Entries in the 'Holidays' Category

Holidays From The Perspective Of Kabbalah

laitman_572.02Question: What does a holiday mean from the perspective of Kabbalah?

Answer: According to the wisdom of Kabbalah, there are various levels of the Light that come down upon us. Their intensity determines a special state called a holiday.

“Holiday” in Hebrew is called “Hag” from the word “Mehuga” (arrow), which constantly turns, repeating its circles. In other words, a holiday is something that repeats from year to year. However, it repeats in such a way that at that time a certain Light comes down and brings everyone under it into a special state.

Thus, in the spiritual world, you may exist in the state of “New Year” while I am in the state of “Pesach” (Passover). In addition, one does not interfere with the other. For you, it is one state; for me, it is a different one. Everyone has his own time and his own levels.
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From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 12/31/17

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Jewish Boston: “Passover: A Story of Hebrews Who Wanted to Be Egyptians“

Jewish Boston published my new article “Passover: A Story of Hebrews Who Wanted to Be Egyptians:“

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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Breaking Israel News: “The Passover From Materialism To Unity“

The largest portal Breaking Israel News published my new article “The Passover From Materialism To Unity:“

“This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year.” – Exodus 12:2
Passover is an opportunity to pass over from a state of divisiveness, disregard, and coldness in modern society, to one of unity, care and warmth.

Although the Jewish year formally begins on Rosh Hashanah, there is a more expansive view of the Jewish holidays that shows Passover as the start of the Jewish year. To see it from this perspective, we need to understand the deeper meaning of Passover.

Passover describes an inner process where a period of intensifying division leads to a decision to unite, followed by the discovery of a more unified state. Also, Passover points out what makes the Jewish people unique.
What Makes the Jewish People Unique?

Unlike other nations and races, the Jewish people did not emerge organically from familial offspring or terrestrial closeness. The Jews were originally a gathering of people who became known as “the Jews” when they dedicated themselves to uniting “as one man with one heart,” and accepted the responsibility of being “a light unto nations” (the Hebrew word for “Jew” [Yehudi] comes from the word for “united” [yihudi] [Yaarot Devash, Part 2, Drush no. 2]).

The holiday of Passover explains this transition.

It starts at a time when the people of Israel lived exceptionally well in Egypt. In terms of commonly accepted social values, they had it all: comfort, wealth and success, or as it is written in the Torah, “in Egypt … we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted” (Exodus, 16:3). However, even with all their material abundance, they felt that something was missing.

At this point, let’s zoom out to see the process this describes: Human nature, which is a desire to receive pleasure, constantly urges us to fulfill ourselves. The more we fulfill ourselves, the more we feel empty, and the more we feel a need to seek higher and greater fulfillments time after time. Thus, our desire to enjoy grows, and we evolve through various stages of the desire’s growth. After we satisfy our basic needs for food, sex, shelter, and family, our desire grows, and we develop social desires—money, respect, control, and knowledge—which we continually try to satisfy.

Then, we encounter a problem.

Like a dog chasing its tail, we chase after all those pleasures, but we keep finding ourselves wanting something more or different than them, without being able to point out what we really want. The Passover story describes this new desire: that when our material desires are quenched, a new desire for positive social connection emerges. This desire is called “Moses.”

Moses had been around the whole time the people of Israel were thriving in Egypt. He grew up in the house of Pharaoh until he himself exhausted the material pursuit of happiness. That is when the Egyptian exile began. Pharaoh, i.e. our ego, refuses to accept unity. It cannot think of anything worse than the idea of living life with a goal to “love your friend as yourself.”

So as the people of Israel prospered in Egypt, they naturally started wanting more than what they had, and the idea of social unification—Moses—started forming among them. Then came the struggle between Moses and Pharaoh. On one hand, Moses pointed the way to unity and love for one another, while Pharaoh insisted that the rule, i.e. that they would continue living and working only for egoistic, material fulfillment. When Pharaoh saw the people of Israel accepting Moses, he became the savage king the Passover story describes.

Through a long process, the people of Israel ultimately stood by Moses, demanded their unity, and triumphed. They united at the foot of Mount Sinai and accepted the law of “love your friend as yourself.” They then proceeded to purify themselves of hametz (leaven), i.e. their ego, and made the transition (i.e. the Passover) from egocentrism to unification, realizing Moses’ idea and guidance.

Passover Today

Since Passover describes a process of overcoming egoism with unity, it is just as relevant today as it ever was. Today’s materialistic culture looks increasingly like Egypt described in the Passover story: we enjoyed the delights of materialism for quite a while, but more and more people are increasingly feeling that their lives are missing something.

We see this expressed among individuals with increases in depression, stress and loneliness, and in society with intensifying politically-fueled social division, xenophobia, and anti-Semitism. All these phenomena show us that we can have all the material abundance we want, but it still won’t fulfill us, and what we really need in order to fulfill our new, bigger desire is unity, positive social connection.

Unlike our material fulfillment, we cannot picture what uniting above our divisions would be like. We see no example of unity that we can fill our media and educational systems with, and so we keep regurgitating and reinventing materialistic ideas, stories and products since we do not see nor know anything else.

As society continually engages in this materialistic pleasure-chasing loop without any other goal in sight, and as problems increasingly burst out from this setup, the more society points the finger of blame at the Jews. Anti-Semitic sentiment thus rises because the Jewish people, in their ancestry, possess the template for realizing the new desire for connection. If the Jewish people fail to aim and work toward unification in a time when not only the Jews but the world at large, needs unity, then the world subconsciously starts feeling the Jewish people as the cause of their problems.

Our forefathers underwent the process of uniting, saving themselves from ruin in the process. Today, as the finger of blame is on us for all kinds of reasons, it’s up to us to identify the root reason for all that blame—that out of all people, we have been given the keys to unite above all differences, and this is what the world really needs from us. It’s as if the world pays no attention to all the technology, culture and medicine we bring to the world. However, if we do as our forefathers did, then we’ll realize what we were put here to do, and we’ll see how the world’s attitude to the Jews will change to one of respect and appreciation.

I hope that we will start paying attention to the root causes and tendencies behind the world’s problems and that this Passover, we will make a step toward their ultimate solution—unity.

Happy Passover!
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“Don’t Swallow Maror Without Chewing It”

Laitman_725“Don’t swallow maror without chewing it” means that we need to work on our unity with greater perseverance despite our inability to reach it. If we in the group agree with the need to unite, then we have entered Egypt.

Previously, we did not agree or even speak about it. First, the brothers neglect Joseph and throw him out. But then there is a famine and they agree to unite, and then they enter Egypt.

At first, they live well in Egypt, but then they begin to realize that they are unable to connect. “And the children of Israel sighed from the labor” since they could not accomplish anything. It is then that “their cry ascended to God from the labor.”

This is the meaning of “Don’t swallow the Maror without chewing it.” We are obliged to “chew” this work and feel all its bitterness and heaviness, like the bitter and hard horseradish from which Maror is made. From hard work and our failure, we soften and, out of desperation, turn to the Creator.

Only after hard work do we begin to feel our captivity and the need to come out of it, and we begin to feel that there is a force that can help us.
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From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/20/18, Writings of Rabash

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Books About The Eternal

laitman_527.07If we begin to explain to a little three or four-year-old child our adult problems, obviously according to his mental, psychological, and spiritual development, he will be incapable of understanding them. He is not interested in them and they are not included in his definitions at all.

This is how we read books written by Kabbalists;  we must try to realize that we do not understand what they say at all.

Let’s say we read the article “Concerning Love of Friends,” but we do not know what friends are or what love is. “Friends” in spirituality are parts of my soul; however, I do not feel them in this way. I immediately confuse the word “friends” with usual friendship in this world: with acquaintances, someone it is nice to spend an evening with or travel with, or with childhood friends.

However, here it has a completely different meaning. I want to reveal my soul, the eternal part of reality, but so far I only have a temporary, illusory existence in our imaginary world that really does not exist. Therefore, I must understand that the books speak of my eternal soul, which appears to me in the form of some special people I was brought together with by an upper governance, by the broken network of connections between us.

It is necessary to form a representation of such a system within ourselves, albeit still imaginary, but as close to the spiritual one as possible. Apart from this, we need to accurately define who is “a person” in general and “friends” in particular, and what is “love of friends”? Friends are not those with whom it is nice to hang out with, have a drink, a meal, or to dance or study with.

Friends are a special spiritual connection, which is not for the purpose of bringing pleasure to each other. Pleasure can only be the means. But in fact, the love of friends is when everyone acts instead of the other. This is one of the difficulties of studying Kabbalah.

The second difficulty is that we perceive the Torah as a story about our world: as if there is time, movement, and space, which do not exist in the spiritual world. Therefore, this “story” that we hear from the Torah does not exist as well! There is neither Egypt nor the Egyptian exile.

I should not imagine this has ever happened in our world. The Torah describes not historical events, but the sequence of preparatory states that Kabbalists went through in order to achieve the true and the only existing perception of reality.

So, I too should constantly imagine myself not studying history that occurred in the ancient times with a group of people fleeing from one place to another. It is not about this, but about a person’s sensory impressions, finding oneself in a state that he defines as spiritual exile, exile from the spiritual world. Then it is possible to imagine what the spiritual redemption and development is. It is only about what is happening within a person.

Every day I want to separate myself more and more from the stories, from history and geography, and explain them to myself at the inner, sensory level: mine or someone else’s who wants to develop spiritually. All this applies only to the period of a person’s spiritual development. Therefore, “love of friends” and, in general, the entire Torah should be considered only in the internal form, in relation to our development.
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From the 1st Part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/6/18, Lesson on the Topic: “Preparation for the Pesach”

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Pesach—Holiday Of The Beginning Of Correction

749.02We are approaching the Pesach (Passover) holiday, which symbolizes the beginning of the correction. Everything begins with exiting Egypt followed by the giving of the Torah.

Corrections are possible only in a person who has already gone through Egyptian exile. The created being starts with the sin of the Tree of Knowledge and the shattering of the soul, and then the process of its correction takes place.

Therefore, it is clear that first the recognition of evil is necessary, the clarification of the state we found ourselves in after the shattering at the Tree of Knowledge, where the soul was divided into many parts that we now need to reassemble. This is along with that egoistic desire to enjoy, which so far rules our relations.

Thus, we attach all the unfolding evil inclination to the soul, which is being restored to us, that is, all the force of the Light that had been filling the soul and led to the rejection of each part from the others. When we reconnect them, working against the force of the Light that was once filling the soul and now became hostile to it, we attain the Creator’s and the corrected created being’s qualities.

However, this all begins from the recognition of evil of the state we are in now, with the revelation of the egoism ruling between us, rejection, hatred, misunderstanding, and the clarification of how deeply each one is immersed only in himself and unable to exit. All this is the very first and necessary stage on the path of studying the Creator.

All the articles about Pesach should be perceived only with reference to our distancing and connection. When we move away from each other, the evil forces rise and reveal a feeling of exile in us.

Then immediately we can talk about connection and correction, and redemption begins. That is, we must see everything in light of exile and redemption, distancing and rapprochement, revelation of the breaking and its correction.
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From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/8/18, Writings of Rabash

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The Times Of Israel: “The Passover From Materialism To Unity”

The Times of Israel published my new article “The Passover From Materialism To Unity:”

Passover is an opportunity to pass over from a state of divisiveness, disregard and coldness in modern society, to one of unity, care and warmth.

Although the Jewish year formally begins on Rosh Hashanah, there is a more expansive view of the Jewish holidays that shows Passover as the start of the Jewish year. To see it from this perspective, we need to understand the deeper meaning of Passover.

Passover describes an inner process where a period of intensifying division leads to a decision to unite, followed by the discovery of a more unified state. Also, Passover points out what makes the Jewish people unique.

What Makes the Jewish People Unique?

Unlike other nations and races, the Jewish people did not emerge organically from familial offspring or terrestrial closeness. The Jews were originally a gathering of people who became known as “the Jews” when they dedicated themselves to uniting “as one man with one heart,” and accepted the responsibility of being “a light unto nations” (the Hebrew word for “Jew” [Yehudi] comes from the word for “united” [yihudi] [Yaarot Devash, Part 2, Drush no. 2]).

The holiday of Passover explains this transition.

It starts at a time when the people of Israel lived exceptionally well in Egypt. In terms of commonly accepted social values, they had it all: comfort, wealth and success, or as it is written in the Torah, “in Egypt … we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted” (Exodus, 16:3). However, even with all their material abundance, they felt that something was missing.

At this point, let’s zoom out to see the process this describes: Human nature, which is a desire to receive pleasure, constantly urges us to fulfill ourselves. The more we fulfill ourselves, the more we feel empty, and the more we feel a need to seek higher and greater fulfillments time after time. Thus, our desire to enjoy grows, and we evolve through various stages of the desire’s growth. After we satisfy our basic needs for food, sex, shelter and family, our desire grows, and we develop social desires—money, respect, control and knowledge—which we continually try to satisfy.

Then, we encounter a problem.

Like a dog chasing its tail, we chase after all those pleasures, but we keep finding ourselves wanting something more or different than them, without being able to point out what we really want. The Passover story describes this new desire: that when our material desires are quenched, a new desire for positive social connection emerges. This desire is called “Moses.”

Moses had been around the whole time the people of Israel were thriving in Egypt. He grew up in the house of Pharaoh until he himself exhausted the material pursuit of happiness. That is when the Egyptian exile began. Pharaoh, i.e. our ego, refuses to accept unity. It cannot think of anything worse than the idea of living life with a goal to “love your friend as yourself.”

So as the people of Israel prospered in Egypt, they naturally started wanting more than what they had, and the idea of social unification—Moses—started forming among them. Then came the struggle between Moses and Pharaoh. On one hand, Moses pointed the way to unity and love for one another, while Pharaoh insisted that he rule, i.e. that they would continue living and working only for egoistic, material fulfillments. When Pharaoh saw the people of Israel accepting Moses, he became the savage king the Passover story describes.

Through a long process, the people of Israel ultimately stood by Moses, demanded their unity, and triumphed. They united at the foot of Mount Sinai and accepted the law of “love your friend as yourself.” They then proceeded to purify themselves of hametz (leaven), i.e. their ego, and made the transition (i.e. the Passover) from egocentrism to unification, realizing Moses’ idea and guidance.

Passover Today

Since Passover describes a process of overcoming egoism with unity, it is just as relevant today as it ever was. Today’s materialistic culture looks increasingly like the Egypt described in the Passover story: we enjoyed the delights of materialism for quite a while, but more and more people are increasingly feeling that their lives are missing something.

We see this expressed among individuals with increases in depression, stress and loneliness, and in society with intensifying politically-fueled social division, xenophobia and anti-Semitism. All these phenomena show us that we can have all the material abundance we want, but it still won’t fulfill us, and what we really need in order to fulfill our new, bigger desire is unity, positive social connection.

Unlike our material fulfillments, we cannot picture what uniting above our divisions would be like. We see no example of unity that we can fill our media and educational systems with, and so we keep regurgitating and reinventing materialistic ideas, stories and products since we do not see nor know anything else.

As society continually engages in this materialistic pleasure-chasing loop without any other goal in sight, and as problems increasingly burst out from this setup, the more society points the finger of blame at the Jews. Anti-Semitic sentiment thus rises because the Jewish people, in their ancestry, possess the template for realizing the new desire for connection. If the Jewish people fail to aim and work toward unification in a time when not only the Jews, but the world at large, needs unity, then the world subconsciously starts feeling the Jewish people as the cause of their problems.

Our forefathers underwent the process of uniting, saving themselves from ruin in the process. Today, as the finger of blame is on us for all kinds of reasons, it’s up to us to identify the root reason for all that blame—that out of all people, we have been given the keys to unite above all differences, and this is what the world really needs from us. It’s as if the world pays no attention to all the technology, culture and medicine we bring to the world. However, if we do as our forefathers did, then we’ll realize what we were put here to do, and we’ll see how the world’s attitude to the Jews will change to one of respect and appreciation.

I hope that we will start paying attention to the root causes and tendencies behind the world’s problems, and that this Passover, we will make a step toward their ultimate solution—unity.

Happy Passover!
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Egyptian Corridor

laitman_617Baal HaSulam writes that the advantage a person has over an animal is that the desire for spirituality awakens in a person. If not for this, a person would lead an animalistic existence. Spiritual aspiration is what makes a human (Adam) out of a person.

“Egyptian slavery” is a state preceding spirituality, like a corridor we must pass in order to enter the spiritual world. Therefore, first we enter Egypt. Once there, we begin to clarify our desires and prepare ourselves for the spiritual degree.

Egypt is characterized by an immense increase in egoism until a person wants to swallow the whole world. The person then begins to ask, “What is the meaning of my life?” and to search for the answer. In the end, he sees that egoism completely dominates him, making him a slave of Pharaoh. He does not agree with this and wants to work for the Creator instead.

But he discovers that he cannot do this. Therefore, he screams and makes demands until he is in complete despair that his efforts do not bring any result, as it is written, “And the children of Israel sighed from the work.”

The person feels blows because he is striving for spiritual work, but sees that nothing comes from it, and a cry bursts out of him. That is, the right desire, the request, arises in him and he then comes out of Egypt.

How many times during the years of our work have we tried to bestow, to unite, to think well of others, and to care, but so far, we have seen no results? Where do all our efforts go? After all, nothing disappears without a trace. We are in a closed system where the law of conservation of energy operates. But where is the fruit of my work, my desires, cares, successes, and misses— does it all really just disappear?

No. It all accumulates: my, yours and humanity’s work throughout all times. Therefore, there are people who receive such burdening of the heart that leads them to the exodus from Egypt. Others continue the Egyptian slavery for now, but nevertheless, from generation to generation, they accumulate their efforts. This applies to all of humanity, without exception.

Even a tiny louse that makes efforts to eat and survive also contributes to the common piggy bank, because it also belongs to the common desire created by the Creator.
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From the 1st Part of the Kabbalah Daily Lesson 3/11/18, “Preparation for Pesach,” Part 1

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Pesach, Matza, Maror

laitman_284.03We don’t have a need for spirituality ‑ it is given to us from above. No one on their own lights up with an aspiration to study Kabbalah and reveal the Creator. One is led there from above, and this is called “in due time” (Beito), by the natural path of development. However, if we wish to advance on our own according to “the hastening of time” (Achishena), we need the mutual guarantee. Through the connection to the group, I can receive from the friends and provide each of them the correct spiritual needs through which we will be able to advance.

There is no other way. I cannot extract the correct aspiration for spirituality from myself; it would be for anything but spirituality. We shouldn’t be ashamed or afraid of the desires that arise in the group. After all, envy, pride, honor, and the desire for power, which consciously or unconsciously manifest in the group, help us reach the spiritual world. Meanwhile a person can experience the most honorable and pure desires, but if they don’t go through the group, they will not help the advancement.*

During Pesach (Passover) a person must say, “Pesach, Matza, Maror.” Otherwise one will not come out of Egypt. The Matza is the war with the evil inclination. The Maror is the unbearable bitterness from the work, from one’s inability to unite and bestow. Therefore, first we come to Pesach (Pasach means the passing), and then to salvation.

One follows the other: Pesach, Matza, MarorPesach does not depend on the person; it’s the Creator giving one the strength to escape (Pasach). And Matza and Maror are one’s duty to swallow his work in order to choke from the bitterness of the egoism and scream out.**
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/20/18, Writings of Rabash—Igrot (Letters) / Letter No. 72
(Minute 11:30)
** (Minute 17:00)

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Egypt And Unity – Two Incompatible Things

laitman_934The work of the sons of Israel in Egypt is the work on unification in the ten. However, this unification is impossible in Egypt; therefore, they flee from there. After all, they wanted to unite in the desire to enjoy. All the problems in Egypt are the realization that we are unable to unite, no matter how hard we try.

Thus, seven years of satiation and seven years of famine pass in our unsuccessful attempts. However, each time we gain increasingly subtle and sublime definitions and eventually come to the need for exiting Egypt. Moses understands that it is necessary to separate from Pharaoh; he goes to Pharaoh and demands the people be let go.

But previously there was no such awareness and it was unclear that the desire to enjoy completely dominates a person. Even now it seems to us that it is enough to make an effort and we will unite. So we try again and again and 400 years pass in these attempts, that is, in all four stages.

There can be no unification in Egypt; after all, we are in our egoism! And even if we reach some kind of unity, then at the next degree we discover that it was egoistic and not for the sake of bestowal, the way it seemed to us.

The years of exile are degrees. If we are in 250th year of exile, it means that we managed to unite at the 250th degree. But suddenly the left line is revealed showing me that there is no unity and I hate everyone. It means that now, at the 251st degree I discovered a much greater desire to enjoy than before. So we climb up the degrees, stepping with the left foot and then with the right one.

There is unity in Egypt, but it is egoistic. After all, all of Egypt is arranged for us to understand that we will not have life in egoism.
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From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/9/18, Writings of Rabash, The Rungs of the Ladder, “What Are the Two Discernments Before Lishma

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