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“Who’s Behind The Situation In Israel?”

Ynet ColumnRead my recent article in my column on Israel’s largest news portal, Ynet .

“Obama, Rouhani and Abu Mazen are competing over who will capture a more meaningful foothold. Since when did the land of milk and honey become such a coveted real estate and how is all of this connected to the wave of terrorism that we are experiencing? Rav Dr. Michael Laitman sheds light on what is happening in the Holy Land, and offers a solution.”

Who’s Behind the Situation in Israel?

Whenever the Israeli-Palestinian conflict erupts in Israel, everyone offers advice, if not active intervention. Actually, even in quieter times everyone seems to be busy with the conflict in the Middle East. In just the last few years, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in our neighboring countries, millions have been displaced, and entire nations have been brought to ruin. Yet, the UN dedicates far more time to discuss the Middle East conflict (and condemn Israel) than it dedicates to discuss all the crises in the world, combined. So really, what, or who is behind the situation in Israel, and what can possibly be the solution to it?

The Middle East conflict is not about territory. It is an ideological conflict.. Perhaps there are practical reasons playing their part behind the scenes, but when viewed from a broader perspective that is based on Israel’s ancient sources, the terror unfolding in the State of Israel is a direct result of neglecting the relationships between us—the people of Israel. We can stop the terror if we get to work on building a society where we all are responsible for one another and treat each other well. A scrutiny into the sources of the wisdom of Kabbalah indicates that the law of nature dictates that we do just that.

Who’s in Charge, and What Does the World Want from Israel?

On the world map, Israel seems like a tiny, helpless dot compared to the superpowers. And yet, throughout the generations our sages have insisted “Everything depends on Israel.”[1]

It is written in The Book of Zohar that “as the organs of the body cannot exist in the world even a minute without the heart, all the other nations cannot exist in the world without Israel.”[2]

Rav Kook elaborated a little more on the role of Israel when he wrote, “The construction of the world, which is currently crumpled by the dreadful storms of a blood-filled sword requires the construction of the Israeli nation … in anticipation of a force full of unity … that is found in Israel.”[3]

Apparently, it is we, Israel, who move the processes in our world.

Can We Restore Balance in Israel? On Whom Does It Depend?

Israel are dependent on one thing only—the power of connection. “Social unity can be the source of every joy and success.”[4] This means that by establishing positive connections among us, we depict the image of our day-to-day reality. The only cause that might arrest, delay, or interfere with our connection is the separation and alienation among us. This is why “We are commanded in each generation to strengthen the unity among us so that our enemies do not rule over us,”[5] since “When there are love, unity, and friendship between each other in Israel, no calamity can come upon them.”[6]

Additionally, our sages said that “All of Israel are responsible for one another,”[7]and “Israel will not be redeemed until they are all one bundle.”[8] In other words, the level of connection in the people of Israel is reflected in the political, social, and security situations. Connection is the only thing that can redeem the people from trouble and affliction, since “When Israel are as one man with one heart, they are as a fortified wall against the forces of evil.”[9]

Why Specifically We, the People of Israel, Can Change the Situation

The people of Israel are a unique, ideological group in the world. We first gathered approximately 4,000 years ago in ancient Babylon: “Abraham the Patriarch went and called by the name of the Lord until a great community gathered toward him, who had been called ‘the people of the house of Abraham.’ The matter continued to grow until it became the assembly of the congregation of Israel.”[10] We have the method to impact nature’s forces because “Israel are above nature.”[11]

What Is the Reason for the Current Wave of Terrorism, and Why Are We Hated?

For a long time now, the world has become a global village where we are all interconnected and interdependent. Subconsciously, the nations feel that we, the people of Israel, are holding the key to happiness. However, shirking our historic role, and the absence of the implementation of the method of connection in our relationships, invoke hate upon us from the rest of the world. “In such a generation, all the destructors among the Nations of the World raise their heads and wish primarily to destroy and to kill the Children of Israel, as it is written (Yevamot 63), ‘No calamity comes to the world but for Israel.’”[12]

How Can Connection in the People of Israel Prevent the Next Wave of Terrorism?

Rav Yehuda Ashlag, known as Baal HaSulam (Owner of the Ladder) for his Sulam(Ladder) commentary on The Book of Zohar, wrote that “The redemption of Israel and the whole of Israel’s merit depend on the study of The Zohar and the internality of the Torah. And vise versa, all the destruction and the decline of the Children of Israel are because they have abandoned the internality of the Torah. They have degraded its merit and made it seemingly redundant.”[13] Rabbi Akiva said, “Love your neighbor as yourself; this is a great rule in the Torah.”[14] Specifically unity and unfounded love among us can lead us to congruence with nature’s system, and only then the nations of the world will recognize Israel’s merit, as it is written in The Zohar, “With this composition, which is The Book of Zohar, they [Israel] will come out of exile with mercy.”[15]

How Can We Express Unity among Us in Our Daily Lives?

We must implement the principle of mutual guarantee, since “All of Israel are friends.” “All of Israel are each other’s guarantors [responsible for one another], meaning that when all are together, they see only good.”[16] Now is the time “to rediscover the national love that was instilled within us since the time we were on our land as a nation among the nations.”[17] We must decide that from now on we will begin to treat each other as brothers—in thoughts, words, and actions.

Why Specifically the Wisdom of Kabbalah Teaches Us about the Correction of the World?

The wisdom of Kabbalah is a science that explains forces of nature concealed from our perception, and which act on the people of Israel, and accordingly on the world and on the whole of reality. Kabbalah engages in one thing only—achieving connection among us in order to achieve balance with the force that governs nature. That force is called the “Creator.” In the words of Baal HaSulam, “This wisdom is … a sequence of roots, which hang down by way of cause and consequence, by fixed, determined rules, interweaving to a single, exalted goal: the revelation of His Godliness to His creatures in this world.”[18]

Why Is This Time Special? Why Is Our Unity So Important Specifically Now?

We are standing at a very special point in our process of development. The Book of Zohar writes about this point that “The children of Ishmael are destined to evoke great wars in the world.”[19] For this reason, “If we miss the opportunity and do not rise as one, with the great efforts required at a time of danger, to guarantee our staying in the land, then the facts before us pose a great threat to us, since matters are developing favorably for our enemies, who seek to destroy us from the face of the Earth. It is also clear that the enormous effort that the rugged road ahead requires of us mandates unity that is as solid and as hard as steel, from all parts of the nation, without exception. If we do not come out with united ranks toward the mighty forces that are standing on our way to harm us, we will find that our hope is doomed in advance.”[20]

What Can We Do? Implement the Principle of Mutual Guarantee

Let’s begin to cultivate among us the principle of mutual guarantee de facto. As soon as we get this connection going we will see how it applies to our everyday lives and how it can truly change things for the better. In this way, we will gradually become “as one man with one heart,”[21] and our security and good future will be guaranteed. The Holy Land will become a beacon of hope for the entire world, which is its historic role and purpose.

May we know quieter and better days.

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[1] Rabbi David Solomon Eibenschutz, Willows of the Brook, Portion, Lech Lecha

[2] The Book of Zohar, Pinhas

[3] Rav Yitzhak HaCohen Kook (the Raiah), Orot [Lights], 16

[4] Rav Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam), “The Freedom.”

[5] Rabbi Eliyahu Ki Tov, The Book of Consciousness, Chapter 16

[6] Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Halevi Epstein, Maor VaShemesh [Light and Sun],Nitzavim [Standing].

[7] Sanhedrin 27b, Shavuot 39a

[8] Midrash Tanhuma, Nitzavim, Chapter 1

[9] Rabbi Shmuel Bornstein, Shem MiShmuel [A Name Out of Samuel], VaYakhel[And Moses Assembled]

[10] Rabbi Shmuel Bornstein, Shem MiShmuel [A Name Out of Samuel], Haazinu[Give Ear]

[11] Rabbi Nahman of Breslev, Likutey Halachot [Assorted Rules]

[12] Rav Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam), “Introduction to the Book of Zohar,” item 71.

[13] Rav Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam), “Introduction to the Book of Zohar,” item 69

[14] (Beresheet Rabah, Chapter 24)

[15] The Book of ZoharNasso, p 124b

[16] Rabbi Simcha Bonim Bonhart of Peshischa, An Announcing Voice, Part 1, Balak

[17] Rav Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam), The Nation

[18] Rav Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam), “The Essence of the Wisdom of Kabbalah”

[19] The Book of ZoharVaEra, item 204.

[20] Rav Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam), The Writings of Baal HaSulam, “The Nation,” p 487

[21] Rabbi Shlomo Ben Yitzhak (RASHI), The RASHI Interpretation on the Torah, “On Exodus,” 19:2

“The Good Ones”—Mutual Guarantee From Kabbalah La’am

Dr. Michael Laitman“The Good Ones” (HaTovim) are a community of people who believe in mutual guarantee, in giving in unfounded love—“love thy friend as thyself.” We have recruited 150 volunteers recently to guard kindergartens all over Israel.

Due to the current situation in Israel, we have decided to increase the sense of security of parents and children all over the country. Rav Dr. Michael Laitman, the founder of Kabbalah La’am says: “Due to the recent events in Israel, we feel a growing need to increase the sense of personal security of people all over the country. The Kabbalah La’am organization sees mutual guarantee as the most important value: the more people help one another, the more peacefully and safely we will be able to live here. This is the reason we have decided to do everything in our power for this cause. We are delighted to have so quickly recruited over 150 volunteers who will guard kindergartens throughout the country throughout the entire school day. Although we were the ones to initiate this move, we are happy to receive calls from volunteers from all the sectors.”

The volunteers will guard the gates of kindergartens during the school day, from 7:30 in the morning to 2:30 in the afternoon (in two shifts).
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From the Israeli Radio Program 103FM, 10/18/15

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Western Values Are Losing Their Influence In The World

Dr. Michael LaitmanOpinion (Steven Erlanger, NY Times): “The West is suddenly suffused with self-doubt.

“Centuries of superiority and global influence appeared to reach a new summit with the collapse of the Soviet Union, as the countries, values and civilization of the West appeared to have won the dark, difficult battle with Communism.

That victory seemed especially sweet after the turn of China toward capitalism, which many thought presaged a slow evolution to middle-class demands for individual rights and transparent justice — toward a form of democracy. But is the embrace of Western values inevitable? Are Western values, essentially Judeo-Christian ones, truly universal?

“The history of the last decade is a bracing antidote to such easy thinking. The rise of authoritarian capitalism has been a blow to assumptions, made popular by Francis Fukuyama, that liberal democracy has proved to be the most reliable and lasting political system.

“With the collapse of Communism, ‘what we may be witnessing,’ Mr. Fukuyama wrote hopefully in 1989, ‘is the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.’

“But couple the tightening of Chinese authoritarianism with Russia’s turn toward revanchism and dictatorship, and then add the rise of radical Islam, and the grand victory of Western liberalism can seem hollow, its values under threat even within its own societies.

“The recent flood of migrants and Syrian asylum seekers were welcomed in much of Europe, especially Germany and Austria. But it also prompted criticism from a number of less prosperous European countries, a backlash from the far right and new anxieties about the growing influence of Islam, and radical Islamists, in Europe. …

“’Nineteen-eighty-nine was perceived as the victory of universalism, the end of history, but for all the others in the world it wasn’t a post-Cold War world but a post-colonial one,’ said Ivan Krastev, director of the Center for Liberal Strategies in Sofia, Bulgaria, and a contributing opinion writer for The Times.

“It seemed to many in Asia and Africa to be the end of Western ideological supremacy, given that liberalism and Communism are both Western creations with universal ambitions.”

My Comment: It is now impossible to stop the flow of immigrants to the EU. The new values are neither European nor American, but above this world, and they will be born to a new world.
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Our Good Attitude

Laitman_514_02

Question: What should a strong country of Israel look like?

Answer: Israel needs to know just one thing: We all must come to love and mutual help, mutual guarantee and oneness, without doing to another what we hate and loving the neighbor like ourselves.

These are the conditions for the people of Israel to exist as a positive force in the center of the universe, which determines the good future for the whole world.

Then terrorists simply will have nowhere from which to appear. We will not need to think about how to get rid of the Intifada. The force that we will generate with our good attitude toward those like us, the Israelis, will affect the whole world and bring it to a wonderful state.

Accordingly, the world will begin to treat Israel like a force of goodness: everyone will guard, help, and take care of it in all possible ways. Like it is written, the nations of the world will pick up the sons of Israel onto their shoulders and bring them to Jerusalem.

Question: Do you believe that this quote from the prophet Isaiah and all other prophecies about a harmonious and wonderful world will be realized practically?

Answer: Of course! Although it seems that we might be moving in the exact opposite direction, this is precisely the most appropriate time to begin to realize these prophecies.

This is why the science of Kabbalah was revealed as the method of correcting our relationships and allows us to do just that. I wish us success in achieving it!
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From KabTV’s “A New Life” 10/8/15

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On The Threshold Of A Third Intifada – Part 5 “No External Enemies Will Remain”

laitman_626Baal HaSulam wrote in the article, “Exile and Redemption”: Hence, I hereby propose to the House of Israel to say to our troubles, ‘Enough!’ and at the very least, make a human calculation regarding these adventures that they have inflicted us time and time again, and here in our country, as well. We wish to start our own policy, as we have no hope of clutching at the ground as a nation as long as we do not accept our holy Torah without any extenuations, to the last condition of the work Lishma, and not for oneself, with any residue of selfishness…. As long as we do not raise our goal above the corporeal life, we will have no corporeal revival because the spiritual and the corporeal in us cannot dwell in one basket, for we are the children of the idea.

The people of Israel were created from an idea, from the yearning to emulate and reach equivalence with nature, adhesion with the upper force. And so we must exist in unity, in this lies the method of Abraham.

Why is he considered our forefather if we don’t maintain his principles? While living in separation, we don’t fit their nature, and this cannot continue for long.

The Kabbalists wrote that close to a hundred years ago we received permission to return to the land of Israel only on condition that we would realize the law of Arvut (mutual guarantee), of unity, here. In this way we create a connection between the internal force of nature, the unity that is laid in its foundation, and all the nations of the world, all of humanity.

These are not just nice words because we see how these laws operate within human society, summoning attacks on and hatred for no reason toward Israel.

There is no logical explanation for the negative attitude towards Israel from the whole world. This is such a strange thing that obviously some kind of special law is operating here and the hatred will not disappear on its own.

When I was twenty years old, I, too, tried to solve this riddle: Why do the anti-Semites hate me so much for no reason? I thought that I would come to Israel, to be among my people, where nobody would hate me and where good attitudes dwell. But when I arrived in Israel, I discovered relationships between people that sometimes seemed even worse than abroad.

This hatred is against the nature of our people, and so we cannot exist until we fulfill the conditions of our father Abraham and unite as one person with one heart.

Question: Does it follow that the relationships between Jews in Israel determine how the Arabs who are living in Israel relate to us?

Answer: In The Book of Zohar it is written that if we relate to each other with love, nobody can cause us any harm. No external enemies will remain.
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From the Israeli Radio Program 103FM, 10/11/15

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Pragmatism Is The God Of Modern Life

laitman_430

Question: Life in today’s world is changing rapidly. Terrorist forces are starting to come to power. The former difference between stronger and weaker countries is fading. A terrorist organization can come to power in a very strong country, and the lives of all its citizens will be in danger. This can go on indefinitely, and a strong power will never conquer the weaker one. What does it mean to be a strong power in the modern world?

Answer: There is an inner engine of humanity’s development called “time.” With time many things change. Geological periods change, and they pertain to the development of inanimate nature, followed by periods of development of the vegetative and animate nature. Humanity develops as well, and one social formation replaces another.

Everything changes with time, and there is nothing that arises once and stays stable and inviolable. A certain inner program acts within nature, and accordingly we develop from one state to another.

All parts of humanity sway, like waves in the sea: one rises, another falls. Moreover, we all are dependent on each other, and this dependence  becomes stronger from the twentieth century onward. Therefore, we cannot decide anything for the future.

There are about fifty main instrumental countries in the world, each of which affects the others. It is just as impossible to make any prognosis as it is to foresee a hurricane, tsunami, a volcanic eruption, or an explosion at a nuclear power plant.

Who could have imagined that Europe would face a wave of immigrants? All phenomena are connected with each other, we just don’t see this connection. The world develops according to our inner program, which is unknown to us.

And we are surprised that there is no stability or proper connections. Everything changes suddenly. Over the past ten years we witnessed so many rises, ascents, falls, and crises—more than over the course of the whole millennium before.

Therefore, we cannot say which country is strong and which is weak. A country may be strong for some very limited period of time, and also it is quite relative. After all, strength implies an ability to guarantee our safety tomorrow. But tomorrow is uncertain for everyone. Time is compressed and hastened so much that it is impossible to foresee anything.

We see the countries that once were powerful fall and crumble. The Soviet Union is falling to pieces and Europe is overcome by crisis. And the intention was so great: to create a common European market, to reach unity in Europe. It would seem that this was the beginning of a good future for humanity.

At first people were so inspired and had so much hope for this unification. People thought that they were building an amazing new world. But just look at how the situation has changed over some twenty years or so.

My friend, who worked with the Committee of European Unification in Strasburg, said back then that at the basis of this unification were simple economic calculations. It was a market transaction, not a union.

No matter what unifications we try to create (Russia, China, Brazil, the European Union, America-Canada-Mexico, or the Trans-Atlantic Alliance, etc.) we just fall into further despair of our inability to reach unity on any scale: small or large.

Even the institution of marriage is falling apart. Once people had an inner aspiration to at least unite with close ones: spouses, parents, children, neighbors, inhabitants of the same village or town, work colleagues, or citizens of the same country. But today it has vanished completely.

One leaves his family with ease and moves to another country without feeling any nostalgia for his homeland. He lives in a foreign country where he also cares about nothing except his own well-being, as though he is living in space.

All of the previous connections between people that existed throughout history and gave a certain form to human society fail to work today.

We wander around the world like shadows, without noticing each other, sticking our noses into our cell phones. What powerful country can we talk about if nothing draws a person to his homeland and people only are guided by their pragmatic calculations.
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From KabTV’s “A New Life” 10/8/15

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Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 10.22.15

Preparation for the Lesson

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Writings of Baal HaSulam, “The Love for the Creator & Love for the Created Beings” 

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Talmud Eser Sefirot, Vol. 6, Part 16, Item 203

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Writings of Baal HaSulam, “The Giving of the Torah” 

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