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The Meaning of Exile

“When Israel are in exile, the Shechina [Divinity] is with them.” This means that if one falls into a descent, spirituality is also descended in him. But according to the rule, “a Mitzva [commandment] induces a Mitzva,” why does he come into a descent? Answer: He is given a descent from above so as to feel that he is in exile and ask for mercy, to be delivered from exile. This is called “redemption,” and there cannot be redemption if there is no exile there, first.

What is exile? It is that he is under the rule of self-love and cannot work for the sake of the Creator. When is self-love considered exile? It is only when he wants to emerge from this control because he suffers from not being able to do anything for the sake of the Creator.

It follows that when he began to work, there had to be some pleasure and reward for which the body agreed to this work. Afterward, when he was permitted to see that there is the matter of “for the sake of the Creator,” because a Mitzva induces a Mitzva, and he had to ask to be delivered from exile, then he runs from the exile.

How does he run from the exile? It is by saying that he will not succeed in this work. Thus, what does he do? He commits suicide, meaning leaves the work and returns to corporeal life, which is regarded as “The wicked in their lives are called ‘dead.’”

It follows that where he should have asked for redemption from exile, he runs from the exile and commits suicide. This is as it is written, “The ways of the Lord are straight; the righteous will walk in them, and transgressors will fail in them.” However, he should go above reason.

A descent in spirituality does not mean that now he has no faith. Rather, now he must do more work, and the previous faith is considered a descent compared to this work.

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