My latest column on Ynet
How Can You Influence The World?
We tend to think that we have no direct influence on world affairs, especially when it is an event that is far from the borders of Israel. But the fact is that we are exactly in the center and we are the only ones who can affect things for better or for worse. “No calamity comes to the world but for Israel.”
The situation in the world is becoming more complicated every day. Darkness, evil, and hatred are increasing at an unprecedented pace threatening all humanity in the form of global terrorism, financial crisis, world wars, and infinite horrifying events that occur between people, nations, and countries.
We have a tendency to think that we have no direct effect on what happens in the world and all the more so when it is an event that is far from the borders of Israel, and have no idea that ” “No calamity comes to the world but for Israel.”
(1) as Rav Kook writes.
We lack the ability to discern to what extent we are targeted and feel how “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…” (2). There are those who think that all this is a thing of the past and that the horrors that occurred in the past and during the Nazi regime cannot happen today, but we can still see how naturally humanity can return to the state in which a third of the Jewish nation was annihilated.
“I believe that the world will believe that the end of the world is coming and in an accelerated pace,” wrote Kabbalist Yehuda Ashlag in the 1950’s, “and that Israel will be hurt first just the way it was during the last war, and therefore it is best to awaken the world today to receive the only remedy there is so that they will live and exist” (3).
Time is working against us, and the helplessness every Jew around the world feels requires us to make the teachings accessible to people, and to present the solution we have to fulfill as a nation.
“No calamity comes to the world but for Israel.”
The global era we live in has tied Israel and the 70 nations of the world into one body and now “…the whole world is considered one collective and one society” (4). The Book of Zohar describes Israel as “the heart of the world,” and just as “the organs of the body cannot exist for even one moment in the world without a heart, the nations of the world cannot exist in the world without Israel” (5).
The crisis that is shaking the whole world is taking place because the nation of Israel is not fulfilling its role properly, and thus emphasizes the world’s dependence on us even more: “the building of the world that is now collapsing because of the terrible storms and the bloody sword, demands the building of the Israeli nation. The building of the nation and the revelation of its spirit is one thing and it is all united with the building of the world that is falling apart expecting full power, unity and superiority” (6).
When we are united as one man in one heart we radiate the good force through us to the world. When the good force is lacking, the evil force grows and increases bringing hatred and division between people. The negative force makes the nations of the world feel that Israel is the source of evil in the world. “It is a fact that Israel are the most hated of all the nations, whether because of religious reasons, racial reasons, capitalistic reasons, or communist reasons” (7). The accusing finger the nations of the world are pointing at us is expressed in the form of several decisions against us. In a global world it is enough to diplomatically isolate Israel in an attempt to gradually suffocate it through an economic boycott, for example.
The secret wisdom is the solution
The first who found the solution to the human crisis was Abraham—the forefather of the nation of Israel. The special method he discovered about 4,000 years ago in ancient Babylon includes two levels of relations between people: one level is the egoistic force—the negative force of separation and hate, which caused his students to draw away from one another, and the second level is the level the force of love and connection—the positive force in nature.
Abraham knew how to connect the two forces and to establish in people two levels of attitude toward the world so that “…love covers all transgressions” (8). The method of connection he developed is none other than the wisdom of Kabbalah.
Kabbalah is perceived by most people as an occult science. Its concealment and the mystery that people perceived were the basis for many myths, rumors, and misconceptions. It is time for it to be open and accessible to everyone. This ancient method is the most vital thing for the nation of Israel and for the whole world.
All the great Kabbalists, the sages who have “comprehensive knowledge in all the teachings of the world, since they acquire them from the wisdom of truth itself” (9), and are “rewarded with attaining all those degrees in reality that one can attain” (10), crying out, that in the critical situation that it is our obligation to constantly engage in the wisdom of Kabbalah, which means in the correction of our relationship, as the ARI said “if we engaged in the wisdom of Kabbalah, our redemption will come, since everything depends on this wisdom” (11).
The force that is concealed in it can save us from all the dangers that await us and enable us to survive as a nation and a state since “when there is love, unity, and brotherhood among Israel, no calamity can affect them and they thus keep all the curses and sufferings away” (12).
What is the Torah according to the wisdom of Kabbalah?
Throughout history there was one prominent message in the teachings of Kabbalists, which is “love thy friend as thyself” (13) or in other words, “do unto others everything you would like others to do unto you,” as Rambam used to say. The love of others is the great rule of the Torah.
When the sages of Kabbalah refer to the Torah, they first and foremost refer to a special spice that has the power to subdue the evil inclination—the force of separation. Our sages said, “I have created the evil inclination, I have created the Torah as a spice” (14), which means the Light in it, “since the Light in the Torah reforms it” (15).
According to Kabbalah, the meaning of the word “Torah” is much more than the meticulous observation of different customs. The Book of Zohar warns us that “woe to the person who says that the Torah tells us stories in a simple manner and that it tells us in a layman’s language about Esau and Laban, etc., but that everything in the Torah is upper secrets” (16). Moreover, “…because all the commandments in the Torah or those that our forefathers corrected,” as Eben Ezra says “are all in order to correct the heart, although most of them are performed by actions or words” (17).
Therefore, Baal HaSulam concludes that, “…only through the expansion of the wisdom of Kabbalah in the masses will we obtain complete redemption.”
They also said, “The Light in it reforms him.” They were intentionally meticulous about it, to show us that only the Light enclosed within it, “like apples of gold in settings of silver,” in it lies the cure that reforms a person. Both the individual and the nation will not complete the aim for which they were created, except by attaining the internality of the Torah and its secrets.” (18).
Everything for the sake of unity
Unfortunately, different circles strongly object to the dissemination of the wisdom of Kabbalah to the public. The wisdom of Kabbalah has to be revealed today more than ever before. It is the key to the existence of the State of Israel and the people of Israel. We have seen throughout history that when each one pulled in his own direction, the division in the nation brought Israel to troubles and wars, the climax of which is symbolized by the destruction of the Temple. “The Temple was destroyed because of unfounded hatred, when their hearts were divided and they were divided and were not worthy of the Temple since it is the unity of Israel.” (19).
The moment we fell from brotherly love to unfounded hatred, we ceased to exist as a nation according to Abraham’s teachings. Since then we keep dividing and drawing further away from one another and the value of “love thy friend as thyself” is fading away and is becoming strange and empty of any meaning.
Therefore we are commanded not to give up, but to stubbornly fight for our unity, which is the potion of life for us; Baal HaSulam strongly asserts in the Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot: “At the outset of my words, I find a great need to break an iron wall that has been separating us from the wisdom of Kabbalah, since the ruin of the Temple to this generation. It lies heavily on us and arouses fear of being forgotten from Israel.” (20).
Time for Kabbalah
We have no choice but to unite, and in order to feel the connection and love between us, we must use the wisdom that Abraham discovered, the wisdom of Kabbalah, that teaches us how to connect properly with one another and to love others. When we awaken the feelings of love and warmth, we will be able to balance the whole system. We will be an example of connection for the whole world since this is exactly what our goal is as a nation and the world is expecting us to fulfill our goal, “The purpose of Israel is to unite the whole world into one family” (21). Therefore we are obliged to change our attitude to the wisdom of Kabbalah and to try to achieve love and connection as it teaches us.
1. Rav Kook, “Letters of Rav Kook”. Vol. 2, p. 324
2. Rav Yehudah Ashlag–“Baal HaSulam”, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar“, item 71.
3. Rav Yehuda Ashlag–“Baal HaSulam”, “The Last Generation”
4. Rav Yehuda Ashlag–“Baal HaSulam”, “Peace in the World”
5. “Zohar La’am“, Pichas, item 152
6. Rav Kook, “Lights”, p 16
7. Rav Yehuda Ashlag–“Baal HaSulam”, “The Last Generation”
8. Proverbs, 10;12
9. Rav Yehuda Ashlag–“Baal HaSulam”, “The Teaching of Kabbalah and Its Essence”
10. Rav Yehuda Ashlag–“Baal HaSulam”, “The Secret of Conception and Birth”
11. AR”I, “Tree of Life”, Introduction to Sha’ar A’hakdamot
12. “Light and Sun”, Nitzavim
13. Rambam, “Mishne Torah”, the Book of Judges, chapter 14
14. Kidushin 30;2
15. Rav Yehuda Ashlag–“Baal HaSulam”, “Shamati”, item 6, “Support in the Torah”
16. “Zohar La’am” , Behaalotecha, item 58
17. Rabi Abraham Eben Ezra, “The Foundation of Fear and the Secret of Knowledge”, p. 8; 72
18. Rav Yehuda Ashlag–“Baal HaSulam”, “Introduction to the Book Panim Meirot Umasbirot”, item 5
19. “Netzhach Israel”, chapter 4
20. Rav Yehuda Ashlag–“Baal HaSulam”, Introduction to TES, part 1
21. Rav Kook, “Whisper the Secret of God to Me”