Entries in the 'Holidays' Category

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.
[203442]

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.
[203377]
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.
[203178]

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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!
[203205]

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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!
[201822]
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.
[200993]
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.
[199417]
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.”

whatdidthecreatorcreatepeoplefor

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.
[198038]
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 8/28/16

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New Life #805 – From The Greek Culture To The Culture Of Love

New Life #805 – From The Greek Culture To The Culture Of Love
Dr. Michael Laitman in conversation with Oren Levi and Nitzah Mazoz

Summary

Nature’s press of evolution pushes us to develop. If we understand where it is pressing us to develop, we can save ourselves great pain.

Just as the vegetative level developed from the still level of nature, so can we advance to the next level today. So far we have developed according to Greek culture, but the new level of development requires the development of all new mind and feelings according to the wisdom of Kabbalah.

The wisdom of Kabbalah teaches us how to receive fulfillment not by fulfilling ourselves but by fulfilling others. Our progress stems from the fact that a person wants to know the secret of life and to understand why he lives. The force that develops a person’s perception is the upper force, which we have to learn how to draw unto us so that it will change us.

The future culture will be the culture of “love thy friend as thyself.” It is the most advanced culture. In this new life, a person will receive total, eternal, unlimited fulfillment and satisfaction. The upper force is the force of love and bestowal. It changes us until we are in an unending feeling of love.
[199318]
From KabTV”s “New Life #805 – From The Greek Culture To The Culture Of Love,” 12/22/16

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Why Do We Light Chanukah Candles?

Laitman_631_2Question: Why do we light Chanukah candles?

Answer: Chanukah represents the state of a person that reaches correction and ascent above egoistic material life, and he becomes like a candle that shines in this world. In other words, the candle symbolizes the spiritual condition of a person, and a person is like a candle.

Oil from which the candle burns symbolizes our egoism, and if we use it correctly, it gives us light while burning. The candle’s wick symbolizes rising above the ego, when we ignore egoism, but use it in the opposite way.

The wick dipped in oil, gradually absorbs it, and thanks to the wick (the resistance to egoism), the oil gives light while burning. Egoism is a great force and the lamp symbolizes a correct use of it.
[199562]
From KabTV Program “News with Michael Laitman” 12.19.2016

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