New Life #434 – The Meaning Of Israeli Holidays
Dr. Michael Laitman in conversation with Oren Levi and Nitzah Mazoz
What are the spiritual meanings of the holidays of Israel, how are they connected to realizing the goal of our lives, and what is the difference between them and the holidays of other nations?
Abraham studied the trend of developmental in ancient Babylon. He understood that everything advances toward connection. Abraham discovered that humanity must come to identity with nature, balancing and harmonizing with it. To be balanced with nature, we need to understand this enormous system. It is profound.
Abraham discovered the law by which all of reality evolves toward general unity, and humanity is a part of this. The process of rapprochement of mankind’s union has steps, such as during the course of human life. The connection is expressed in “What is hateful to you, do not do to your friend” (Shabbat 31a), and after that, “And you shall love your friend as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18). Abraham told this to the Babylonians. Most of them didn’t want to hear it. Tens of thousands followed him to love of others. The stages of development on the way to connection can be given the name, “The Annual Cycle.” It repeats on every level.
It follows that the holidays of Israel are spiritual and not a commemoration of historical dates as with other nations. The holidays of Israel are determined by nature as states of development on the way toward complete connection.
- From the start, we are within the connection and harmony of nature in an opposite state of division and destruction. It is necessary to do some soul-searching. This is called the month of Elul.
- Crowning the power that connects all parts of nature—to rule over us: Rosh HaShanah
- Connecting all of humanity to this, not just us the people of Israel—Yom Kippur—the reading of the book of Jonah.
- On Sukkot: we connect the four species together, corresponding to the four stages of correction of the egoism that separates us.
- Simchat Torah (Rejoicing of the Torah)—we are happy that the upper force connects us.
Hanukkah–a spiritual holiday above the ego.
- Purim—we correct the entire ego, all of the bad tendencies that were in us, and we can celebrate.
- Pesach (Passover)—symbolizes how we always depart from the slavery of egoism to freedom.
Counting the Omer —we count how many of our desires we have already corrected.
- Shavuot—the giving of the Torah, the power of correction. Through the Torah we build ourselves, but we cannot hold onto this and shatter.
- Tisha B’Av—from this we learn the depth to which we truly must correct ourselves through complete connection.
From KabTV’s “New Life #434 – The Meaning Of Israeli Holidays,” 3/16/14
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