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Haaretz: “The Real Reason Why Aleppo Matters”

In my regular column in Haaretz newspaper published my new article: “The Real Reason Why Aleppo Matters”

Money will not save Aleppo’s children, but true love will. Yet, they will have none until we nurture it among us.

In the last few months, the horrid humanitarian crisis in Aleppo has surpassed the worst atrocities we have seen coming out of Syria since the inception of the civil war there in 2011. It is true that “Aleppo’s fall is Obama’s failure,” as Leon Wieseltier wrote in The Washington Post. It is also true, as even chairwoman of Meretz, Zehava Gal-On, admitted on her Facebook page, that “We should give credit to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his insistence not to become involved in this war.” However, there is an inseparable connection between Israel and the tragedy in Aleppo.

In the last few months, the horrid humanitarian crisis in Aleppo has surpassed the worst atrocities we have seen coming out of Syria since the inception of the civil war there in 2011

Today in Israel, thousands of people are rushing to aid the stranded civilians of Aleppo. In just two days, Israelis have donated more than $100,000 to help the Syrian children whose lives have been devastated as they were used as pawns in the tug-of-war between Assad and the rebels, Russia and the US. Unable to flee, they have been sitting ducks waiting to become another harrowing image on the pages of newspapers and social media.

Yoav Yeivin, one of the lead organizers of the donation campaign, told The Times of Israel, “As an Israeli child I grew up asking where the world was when we needed them most [during the Holocaust]. As a Jew, I always knew that I was expected to be there, to help and lend a hand. There is no nation that knows better than us how lethal apathy can be.” I sympathize with Yeivin’s compassion and I understand how the memory of the Holocaust makes us more sensitive to other people’s suffering.

Yet, no amount of money can change what is happening in Syria. Even worse, no amount of compassion can alleviate the suffering or prevent it from worsening until its cause—the evil in human nature—has been uprooted. This task—transforming human nature from wickedness to kindness—is the sole task of the Jewish people. If anything positive should have emerged from the terror of the death camps, it is the commitment of our nation to transform human nature. As long as we stall, we are inadvertently inflicting suffering upon the world. This is why it hates us.

The preeminent 20th Century luminary of Kabbalah, Rav Yehuda Leib HaLevi Ashlag, known as Baal HaSulam (Author of The Ladder), for his Sulam (Ladder) commentary on The Book of Zohar, understood this responsibility well and tried to awaken Jews to their task. In The Writings of the Last Generation & The Nation, he stated, “I have already conveyed the rudiments of my perception in 1933. I have also spoken to the leaders of the generation. Alas, it made no impression. Now, however, after the atom and hydrogen bombs, I think the world will believe me.” David Ben Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel, expressed his appreciation of Baal HaSulam’s commitment to the goal of transforming society and human nature in a letter to his son, who was also my teacher, Rav Baruch Shalom Ashlag, who continued his father’s work. Ben Gurion wrote, “I wanted to talk to him about Kabbalah, and he with me—about socialism” (Diaries, August 11, 1958). Another time, Ben Gurion wrote (January 6, 1960), “I view with tremendous importance the completion of the works of Rav Ashlag (Baal HaSulam).”

Baal HaSulam did not settle for meetings with only the Prime Minister. He met with many leaders and social activists in the Jewish state. Among them were Zalman Shazar, Moshe Sharet, Chaim Arlozorov, Moshe Aram, Meir Yaari, Yaakov Hazan, Dov Sadan, and the acclaimed poet, Chaim Nachman Bialik. His intention was to convince these opinion leaders to build the state of Israel as a society that endorses unity and promotes the transformation of human nature. Had he succeeded, the Jewish people would have become the light unto nations we are intended to be and the massacre in Aleppo, as well as all the other atrocities that our world has seen since the end of World War II, would not have happened.

If we had shown the light of unity to the world, people would have known how to transcend their egos and unite. In the absence of this ability, they have invented neoliberalism.

Why Specifically Us?

There are two reasons why Israel and the Jewish people are the involuntary messengers of the necessity to modify human nature. The first, and most obvious one, is what Yoav Yeivin and Baal HaSulam mentioned earlier—the Holocaust. In The Writings of the Last Generation & The Nation, Baal HaSulam writes, “Because we suffered from tyranny more than all other nations, we are better prepared to seek counsel that will eradicate tyranny from the land.”

However, there is a deeper reason, on which I have elaborated several times before. Wherever you look in nature, there is perfect harmony. All of reality runs on the balanced interaction between two forces—positive and negative. These forces create distinct atoms whose particles are nevertheless connected, distinct molecules whose atoms are nevertheless connected, distinct cells whose molecules are nevertheless connected, and distinct organisms, such as human beings, whose cells are nevertheless connected. The harmonious balance between connection and distinction enables life to evolve toward greater unity and at the same time greater distinction, and enables people to become more unique the more they are connected.

In his article, “The Peace,” Baal HaSulam defines the evolutionary process just described as the “Law of Development,” which describes the interaction between the two forces just mentioned. Notably, this law also determines that humanity, too, will consist of distinct individuals who are nevertheless connected.

But we are not there yet. Instead, we are trying as hard as we can to justify the words of the Torah: “The inclination of man’s heart is evil from his youth” (Gen 8:21), and “Every inclination of the thoughts of [man’s] heart was only evil” (Gen 6:5). In other words, our bodies exist through the same balance between the positive and negative forces, but our psyches seem to operate almost solely on the negative force. The revelation of the atrocities in Syria should warn us that we have stretched the system to the brink of collapse. If we do not add the positive force of our own volition, the Law of Development will soon do it for us.
In fact, the system is already stretched so thin that it is beginning to snap. The results of the US election, Brexit, and the referendum in Italy, all point to the fact that people can no longer tolerate the façade of political correctness and liberalism.

They need real connection.

This is where we Jews come in. We may not like it, but the world thinks that their problems are our fault. This is why since its inception in 2006, the United Nations Human Rights Council resolved more resolutions condemning Israel than on the rest of the world combined. Even retiring United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon admitted in his departing speech that there is a “disproportionate volume of resolutions, reports and conferences criticizing Israel.”

We Are in a Unique Position to Succeed, or Fail

On the one hand, it is very uncomfortable to be blamed for everything that is wrong with the world. On the other hand, this puts us in a unique position to help the world heal from the hatred that is ruining it. Since we are already under constant scrutiny, if we prevail over our division and hatred we have for one another, the world will notice instantaneously. Moreover, if we were not divided, we would not have anything to overcome, and therefore would not be able to serve as an example of how to prevail over divisions.

Since ancient times, our forefathers have known that the Law of Development leads toward ultimate connection. For this purpose, they developed methods to overcome hatred and create a unified body. Abraham did so through the quality of mercy, which he and his wife, Sarah, taught, as the Midrash tells us (Beresheet Rabah). Moses knew this, too, and took us out of Egypt where we united “as one man with one heart” and thereby became a nation. King Solomon wrote about it when he said, “Hate stirs strife, and love covers all crimes” (Proverbs 10:12), and Rabbi Akiva said that if you love your neighbor as yourself, this is the whole of the Torah.

Over the centuries of exile, our sages and leaders have written about the power of our nation to heal the world through unity. In Revolution of the Spirit, David Ben Gurion wrote, VeAhavta lere’acha kamocha (Love your neighbor as yourself) is the utmost commandment of Judaism. With these three words, the humane, eternal law of Judaism has been formed, and all of the literature on ethics and morals in the world could not say more. The State of Israel will merit its name only if its social, economic, domestic, and foreign policies are based on these three eternal words.”

In his essay, “A Speech for the completion of The Zohar,” Baal HaSulam writes that we have been given the land of Israel, “but we have not received the land into our own authority.” The only way the world will recognize the value of the State of Israel and of the Jewish people is if we embrace unity above all differences.

If we choose to do so, the world will see that there is a way to triumph over hatred. This will truly be our contribution to the suffering people in Aleppo, Yemen, Sudan, and the depressed and the oppressed the world over. As The Book of Zohar tells us (Aharei Mot): “And you, the friends who are here, as you were in fondness and love before, henceforth you will also not part, and by your merit there will be peace in the world.”

And speaking of peace, this morning I was delighted to see that Donald Trump easily surpassed the necessary 270 votes in the Electoral College and has been officially declared as the next President of the United States. I wish him the best of success in carrying out all of his plans. Speaking from the perspective of the wisdom of Kabbalah, with its thousands of years of antiquity, and error-free record of predictions throughout Jewish history, I highly recommend that the President-elect help the people of Israel unite. By doing so, he will induce a monumental positive transformation throughout the world. Helping Israel unite is the greatest gift that the United States can give to the people of Israel.
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From Haaretz : “The Real Reason Why Aleppo Matters” 12/20/16

Can You Feel The Upper World From Birth?

Laitman_511_01Question: Did the great Kabbalists or special souls like the Ari and Baal HaSulam each time with every new birth pass through the Machsom (barrier), or did they feel the Upper World and our world from birth?

Answer: Nobody feels the upper world from birth. There is no possibility without effort, without a group, to begin to feel the upper world, the Creator, because we must create a Kli in order to perceive it. Nobody is born a Kabbalist.

We were intentionally created this way so that we could become independent in relative to the Creator. If you get something without conscious effort, it is impossible to achieve anything. It is impossible to begin to understand the inner meaning of the world if we don’t specifically grasp it through contrasts.
[198682]
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 9/18/16

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The Man Of The Future

laitman_214Question: By what criteria will society assess a person in the future? According to one’s wealth, looks, or status?

Answer: I don’t think people will relate to physical appearance in the future, not even men. This will gradually disappear from our perception and it will include only the internal attributes of a person and one’s correct internal balance.

A person’s behavior and character will be the outcome of his internal state because not only will he begin to relate to everything correctly, but he will also aspire to bring the whole world to the middle line.
[198685]
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 7/3/16

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Marx’s Predictions Come True, Part 4

Laitman_049_02Judging by the state of the world, we can conclude by all indications that the old era has ended. As Baal HaSulam predicted, from 1995 onward, the wisdom of Kabbalah started becoming revealed in the world. Humanity thus began understanding the process it is involved in.

The evil force of egoism had been continuously and increasingly developing in humanity, through all social formations: slavery, feudalism, capitalism and socialism. Egoism was a developmental engine. It progressed us. Today, however, it has completed its work because it has reached its maximal realization. The successful ones arose, like cream, and the rest remained at the bottom, like skim milk.

Capitalism stopped working not only for those who remained at the bottom, but even for the elite. The US government debt reached epic proportions and society became divided. It is impossible to continue this way. An incredible amount of people are in distress. The problem, however, is that the egoism of the wealthy elite won’t let them properly share their wealth with the needy.

Corporations still manage to pump out profits, but only through deception. There is nothing behind this apparent wealth; it is not covered by a gold equivalent. It is all a financial bubble that will burst the same way it did in 2008. Its explosion will be even more destructive than war.

The only solution is to make a shift to the new era’s industry. There is total abundance in the world. Our planet can feed us all. Modern technology makes it cost next to nothing. The only problem is how to attract the positive force that is missing in the world.

Egoism completed its work by bringing us to the peak of its capacity. Some thousandth part is at the top, and the rest are at the bottom. The elite can continue in this manner for a few more years with the help of various tricks, but it will be very dangerous because more and more unemployed will accumulate at the bottom without any hope of climbing the social ladder.

If egoism has exhausted itself, then we have nothing left but to continue in a different way. If we start to strengthen our connection, we will generate a positive force within it that will balance out the negative force. We won’t destroy egoism, but it will start working at a higher level.

The egoistic desire doesn’t have room to develop further and this is the reason for the crisis. We have fully exhausted its earthly use in this world. So how can we work with it further? Only by attracting the positive force can we allow egoism to grow further. The competition will continue, but it will be based on a different method.

The more we connect with each other, the more our desire to enjoy grows. It becomes integral. That is, it acts on a completely different level of connection, becoming many times bigger. This is the method of further development based on the desire to enjoy that grows indefinitely in its spiritual form. Compared to what it is capable of, our current egoism is like a tiny bug.

Today, our use of our egoism is very limited, primitive and stupid: to steal a little over here and to snatch a little from over there. Also, the ego explodes and pushes us to further develop. However, we need to supply it with fuel and energy, which is the positive force of bestowal.

It will then spread to the whole world, and the whole world will be yours since you will feel it as yourself. Therefore, the wisdom of Kabbalah is called “the wisdom of reception”: the art of using creation in its entirety, everything created by the desire to enjoy.
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From KabTV’s “A Talk About the Current Situation In The World” 12/2/16

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New Life #469 – The Meaning Of Chanukah

New Life #469 – The Meaning of Chanukah
Dr. Michael Laitman in conversation with Oren Levi and Tal Mandelbaum ben Moshe

Summary

What is the meaning of the holiday of Chanukah, what do we celebrate and what is the important role we have toward the whole world that it reminds us of?

The nation of Israel was born from the mutual commitment to be as one man with one heart, with love of others. Whenever there is separation between us, others rise up to destroy us. Then something comes to remind us we need to unite.

We also need to increase love between us in the family, until we become “All Israel are friends.” Today, in Israel, there are many security threats. If we unite between us, everything will disappear.

The miracle of the oil symbolizes that it is possible to reach the Light, the upper force, that will help us to connect. The Temple symbolizes the connection between the hearts when they become one large heart. The menorah symbolizes what we attained: through connection it’s possible to be rescued from all problems and to defeat everything.

The Maccabees symbolize the tendency to connect, and they awaken the whole of Israel from its hibernation. Man himself includes the Greeks, the Hellenists, and the Maccabees. The Greeks symbolize the egoistic attributes, the Maccabees symbolize the small tendency to connect and to love, the point in the heart. If man wants to find these forces of the soul, he can win the inner war within himself.

The Hellenists symbolize the Jewish tendency to be like Europe, each one only for himself.

The Jewish spirit is to be connected and loving, to discover the upper force between us, and to bring Light to the nations. Jewish life is when everyone is concerned about everyone else and each one thinks of how he can do good for the collective.

When we as Israelis adopt the European approach of individualism, we have no Light.

The world depends on the Light that we bring, the energy of life. The lack of Light brings hatred to Israel.

When there is no mutual concern and everyone is for only for himself, troubles befall a person. And when there is connection and love, then everything works out, i.e., at home, with the children and the family, with health, and at work.

At the political level, if we ignite the Light between us and light up the world, the world’s attitude toward Israel will change for the better.
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From KabTV’s “New Life #469 – The Meaning of Chanukah,” 12/11/14

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Fantasies And Reality, Part 5

Laitman_201_03Question: What is the meaning of our life if, as it turns out, we see the world though the egoistic glasses that show us the imaginary world?

Answer: The meaning of life is in making a decision that life is pitiful and that from it, we have to rise to the upper reality. The difference between these two types of reality defines the power of our spiritual attainment.

Question: And what is so wrong with our current reality?

Answer: First of all, it is wrong because it is illusory. Science already knows that what we see in front of us is a holographic picture, while actually there is not a single Universe, but many.

The egoistic, materialistic, development of science leads it to the limit of the materialistic comprehension of the world and brings it to a dead end. Science is in crisis because it can not advance and make further discoveries. Only one thing is clear: We have reached a borderline.

Until we discover the upper force, the entire world will remain an illusion. We exist inside the computer and we have to change our perception. Being only at the still, vegetative, and animate degrees of perception, we’ll remain inside the same computer program as now; after all, nothing can be changed there.  

But on the human level, in our relationship between the people, we acquire a new program called a program of bestowal instead of reception. And inside of it, we start feeling the upper reality, filled with the force called the Creator.

It turns out that we take off our egoistic glasses, which we used to see the world only through the point of view of personal benefit, through the will to receive. And now we see the world through the prism of desire to fulfill the other, to give, to love, and that is why we see an undistorted reality.

“What is good for me” is an illusory reality, and “what is good for others” is the true one. Illusory, egoistic reality drastically differs from the true reality, and that is why we often argue and do not agree with each other, even those closest to us. Because now, each of us has their own truth.

In true reality, everybody will have one opinion, one intention, since everyone will care about the other, and not about himself. And that is why there will be no arguments between us, but only connection and completion of each other.

Everybody will rise above his or her personal egoism and will try to satisfy the other’s needs, to fulfill the other’s desires. And that is why love and unity will always prevail between us. Can there be any conflicts if I constantly think about how to fulfill the desires of a fellow human being?

We will soon come to this state, we have no other choice. Evolution itself and current global crisis will bring us to the new reality. By rising above egoism, we raise ourselves above time, space, and movement, above the petty egoistic desires toward the desire of the upper force, which is bestowal and love.

The only true reality is the force of bestowal, the force of love. We have to take off all egoistic glasses we wear now and see the true reality.
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From a TV Program “A New Life,” No. 787, 11/01/2016

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Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 12.25.16

Preparation for the Lesson

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Lesson on the Topic: “Spiritual Movement”

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Writings of Rabash, “Rungs of the Ladder,” Article 32

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Writings of Rabash, “Rungs of the Ladder,” “What Are the Powers Which Are Needed for Work”

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