By Tzvi Freeman
Naturally, we think of the Jewish people as a conglomerate of many Jews. But the Baal Shem Tov saw the Jewish people as a single, indivisible whole.
Think of a geometrical point. A point is indivisible, but not because it is too hard, too big, or too small to cut up. A point simply has no area to be divided. That’s what makes it a point.
And yet, from a point you can extend infinite lines radiating in infinite dimensions.
In a somewhat similar way, but far beyond, all Jews are one Jew. Which means that in any one Jew, you will find all of us—just from a different angle.
So that whatever happens to any one of us instantaneously happens to the entire Jewish people. Not by some ripple effect or resonance. But because any one sample of the whole is the whole and the whole is one.
And so, the Baal Shem Tov taught, when the light of any one Jewish soul breaks free, the entire nation is redeemed along with it.
And accordingly, the Rebbe wrote, the ultimate exodus of our entire people is also a personal, intimate liberation for every Jew.
Toldot Yaakov Yosef, beg. Devarim. Michtav Klali, 11 Nisan, 5742 (Haggadah Im Biurim, vol. 2, pg. 729).