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6.01 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 [commandment], “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.” 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.

6.02 Baal HaSulam,

“The Arvut [Mutual Guarantee],” Item 17

This is to speak of the Arvut [mutual guarantee], when all of Israel became responsible for one another. Because the Torah was not given to them before each and every one from Israel was asked if he agreed to take upon himself the Mitzva [commandment] of loving others in the full measure expressed in the words “Love your friend as yourself,” This means that each and every one in Israel would take upon himself to care and work for each member of the nation, to satisfy all their needs, no less than the measure imprinted in him to care for his own needs.

Once the whole nation unanimously agreed and said, “We will do and we will hear,” each member of Israel became responsible that no member of the nation will lack anything. Only then did they become worthy of receiving the Torah, and not before.

With this collective responsibility, each member of the nation was liberated from worrying about the needs of his own body and could observe the Mitzva, “Love your friend as yourself” in the fullest measure and give all that he had to any needy person since he no longer cared for the existence of his own body, as he knew for certain that he was surrounded by six hundred thousand loyal lovers standing ready to provide for him.

 6.03 Baal HaSulam,

“The Arvut [Mutual Guarantee],” Item 23

It is written, “And Israel camped there before the mountain,” which our sages interpret as “as one man with one heart.”

This is because each and every person from the nation completely detached himself from self- love, and wanted only to benefit his friend. It turns out that all the individuals in the nation had come together and became one heart and one man, for only then were they qualified to receive the Torah.

6.04 Baal HaSulam,

“Not the Time for the Livestock to Be Gathered”

And when the power of one part is missing, it causes weakness in the whole level. This is the mean- ing of (Braita de Rabbi Ishmael) an individual that requires a collective, and anything that was in the collective and has departed the collective, does not testify to itself, but departed in order to testify to the entire collective, since (Psalms 103:15) “As for man… as a bud of the field, so he will bud.”

The whole point of the buds rises into a single flower, the collective of Jacob and the tribes, a complete bed. This places a unique boundary for each and every soul, as in receiving light from above in this world, in the work, and one is greater than the other, one is higher than the other, and no face is like another.

The depiction of those boundaries is identical to the image of the lines and dots of the flower, where the boundaries in each part and dot on the flower form the beauty of the flower. But when the dot or the part in the flower extends its boundary, whether a little or a lot, it makes the whole flower unsightly. It is impossible to take only part of the flower and examine it alone, for then that part has neither beauty nor glory.

This is the meaning of the allegory in The Zohar about two who boarded a boat, and one was drilling under him. His friend admonished him, “Why are you drilling?” And that fool replied, “Why should you care? I am drilling under me!” But indeed, the individual spoils the beauty of the entire image.

This is the meaning of a prayer in public, that one must not exclude oneself from the public and ask for oneself, not even to bring contentment to one’s maker, but only for the entire public. One who departs from the public to ask specifically for one’s own soul does not build. On the contrary, he inflicts ruin upon his soul.

6.05 Baal HaSulam,

“The Love of God and the Love of Man”

It is utterly impossible to observe Torah and Mitzvot unless the entire nation participates.

It follows that each one becomes responsible for his friend. This means that the reckless make the observers of the Torah remain in their filth, for they cannot be completed in bestowal upon others and love of others without their help. Thus, if some in the nation sin, they make the rest of the nation suffer because of them.

This is the meaning of what is written in the Midrash, “Israel, one of them sins and all of them feel.” Rabbi Shimon said about this: “It is like people who were seated in a boat. One of them took a drill and began to drill under him. His friends told him, ‘What are you doing?’ He replied, ‘Why do you care? Am I not drilling under me?’ They replied, ‘The water is rising and flooding the boat.’” As we have said above, because the reckless are immersed in self-love, their actions create an iron fence that prevents the observers of Torah from even beginning to observe the Torah and Mitzvot properly.

 6.06 Baal HaSulam,

“The Arvut [Mutual Guarantee],” Items 17-18

Israel are responsible for one another, both on the positive side and on the negative side. On the positive side, if they keep the Arvut to the point that each one cares and satisfies the needs of his friends, they can fully observe the Torah and Mitzvot [commandments], meaning to bring content- ment to their Maker, as mentioned in “Matan Torah,” Item 13. On the negative side, if a part of the nation does not want to keep the Arvut, but to wallow in self-love, they cause the rest of the nation to remain immersed in their filth and lowliness without finding a way out of their filth.

Therefore, the Tana described the Arvut as two people who were on a boat, and one of them began to drill a hole in the boat. His friend said, “Why are you drilling?” He replied, “Why should you mind? I am drilling under me, not under you.” So he replied, “Fool! We will both drown together in the boat!”

6.07 Baal HaSulam,

“The Arvut [Mutual Guarantee],” Item 19

Rabbi Elazar, son of Rashbi, clarifies the matter of Arvut even further. It is not enough for him that all of Israel be responsible for one another, but the whole world is included in the Arvut.

6.08 RABASH,

Article No. 209, “A Groom and a Bride”

Israel are responsible for one another, meaning that all of Israel are one quality.

6.09 RABASH,

Article No. 63, “You Stand Here Today – 1”

“You stand here today all of you.” This means that he gathered them… to admit them into the covenant (RASHI). “All of you” means that everyone entered into the Arvut [mutual responsibility] (Ohr HaChaim).

There is a question why he begins with plural form, “all of you,” then shifts to singular form, “every man from Israel.” It means that “all of you” permeates everyone in Israel, meaning that every person from Israel will be included with “all of you,” as it is written, “And the people camped at the bottom of the mountain,” as one man with one heart.

6.10 Rabbi Simcha Bonim Bonhart of Pshischa,

Kol Mevaser

Balaam wanted to curse Israel. Balak said to him, “You will see its very end, and you will not see all of it.” If you look at individuals, you will “see its end,” you will be able to see faults in the children of Israel. However, “You will not see all of it,” (meaning) that when all of them are together, you see only good. This is also the mutual guarantee on which Moses worked so hard before his death, to unite the children of Israel, as it is written, “All of Israel are responsible for one another,” meaning that when they are all together, they see only good.

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

Hoshen Mishpat, “Rules of the Guarantor”

It is impossible to observe the Torah and Mitzvot [commandments/ good deeds] unless through Arvut [mutual responsibility], when each one becomes responsible for his friend. Since the essence of observance of the Torah, which is the desire, is through unity, anyone who wishes to take upon himself the burden of Torah and Mitzvot, which is primarily by overcoming the desire, must be included in the whole of Israel in great unity. For this reason, at the time of the reception of the Torah, they immediately became responsible for one another because they were regarded as one. Precisely by each being responsible for his friend, which is the quality of unity, specifically by this can they observe the Torah. Without it, it would not be possible to observe the Torah whatsoever, since the heart of observing the Torah, which is the desire, is through unity, when all are regarded as one. It follows that specifically through Arvut, which is when everyone are regarded as one, is the heart of observing the Torah, since 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.

6.12 Elimelech of Lizhensk,

Noam Elimelech

One must always pray for his friend, as one cannot do much for himself, for “One does not deliver oneself from imprisonment.” But when asking for his friend, he is answered quickly. Therefore, each one should pray for his friend, and thus each works on the other’s desire until all of them are answered. This is why it was said, “Israel are Arevim [responsible/sweet] for one another,” where Arevim means sweetness, as they sweeten for each other by the prayers they pray for one another, and by this they are answered. And the essence of prayer is in the thought since in the thought, one’s prayer can be accepted easily.

6.13 The RAMAK,

Conducts of Righteous, “The Thirteen Attributes”

Israel are responsible for one another since in each one there is truly a part of his friend. When one sins, he blemishes himself and he blemishes the part that his friend has in him. It follows that as far as that part goes, his friend is responsible for him. Therefore, they are related to each other. For this reason, one should desire one’s friend’s benefit and look favorably upon one’s friend’s benefit, and his honor should be as dear to him as his own, for he is truly him. This is why we were commanded, “Love your friend as yourself.”

One should want one’s friend’s purity and will not speak badly of him whatsoever, just as the Creator does not wish for our defamation or affliction or corruption. It should pain him just as though he were in the same affliction or the same joy.

6.14 Rav Chaim Vital,

Pri Etz Chaim

One should speak in plural form, “we sinned,” etc., and not “I sinned.” The reason is that all of Israel are one body, and each one in Israel is one particular organ. This is the mutual responsibility, when one person is responsible for his friend, should he sin. Therefore, although he does not have that iniquity, he should still confess it since once he has made him his friend, it is as though he had committed it. This is why it is said in plural form. Even if one confesses at home alone, [he should] say that his sin is regarded as though he and I committed it together, because of the mutual responsibility of the souls.

6.15 Likutei Halachot,

Hilchot Arev

The essence of the root of Arvut is extended from the reception of the Torah, when all of Israel were responsible for one another. And this is because at the root the souls of Israel all are considered as one, because they are extended from the source of unity. For this reason, all of Israel are responsible for one another in reception of the Torah.

6.16 Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk,

Pri Haaretz

The whole of Israel and their vitality sparkle in one another. Perhaps this is the meaning of “All of Israel are responsible for one another,” meaning that their lights and vitality are mingled in each other’s, which is why we, the children of Israel, are commanded and insist on the commandment to truly love our neighbor as ourselves.

6.17 Babylonian Talmud,

Shavuot, 39a

That all of Israel are responsible for one another.

6.18 Ramchal,

“Interpretations on the Twenty-Four Adornments of the Bride”

“You are all beautiful, my wife, and there is not a flaw in you” (Song of Songs, 4:7). to be complete, all the souls must connect in her and become one in her. At that time, the Shechina [Divinity] shines in a great correction, and then “You are all beautiful, my wife,” and no flaw is left since by the power of mutual responsibility, each one corrects for the other and you find that everything is corrected.

6.19 Sefat Emet, Shemot [Exodus],

Portion Yitro [Jethro]

The children of Israel became responsible for the correction of the entire world by the power of the Torah. This is the meaning of what was said to them, “For all the earth is Mine, and you will be unto Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” Everything depends on the children of Israel. As they correct themselves, so are all creations drawn after them.

6.20 The Vilna Gaon (GRA),

The Voice of the Turtledove [Kol HaTor]

Literally speaking, incorporation means that each one, every individual in Israel, must be incorpo- rated in the collective. There is nothing in the individual except for what is found in the collective; all of Israel are responsible for one another. Each individual is part of the collective; there is no separate individual in Israel in any sense, both in raising the importance of the collective and in helping others, as well as in admonition of each other, since Jerusalem was ruined only because they did not admonish one another.

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