(24) Besides the nation of Israel, who, due to having suffered great and terrible afflictions for 400 years under the foreign rule of Egypt, have been purified in their body through great suffering. And in addition to this, the purification of their ancestors was already established for them, as explained earlier (in section 16), which is the main thing, as attested to by several verses in the Torah. Because of these two prior stages, they were then capable of achieving this. Therefore, the verse from that time refers to them singularly, as it says, "And Israel encamped there opposite the mountain" (Exodus 19:2), and the sages explain (Rashi on this verse, based on the Mechilta) that they were "as one person with one heart." This is because each and every individual from the nation entirely eradicated self-love and directed all their efforts solely towards benefiting their neighbor, as we explained earlier (in section 16) regarding the meaning of the commandment, "Love your neighbor as yourself". We can see that all the individuals in the nation became united as one heart and one person, and only then were they qualified to receive the Torah, as will be explained.