How To Cope With "Poisonous Snakes"

Dr. Michael LaitmanA brief summary of the weekly Torah portion of “Chukat,” Part 7: Then again, the nation starts to complain about being taken from Egypt. In return, the Creator sends snakes that kill many, and then the nation asks Moses to pray for the affliction to be removed. Moses prays for them and receives instructions on how to remedy the situation with the help from a “serpent of brass.”

Throughout the entire spiritual path, a person becomes confused with multiple questions and doesn’t know what to do. He bends under this load, eliciting the appearance of “poisonous snakes,” desires for pleasure instilled into the very foundation of creation. However, by seemingly creating a “serpent of brass” a person can help himself. He begins to understand and feel that everything he perceives is not really alive, but is in fact a “statue.”

If the snakes come from the outside, they appear to be a manifestation of the Upper Force. When a person tries to create them on his own, it becomes clear to him that they have nothing to do with the Upper Force, but rather they are a product of his own imagination, and that they come to him as a silly obstacle on this path. That is why as soon as Moses crafted a serpent of brass, the problem was resolved and the people of Israel no longer had this trouble.

This is one of the ways that the Torah uses to explain to us how to defend and correct ourselves. The “brass serpent” is an extremely interesting method for taking over our “evil desires” (our egoism). We build our own opposition to enable us to acknowledge that it is only an illusion. You can tell the difference since you are the one who builds the “idol.” Call it “occupational therapy” if you want. This is how a person rids himself of the problem by evoking a “serpent” from within. It goes without saying that all these actions are internal.

A comment I received: On the one hand, it says, “Don’t make an idol,” but in this situation, it is the Creator who orders Moses to make an idol.

My Answer: This is correct. Sometimes we need to behave like we do with our children. To stop their fears, we deliberately force them to do what they are afraid of: “Let’s get closer to this dog and you’ll see that it won’t hurt you.”

You look at images and think that they are sent to you by the Creator and that a “snake” is a manifestation of the Upper Force which controls you. But the Creator says: “No, do the same thing and you’ll see that it is you who imagines it; you draw the picture of this snake. In fact, there is nothing there; it only seems like there is to you.

If you make an “idol,” you will see that it is empty, that these "poisonous snakes" that come and frighten you contain nothing except for what you put into them yourself. You created them, not the Upper Force. Build them and you’ll see that it is true. A “serpent of brass” is a cure that allows us to treat our egoistic desires correctly.

From the Evening Zohar Lesson 6/14/10

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The Moses Within A Person: The Closest Point To The Creator

Dr. Michael LaitmanA question I received: How do we recognize the "Moses" inside us?

My answer: The "Moses" inside a person is the closest point to the Creator or the point of contact with the Creator. If a person advances in a correct manner, he takes care of and protects this point as if it were his most precious jewel. After all, it connects him to the Creator.

"Moses" is the quality that is closest to the spiritual world. All the other points strive to the spiritual world only at some times, under certain conditions, on different levels of Aviut (thickness of desire), and due to various reasons, whereas the "Moses" in a person is truly devoted to the goal.

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Does The Creator Get Angry?

Dr. Michael LaitmanA brief summary of the weekly Torah portion of “Chukat,” Part 1: The nation of Israel continues to wander around the desert and comes to Kadesh, which is situated in the desert of Tzin, where the nation begins to complain about the lack of water. Moses and Aaron turn to the Creator for advice and He tells them to ask the rock to give them water in front of the whole community. However, instead of asking the rock, they hit it. This angers the Creator, and He sentences them to die in the desert, and not to be among those who will bring the nation to the land of Israel.

A question I received: If the Creator gives us the point in the heart and takes us through all the states Himself, then why does He get angry?

My Answer: Obviously the Creator creates all the problems for us right from the start. He gives us obstacles every step of the way, no one else does. In the cruelest manner, He first performs evil, and then yells, punishes us, and later makes a suggestion: “OK, do it differently that will be better for you.” However, while we are in that “better” state, He once again makes it even worse for us and punishes us once again.

Why does He get angry? This wrath is correction. A person feels the Creator’s behavior inside himself; this is the way we are arranged. We cannot correlate this feeling to the Upper Force and to what happens inside It. After all, nothing happens in the Creator; He exists in absolute rest.

However, since we still don’t exist in a completely corrected state, our reality is separated into “me” and “outside of me,” “me” and “the world that surrounds me,” “me” and “the spiritual world,” and “me” and “the Creator.” However, everything that is seemingly external to me is in essence me; for the time being, it just seems to exist outside of me.

Therefore, the Creator’s behavior, which is presented to me in various forms, is really only the way I imagine Him through my own qualities. If I correct myself, I will see that love, nothing except love, comes from the Creator. But, while my external desires are not corrected, these desires bring me either a sensation of an evil world or a sensation of an evil Creator.

From the Evening Zohar Lesson 6/14/10

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And The Land Will Unite With The Heavens

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Zohar, Chapter "VaYetze (And Jacob Went Out)," Item 60: … Indeed, so it is in the Merkava—Abraham and Isaac are right and left, and Jacob is in the middle. It is written, “The land,” Nukva, “On which you lie.” Thus, together, they are all one holy Merkava, the three lines with the Nukva. And here Jacob saw that he would be the senior among the patriarchs.

The Zohar tells us so much about the lines and especially about the ones that are opposite one another (about Abraham and Isaac) since we simply don’t sense yet how hard it is for a person to work with intention and action that are opposite one another. After all, in our world, everything works in one direction. If I give to someone with the intention to do something good for myself, it doesn’t mean that I give and that I work in two directions. It is work in a single direction which is for myself.

When we begin to work outside of the desire to receive pleasure, then every element includes two opposites which are in intention or in action. Hence, it’s not a coincidence that The Zohar always encounters such calculations. It seemingly says over and over where Abraham is, where Isaac is, and where Jacob is, or in other words, where the right line and the left line are.

This is because the work in three lines is very difficult on each level. It is the connection of the desire to receive pleasure that doesn’t have anything to do with spirituality, or with the intention to bestow so that this exact desire would become active, determining, building the foundation, and performing a spiritual act.

From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/14/10, The Zohar

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