How Will Creation Reach its Goal?
How Low Can You Go?
How much of the world has to be refined?
Quantity-wise, it’s not the entire world that has to be directly “touched” by a Mitzvah. It’s enough for one meal offering in the Bet Hamikdash to cause elevation to the entire grain industry, or a tithe given to charity to elevate the entire earnings of the donor.
It’s rather the quality, the extent of the descent, that’s the question here: How low down the evil paths of this world will we have to descend before we have elevated the “lowest” levels? As the Psalmist retorts (Psalms 44): “Must our stomachs touch the ground?!”
Indeed, if we look back we see three general levels of descent:
1. This World
The quantum leaps between our world and the worlds above (and beyond them, up to G-d Himself) are described on a different page. Our world is the rock bottom, where truth is anything but apparent.
Once in This World, it doesn’t have to be so bad — look at the Garden of Eden (not a bad place to be!) and even King Solomon’s times (Jewish independence, supremacy and prosperity) or even still the Golden Era in Spain (albeit in exile). Such isolated eras are only a breather in between
the far bleaker times that Jewish History has known too well...
3. Extreme Exile
Yes, history has seen the Jewish People being pushed to the wall physically and spiritually by the mightiest nations every now and then.
But exile (= spiritual darkness) has never gotten better... It continues to intensify until just before the end of exile — the darkest period in history.
Do you get the drift?
It’s because the lowest levels are to experience the highest revelations that we have to deal with the lowest of the low, so that even the ugliest expressions that the world can produce will be refined: Idol-worship, murder, blasphemy, atheism, baseless hatred, etc. Very tough challenges.
At the same time, the soul will yield powers that were never before in existence in overcoming these challenges (see ahead).
So what happens when the going gets tough?
It's a scary fall for the soul but it's worth it all.