Audio Version Of The Blog – 04.14.17

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My Thoughts On Twitter, 4/13/17

twitter

How Trump can use the #Jews in his administration to make America great again. Full article: http://bit.ly/trumpamericafirst

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#NewUnitedAirlinesMottos Aggression where heightened courtesy should be. The growing ego eclipses reason and forces violence!

Trump must initiate next stage of ‘America First’ policy http://dlvr.it/Nt6sV6 #Opinion #JPost

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From Twitter, 4/13/17

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Jerusalem Post: “Passover — A Story Of Hebrews Who Wanted To Be Egyptians”

In my regular column in The Jerusalem Post, my new article: “Passover — A Story Of Hebrews Who Wanted To Be Egyptians

Pharaoh selfishly enslaved the Hebrews; Moses selflessly freed them. The “king” of egoism still enslaves our hearts. To free ourselves from bondage we must free ourselves hating one another.

haaretz

To most of us, the story of our exodus from Egypt is nothing but a tale. It is a fascinating story, no doubt, but is it relevant to our time? When placed against the dishes served before us on the table, it is an unfair match toward the Haggadah. However, if we knew what Passover really means to all of us, we would be “drinking-up” the narrative instead of waiting for it to make way for the main event: the food.

Underneath a tale about the struggle of a nation to be free lies a description of a process that we as Jews went through, and which we are going through again today. It is with good reason that the Torah commands us to see ourselves each day as though we had just come out of Egypt. The ordeals of our ancestors should be both warning signs and traffic signs, directing us which way to go in a world fraught with uncertainty and trepidation.

Israel’s Heydays in Egypt

When Joseph’s brothers went into Egypt, they had it all. Joseph the Hebrew was the de facto ruler of Egypt. With Pharaoh’s blessing, he determined everything that happened in Egypt, as Pharaoh said to Joseph: “You shall be over my house, and according to your command all my people shall do homage. …See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt. …I am Pharaoh, yet without your permission no one shall raise his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt” (Gen 41:40-44).

Thanks to Joseph’s wisdom, Egypt not only became a superpower, but also enslaved its neighboring nations and took their people’s money, land, and flocks (Gen 47:14-19). And the prime beneficiaries from Egypt’s success were Joseph’s family, the Hebrews. Pharaoh said to Joseph: “The land of Egypt is at your disposal; settle your father and your brothers in the best of the land, let them live in the land of Goshen [the richest, most lush part of Egypt], and if you know any capable men among them, put them in charge of my livestock” (Gen 47:6).

There is a good reason why Joseph became so successful. Three generations earlier, his great-grandfather, Abraham, found a method for healing all of life’s problems. Midrash Rabbah tells us that when Abraham saw his townspeople in Ur of the Chaldeans fighting one another, it deeply troubled him. After much reflection, he realized that they were growing increasingly egoistic and could no longer get along. The hatred between them was causing them to quarrel and fight, sometimes to the death. Abraham realized that the ego could not be obliterated, but could be covered with love by focusing on connection rather than separation. This is why Abraham is regarded as the symbol of kindness, hospitality, and mercy.

Although Nimrod, king of Babylon, expelled Abraham from Babylon, Maimonides’ Mishneh Torah (Chapter 1) and many other books describe how he wandered toward the land of Israel and gathered tens of thousands of followers who understood that unity above hatred is the key to a successful life. By the time he had arrived in the land of Israel, he was a wealthy and prosperous man, or as the Torah describes him, “And Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver and in gold” (Gen 13:2).

Abraham passed his knowledge on to all of his disciples and descendants. According to Maimonides, “Abraham planted this tenet [of unity above hatred] in their hearts, composed books about it, and taught his son, Isaac. Isaac sat and taught Jacob, and appointed him a teacher, to sit and teach… and Jacob our Father taught all his sons” (Mishneh Torah, Chapter 1). Joseph, from the Hebrew word osef (assembling/gathering), was Jacob’s prime disciple and strove to implement his father’s teaching. In Egypt, Joseph’s dream of uniting all the brothers under him came true, and everyone benefitted from this. This was the heyday of the Hebrews’ stay in Egypt.

How the Tables Turned Against Us

Everything changed when Joseph died. As it happens every time throughout our history, when Jews are successful, their egos overcome them and they wish to abandon the way of unity and become like the locals. This abandonment is always the beginning of a turn for the worse, until finally a tragedy or an ordeal forces us to reunite. Egypt was no exception. Midrash Rabbah (Exodus, 1:8) writes that “When Joseph died they said, ‘Let us be as the Egyptians.’ Because they did so, the Creator turned the love that the Egyptians held for them into hatred, as it was said (Ps 105), ‘He turned their heart to hate His people, to abuse His servants.’”

The Book of Consciousness (Chapter 22) writes even more explicitly that had the Hebrews not abandoned their way of unity, they would not have suffered. The book begins by quoting the Midrash I just mentioned, but then it adds, “Pharaoh looked at the children of Israel after Joseph and did not recognize Joseph in them,” meaning the quality of assembling, the tendency to unite.

And because “New faces were made, Pharaoh declared new decrees upon them. You see, my son,” the book concludes, “all the dangers and all the miracles and tragedies are all from you, because of you, and on account of you.” In other words, the good Pharaoh turned against us because we had abandoned Joseph’s way, the way of unity above hatred.

When Moses came along, he knew that the only way that he could save his people was to pull them out of Egypt, out of the egoism that was destroying their relations. The name Moshe (Moses), says the book Torat Moshe (Exodus, 2:10), comes from the Hebrew word “moshech” (pulling) because he pulled the people out of the evil inclination.

Yet, even when he pulled them out, they were still in danger of falling back into egoism. They received their “signet” as a nation only when they reenacted Abraham’s method of uniting above hatred. Once they pledged to unite “as one man with one heart,” they were declared a “nation.” At the foot of Mt. Sinai, from the word sinaa (hatred), the Hebrews united and thereby covered their hatred with love. This is when they became a Jewish nation, as the book Yaarot Devash (Part 2, Drush no. 2) writes, “Yehudi” (Jewish) comes from the word “yechudi” (united).

The Pharaoh and Moses within Us

It has been many centuries since this epic story unfolded, yet it seems that we have learned very little. Look at our current values, we are just as corrupt as the Hebrews were after Joseph’s death. By “corrupt,” I am not saying that we must avoid life’s amenities. Neither Abraham nor Joseph was abstinent in any way. By corrupt, I mean that we are shamelessly selfish, narcissistic, and promote these values wherever we go. We are arrogant, self-entitled, and have completely lost our Jewishness, meaning our tendency to unite. In consequence, just as the Egyptians turned against the Hebrews when they abandoned Joseph’s way, the world is turning against us today.

Pharaoh and Moses are not historical figures; they live within us and determine our relationships on a moment-to-moment basis. Every time we let hatred govern our relationships, we re-crown the Pharaoh within us. And every time we make an effort to unite, we revive Moses and the oath to strive to be “as one man with one heart.” Andrés Spokoiny, president and CEO of the Jewish Funders Network, described our situation beautifully in a speech he gave last year: “In the last few years, we saw an unprecedented polarization and ugliness in the Jewish community. Those who think differently are considered enemies or traitors, and those who disagree with us are demonized.” This is precisely the rule of Pharaoh.

Being Jewish does not necessarily entail observing specific customs or living in a specific country. Being Jewish entails placing unity above all else. However fierce our hatred, we must rise above it and unite.

Even The Book of Zohar writes explicitly about the paramount importance of unity above hatred. In the portion Aharei Mot, The Zohar writes, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to also sit together. These are the friends as they sit together, and are not separated from each other. At first, they seem like people at war, wishing to kill one another. Then they return to being in brotherly love. …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.”

Learning from the Past

Versions of the story of Egypt have occurred throughout our history. The Greeks conquered the land of Israel because we wanted to be like them, to worship the ego. We even did the fighting for them as Hellenized Jews fought against the Maccabees. Less than two centuries later, the Temple was ruined because of our unfounded hatred for each other. We were deported and murdered in Spain when we wanted to be Spaniards and abandoned our unity, and we were exterminated in Europe by the country where Jews wanted to forget about our unity and assimilate. In 1929, Dr. Kurt Fleischer, leader of the Liberals in the Berlin Jewish Community Assembly, accurately expressed our centuries’ long problem: “Anti-Semitism is the scourge that God has sent us in order to lead us together and weld us together.” What a tragedy it is that the Jews back then did not unite.

As though we are incapable of learning, today we are placing ourselves in the exact same position we always do. We have become slaves to our self-entitlement and arrogance, and we do not want to be Jewish, meaning united. We are letting Pharaoh rule all over again. What good can we expect to come out of this? We must not be blind again; we should know better by now.

In each of us there is a Moses, a point that moshech (pulls) toward unity. Yet, we must crown it willingly. We must choose to liberate ourselves from the shackles of the ego and unite above our hatred. This may seem like an impassable mountain to climb, but we are not expected to succeed, only to agree and make an effort. Just as the Hebrews were declared a nation and were liberated from Egypt when they agreed to unite, we also need only agree to unite, and the rest will follow. We will find within us the power and ability to unite.

In this Passover, we really must pass over from unfounded hatred, the blight of our people, and restore our brotherhood. Let’s make this Passover one of rapprochement, reconciliation, and accord. Let’s turn this holiday into a fresh start for our nation. Let’s put some seder (order) in the relations between us and be what we are meant to be, “a light unto nations,” spreading the glitter of unity throughout the world and to our brethren. If we only try, I know that we will have a happy Passover, a Passover of love, unity, and brotherhood.
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Why Does A Man Need A Woman?

Laitman_632_1Question: Why does a man need a woman for his spiritual development so much?

Answer: On the one hand, a woman helps him; on the other hand, she completes him. A man is called, “Guf’s plague” (half a body) because without the female part, he is basically a half.

The woman is not a half, but specifically he is. Therefore, he must complete his egoistic nature through a woman to the degree necessary to rise and develop spiritually.

This is not necessary for a woman because by herself she is already prepared for spiritual development.

If a man wants to attain spirituality, he must be married, but a woman doesn’t need to be married, because it does not depend on her. But at the same time, she must aspire to have a family.

Being in a family unit both for men and women is the best situation from which a Kabbalist can grow. With a woman, it is as it turns out, while for a man, he must have a family.
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From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 12/4/16

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Are We Guarded From Above? Part 2

laitman_571_01Question: If nature cares about us like a mother cares for her children, doesn’t she then have to cherish us and protect us from all harm?

Answer: An embryo within a mother’s womb develops under controlled forces acting upon it and it is 100% dependent on the upper system. This system has a goal: develop it and bring it to birth.

Opposing forces are active within the mother’s system because everything is born out of the interaction between two forces: positive and negative. That is why there are systems of absorption and excretion of substances, and all of them are controlled by the mother’s body, which has complete power over the body of the embryo.

It seems to us that the embryo experiences only kindness from the mother. But in reality, opposing forces are acting upon it, strict, powerful, in conflict with one another. One force is forcing the embryo to grow and expand; the other is exerting pressure on it and constricts it. It is almost like breathing, inhaling and exhaling, or the beating of the heart.

There are many actions that are unseen by us; nonetheless, all development is always taking place as a result of two opposing forces: plus and minus. And the material exists between them, as if in the middle of a crossfire. That is why the life of the embryo is not as sunny as it may seem to us, but rather is very complex. The embryo instinctively carries out many actions, some in resistance and some in compliance with the mother.

It carries out a real war in order to receive the right kind of strength to rid itself of foreign elements. The embryo carries out a tremendous job of discernment, consumption, and elimination. Don’t think that for nine months it is resting and growing passively while the mother does all the work for it.

Every day it it carries out a huge job under the influence of opposing forces until they mold it into the necessary external and internal form and prepare it for birth.

The embryo goes through an entire preparatory process within the mother so that when it is born, it does not require anything other than external energy, nutrition, and filling the memory cells. In essence, it has all the necessities, won by it during the difficult war on the side of the mother and opposing her. It has the strength of the screen and restriction, work of discernment and synthesis. This is the real inner war without which the embryo cannot develop.

By the way, embryo feels everything. After the first three days of “absorbing the seed” and the following forty days of formation of the fetus, it already becomes a person able to absorb and process information. It is not just a mass of cells, but a person.

Even while within the mother and in a special type of communication with her, it takes in information about the external environment both through her and otherwise. And when it comes out to be born, then it begins to sense the external world. This is now a new degree of existence.
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From KabTV’s “A New Life” #818,  1/26/17

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Passover Corrections

laitman_747_03Torah, Deuteronomy 16:03: You shall not eat leaven with it; for seven days you shall eat with it matzoth, the bread of affliction, for in haste you went out of the land of Egypt…

The sons of Israel eat unleavened bread because they left Egypt so quickly that the dough didn’t have time to ferment.

Haste means that liberation from egoism occurs instantly. This is the action of the upper Light that happens in the blink of an eye, and a new world opens up before a person.

Torah, Deuteronomy 16:04: And no leaven shall be seen with you within all your border for seven days; neither shall any of the flesh you slaughter on the preceding day in the afternoon, remain all night until the morning.

Leaven is egoism. “No leaven shall be seen for seven days,” means that no egoism should remain in you.

In order to work correctly with this enormous egoistic desire called Egypt, a person must break away from it fully, and this takes exactly one week (seven days) after which it is possible to start working with it for correction.

Therefore, throughout a year we work with egoism by correcting it, and during the Passover week we don’t use it. It is the same every year, because the renewal happens every time.

Torah, Deuteronomy 16:07: And you shall roast [it] and eat [it] in the place which the Lord, your God, will choose, and you shall turn away in the morning and go to your dwellings.

A person must come to a certain state, certain connection with others, in order to perform the correction of the biggest desires, because meat is the heaviest animalistic desire in him.

After that, we can go back to our usual corrections. This concludes the Pesach (Passover) holiday, and we continue our usual corrections throughout the year.
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From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 8/10/16

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Texas: Anti-Semitism

Dr. Michael LaitmanComment: America is experiencing a new wave of anti-Semitism. In one of the schools in Texas, pamphlets with anti-Semitic content were being distributed. Notably, the school principal was silent, didn’t show his attitude toward this, didn’t condemn it. This is what it has come to!

Answer: The school principal sees that everyone either approves or sympathizes with this and feels that all Zionists (Jews) are an undesirable foreign element that stands against society.

Question: As a Jew, I look at a swastika, and do you know what I feel?

Answer: You feel horror because you come from a place where this symbol is associated with extermination, danger, death, hatred, and torture. But for them, apparently, these associations do not yet exist, as we see that they do not run from it. They think that the rest are just mistaken and don’t understand that the Jews are good.

Question: Where are all the Jews who split up into two different camps: Trump supporters, Clinton supporters, et al. with respect to this?

Answer: They are the ones that gave rise to anti-Semitism! As soon as hostilities among the Jewish people arise, anti-Semites appear and begin to put pressure on them. And all in order to unite them! If the Jews only listened and understood that they need to unite…

Even before the WWII Baal HaSulam urged unification! They did not listen to him and walked into the Holocaust. Had they listened, the Holocaust would not have happened.

The same thing is taking place today: If the Jews that side with Sanders and the Jews that side with Trump listen and begin to unite, then anti-Semitism will immediately vanish! It works by a simple principle: The more united the Jews, the less anti-Semitism; the more they fall out of their unity and hate each other, the more anti-Semitism rises. This is how it works in history.

There exists a law: Separation between the Jews elicits anti-Semitism, unification of the Jews removes anti-Semitism. We went through this recently, during the holiday of Purim.

Haman says, “Jews must be destroyed.” Why? Because they are scattered all over the entire country and are not uniting among themselves.

Then Esther and Mordechai started to call the Jews to unite. And as soon as they started to unite, it was possible to hang Haman, end anti-Semitism, and furthermore, rise to the head of society with a clear direction toward general, world-wide unification. This is exactly what is demanded of us today.

Everything depends on us. We are the only ones who have the freedom to choose: either to unite or to war.
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From KabTV’s “News With Michael Laitman’, 3/13/17

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“Clear Away The Evil From Among You”

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Torah, Deuteronomy 22:21: …for she [the girl for whose virginity no evidence was found] did a disgraceful thing in Israel, to commit adultery [in] her father’s house. So shall you clear away the evil from among you.

It is about the Klipa (shell), the desire that, despite being connected to the upper level, still retains the intention for its own sake.

There is nothing that can be done here because the correction of this girl (this desire) is her death, meaning killing the intention “for oneself,” cutting it off from the actual desire.

The desire is left in a pure state, without an intention. Specifically Lev HaEven (the stony heart) kills the intention. Then this desire returns again and begins to correct itself with other intentions.

The call “clear away the evil from among you” means “engage in scrutiny all the time.” This is our work at different levels. Therefore, the entire Torah describes the path of one’s spiritual correction.
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From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 10/5/16

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Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 04.14.17

Preparation for the Lesson

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Lesson on the Topic, “Preparation for Pesach,” Part 1  

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Lesson on the Topic, “Preparation for Pesach,” Part 2

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