should Be in Happiness?. 25 (1991)
What Is Revealing a Portion and Covering Two Portions in the Work?. 26 (1991)
What Is, “If a Woman Inseminates First, She Delivers a Male Child,” in the Work?. 27 (1991)
What Are Holiness and Purity, in the Work?. 28 (1991)
What Does It Mean that a High Priest Should Take a Virgin Wife, in the Work?. 29 (1991)
What Does It Mean that One Who Was On a Far Off Way Is Postponed to a Second Passover, in the Work?. 30 (1991)
What Does It Mean that Charity to the Poor Makes the Holy Name, in the Work?. 31 (1991)
What Are Banners in the Work?. 32 (1991)
What Does It Mean that the Creator Favors Someone, in the Work?. 33 (1991)
What Is Eating Their Fruits in This World and Keeping the Principal for the Next World, in the Work?. 34 (1991)
What Is the Meaning of “Spies,” in the Work?. 35 (1991)
What Is, “Peace, Peace, to the Far and to the Near,” in the Work?. 36 (1991)
What Is the “Torah” and What Is “The Statute of the Torah,” in the Work?. 37 (1991)
What Is the “Right Line,” in the Work?. 38 (1991)
What Does It Mean that the Right Must Be Greater than the Left, in the Work?. 39 (1991)
What Are Truth and Falsehood in the Work?. 40 (1991)
What Should One Do If He Was Born With Bad Qualities?. 41 (1991)
What Is, “An Ox Knows Its Owner, etc., Israel Does Not Know,” in the Work?. 42 (1991)
What Is, “You Will See My Back, But My Face Shall Not Be Seen,” in the Work?. 43 (1991)
What Is the Reason for which Israel Were Rewarded with Inheritance of the Land, in the Work?. 44 (1991)
What Does It Mean that a Judge Must Judge Absolutely Truthfully, in the Work?. 45 (1991)
What Is the Son of the Beloved and the Son of the Hated in the Work?. 46 (1991)
What Does It Mean that the Right and the Left Are in Contrast, in the Work?. 47 (1991)
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What Is the Need to Borrow Vessels from the Egyptians?
 
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What Is the Need to Borrow Vessels from the Egyptians?

Article No. 14, 1986

It is written (Exodus 11), “Speak now in the ears of the people that each man will borrow from his neighbor and each woman from her neighbor vessels of silver and vessels of gold. And the Lord gave the people’s favor in the eyes of the Egyptians.”

Our sages said (Berachot, 9b), “The disciples of Rabbi Yanai said, ‘‘‘Do’ means please. The Creator said to Moses, ‘Please go and tell them, Israel, to please borrow vessels of silver and vessels of gold from the Egyptians so that that righteous will not say, ‘He kept, ‘And they enslaved them and afflicted them,’ and then, He did not keep ‘And they will come out with many possessions.’’’”

This is perplexing. If the Creator wanted to keep His promise to Abraham, as it is written, “And afterwards they will come out with many possessions,” could He not make the people of Israel wealthy without borrowing vessels from the Egyptians? It seems like fraud, for it seems that they initially borrowed by deceit, meaning without intending to return.

We should also understand why the Creator said to Moses to implore Israel to borrow vessels from the Egyptians, as is said above, that “Do” means please [request]. Also, what is this imploring? It seems to mean that the Creator knew that they would object to it, so He asked Moses to speak to Israel. Thus, we should understand the reason for Israel’s objection to this.

We should also understand the words, “And the Lord gave the people’s favor in the eyes of the Egyptians.” How can we understand such a thing, which is completely contradictory? Although anything is possible from the perspective of the Creator, but from the literal perspective this is difficult to grasp, as it is written (Exodus, 1:12), “And the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread out, and they detested the sons of Israel.” Our sages said, “It shows that they were as thorns in their eyes” (Sutah, 11).

It follows that from thorns, meaning being unable to stand the people of Israel and seeing them as thorns, they now turned completely around and the Egyptians liked the people of Israel.

In the Creator’s promise to Abraham, “And afterwards they will come out with many possessions,” we should understand the whole matter that is presented there (Genesis, 15:6), “And He said to him, ‘I am the Lord who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to inherit it.’ And he said, ‘Lord God, by what will I know that I will inherit it?’ And He said to Abram, … ‘Know for certain that your descendants will be foreigners in a land that is not theirs, and they will be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years … and afterward they will come out with many possessions.’”

Here, too, we should understand the answer that Abraham received to the question, “By what will I know that I will inherit it?” since the Creator’s answer was to this question, as it is written, “And He said to Abram, ‘Know for certain that your descendants will be foreigners in a land that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years … and afterward they will come out with many possessions.’” Thus, the question was about guarantees on the inheritance, and the answer to the guarantee was that the people of Israel will be in exile. But is exile a guarantee for inheriting the land?

Baal HaSulam explained the meaning of this question: It is known that there is no light without a Kli [vessel]. That is, it is impossible to receive filling if there is no lack. A lack is called a Kli, and when Abraham saw what the Creator wanted to give his sons, he said, “I do not see that my sons will have a need for that spiritual inheritance of the land.” He said, “If they receive a small illumination they will be content because the smallest degree in spirituality brings more pleasure than all the corporeal pleasures in the world. Accordingly, when they receive some small illumination they might think that there are no greater degrees than what they have attained, and will therefore have no need to ask for anything more.”

And because of this, Abraham’s question to the Creator was, “By what will I know that they will have the need to inherit the spiritual land?” Thus, he was asking the Creator to tell him how it might happen that they will have light without a Kli. Abram understood that the Creator gives the light, but the Kelim, meaning a desire for greater lights than they already received, who would make them see that they need to achieve greater ascension than they feel now?

There is a rule in spirituality that anything spiritual that comes to a person makes him feel unsurpassable wholeness, since anything spiritual is a complete feeling, without any deficiency. Otherwise it is not regarded as “spiritual,” for only in a corporeal matter can there be pleasure, and still we feel that there is a greater pleasure. This is not so in spirituality.

Thus, Abraham wondered how and through what they would have a need to ask the Creator to give them greater degrees, called “inheritance of the land.” He said that the Creator’s reply to him, “Know for certain that your descendants will be foreigners in a land that is not theirs” means that from here, meaning from the exile in Egypt they will have a need to ask the Creator to give them greater strength each time.

The reason is that when a person begins to advance in the work of the Creator and wants all his actions to be in order to bestow, he sees that he cannot prevail. At that time one asks the Creator to help him, as our sages said, “He who comes to purify is aided,” and the holy Zohar asks, “How is he aided? With a holy soul.”

Indeed, everything that they overcame in the work sank in the earth, as he says about their building of Pithom and Ramesses. That is, each day they had to start their work anew because everything they built went into the abyss and they always saw themselves as though they had never begun to work because they did not remember any word of Torah that concerns work and always reflect on themselves, “Where is our work, the efforts we put into the work? Where did they go?”

It is even more difficult to understand how the Klipa [shell/peel] of Pharaoh could swallow all their work to the point that they did not feel that they ever engaged in serving the Creator, that their goal was to achieve wholeness, and they knew what they wanted. Suddenly, they have come to a state where they forgot everything and no Reshimot [recollections] remained in them from their work.

All this was deliberate. The Creator has prepared a Klipa for this purpose so as to constantly keep them in a state of beginning. It is known that all beginnings are tough, so they will be forced to ask the Creator to help them, as said above, that “He who comes to purify is aided,” and as the holy Zohar says that each time they receive a “holy soul,” which is a force from above, meaning that each time they receive additions to the soul. This accumulates into a great amount, as it is known that “What is given from Heaven is not taken back” (Hulin 60).

However, although each illumination received from above departs for the time being, in the end, when he completes the amount of labor that one must do, as in “Everything that is in the might of your hand to do, that do,” he receives at once everything he had received one at a time. He thought that it all went to the Klipot, but then he receives everything back.

According to the above, it follows that the whole matter of the exile in Egypt was in order to receive Kelim [vessels] and a need for the great lights, called “inheritance of the land.” This is what Abraham was perplexed about and said that he did not see that his sons would have a need for these great lights. And since there is no light without a Kli, it turns out that even if there is a desire to give them, they have no Kelim in which to receive.

For this reason they were given the exile in Egypt where through the questions and arguments of the Egyptians they will be continuously emptied from what little Kedusha [holiness/sanctity] they had acquired, for they suckled from them. For this reason they will always need to ask the Creator to illuminate their way for them so they can go forward. But they say that they kept going backwards, which is why the ARI wrote that at the time of the exodus from Egypt the people of Israel were in forty-nine gates of impurity until the King of Kings appeared to them and redeemed them.

This seems to contradict reason, since it is known that Moses and Aaron came to Egypt and spoke to the sons of Israel about the Creator wanting to bring them out from Egypt. They performed all the tokens in Egypt, and they saw the ten plagues that the Egyptians suffered, and this must have brought Israel closer to Kedusha, and not the opposite—that they kept falling to a deeper gate of Tuma’a [impurity], to the point that when it was time to come out of Egypt, meaning when they had to have the best preparation for reception of the light of redemption, we see that when they received the light of redemption they were in forty-nine gates of Tuma’a. Is this possible?

As Baal HaSulam explained, the exile in Egypt was in order to obtain the Kelim of the Egyptians. But it was only to borrow, and later to return to them. He interpreted that this matter of the Creator saying to Abraham, “Your descendants will be foreigners in a land that is not theirs,” was a guarantee of the inheritance. This meant that they would have a need to receive the abundance from the Creator, since wanting to come out of the enslavement of the Egyptians can be only through the help of a holy soul. Then they will need the Creator’s help each time, and from this they will have a need to draw higher degrees.

Now we will explain the meaning of the exile in Egypt and the borrowing of the Kelim from the Egyptians. We see that when Moses and Aaron came to the sons of Israel, as it is written (Exodus, 4:29), “And Moses and Aaron went and gathered all the elders of the sons of Israel, and Aaron said all the words that the Creator had said to Moses, and performed the tokens before the eyes of the people, and the people believed and heard.”

We see from this that as soon as Moses and Aaron came to the sons of Israel they accepted all the words that the Creator had said to Moses with faith above reason. And everything that the Egyptians made them understand with all the questions and doubts about the faith of Israel did not count at all because they went above reason. For this reason, the fact that the whole time they were in exile could not impact them at all now.

That is, once Moses and Aaron came to the sons of Israel with the Creator’s desire to take them out of exile, they promptly took it upon themselves not to listen henceforth to the arguments of the Egyptians, who came in the name of Pharaoh, king of Egypt—that it is better for them to remain under their governance, and who tried to make them see that the way of the Egyptians was true and they should not listen to what Moses and Aaron were telling them. “We see that you are yelling, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to our God.’ This made you think that you should leave Egypt and follow them. And we understand that you want to listen to all that they are telling you with eyes shut. Can this be, while we are making perfect sense? You have nothing to reply to us, yet you insist that you are willing to go all the way according to the words of Moses and Aaron.”

From this we see that after Moses and Aaron came with the message of the redemption—that now they were coming out of enslavement, for they were unable to do the holy work, they were happy with this message and did not need any exaggerations of flavors of Torah and Mitzvot. Rather, they were happy precisely with this, meaning with being able to simply observe in practice. This gave them complete satisfaction and they delighted in doing their Master’s will, as it is written, “Therefore they cry out, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to our God’” (Exodus, 5:8).

It follows that now that they are coming out from the exile in Egypt with Kelim that do not need anything, but as it is written, “And the people believed and heard,” and they have no need to inherit the land that the Creator had promised to Abraham, as it is written, “Know for certain … and afterwards they will come out with many possessions,” meaning that the exile was a guarantee that they would have the need to receive the delight and pleasure, which is the inheritance of the land that the Creator sought to give to his descendants but they still did not have the Kelim for this and were content with little.

This is why, “And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Speak now in the ears of the people that each man will borrow from his neighbor and each woman from her neighbor vessels of silver and vessels of gold.’” According to what Baal HaSulam interpreted, we should say that it means that they will take the vessels of silver and vessels of gold that the Egyptians have, meaning take their desires and longings, namely all the doubts that they had about the way of the people of Israel.

The Egyptians were always demanding that everything you do must be with reason and understanding, and your engagement in overcoming in order to exit self-love and to do everything in order to bestow is the wrong way because the Creator is good and does good. When He created the world, He certainly did it to benefit His creations, meaning that we, creatures, will enjoy the delight and pleasure. But you are leaving the right path and taking on a path that is completely against the purpose of creation. You are telling us that this is the true way, that you do not need anything for self-love but to do everything in order to bestow contentment upon the Maker.

But whenever the people of Israel heard the Egyptians slandering the path of bestowal they would run from them, meaning they ran from these thoughts when they came to confuse the thoughts of the sons of Israel and instill their views in the hearts of the sons of Israel.

For this reason, the Creator knew that they would not want to hear Egypt’s questions and doubts of “who” and “what,” but they did not have the Kelim in which to place the many possessions, since there is no light without a Kli. That is, a person cannot be given anything for which he has no desire. Therefore, if He were to ask the sons of Israel, “What do you want Me to give you?” They would say, “We do not want anything from You. On the contrary, our only aspiration is to give to You, and not that You will give to us.” Thus, how can they receive the delight and pleasure, called “many possessions,” which is considered that He wants to give them Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama, Haya, Yechida? They have no need for this!

This is why the Creator wanted them to take the Egyptians’ Kelim, meaning their questions and doubts, and all their desires, which are the Kelim of the Egyptians. But they were not to really take those Kelim, only borrow them. That is, they would take the Egyptians’ Kelim only to have a need to satisfy those deficiencies, but not to really keep those Kelim because the Kelim, meaning these thoughts and desires do not belong to the people of Israel. It is only a temporary borrowing, so as to later return to them.

That is, afterwards, meaning once they received the filling that belongs to these questions, precisely through them it will be possible to bestow upon them the filling. This is similar to receiving the lights that belong to their Kelim, which are called “vessels of reception in order to receive.” However, they promptly threw away their Kelim and used the lights that belong to their Kelim, but received everything in order to bestow contentment upon the Maker.

This is similar to what Baal HaSulam interpreted regarding Haman and Mordechai. He said that we see that when Ahasuerus wanted to glorify Mordechai, as it is written (Esther 6:3), “And the king said, ‘What honor or dignity has been bestowed on Mordechai for this?’ … and the king said to him, ‘What is to be done for the man whom the king desires to honor?’ … Haman said to the king … let them bring royal apparel.’”

Accordingly, he asked, “How can such a thing be? If the King wants to honor Mordechai, he asks Haman ‘What is to be done for the man whom the king desires to honor?’” He answers that this implies to the order of imparting abundance upon the lower ones. The Creator certainly wants to give honor and greatness to the righteous, which is Mordechai the righteous. But should He ask the righteous, “What do you want Me to give you?” the righteous will say that he does not want to receive anything. On the contrary, all he wants is to bestow upon the King.

This is why he had to ask the Haman in him, who understands that it is good to receive, and then he said, “And do so to Mordechai the Jew,” meaning that he will receive the honor and greatness not in the Kelim of Haman, which are called “receiving in order to receive,” but in receiving in order to bestow.

Similarly, we should explain concerning the borrowing of the Kelim from the Egyptians, when the Creator asked Moses to ask Israel to borrow Kelim from the Egyptians. We asked, “Why did the Creator have to ask Israel for such a thing? Why would the people of Israel not want to borrow these Kelim?” The answer is that when Moses and Aaron came as the Creator’s emissaries to bring the people of Israel out from the exile, it is written, “And the people believed and heard,” meaning with faith above reason. They did not need anything or had any desire for high degrees. They were content with being able to engage in Torah and Mitzvot without any disturbances from the Egyptians.

This is similar to what we said above, that he said that if the king were to ask Mordechai the righteous, “What honor and greatness do you want me give you?” He would reply that he does not want to receive anything from the king, but on the contrary, he wants to give to the king. This is why the king asked Haman what to do with a man whom the king desires to honor. Haman knew what to ask. He said, “Let them bring royal apparel which the king has worn, and the horse on which the king has ridden, and on whose head a royal crown has been placed.” This is why the king needed Haman’s Kelim, meaning what Haman understood that one should receive from the king.

For this reason he had to ask Moses to ask Israel for a favor—that they will borrow the Kelim of the Egyptians, meaning temporarily, so they will have desire and craving to satisfy all the lacks that the Egyptians demanded to satisfy. He had to ask because the people of Israel would settle for what they had and would always run from their thoughts and desires, but now they are told to listen to the questions and doubts of the Egyptians.

And since He promised Abraham that afterwards they will come out with many possessions, He needed them to take the Egyptians’ Kelim only as borrowing and then give them back. That is, they have nothing to do with their borrowing, and what they took was only temporarily, to be able to receive the lights, called “inheritance of the land,” which the Creator had promised to Abraham.

Now we can understand what we asked about how the matter was turned from one end to the other, since the writing says, “and they detested the sons of Israel,” meaning that they were as thorns, and afterwards, “And the Lord gave the people’s favor in the eyes of the Egyptians.” Wanting to hear their questions gave “favor” because they thought they were going their way. “And the Lord gave the people’s favor” by telling them to borrow the Kelim from them, since this was what the Egyptians wanted.