Audio Version Of The Blog – 02.19.15

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Work Not For The Sake Of Reward

Laitman_167Baal HaSulam, Letter #16: …Therefore, before one goes out to make one’s daily bread, he should remove his thoughts from private Providence and say, “If I am not for me, who is for me?” He should do all the tactics applied in corporality to earn his living as do others.

But in the evening, when he returns home with his earnings, he must never think that he has earned this profit by his own novelties, but rather that even if he stayed all day in the basement of his home, he would still have earned his pay, for so the Creator contemplated for him in advance, and so it had to be.

So, why should a person make an effort for nothing if he would get everything anyway? The effort and the nuisance are required to correct the Shevira (breaking). In his perception and his destroyed Kelim, it seems to him that he indeed does the work and it depends upon his effort.

This is to say that the gap between the two principles of “If I am not for me, who is for me?” and “There is none else beside Him” is precisely the same Shevira. If we close and nullify the gap, then we would return to adhesion.

This is the meaning of the unification of HaVaYaH Elokim. HaVaYaH means private Providence, where the Creator is everything, and He does not need dwellers of material houses to help him. Elokim in Gematria is HaTeva [the Nature], where man behaves according to the nature that He instilled in the systems of the corporeal heaven and earth, and he keeps those rules as do the rest of the corporeal beings. And yet, he also believes in HaVaYaH, meaning in private Providence.

By that he unites them with one another, and “they became as one in his hand,” and thus he brings great contentment to his Maker, and brings illumination to all the worlds.

This is like a horse and its rider who adhere to each other with an inseparable connection so that the horse guesses in advance and moves according to the desire of the rider. That is how a person wants to feel, that all of his internal movements are directed by the higher power.

The person feels internal resistance from his desire, but is even happy for this resistance. This is because then he has the possibility of ascending above this resistance. If he returns himself to the same movements where he would be like a shadow to the Creator, happily and agreeably obeying His guidance, even though this is the opposite of his desire, then with this he corrects himself and gives contentment to the Creator.

The strength of his adherence is measured through this: How much are the actions of the person precisely adjusted? The actions of the person are accommodated to the Creator precisely in movement and in rhythm. In this way, the person attains the Creator and is aware of His providence and guidance throughout all of creation.
[135113]
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/15/14, Writings of Baal HaSulam

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What Should We Think About Before And After The Correction

laitman_624_02_0Baal HaSulam, Letter #16: “…prior to making a Mitzva [commandment], one must not consider private Providence at all. On the contrary, one should say, ‘If I am not for me, who is for me?’”
A Mitzva is the correction of a person’s desire since in the state he is in, he is detached from the Creator.

He wants to connect this state to the Creator as the one upper force, “There is none else besides Him,” “the good and the benevolent.” Thus, he restores this state to the state he was in before the shattering.

This is how he collects these states time after time, as it is written, “until many pennies accumulate into a great sum,” and he completes the correction of his soul.

We were given 613 corrupt desires to begin with, which we try to restore to adhesion. Before we perform a Mitzva—when I understand that I am in a corrupt state because I am not in adhesion, in unity, with the upper force—I mustn’t think about private providence, but, instead, we should say, “If I am not for me, who is for me?”

…But after the fact, a person must reconsider and believe that it was not by “My power and the might of my hand” that I made the Mitzva, …

This means that I perform a Mitzva, that I exert myself as much as I can and use all the means—the Rav, the group, the study, dissemination, everything—in order to please the Creator and to tie myself to “There is none else besides Him.” At the same time, I take into account only “If I am not for me, who is for me,” and that I must take all these actions by myself.
However, having succeeded in something, I must say that this success was predetermined and ready, and that the Creator has prepared this for me in advance. If I am adhered to “If I am not for me, who is for me,” and eventually to, “There is none else besides Him,” it is the complete means to reach adhesion.
[135117]
From the 1st> part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/15/14, Writings of Baal HaSulam

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A Prisoner Of Love

laitman_527_02Question: When my daughter was ten years old she crossed the street before a vehicle and I felt like I wanted to die. Can you call that true love?

Answer: It is a natural instinctive feeling you didn’t work for.

Question: But I have invested in her and raised her.

Answer: Every animal does the same. One way or another, this feeling comes without a purposeful exertion on your part. Therefore it isn’t true love of others. In your perception your daughter is not another but actually part of your own body; your connection and attitude to her remains on the corporeal level, on the animate level, and has nothing to do with the human level: man (Adam).

Question: So what is the human level? Do I have to love all of humanity like my own children?

Answer: No, not like that. First you have to check to what extent you love yourself, in every detail and in every situation. Then accordingly, you have to convey this love to humanity in every detail and in every situation.

Question: To be honest, I don’t only dislike them but I actually can’t stand them, and you speak about such love…

Answer: Yes, on top of this suffering you will learn to what extent you love yourself. Comparing to them, you will learn about your self-love.

Question: Today, the opposite is true: When I heard on the news that a certain leading politician would be going to jail I rejoiced and celebrated this. It seems odd that one can be glad to hear that someone else is about to suffer in the next six or seven years. I even felt pain as a result of my mercilessness. After all, what do I care if he goes to prison and sits behind bars?

Answer: The more others suffer, the better you feel. A person always examines himself compared to those around him. If you are in a place where people receive half a kilo of bread and a liter of water a day, a simple sandwich will make you feel superior to others. Now you don’t even look at it, but in that situation it would be very precious to you. Everything is relative.

Question: Does this mean that when someone goes to jail I should really hurt as a result?

Answer: Of course.

Question: Is this the love we speak about?

Answer: Yes, you should hurt as if you have been locked behind bars.

Question: Is that possible?

Answer: If you wish to feel that, the Light will do it for you. Then you will feel that you suffer with the whole world and then you will also be able to correct the whole world. Otherwise, you won’t be able to.
[135121]
From the 5th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/16/14, Writings of Baal HaSulam

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The Torah Is A Guidebook For Love

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Torah has existed for thousands of years and we must understand what it represents. Basically, there is a means in our world through whose help it is possible to attain the goal of creation. But what is the goal of creation? Come, let’s clarify this.

In front of me is a universe, stars, the sun, and the moon. Under my feet is the earth and on it all of the still, vegetative, and animate nature, and humans. All of this exists. Why does this exist? Where does this come from? What is it for? For what purpose does it exist?

The Torah explains all of this to me. It is designed to inform me why and for what I live, the reasons for my existence and what the result is, where I am going. In short, the Torah can teach me about everything without leaving any space or location empty.

So how does one acquire this knowledge? How does one penetrate into this vast and wonderful wisdom that is found above our reality and extends to the spiritual worlds?

It is possible to reach this by means of defined general rules that seem to me very far from nature and its laws, like: Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Zoology, and other fields of natural science. Instead of bringing me scientific facts, they say: “And you shall love your friend as yourself.”

This is not at all clear to me. Give me precise formulas! Love is a simplistic idea. Nobody knows what to do with it; each one pulls it towards himself in whatever way he likes, and “rolls” it out from one end to the other. Ultimately, we don’t grant any seriousness, stability, or real power to this characteristic.

However, if a person undergoes suffering, things become serious; this we understand. Whereas, love lacks all power in our eyes, it lacks clarity; it doesn’t underlie the foundation of the world. And therefore it is very difficult for us to internalize the concept that is called a “great general rule of the Torah.” We cannot seriously relate to it.

But in reality, an approach that moves through love possesses greater weight and cannot be destroyed. This is an “iron rule” from which it is impossible to deviate; it requires us to pass through all of the restrictions, all of the threats, through everything, so that we will attain that concept of “And you shall love your friend as yourself.” Specifically through attaining the characteristic of love, we explore the whole world, understand it, and attain all of reality.

And so true love is different from what we imagine to ourselves; yet we have a problem with this when we relate to this concept with the utmost seriousness and begin to realize it.

Once, many years ago I was present at the funeral of a young couple that were killed in an accident right before their wedding. While reciting the Kaddish the chief Rabbi of the city, a person who understood the wisdom of Kabbalah, then said with tears in his eyes that what we lack is love, that only thanks to that can we correct all crimes and defects.

I didn’t understand him then and I thought that probably this is how it is customary to say a eulogy. And only much later, after I studied for some time, I understood what he meant. Yet all the other people related to his words the way I did in the beginning, even though there were many spiritual people there…
[135124]
From the 5th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/16/14, Writings of Baal HaSulam

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Are We Awake or Still Asleep?

laitman_928Question: Kabbalists say that when a person discovers the spiritual world he realizes that his entire former life was a dream. What does this mean?

Answer: Sometimes it may seem to us that we are living as if in a dream. And oftentimes dreams possess such force and clarity that they have a huge impact on us, even more so than what takes place in this life. These dreams impact us so deeply with the feeling they leave.

Sometimes dreams at night continue the events that take place during the day and it is hard to decipher if one is asleep or awake.

Question: Don’t we wake up eventually!?

Answer: The actual question is do we really wake up or do we just dream about being awake?

If we look at our reality, then we can really see how limited we are. We perceive this reality with our five senses: vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch, and nothing else! Perhaps there are other ways of perceiving reality that are unavailable to us?

We are even deprived of the reality animals perceive. For instance, a dog perceives a world of smells; a snake perceives the world in heat patterns. A snake sees the picture of the world made up of warm and cold spots, as if pixels on a monitor.

We live in the world where it is possible to discover something new every minute, but we do not feel where it comes from. The universe expands, our entire life develops, and perhaps this takes place according to some program? Must a program of creation exist?

We see that everything in the world takes place according to clear, unchanging laws. If some random event takes place in our life, this means that we have no idea where it came from. It should not be doubted that it was a legitimate result of some formula.

Question: Am I in a dream or in a real life?

Answer: It is impossible to determine.

Question: I still see a room around me, various objects, and people?

Answer: You can still see and feel everything in the dream as well. In the dream and in reality we still see some picture and at the same time are unable to determine if it is real or fake.

Only after awakening can we tell if we were asleep before. So far, we live this life and still cannot awaken. Inside this life we dream that we are asleep or sometimes wake up, and besides we do not know anything else. Perhaps there are higher levels of sleep and being awake out there? Kabbalah talk about such levels.

A person can attain the opening of one’s eyes by studying Kabbalah and raise to the level where all of the reality will be revealed. This is when one will realize that  one has been asleep the entire time prior to this.

In our time, in our generation, we are obliged to wake up and exit the slumber where we exist without realizing the purpose of our life. Kabbalah provides us with the methodology by which we can really wake up.
[154125]
From the Radio Program Israeli 103FM 2/8/15

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Like A Bundle Of Reeds—A Nation Is Born, Part 2

Like A Bundle Of ReedsLike A Bundle of Reeds, Why Unity and Mutual Guarantee Are Today’s Call of the Hour, Michael Laitman, Ph.D.

Chapter 1: A Nation Is Born
The Birth of the People of Israel

ISRAEL—THE DEEPEST CRAVING

The astounding result of Abraham’s efforts was the birth of a nation that knew the deepest laws of life, the ultimate Theory of Everything, or in the words of Maimonides: “A nation that knows the Lord was made in the world.”[i]

Indeed, Israel is not merely a name of a people. In Hebrew, the word, Ysrael (Israel), consists of two words: Yashar (straight), and El (God). Thus, Israel designates a mindset of wanting to discover life’s law, a desire to attain or perceive the Creator. In the words of Rabbi Meir Ben Gabai, “In the meaning of the name ‘Israel’ there is also Yashar El [straight to God].”[ii] Likewise, in his Drush [written sermon] regarding the Traveler’s Prayer, the great Ramchal wrote simply, “Israel—Yashar El.”

Put differently, Israel is not a genetic ascription or attribution, but rather the name, or direction of the desire that drove Abraham to his discoveries. Genetically, the first Israelites were either Babylonians or members of other nations who joined Abraham’s group. The meaning of their name was clear to the ancient Israelites. As Maimonides wrote, they had their teachers, the Levites, and they were taught to follow life’s essential laws.

Today, however, we are unaware of the fact that “Israel” actually refers to the desire to know life’s basic law, the Creator, and does not allude to a genetic lineage. Nearly 2,000 years of concealment of the truth since the ruin of the Second Temple have practically obliterated the truth that Abraham’s discovery was intended for all the people in the world, just as Abraham himself intended it for all the people in Babylon, and later “began to call out to the whole world,” to quote Maimonides.

Through the years, only Kabbalists kept this truth alive. Kabbalists such as Elimelech of Lizhensk,[iii] Shlomo Ephraim Luntschitz,[iv] Chaim Iben Attar,[v] Baruch Ashlag[vi] and many others wrote in plain words: Ysrael means Yashar El (straight to God).

Moreover, the need to discover this force is more pertinent today than ever. Nothing has changed in Nature since Abraham’s time, and the Creator is still the one force that creates, governs, and sustains life.

What has changed is that today we need true knowledge of the Creator more than ever. In Abraham’s time, humanity had numerous other paths to follow besides Abraham’s path of truth. Today’s social paths, however, are gradually proving themselves ineffective in solving our declining social morals and cohesion.

Indeed, in time, the Babylonian culture dissipated and the people dispersed the world over. Their alienation and social discord, which caused their fall—represented by the fall of the tower—became inconspicuous and unobtrusive. People resettled in new places, bringing with them the Babylonian culture and attitude, unaware that they were carrying their customs of disharmony among them—the seeds of future struggles.

Now that we have a global community, every crisis is on a global scale. The mistakes we make take their toll on the whole world, making Abraham’s discovery of a single force paramount, life-saving information that must be added into our calculations and plans if we wish to survive.

[i] ibid.

[ii] Rabbi Meir Ben Gabai, Avodat HaKodesh [The Holy Work], Part 3, Chapter 27.

[iii] Elimelech of Lizhensk, author of Noam Elimelech (The Pleasantness of Elimelech), Likutei Shoshana (“Collections of the Rose”) (First published in Levov, Ukraine, 1788), obtained from http://www.daat.ac.il/daat/vl/tohen.asp?id=173

[iv] Shlomo Ephraim Luntschitz, author of Keli Yakar [Precious Vessel], Concerning Beresheet [Genesis], 32:29.

[v] Chaim ibn Attar, in Ohr HaChaim [Light of Life], Bamidbar [Numbers], Chapter 23, Item 8, https://sites.google.com/site/magartoratemet/tanach/orhahaym

[vi] Baruch Shalom Ashlag (Rabash), in The Writings of Rabash, Vol. 1, Article no. 9, 1988-89 (Israel: Ashlag Research Institute, 2008), 50, 82, 163.

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Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 02.19.15

Writings of Rabash, Letter 28

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The Book of Zohar, Selected Excerpts — “Middle Line,” Item 124

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Talmud Eser Sefirot, Vol. 6, Part 16, “Table of Answers for the Meaning of the Words,” Item 45

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Writings of Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar

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