Entries in the 'Holidays' Category

Passover Is Birthday Of The Nation

laitman_749_01Question: Where does the tradition of having a special meal on the first night of Passover (Seder) come from and what does it mean?

Answer: The Passover meal is a beautiful tradition that symbolizes the greatest landmark in the history of the people of Israel, the birth of the nation. Everything that was before it we can call a state of an embryo.

This can be compared to the drop of semen that gets into the womb, into a correct and safe place, where it begins to develop. During nine month of pregnancy, it undergoes various stages of growth until suddenly it begins to feel not very comfortable.

The same place that was so safe, good, and that protected the embryo that was developing from the drop of semen suddenly becomes threatening, pressing, wishing to push it out of itself, rebelling against it.

The same thing happened to the people of Israel in Egypt. At first, when the Jews descended to Egypt, everything was fine and wonderful, the so-called seven years of satiation. However, then their condition began to deteriorate quickly; the tension and threat began to grow rapidly. And they didn’t know where and how to run away from it.

This is how an embryo feels in the uterus before birth, and this is how the Jews felt in the Egyptian exile according to what the Torah says. Today, we feel the same way in the modern world, when nature becomes so hostile and threatening to us. Humanity has been developing all the time, but nowadays we feel for the first time that we’ve reached a dead end and have nowhere to develop.

Nature as if begins to clench us in a ring. We are locked on this Earth with poisoned ecology and can’t find a place for ourselves. These processes are very similar: the development of an embryo, the history of the development of the people of Israel, and the evolution of the whole world.

Many secular people who don’t celebrate any Jewish holidays, nevertheless celebrate Passover Seder because it unites us within each familyand as a people. Together we celebrate the birthday of our nation.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” 4/12/16

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My First Passover With Rabash

laitman_759Passover is the most Kabbalistic holiday. Everything that is written about it talks about the personal spiritual work of a person, and this I felt. Two months after I found my teacher Rabash, the Passover holiday began. I saw for the first time how serious men, who had gone through this holiday 50 to 60 or more times during their lives, became excited by the preparations for the holiday.

My inner excitement was conveyed to them. I was among people who were central pillars, half of them had studied with Baal HaSulam, and I, a beginning student, didn’t understand anything. I wanted to please them somehow, so I immediately asked how it would be possible to help. They said that the oven for baking Matzot hadn’t been prepared, and for them that was the main thing. I brought a large compressor, connected it to the oven, cleaned all of the burners with compressed air and then cleaned it with an iron brush. They lit it and were very pleased. But it was small because the bricks on which the Matzot were baked were no longer usable. I brought an expert from a factory near Haifa who had very large ovens. He advised finding good stones. I did everything I could and found them, I fixed the doors and everything else.

After that, I discovered that even though I understood the laws of Passover, they had their own laws, a large amount of supplements, restrictions, and many conventional restrictions that amazed me. I was told that “this is what they do and that is everything.” In general, they didn’t ask about them, but just carried them out. Everything was derived from Passover embodying the departure of a person from his ego. Moreover, this was an absolute departure, detachment and ascension to the upper world! You detach and fly to another world! So, all of the laws are built on the basis of very strict conditions. I was compelled to draw this out from them and find out.

They didn’t want to tell me anything so that I wouldn’t make life difficult at home. They immediately told me that new students always overburden themselves and then “burn out” because of it. But in spite of it all, I clarified all of these laws. Understandably, at home, I didn’t act like this; that was impossible, especially with a wife and little children. In particular, because I intended to spend the holidays in Bnei Brak with the students of Rabash, I wanted to feel everything deeply myself because they carried out the instructions of Baal HaSulam, and he was strict about very severe limitations.

My teacher Rav Baruch Shalom Ashlag invited me to a meal and so I saw how Passover was organized by him. After every meal, he would throw the plate, spoon and fork into a bucket. All of this would remain there until the end of Passover and would not be washed, because if a crumb of Matzo would touch water, Chametz would be created. So they washed the dishes only after the holiday and kept them until the next holiday. At the time of the meal, Rabash sat me next to him, but I felt that everything that was around me was an area forbidden to enter, a kind of fence. The eating utensils with which I ate were also placed in a separate bucket. I didn’t feel opposed to this; I understood that this was the law.

This would be my acquaintance with the Passover holiday. To be honest, I “copied” all of their customs and we used them. Before Passover there was lots of work. In those days only I had a car, so I travelled with Rabash to the market to buy coffee for Passover, plates, and so forth. Besides that, he collected money for Passover all year, and before the holiday he travelled to all kinds of places and checked what he had to buy: pots, buckets, plates, and cups; everything was very simple. He loved stainless steel and glass because they were clean, and he was not familiar with and didn’t want plastic utensils. Grinders for meat and fish were also bought, which also had to be without plastic parts. In our time, it is very difficult to find meat grinders without plastic parts. Therefore I was compelled to take them apart and prepare identical parts and metal gaskets: lead, bronze and the like.

Question: You didn’t have the feeling that all of these laws were excessive?

Answer: No, I simply knew that our world consists of branches that come from spiritual roots, belonging to egoistic desire. Therefore, they are completely cut off and not used on Passover, and if they are used, it is in a limited manner. Suppose that it were possible to use wood, but it was not permitted to cook in it because it absorbs everything that is cooked in it. Generally, there are thousands of different restrictions. For example, eggs must be cooked from the start for the entire holiday, tomatoes, cucumbers, and garlic are not eaten. In short, besides meat and potatoes, in fact there was nothing. It was possible to use only salt from the Dead Sea. Naturally, we prepared pepper for ourselves. We bought the coffee green, sorted it, then baked it, ground it, and only then drank it. During the sorting we examined all the grains so that there would be no trace of worms. This was very difficult work.

Question: Did Rabash see how difficult it was for you to select the coffee?

Answer: Yes. Once he saw that I was no longer able to continue, he took a grain and said, “I sit and examine the grains because I want this grain to be clean and good, and from it my teacher can drink coffee.” Clearly, this was a very difficult lesson! But I was not ready to be involved with this for much time! A minute after the shock of his words passed, I again could not obligate myself to continue! These were not physical obstacles. If you were to take a person from the outside, or me, especially in those years when I had only just arrived in Israel, and say, “Select the coffee and you will get money in exchange for it,” I would have done this correctly and well. But this was done here to serve my teacher whom I thought was great, and specifically because of this, it was so difficult.

Comment: And yet, Passover is a profoundly internal holiday that indicates detachment from the ego.

Answer: The idea is that this is something that must be felt. So I was young, and also in the second and third year this had not yet penetrated inside; there was resistance, a person doesn’t want to hear or understand even though he is told. That is how many years pass until a person, under the influence of the Light, begins to listen. Small doses of Light over much time influence you and you gradually begin to understand everything. It is impossible to demand this of a new student. In the beginning, when he is still excited, he can sit and study from morning to night. But I wasn’t like that. From the start I was rigid, egoistic, and greatly resistant.

Comment: In spite of it all, this is an internal holiday with efforts to reach external accommodation! You cleaned the place, you thought and worked with your ego!

Answer: No. When you carry out all of these activities, you feel how loathsome they are to you and how much they are against your ego. Passover is the embodiment of a special first examination: ascent above the ego from which begins all spiritual ascent. A person feels, in contrast, when a person puts on Tefillin, wraps himself in a Tallit, and carries out other physical Mitzvot (commandments) in our world, he doesn’t feel anything. This is a Light that is too high, a high level.

When you know clearly that this is Kabbalah, this is bestowal, it is possible to some degree to understand, to feel something. This is very tangible because with every action that you carry out, it is a very simple action, you are detaching the ego from yourself. Therefore, to the same degree that you want to carry everything out, you truly want to detach the ego from yourself. You clothe every physical action with a spiritual intention. Even though it has no relevance to physical actions, you attach it. Actions like this are the embodiment of a sign of spiritual intent. Therefore, it is so important and close to us.

Comment: I have the sensation that in the lessons you are conveying the material about Passover through you! You don’t even let us talk to each other so that we would read and convey it through us.

Answer: First of all, there isn’t enough time and you also need to absorb and prepare this, even “swallowing” it without chewing. That is why I am in a hurry.

Question: When do the seven years of hunger begin? When does the cry appear in a person, “Save us and take us out!”?

Answer: It is when a person feels that working on himself is useless. But it isn’t useless because it is specifically this that brings him to a recognition and understanding of his inability to succeed with his efforts and that he truly requires help through the group. But it is necessary to see all of this! The main thing is to connect the entire chain in a person: In what manner should he carry out work on the ego, how is his form changed, which changes in form is he going through and in what manner, where does Passover begin and where does it end, and what happens after Passover? Which is to say, “Passover” is detachment from the ground and departure to a higher dimension. This is a transitional level to the spiritual world that the world implements while living here together with us on this Earth. And therefore this is so important.

Question: Did you feel the inner work of Rabash?

Answer: With very great difficulty, with very great internal tension. We no longer travelled to the sea, or a park, anywhere. We had only one task: to prepare the eating utensils. For this we travelled to the sea, I went into the water even though it was very cold (sometimes it almost snowed on Passover) and there I immersed the eating utensils. Rabash was not really sure of a Mikvah, he used to say: “There are no questions about the sea.” The sea is water that is completely ready for the immersion of traditional dishes.

Question: So what were the dishes prepared for?

Answer: In itself, water symbolizes Ohr Hassadim, which purifies all kinds of Kelim. We immerse all the dishes in water, those from which we eat and also those with which we eat. Immersion by itself symbolizes their purification from the ego.

Question: Was Rabash afraid of eating something that was not kosher for Passover?

Answer: When I came to him, among his students there were three old men with serious problems with their teeth, like those with false teeth, Rabash’s younger brother, and Moshe Gebelstein with whom I had studied in the first months. I suggested to them that I could prepare new false teeth for them. They were so happy that toward Passover they would have completely new false teeth. Then Rabash told me, how he lost his teeth at a very young age, this happened on Passover.

On Shabbat it was customary to eat fish, so on Friday, Rabash together with his student Krakovsky, the American, travelled from Jerusalem to Jericho, a place where it was possible to buy fish. When they arrived there, they bought fish, and on the way back, it became clear that their car had broken down and they were compelled to remain for Shabbat with the Arabs in a kind of caravan, a shack.

In Jerusalem, frightening rumors were spread about where they might be found and they wondered where they were! What happened to them?! There was talk about losing the family of a Rav and his students! Meanwhile, they were sitting in Jericho and could not leave there and could not communicate because this was many years ago, around 1935. They remained without food. It was Passover and there was nothing to eat. In a corner stood sacks of lemons and this was the only thing that was possible to eat.

Rabash said that the lemons that he ate were sweet. After that, his teeth began to hurt, the enamel began to crack. The prohibition against eating food that was not kosher was so strong! Moreover, this was Shabbat on which there is a real limitation on everything, it was impossible to pluck anything from a tree, it was impossible to do anything. Rabash told me about this when I was preparing false teeth for him. On Passover they were also accustomed to bring salt from the Dead Sea, so there was no other salt at all. There is a special mountain there from which it was possible to get relatively clean salt.

Comment: You said that sometimes when you looked at Rabash, you felt that he was going through terrible states.

Answer: He was very closed; therefore, in fact, it was impossible to see anything. I had already known him for many years, and in spite of it all, it was impossible to determine the spiritual states of the man. We feel the physical states because we are found in them ourselves. Therefore, analogously, it is possible to know and feel in what state a person is found. But regarding spiritual states, there is no way.

Question: What does Passover symbolize for a person?

Answer: This is a personal matter for a person. But the Passover that we celebrate, for those of us who want to detach from the physical ego and begin to work in the spiritual world, is the first system of communication between us and the Creator. We want to feel the spiritual world, its actions, its characteristics, its influence on us, its responses to our influence, meaning the entire system of creation, the Creator on the one hand, and on the other hand, ourselves through this system. Passover symbolizes the transition in which we leave (pass over) from a state of detachment from the Creator to a state of consciousness and contact with Him.

Question: Does this mean that we put aside all that we have, intelligence, logic, and so forth?

Answer: Naturally, this is a result of the influence of the Light. It is not necessary to quibble subtly; the Light simply influences the person and the person becomes different.

Question: What is this desire inside of me to go out to the upper world? What is this cry within me, the exit itself?

Answer: This is a given. It is given to a person when he works on himself and ascends with the help of his internal forces and means.
From KabTV’s “News with Michael Laitman” 4/4/17

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The Algemeiner: “How Purim Can Help Us Navigate Today’s Political Reality”

The Algemeiner published my new article: “How Purim Can Help Us Navigate Today’s Political Reality

The social divide in America is violently escalating. The whirlwind of accusations between the political Left and Right continues to spiral downwards. We seem to be hitting new lows on a daily basis.

Making sense of this political landscape is becoming ever more difficult—because each side refuses to engage with the other. This general atmosphere of social polarization has also led to an alarming wave of antisemitic acts, which has led to even more accusations and fighting.

The famous verse from the Book of Esther—“The city of Shushan is perplexed”—sounds just right for today’s America.

The silver lining, however, is that confusion and uncertainty always present an opportunity to reassess our values and priorities. The blind division between left and right keeps us confined to our primal instincts—but confusion might be a step towards helping us find consensus again.

Insights from the story of Purim

The story of Purim took place in ancient Persia, at a time when Jews found themselves under an existential threat.

Haman knew that the Jews were divided, and that he could use this to get rid of them. The Megillah tells us that “there is a nation dispersed between other nations, and Haman said that in his opinion, they will succeed in getting rid of the Jews for they are in a state of separation from one another.”

But the hero of the story Mordechai worked to correct this division—and this ultimately redeemed the Jewish people: “The Jews unified, and by that they were saved.”

The ancient story of Purim holds great meaning for Jews today—and for America in general. But who is the modern day Haman? Who is the true perpetrator of division?

Some will easily blame President Trump, while others will blame the Democrats and liberals. Yet beyond accusations and personifications, we could also say that today’s Haman is the mindset of division—the desire to seek power at any cost—which enslaves us, harms us, and blinds us from what we are doing to each other.

Changing course

Amid this social turbulence, we must find the voice inside of us that calls for shared purpose and connection—because this is the very thing that will bring America and the world closer to peace and harmony.

Every time that the Jews were threatened with extermination, it was our commitment to unity that allowed us to prevail and survive. Today, Jews must remember this history, and set a positive example for everyone.

And while Jews have a prime responsibility to be a model for choosing connection over division, Americans of all stripes must choose this course of action before it is too late. Our fate is in our hands.

Happy Purim to all.

The Purim Holiday

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What is special about the Purim holiday this year?

Answer: The Purim holiday is special in that today in the world, as if in the theatre, the curtains rise and performance begins with music and entry of all the screen characters. Although the king and queen Esther are not yet visible, but the main characters, the villain and the righteous, are showing up already.

In the past years, the curtains were almost closed, and this year the world has reached the point when it is ready to start participating in this performance. It began with president Trump because with his coming to power America entered a new era.

Never before the American Jews were so totally divided among themselves, hating each other so much that even families break up and relatives don’t meet with each other. Exactly this event indicates that we are now at the beginning of Purim.

The Jews are divided, scattered among all others, and most importantly, they hate each other. Now they can be destroyed one at a time, and this is what Haman wants to do. And the king agrees with him, saying “Come on, start your work.” After all, when the situation worsens, maybe the Jews will finally understand that they are in a rather critical condition.

Haman begins preparation, builds gallows for the representative of the Jews, Mordechai. The Jews are under the threat of destruction. They are encouraged to safe themselves, but it is possible only through unity.

After all, by uniting, the Jews attract the upper Light, the special force that connects them and kills all their enemies this way. Of course, we mean not the physical annihilation, because it doesn’t solve anything, but the spiritual victory.

Therefore, especially this year we study the Purim holiday, “Megillat Esther” (“The Scroll of Esther”), because this is a production that is obviously played out today in our world.

We can take an active part in it and play it successfully, or we can make only a small rehearsal from it and wait for more difficult times. However, we better not.

How this will happen depends on us. It is better to extinguish this all today and fix it so that all the nations of the world are satisfied with our work and come to collective unity with each other. Then they will be blessed from above, and the world will come to its contentment.
From a TV Program “News with Rav Laitman” 3/8/2017

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About The Main Desire Of Women

laitman_286Nature has given us, men and women, a real gift from above – our differences. Due to these differences, by connecting correctly, we can not only live happily, but can also solve the “riddle number one,” for which this world was created….

It is very symbolic that we are celebrating two holidays simultaneously, Purim and March 8th [International Women’s Day], at the center of which stands a woman. Esther is indeed a wonderful image of a woman who discovers her nature deep within herself.

Modestly, without emphasizing herself, hiding her desires, is concerned not only about her husband, children, and home, but the entire world as well. She is the cause, the central axis, which through her desires drives the entire mechanism of creation, desires its perfection, and she herself becomes perfected.

Nature has endowed woman with the main property, the immense desire of all of creation. But to fulfill her desire, she needs a man. A real man, who as a representative of the Creator, is ready to fulfill the boundless desire of the woman.

The woman wants her man to become like the Creator, ascending to His level, becoming a provider, loving, possessing only one intention, not thinking of himself, but wanting to fulfill her desire, and in fact, the desire of the Creator. The woman supports a man in his true masculine work of overcoming his egoistic nature. The woman delicately but persistently inspires a man, pushes him toward growth and development, to accommodate her desires and the desires of the man, transforming these desires and making them harmonious, complementing each other.

Today, not always and not everyone can succeed in living according to our inherent natural characteristics. A woman controls a society, aiming her desires toward compensating for the deficiencies of men in all areas of human activity. A woman can always give a man useful advice because she has a much better intuition than he does.

However, regardless of external successes or failures, a woman deeply feels the need for true fulfillment. Her uncontrollable desire will necessarily be turned toward the source of this fulfillment and the wisdom of Kabbalah, which is the method for how to truly become happy herself, providing happiness to her man, children, relatives, and the whole world.

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Congratulations On International Women Day!

laitman_244Dear Women!

You are a remarkable, special part of humanity, representing the very essence of nature. You are close to it and therefore make less mistakes than we do. You are more correct.

You give life to everyone. A man is born of a woman. He loves a woman. He gives her everything he has (if this is a right man). And a woman represents the entire nature of the world.

Today we are still unable to fully appreciate woman’s role in nature. However, we have to keep in mind that this is the entire creation in general.

A man is just an auxiliary force, designed to correct this creation slightly by his consequent participation. If he positions himself correctly by switching from the intention for himself to the intention to bestow to a woman, the entire nature will be corrected and will come to its tranquillity.

Let’s hope that it will happen if not today. then very soon.

I wish you, as well as myself and all the men, great success in this!

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The Meaning Of The Tu B’Shevat Holiday

Laitman_721_03Question: What is the meaning of the Tu B’Shevat holiday?

Answer: The meaning of the holiday is goodwill before a tree.

Immediately the question arises: how is it possible to worship a tree, after all isn’t it like idolatry? No. A tree symbolizes life relative to the earth, which we bless and welcome.

After inanimate nature filled the entire cosmos, the vegetative nature began to develop on Earth, which is a completely new form of life because there is a spark of the Creator inside it. Therefore the vegetative life attracts us.

Then gradually animate life developed from it. The transitional stage between the still and vegetative levels are coral: between vegetative and animate life, a creature called “the dog of the field” that feeds from the ground, but its body behaves like an animal; and between the animate state and human, the monkey. This is mentioned in ancient Kabbalistic books.

The new year of the trees marks their awakening to life and symbolizes the awakening of a person to achieve the purpose of his life.

It is written in the Torah, “a man is like a tree in the field,” because a tree has a special internal structure that feeds from the ground and stretches upward toward the sun. But the most important part are its fruit. In general, any plant, everything that comes from the earth, feeds us and is the basis of the material life of humans.

Our spiritual development occurs according to the principle that in all sorts of human actions, one works with them as a tree. It is not an accident that the most important fundamental work of the great Kabbalist the Ari is titled the Tree of Life.

My teacher Rabash celebrated this day in a special way. A lot of people gathered together, tables were covered with sweets, not just with the fruits of the trees, but also with the fruits of the earth itself. The fruits represent a person who has reached his purpose, which is to become similar to the Creator, to reach His level. We want to achieve this. In principle, everyone would wish this if they understood how sweet this fruit is, this eternal, perfect existence in absolute attainment without any restrictions and problems.

Whether we want this or not, we nevertheless get closer to it. However, Kabbalah can accelerate our path if we use it correctly. Otherwise we’ll have to advance the way we do now, with the help of unpleasant blows from nature that push us forward.

In principle there is a beautiful future ahead of us and I hope that the same sweetness we feel from the good fruits of the earth and plants, we will feel from the fulfilling of our soul.

You are invited to try out this special state, to taste the real fruit of life, which the wisdom of Kabbalah offers to us.

Good luck and all the best!
From KabTV’s “News with Michael Laitman” 2/6/17

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The Unique Point Of Spiritual Birth

laitman_742_03Question: What is the meaning of Rosh Hashanah (New Year) from the point of view of the wisdom of Kabbalah?

Answer: Rosh Hashanah is the day of the spiritual birth of Adam. Rosh Hashanah has been celebrated for 5,777 years, since the time when a person with the name Adam discovered the spiritual world for the first time.

That is how the possibility for discovering the spiritual world appeared among people and the beginning of the ascent toward it by leaving the state of the beast, leaving our physical world.

This is talking about a unique point of spiritual birth in which the first Adam  (Man) went out to the spiritual world and that is how he paved the way for us. All the rest of the Kabbalists followed his way and developed his method based upon rising above egoism by attracting the Upper Light. This is the only method, and we are following the same way; so we mark this date.
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 1/1/17

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Judge Yourself

Laitman_002Question: The wisdom of Kabbalah says that there is no sin, there is experience. But we always talk about redemption, about the forgiveness of sins before Yom Kippur. If sin is a lack of faith in the Creator, then is the wisdom of Kabbalah also a religion and not a science?

Answer: The wisdom of Kabbalah doesn’t say anything about a person excusing himself.

All forgiveness of sin on Yom Kippur is related to the person himself. A person must judge himself about not being kind enough to others, about not working enough to bring everyone closer together.

This sums up a person’s judgment of himself; nobody is judging him. There is nobody before whom to give any accountability. A person judges himself and changes his behavior accordingly.
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 9/25/16

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How Many Years Are Left For Humanity?

laitman_742_03Question: How would you explain your claim that humanity has 223 years left to exist?

Answer: 5,777 years ago, there was a human being called Adam. He discovered that a method exists through which it is possible to attain the upper world.

We consider the day he made this discovery as his birthday. We celebrate it as Rosh Hashanah. Adam wrote about his discovery in a book called Raziel HaMalach. From that date we begin the numbering of the traditional calendar, from 5,777 years ago.

Therefore, around 200 years remain until all of humanity will attain the upper world, like Adam HaRishon (The First Man), which means we will feel our true state if we just go beyond the limitations of our ego.

Baal HaSulam explained this beautifully in his metaphor of “the worm and the radish.”


When the worm sticks his head outside of the radish and looks at the world, he sees the sun shining and birds chirping. It is amazed at how it was living in such a terrible world all the time while there was a higher world that is so wonderful.

So we also need “to go out of our radish.” Just as the bitterness of the radish stimulated the worm to crawl out of the radish, so suffering pushes us out of our world.

There is nothing interesting in our world, and true fulfillment is attained only with the help of the method of the wisdom of Kabbalah. Today all of humanity is gradually beginning to feel that our world is a “bitter radish,” so they are beginning to approach the wisdom of Kabbalah.
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 8/28/16

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