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1.01  Baal HaSulam,

“The Essence of Religion and Its Purpose”

Our final aim is to be qualified for Dvekut with Him—for Him to reside within us.

1.02 Baal HaSulam,

“Matan Torah [The Giving of the Torah],” Item 16

If six hundred thousand men abandon their work for the satisfaction of their own needs and worry about nothing but standing guard so their friends will not lack a thing, and moreover, they will engage in this with great love, with their very heart and soul, in the full meaning of the Mitzva, “Love your friend as yourself,” it is then beyond doubt that no one in the nation will need to worry about his own well-being.

Because of this, one becomes completely free of securing his own survival and can easily observe the Mitzva, “Love your friend as yourself,” obeying all the conditions given in Items 3 and 4. After all, why would he worry about his own survival when six hundred thousand loyal lovers stand by, ready with great care to make sure he lacks nothing of his needs?

Therefore, once all the members of the nation agreed, they were immediately given the Torah, for now they were capable of observing it.

1.03 Baal HaSulam,

“A Speech for the Completion of The Zohar”

Our sages said, “Make for yourself a rav and buy yourself a friend.” This means that one can make a new environment for oneself. This environment will help him obtain the greatness of his rav through love of friends who appreciate his rav. Through the friends’ discussing the greatness of the rav, each of them receives the sensation of his greatness. Thus, bestowal upon his rav becomes reception and sufficient motivation to an extent that will bring one to engage in Torah and Mitzvot Lishma.

It was said about this, “The Torah is acquired by forty-eight virtues, by serving of sages, and by meticulousness of friends.” This is so because besides serving the rav, one needs the meticulousness of friends, as well, meaning the friends’ influence, so they will influence him so he obtains the greatness of his rav. This is so because obtaining the greatness depends entirely on the environment, and a single person cannot do a thing about it whatsoever.

 1.04 RABASH,

Article No. 14 (1988), “The Need for Love of Friends”

The benefit of love of friends in a special group, where everyone has a single goal—to achieve love of the Creator.

1.05 RABASH, Article No. 8 (1985),

“Make for Yourself a Rav and Buy Yourself a Friend – 2”

Those people agreed to unite into a single group that engages in love of friends is that each of them feels that they have one desire that can unite all their views, so as to receive the strength of love of others. There is a famous maxim by our sages, “As their faces differ, their views differ.” Thus, those who agreed among them to unite into a group understood that there isn’t such a great distance between them in the sense that they recognize the necessity to work in love of others. Therefore, each of them will be able to make concessions in favor of the others, and they can unite around that.

1.06 RABASH, Article No. 8 (1985),

“Make for Yourself a Rav and Buy Yourself a Friend – 2”

“Society,” when people come together and wish to bond. This can happen through equivalence of form, by everyone caring in love of others. By that, they unite and become one.

1.07 RABASH,

Article No. 12 (1984), “Concerning the Importance of Society”

The benefits of the society—it can introduce a different atmosphere—one of working only in order to bestow.

1.08 RABASH,

Article No. 2 (1984), “Concerning Love of Friends”

One must always remind oneself of the purpose of the society. Otherwise, the body tends to blur the goal, since the body always cares for its own benefit. We must remember that the society was established solely on the basis of achieving love of others, and that this would be the springboard for the love of God.

1.09 RABASH,

Article No. 13 (1984), “Sometimes Spirituality Is Called ‘a Soul’”

We must always awaken what the heart forgets, what is needed for the correction of the heart—Love of friends—whose purpose is to achieve love of others.

This is not a pleasant thing for the heart, which is called “self-love.” Hence, when there is a gathering of friends, we must remember to bring up the question, meaning everyone should ask himself how much we have advanced in love of others, and how much we have done to promote us in that matter.

 1.10 RABASH,

Article No. 6 (1984), “Love of Friends – 2”

If several individuals come together with the force that it is worthwhile to abandon self-love, but without the sufficient power and importance of bestowal to become independent, without out- side help, if these individuals annul before one another and all have at least potential love of the Creator, though they cannot keep it in practice, then by each joining the society and annulling oneself before it, they become one body.

For example, if there are ten people in that body, it has ten times more power than a single person does. However, there is a condition: When they gather, each of them should think that he has now come for the purpose of annulling self-love. It means that he will not consider how to satisfy his will to receive now, but will think as much as possible only of the love of others. This is the only way to acquire the desire and the need to acquire a new quality, called “the will to bestow.”

And from love of friends one can reach love of the Creator, meaning wanting to give contentment to the Creator.

 1.11 RABASH,

Letter No. 8

At the end of the day, this is a group of people who have gathered in a certain place, under a certain leader, to be together. With superhuman courage they face up to all those who rise against them. Indeed, they are brave men with a strong spirit, and they are determined not to retreat one inch. They are first-class fighters, fighting the war against the inclination to their last drop of blood, and their only wish is to win the battle for the glory of His name.

 1.12 RABASH,

Article No. 17 (1987), “The Meaning of the Strict Prohibition to Teach Idol Worshipers the Torah”

It is impossible to receive the influence of the society if he is not attached to the society, meaning if he does not appreciate them. To the extent that he does, he can receive from them the influence without any work, simply by adhering to the society.

 1.13 RABASH,

Article No. 17 (1986), “The Agenda of the Assembly – 2”

Is written, “In the multitude of people is the King’s glory,” it follows that the greater the number of the collective, the more effective is the power of the collective. In other words, they produce a stron- ger atmosphere of greatness and importance of the Creator. At that time, each person’s body feels that he regards anything that he wishes to do for holiness—meaning to bestow upon the Creator—as a great fortune, that he has been privileged with being among people who have been rewarded with serving the King. At that time, every little thing he does fills him with joy and pleasure that now he has something with which to serve the King.

 1.14 RABASH,

Article No. 124, “To Serve Me”

“The whole world was created only to serve me.” According to the interpretation of Baal HaSulam, it means that all the faults that a person sees in others, he believes that they are his. Therefore, he has what to correct. It follows that the whole world serves him by providing him with his faults, and he does not need to look by himself. Instead, they are doing him a big favor by providing him with his flaws.

 1.15 RABASH,

Article No. 3 (1984), “Love of Friends – 1”

I seek my brethren.’” By being together with my brothers, that is, by being in a group where there is love of friends, I will be able to mount the trail that leads to the house of God.

This trail is called “a path of bestowal,” and this way is against our nature. To be able to achieve it, there is no other way but love of friends, by which everyone can help his friend.

1.16 RABASH,

Article No. 1 (1984), “Purpose of Society – 1”

We have gathered here to establish a society for all who wish to follow the path and method of Baal HaSulam, the way by which to climb the degrees of man and not remain as a beast, as our sages said (Yevamot, 61a) about the verse, “And you My sheep, the sheep of My pasture, are men.” And Rashbi said, “You are called ‘men,’ and idol worshipers are not called ‘men.’”

1.17 RABASH,

Article No. 1 (1984), “Purpose of Society – 1”

We gather here—to establish a society where each of us follows the spirit of bestowing upon the Creator. And to achieve bestowal upon the Creator, we must begin with bestowal upon man, which is called “love of others.”

And love of others can only be through revoking of one’s self. Thus, on the one hand, each per- son should feel lowly, and on the other hand, be proud that the Creator has given us the chance to be in a society where each of us has but a single goal: for The Shechina [Divinity] to be among us.

1.18 RABASH,

Article No. 2 (1984), “Concerning Love of Friends”

We must remember that the society was established on the basis of love of others, so each member would receive from the group the love of others and hatred of himself. And seeing that his friend is straining to annul his self and to love others would cause everyone to be integrated in their friends’ intentions.

Thus, if the society is made of ten members, for example, each will have ten forces practicing self-annulment, hatred of self, and love of others.

1.19 RABASH,

Article No. 13 (1985), “Mighty Rock of My Salvation”

Each person in the group, besides having a desire of his own, acquires desire from the friends. This is a great asset that can be obtained only through love of friends. However, one should take great care not to be among friends who have no desire to examine themselves, the basis of their work—whether it is to bestow or to receive—and to see if they are doing things in order to reach the path of truth, which is the way of nothing but bestowal.

Only in such a group is it possible to instill the friends with a desire to bestow, meaning that each will absorb a lack from the friends, which he himself lacks the power to bestow.

1.20 RABASH,

Article No. 30 (1988), “What to Look for in the Assembly of Friends”

The friends should primarily speak together about the greatness of the Creator, because according to the greatness of the Creator that one assumes, to that extent he naturally annuls himself before the Creator. It is as we see in nature that the small one annuls before the great one, and this has nothing to do with spirituality. Rather, this conduct applies even among secular people.

In other words, the Creator made nature this way. Thus, the friends’ discussions of the greatness of the Creator awaken a desire and yearning to annul before the Creator because he begins to feel longing and desire to bond with the Creator. And we should also remember that to the extent that the friends can appreciate the importance and greatness of the Creator, we should still go above reason, meaning that the Creator is higher than any greatness of the Creator that one can imagine. We should say that we believe above reason that He leads the world in a benevolent guidance, and if one believes that the Creator wants only man’s best, it makes a person love the Creator until he is rewarded with “And you will love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” And this is what a person must receive from the friends.

1.21 RABASH,

Article No. 21 (1986), “Concerning Above Reason”

Only through bonding with the society and the envy that he feels toward the friends when he sees that they have better qualities than his own. It motivates him to acquire their good qualities, which he doesn’t have and of which he is jealous.

Thus, through the society, he gains new qualities that he adopts by seeing that they are at a higher degree than his, and he is envious of them. This is the reason why now he can be greater than when he didn’t have a society, since he acquires new powers through the society.

 1.22 RABASH,

Article No. 1, Part 2 (1984), “Purpose of Society – 2”

There should be careful watch in the society, disallowing frivolity, since frivolity ruins everything.

1.23 RABASH,

Letter No. 42

It is written, “And the people encamped, as one man with one heart.” This means that they all had one goal, which is to benefit the Creator. It follows…

We should understand how they could be as one man with one heart, since we know what our sages said, “As their faces are not similar to one another, their views are not similar to one another,” so how could they be as one man with one heart?

Answer: If we are saying that each one cares for himself, it is impossible to be as one man, since they are not similar to one another. However, if they all annul their selves and worry only about the benefit of the Creator, they have no individual views, since the individuals have all been canceled and have entered the single authority.

1.24 Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Halevi Epstein,

Maor VaShemesh, VaYechi

The essence of the assembly is for everyone to be in one unity and for all to seek but one purpose: to find the Creator. In every ten there is the Shechina [Divinity]. Clearly, if there are more than ten then there is more revelation of the Shechina. Thus, each one should assemble with his friend and come to him to hear from him a word about the work of the Creator, and how to find the Creator. He should annul before his friend, and his friend should do the same toward him, and so should everyone do. Then, when the assembly is with this intention, then “More than the calf wants to suckle, the cow wants to nurse,” and the Creator approaches them and He is with them, and great mercies and good and revealed kindness will be extended over the assembly of Israel.

1.25 Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, Likutey Halachot [Assorted Rules],

Hoshen Mishpat, “Rules of the Guarantor”

The essence of love and unity is in the desire, when each one is pleased with his friend and there is no disparity of desire among them, and all are included in one desire, by which they are included in the upper desire, which is the purpose of the unity.

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