Entries in the 'Commandments' Category

Spiritual Meaning Of Mitzvot

281.01Question: There is a Mitzva of washing one’s hands. What is this action from the spiritual point of view?

Answer: This action symbolizes the cleansing of a person’s egoistic hands with which he tries to grab everything for himself. By washing them, he as if corrects his egoistic intentions and does not use them anymore. This is called “washing one’s hands.”

Question: That is, if I perform this action in spirituality, it corrects me. What about corporeality?

Answer: In the corporeal world, it is a reminder to a person that he must abandon the egoistic use of his desires.

Question: If a person washes hands with this intention, does this give anything to him?

Answer: Nothing! People should not get confused. As it is written: “You shall not make for yourself a graven image” in absolutely everything.

You can do whatever you want: eat, drink, behave as you please, as long as this is good for people, and then you will come closer to the upper world. The only condition is the rule “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
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From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 7/9/17

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New Life #848 – Jewish Burial

New Life #848 – Jewish Burial
Dr. Michael Laitman in conversation with Oren Levi and Nitzah Mazoz

Summary

According to the wisdom of Kabbalah, the attitude to life and death does not relate to the physiological body but to the spiritual body.

A Jewish burial is quick and simple in order to emphasize that the soul is important and the body is not.
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From KabTV’s “New Life #848 – Jewish Burial,” 4/13/17

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Are We Guarded From Above? Part 9

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: How does a Mezuzah (doorpost) symbolize the spiritual force that protects the soul?

Answer: A Mezuzah has four components, which together represent the entire HaVaYaH: Yod-Key-Vav-Key, in other words, the upper system. A person, wishing to resemble the Creator, enters this system of complete HaVaYaH. It is then his home, the mother’s womb, in which he develops.

The system HaVaYaH symbolizes the loving attitude toward us from this upper force, the Creator. Attaining love of others, we resemble the Creator who loves His creation and unite with Him in a mutual embrace.

Question: If He loves me, why does the Creator not embrace me now?

Answer: Because you do not correspond to Him, you disregard Him, you are opposite to the upper force of the system, and therefore undesirable.

The Creator relates to everyone with love, but His goal is to bring everyone to attainment of the upper force, in order for all to know the Creator, to reveal Him and become equal to Him. In this way we stop being puppets without free will, not understanding anything in our own lives, and raise ourselves to a higher level, eternal and absolute.

Question: But what is the purpose of the commandment to put a Mezuzah in the doorway?

Answer: It has to remind us that there is the upper force on which we are dependent and we need to resemble it, behave as it does. As it is merciful, so we should to be merciful, as it is compassionate, so we should be compassionate. In the end, all is very simple.

Question: So the Mezuzah symbolizes the force of love and positive connection between us?

Answer: Just as any other commandment in the physical world, it directs us to the need to follow it spiritually, internally.
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From KabTV’s “A New Life,” #819, 01/26/2017

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Dr. Michael LaitmanJudaism obligates Jews to follow many commandments: blessings, Kashrut (keeping kosher), Mikveh (ritual bath), prayer, in addition to multiple other actions. Judaism is considered the most complicated and an extraordinarily difficult religion.

All of it is in order for us, day by day, moment by moment, to remind ourselves by these action about the connection with the upper force and the need to constantly maintain it.

Question: Are you saying that this connection, love between people, guarantees us protection from above?

Answer: “Love your neighbor as yourself” is a great law of the Torah and represents the height of human development. There is nothing higher than that because this is how I include myself into the other person and do whatever he or she needs. Love is the law of an integral system, by which all its elements have to be connected.

Question: How does that protect me?

Answer: This is how I, or rather the single element of the system that I represent, follow the laws of the integral system. Naturally, this provides protection for me. I can never protect myself. I safeguard myself only through my ability to correctly unite with others because in reality I am connected with everyone and receive sustenance from them. In essence, they determine all my states because we are interdependent.

I am joined by connecting bonds with a multitude of others. If these connections are negative, then I suffer until I finally die. However, if from my side, these connections become positive, then in return, I receive a positive reaction from the system. Even if other people toward whom I act with kindness do not intend to respond to me in like manner, the upper force, functioning within the system, will influence them in such a way as to make them relate to me correctly.

In this way my actions begin to be in harmony with the force filling the entire system. My attempts to love my neighbor make me similar to the upper force. I tune into this force and by doing so, obligate the system to protect me. Resembling the upper what can be safer? I enter the upper almost as if I am entering a mother’s womb; is there a safer place than that?

The upper will protect me because I annul myself, my egoism, and become similar to it. I don’t think about myself, but act only according to the wishes of others. As a result, I become similar to the upper and enter it in the most minimal form. But even in this minimal form, nonetheless, I am within it as an embryo inside the mother. Where else can you feel more protected?
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From KabTV’s “A New Life,” #819, 01/26/17

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Dr. Michael LaitmanThere are two levels of connection with the upper governance system. On the ordinary level, a person cannot independently affect the upper system in any way; he functions in it instinctively. The system exerts an influence on him from above and he instinctively reacts to this influence, being connected to the system in countless ways.

However, a higher level of connection with the upper governance system is possible, and Kabbalists have it. And no external objects or actions are necessary for this because this is an internal process, experienced by the individual.

Question: But still, traditions of Judaism are not just external actions; do they not have deeper roots?

Answer: The commandments have roots, but the actual physical actions do not possess spiritual power. We should not believe that the upper force is contained in the mezuzah. The mezuzah only symbolizes this force and helps us to learn about it. It demonstrates to us that a certain force called “mezuzah,” which guards the “home,” exists in nature. And what we call “home” is the soul. And this is how we come to understand that there is a “soul” and within it, there is a “mezuzah.” In this way we are introduced to spiritual concepts.

There is no divinity in the actual physical mezuzah nailed in the doorway. It merely points to a force in the spiritual world, to a particular role of the Creator with respect to the souls. All its divinity is contained within this understanding. In our world there is no divinity. Mezuzah is a symbol pointing to the fact that if I build my soul, then within it there will be a particular protective power called “mezuzah.”

Question: What does it mean to build the soul?

Answer: To build the soul means to carry out correction: the restriction of one’s desire, the screen, and the Reflected Light. For this I need the connection with others, for us to be at least ten, “Minyan” (the quorum of ten), and in the right kind of connection between us, we build the soul, “home.”

All the commandments of this world are only symbolic. The proof of this is Abraham, who destroyed all the symbols because people started to attribute spiritual powers to them and worship them as idols.

But in reality, these objects only symbolize spiritual actions that the person is obligated to perform: to build a connection with others above the personal egoism of each in order to create within this connection a place for the revelation of the upper force of bestowal and love that dwells between them. This is the point of spiritual action: to connect with the others above personal egoism. This is called love.

Question: If I perform such action, connecting with others, will I attract to myself some force that will protect me?

Answer: Of course! But you will no longer be thinking about that because you will acquire the power of love and all your goals will be directed toward helping others, in order to “live” within them and provide them with all they need. This is what is called “love your neighbor as yourself,” when you are ready to give him your only pillow. Only this force protects us in life, there is no other protection.
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From KabTV’s “A New Life,” #819, 01/26/17

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Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Everyone wants to make their lives as safe as possible. In Judaism there are all kinds of traditions and symbols that are regarded as means of guaranteeing protection from above: a mezuzah for the protection of the individual and their home, or prayers, such as the traveler’s prayer, the blessings of the home or the business. Shabbat also is considered to be a means of protecting the person who observes it.

Do all these methods actually guarantee our protection from misfortunes?

Answer: All these provide nothing more than a psychological effect. It gives an individual an inner experience of calm and confidence, but they do not impact the occurring events. First thing that Abraham did was to destroy all the “idols,” that is, all external symbols, that can affect our fate. This symbolized the beginning of his spiritual path.

So if today a person believes that external objects and actions can guarantee them protection from above, it is considered idol worship. Traditional commandments of Judaism are not meant to guarantee us protection in this life. Kabbalists created them in order to give people a feeling of belonging to the nation of Israel, in order for them not to forget about their connection with others, about the Torah. But by following them, they are not changing their fate.

A person donates a few cents before getting onto a bus so that the bus does not explode; he as if wants to buy for himself a kind reaction from the Creator for a dollar. But even in this way, he is connecting himself with the system, with the society. This is why I do not laugh at this tradition and view it as beneficial for the wider masses. However, that which is good on one level, is called idol worship on a higher level of development.

Question: It is said that the home with a mezuzah on its doorway is protected by the Creator. How does the mezuzah protect those who are in the house?

Answer: It does not, in no way. It provides purely psychologically comfort, a positive feeling. It is a way for a person to calm themselves. It acts like a tranquilizing pill, nothing more.

If an individual really wants to be under the protection of the upper force, he must study it and enter into contact with it. He needs to know in what way to fulfill the desire of the upper force, not to get what he wants, but to act according to the purpose of creation for the benefit of the entire system.

If he does this, then of course he becomes desirable in the eyes of the general force of the system, called Creator, and he guarantees for himself correct, positive, and fast advancement.
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From KabTV’s “A New Life,” #818, 01/26/17

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Why Is A Mezuzah Necessary?

laitman_425Question from Facebook: A religious person explained to me that the lack of a Mezuzah is a source of trouble at home: the illness of relatives, the breakdown of electronic appliances, and so forth. How does the wisdom of Kabbalah look at this? Are there root causes of these troubles?

Answer: It is said that a Mezuzah protects Jewish homes and must be on all the doors. Therefore, its presence shouldn’t bother you even if you don’t believe in it.

If you begin to dig deeper into what is written on the piece of parchment and why it protects the house, then you will see that it talks about the uniqueness of the Creator and connection with Him.

If a person is connected with the Creator and considers Him to be the only force that manages him and emulates His characteristics of bestowal and love, then he certainly enters under its protection. This is the inner meaning of the Mezuzah.

It is not the piece of parchment that protects you, but that you become a force that yearns for the Creator.

Therefore, it is said: “inscribe them upon the tablet of thy heart” and “adhere them to all entrances and exits in your life.”
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From KabTV’s “News with Michael Laitman” 3/8/17

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The Attributes That Remind About The Spiritual Correction

Laitman_043Torah, Deuteronomy 11:20: And you shall inscribe them upon the doorposts of your house and upon your gates….

A person must realize all the commandments not only within himself, but on every possible external manifestation of his egoism. The doorposts and the gates are the restrictions that exist around our external desires. The fact is that desires come from inside out and are graded as following: the house, the yard, the fence around them, and then the field and the desert.

All this is inside a person; this is how he is created. He must also create such attributes, such symbols externally, in order to be aware of them. Therefore, there is a custom to kiss the mezuzah, but only in order to remind a person about his internal states that must be corrected.

The problem is that we don’t use them. It would be good if we explained that all of these are just signs that remind the people that they must correct their hearts. However, since we don’t teach them this, people are satisfied with performing the commandments mechanically and consider themselves righteous because of it. People don’t want to learn and listen to what the wisdom of Kabbalah tells them.

It is necessary to teach them both at the same time and not to replace one with another! This is the problem.

Torah, Deuteronomy 11:21: In order that your days may increase and the days of your children, on the land which the Lord swore to your forefathers to give them, as the days of heaven above the earth.

“In order that your days may increase” is a constant elevation on the 125 degrees to the world of infinity (Ein Sof), so that a person will possess “this land,” meaning all of the immense desire within him. He must reveal, develop, and correct it and exist in it on a completely different level.
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From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 6/15/16

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Spiritual Signs

Laitman_509Torah, Deuteronomy 11:18: …and bind them for a sign upon your hand…

The left hand is receiving and right hand giving. The hand that Tefillin is worn on is the weak left hand in order to tame egoism. It symbolizes the correction that a person should have on his upper spiritual degree.

This is a very high level in the world of Atzilut – Arich Anpin. There are Tefillin Jacob, Tefillin Rachel, Tefillin Leah, and Tefillin Israel.

Torah, Deuteronomy 11:18: …and they shall be for ornaments between your eyes…

Eyes are the quality of the level of Hochma in the head part of the world of Atzilut, meaning they are very high corrections. To reach such states we must do serious work on ourselves.

But there are also support programs that help implement a common program. It is like recording a new program on our desires. After all, nothing was created in the universe apart from desire. And the Upper Light gradually, like a laser, records the new program on our previous program without canceling the previous one.

In other words, all our egoism remains and just begins to work according to the different program. Therefore Tefillin, Tallit, and all other attributes symbolize the spiritual connections that we must restore between us over our shattered desire.

Question: Do these material attributes help us?

Answer: Unfortunately they just distract us. The fact is that by realizing commandments on the material level, a person thinks that he does everything required. However, it is good if along with performing physical actions that explanations are given: why, what for, and what is behind them, so they remind a person about his inner abilities of implementing the correction.

And it is bad if he thinks that by tying the Tefillin boxes he already fulfills the commandments.
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From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 6/15/16

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What The Laws Of The Torah Say

Laitman_137Question: Why is simply learning about the practical laws from the book, Shulchan Aruch not enough for fulfilling the Torah and Mitzvot (commandments)?

Answer: Because not only to perform them, but even to receive the Torah, we must be “as one person with one heart.” How can we say today that we are fulfilling the laws of the Torah?! We first must yearn to attain the conditions for their implementation or at least yearn for unification. And then we will find out that all the laws of the Torah speak about how to attain unity.

Receiving the Torah is only the beginning of its fulfillment. After having received it, egoism begins to be revealed more and more and we must increase the unity between us. That is how our common heart grows until it will include everyone within it.
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