Entries in the 'New Publications' Category

Medium: “Childcare Abuse: Mirror of the 21st Century Society?”

The portal Medium published my new article “Childcare Abuse: Mirror of the 21st Century Society?

We cringe when we hear about another horrifying childcare abuse story, such as the abusive daycare workers that were arrested last week, both in Israel and Arkansas.

Inconceivable as it is, abuse in daycare centers appears to be systematic and widespread. Data gathered from 39 states in the U.S., for instance, shows that 5,321 daycare providers were found abusive. In Israel, efforts are being made to push legislation that will require all kindergartens to install security cameras, as parents realize that no one can guarantee their children’s safety.

But what is causing those we hire to take care of our children to behave in such a monstrous way? And how can we constrain this phenomenon when we don’t have control over what happens inside daycare centers?

It’s hard to grasp, but these horrifying incidents reveal the cold, stony heart that beats within the human being. When the ego overpowers us, it floods us with such a high degree of agitation and fury that conquers all, driving us to harm anyone in our way, even a helpless little toddler.

And with little children who cannot express themselves well, there’s nothing to stop the monster from breaking out. Likewise, data shows that the age group most likely to be abused is between 0 and 3 years of age.

“What Kind of Monster Can Do That?”

“If I myself had seen such a video online,” said the Israeli kindergarten teacher as she was shown footage of her own abusive behavior, “I would ask: what kind of a monster can do that?”

Evidently, we cannot see our own fault in the moment of truth. The stony heart blinds us and removes the sense of guilt, causing us to lose our senses without being aware of it.

Thus, even if we put cameras everywhere — we won’t be solving the root problem. The monster lies within every caregiver, and in fact, in every one of us. The question is who awakens the monster from its sleep?

We can easily blame individuals for their abusive actions, and we should certainly prevent them from continuing. But these are merely results that float above the surface. The monster that awakens is a social disease that has been incubating for decades and is erupting increasingly in our time.

How We Got Here

Until the midst of the 20th century, raising kids was completely different to what we are now used to, and yet closer to our natural development as human beings. Mothers used to have better conditions for bringing up children and caring for their wellbeing. And they were socially acknowledged for doing so.

Then came the industrial revolution, along with powerful vested interests who sought to modify the social order for the sake of profit. Efforts were made to drive women into the workforce, by relating it to liberal ideals of women’s emancipation and their equal status in society. That was in order to maximize production and consumption to a level the world has never seen before.

The resulting consumer society was designed to plunder the planet’s resources so as to orient human life around material excess. Gradually, people embraced a new lifestyle that reshaped the social order and the family unit.

However, as happiness studies uncover, neither we nor the wealthy few actually find any genuine satisfaction and comfort in the cyclical chase for material acquisition.

The result? A society where toddlers are torn from their mothers and thrown into the hands of a nanny who also competes in the material race. A “free” society where everything is permitted and boundaries are blurry. A society where the natural connection between parent and child has been significantly compromised and devalued. A society where monstrous, uninhibited ego can erupt even towards helpless toddlers.

Childcare abuse is the mirror of human society in the 21st century.

Our Children Need a Social Revolution

So what are we going to do about it? How will we prevent similar incidents in the future? How will we heal the sickness of our society?

As long as we fail to work towards a fundamental change in social values, we can all pledge guilty for the abuse in daycare centers.

This is not a call to go back in time. On the contrary. It’s a wake-up call for the next revolution to occur. Just as the industrial revolution taught us to lead a material lifestyle — the next revolution must teach us to lead a social lifestyle.

First, we must re-prioritize education. It should become society’s most valued profession. An educator must receive social recognition along with the conditions to maintain professional integrity. We have to choose caregivers who prove their passion to bring up our children, who will gain a deep understanding of human nature, and who will be trained extensively to practice restraint and self-control in any situation.

These are just a few preconditions for any educator who works with children. But the true revolution will happen when we, adults, will sit together in circles, much like in kindergarten, and cultivate the human being within us, against the monster that may awaken.

When we redefine the goal of life, we will replace the material rat-race with a growing sensitivity to our deep human connection, and it will give us a new sense of meaning and fulfillment.

Specifically the wisdom of Kabbalah becoming revealed in our time, is designed to shed light on the natural human connections between people and help us develop them to the ultimate level: discovering the system of connection the binds all of us together as a single family.

Medium: “What Did Kate Spade & Anthony Bourdain Have in Common?”

The portal Medium published my new article “What Did Kate Spade & Anthony Bourdain Have in Common?

It’s challenging for us to understand why successful, famous, rich people such as fashion designer Kate Spade and TV chef Anthony Bourdain decide to put an end to their lives.

Typical answers will vary between hidden loneliness and depression, drug addiction, and mental issues. But if we delve into a deeper, more fundamental layer of human nature, the answer is one: lack of meaning and purpose in life.

From an ordinary person’s point of view, the rich and famous already have everything that the rest of us dream of. But as we focus on what they’ve got, we miss what’s happening inside their minds and hearts. Thus, we overlook what they’re losing.

When people reach the heights of fame and fortune, their lives change dramatically. Their new status and power separate them from the rest of society. People treat them as symbols or idols, and stop looking at them as ordinary human beings with feelings. As a result, they gradually lose a lot of their friendships and human connections.

But it doesn’t end there. As they reach the top of their game and conquer their dreams, they are more prone to lose their passion and drive to keep going. Paradoxically, their accomplishments and abundance put them in front of the undeniable question: What do I aim for next? What else is there to live for?

It’s as if they lose the drive to carry on in this world, while on the other hand, there’s nowhere else to go.

When that happens, even highly creative and passionate people who initiate meaningful projects will struggle to find the reason and purpose behind anything they do. And then, a single emotional trigger could be enough for them put an end to their life.

In contrast, the average person struggles to get by through the daily grind, craves a promotion at work and dreams of the next vacation. His or her relations with other people feel a lot more real even if they’re challenging. He has a desire to make his life better in various aspects. And hope for a better future means there’s something worth living for.

The irony about fame and fortune is that those who achieve it may feel like there is nothing more to aspire to, and those who do not, still have a drive to achieve it.

But beneath the surface, these opposites complement each other as a single system. There’s a collective process of development that gradually brings all of us to face the question: what is the meaning and purpose of life?

A human being has a need to discover the purpose of his or her existence. It is the only thing that truly differentiates humans from animals. In fact, all of human culture can be seen as an attempt to answer that very question of meaning. And in our time, it is becoming increasingly necessary to provide a satisfactory answer.

It is not by chance that suicide has become characteristic of the modern western world, with suicide rates in the U.S. increasing more than 25% since 1999, and close to 800,000 people globally committing suicide every year.

Yet, the meaning of life is not a philosophical or mystical question that doesn’t have a clear answer. The exact opposite is true: it is a natural question that has a natural answer.

When human beings tap into their inherent wiring for connection, they reveal that they are parts of a single integrated system, connected to each other and to the natural source of life itself. Then, their craving for meaning and purpose finds its fulfillment in connection with the harmony and wholeness of nature.

Medium: “Kim Trump Summit: Dealmaker Meets Dictator”

The largest portal Medium published my new article “Kim Trump Summit: Dealmaker Meets Dictator

Trump’s interest in meeting Kim Jong-un is obvious: if he becomes the one to denuclearize North Korea, it will be an unprecedented achievement for America, for the world, and for Trump himself, who will be remembered in the history books.

Coming straight from the G7 summit in Canada, Trump will carry on with the same approach: positioning himself for getting the best deal possible. But will it work with the young dictator with whom he mostly traded insults so far? “Within the first minute, I’ll know,” said the businessman turned U.S. president.

President Trump at G7 (Reuters)
At the time of writing these lines, no one knows what will come out of the historical summit. But certainly, Trump intends to get Kim to consider denuclearization in exchange for diplomatic recognition and some economic package. He will aim to put Kim — whose country is desperate for economic relief — in a rational give-and-take mode of behavior.

In fact, Trump probably already has plans for how to get Asian and European countries to help write a check for Mr. Kim.

But it should come as no surprise that Trump will become the first sitting U.S. president to meet with a North Korean leader. It fits his habit of shaking up the status quo and countering the existing global order. Just take look at the photo from the recent G7 summit, which does a good job of capturing the “World vs. Trump” dynamic.

Trump is a relentless business pragmatist in a position to move the world’s leaders into a direct give-and-take relationship. By putting American interests first, his moves are tearing down international agreements between powerful global players. And by doing it in his non-politically correct way, he is bursting ideological bubbles and facades that became the norm in international relations many decades ago.

That being said, Trump doesn’t necessarily understand the epic turning point that human society is now facing, all the more so the unique role he himself plays in it. In truth, most of us can’t conceive of the momentous transformation that the world is now going through.

Every day, human society is becoming more interdependent across the globe. And as this reality becomes more evident, the fallacies of the modern world become evident as well. Thus, we gradually come to recognize that humanity needs a new operating system by which to run its programs and synchronize relationships between people and countries.

But first, we have to reset the current operating system — and Trump is hitting that button.

Lastly, as I have expressed before, when I comment on Trump-related matters, his popularity or lack of thereof is irrelevant to me. I don’t take my cues from mainstream media or what people say, nor do I pick any side in favor or against Trump or anyone else.

Rather, I explain the world through the lens of the wisdom of Kabbalah, which sheds light on the fundamental laws of nature that shape the global and collective development of humanity.

Newsmax: “Trumps Trade War Hits Global Politics’ Reset Button”

The largest portal Newsmax published my new article “Trumps Trade War Hits Global Politics’ Reset Button

Sticking to his Buy American, Hire American motto, President Trump continues his trade war against the world. Not just against those he defines as economic enemies such as China, but also against countries who were considered longtime allies and loyal partners such as Canada. Mexico and the European countries are the most recent to find themselves in economic conflicts with Trump and his tariffs.

While Trump’s goal is to bring back American production and American jobs, the effects of his actions ripple throughout the global landscape.

Firstly, our world is in a developing crisis, and various interconnections being forged by powerful global players who shape the world’s economy, politics and media only deepen the crisis, as they are all driven by the human ego, seeking to maximize personal gain. When Trump weakens such global connections, he is helping preventing the crisis from spiraling out of control.

In other words, ruling elites are attempting to lock in their financial control by making various international trade agreements, which ultimately strip the people of the world from their wealth. They create the facade of economic progress in some developing countries, but in reality, most of the profits go to the elites, and most of the burden falls on the masses.

Trump’s moves, while aiming to safeguard America’s competitive edge, represent an opposite approach to global affairs, tearing down international connections or preventing them from strengthening.

Therefore, while many analysts typically claim that Trump is creating tension and conflicts, he actually stands in the way of global players who further global instability.

Additionally, with every passing day, the world is becoming more globally interdependent. Whether we like it or not, it will necessitate a new basis for connection between people and countries, a new model by which human society can organize itself.

Trump plays an interesting role in this social evolution. He is helping global politics go through a reset stage. His direct and vulgar character is contrary to the politics we’re used to, and thus helps take the air out of ideological bubbles that were fueled by the politically correct mentality. As a result, Mr. Trump is stifling the use of empty words and promotion of so-called values by politicians as their ticket to power.

What’s more, his pragmatic, business-oriented approach, pushing aside mannerisms and focusing on getting the best deal, makes the other countries revert to a simple and direct give-and-take mode of behavior. That is, countries are becoming more focused on what they give to and receive from each other. This helps the global reset needed to form new connections in the future.

Newsmax: “Ireland’s Abortion Referendum: A Global Perspective“

The largest portal Newsmax published my new article “Ireland’s Abortion Referendum: A Global Perspective

This week’s dramatic referendum in Ireland showed that the majority of Irish people want to do away with an age-old law by which women who have abortions, and doctors who help them do so, could face up to 14 years in prison.

But as abortions become legal in Ireland, something far more revolutionary than a change of laws is being born.

The transformation taking place in the conservative Irish society reflects the global thrust of liberalization, shattering one social convention after another across modern human society. Day by day, man frees himself from various social frameworks that used to control his thoughts and dictate his behavior.

More Freedom Demands More Maturity

Let’s take a glimpse at history. From monarchies through various dictatorships, to the democracies of our time which continue to change shape in modern times, a natural course of human development becomes evident. The individual is gradually taking over the reins for his/her family and possessions, body and behavior, and all of the components that make up his/her identity.

But here is what we can easily miss: Freedom must be accompanied by maturity of the human being, if we are to maintain balance in society.

As we relieve ourselves from the chains of the past and march into the future’s freedom, we have to cultivate human awareness to a whole new level. With every limitation that’s being lifted, one should ask himself: How am I connected to other people around me? What is my natural obligation towards them? How do my actions influence everyone else?

We are entering an era where answers to these questions will no longer come from clergymen, government officials, laws and regulations, or any institution that aims to dictate people’s way of thinking. Instead, it will come from the inner development of the human being, or if you will, our “spiritual” development.

Yet, hoping for positive human development to happen by itself is not what I am suggesting. Rather, I am certain that we need to begin educating ourselves as a society by illuminating existential questions, learning about human nature, and preparing for the interdependent state the world is coming to.

In other words, I am advocating an expansion of human awareness in society as a whole. And as a result, the individuals in society will better understand how to conduct themselves towards balance.

Freedom Through Interdependence

How does that work? We should take our cues from how nature maintains a “dynamic equilibrium.” When looking at life within the human body, we see contrasts such as heat and cold, organs with various functions, different kinds of germs, active and passive forces, and yet they all work together in balance and reciprocity, complementing each other. It’s the principle of life that works without our involvement.

We humans, however, must develop and complement each other consciously and volitionally. Our development as human beings demands us to reach balance and reciprocity at all levels of life.

If we won’t develop the ability to do so, giving ourselves more and more freedom may manifest very negatively in the form of terrorism, crime, and other forms of abhorrent behavior. Without the maturity to maintain social balance, we could find ourselves plunging into social-familial-political chaos to the point where one only does what’s right in his own eyes and for his own sake.

I believe we will come to see that neither money nor power can drive us to seek social harmony; only education that aims to raise human awareness will help us sense our interdependence and appreciate our common humanity. And the more we develop the human being inside of us, the more we can free ourselves from limitations outside of us.

“Iran-Israel Clashes: Why the Enemies of Israel Give It No Respite”

The largest portal Breaking Israel News published my new article “Iran-Israel Clashes: Why the Enemies of Israel Give It No Respite

“If it is impossible to blow the shofar of redemption, the enemies of Israel, Amalek, Hitler, etc. will come and call us to redemption, they warn us and give us no respite.”
– Rav Abraham HaCohen Kook

After periods of Israel warring with all neighboring countries in its radius, its current enemy on duty, which warns and gives it no respite, is Iran.

Last week, the time came when years of muscle flexing between the two countries erupted in a few initial jabs. Hours after claiming Israel’s forces in the Golan Heights were targeted by Iranian rockets, Israel retaliated by firing dozens of missiles at Iranian positions in Syria. The short but fierce conflict raised fears that violence in the region might be escalating and heading toward a direct confrontation between the two enemies.

The Only Way to Protect the People of Israel

I am no expert on international conflict resolution. History, however, has taught me that Israel will always be in humanity’s sights, and it will not be allowed to rest, precisely because of the unique role the people of Israel have toward the world: to connect “as one man with one heart” and provide a positive example of connection to humanity, i.e. to be “a light unto nations.” Fulfilling this role is the remedy that can protect the people of Israel from trouble. Until we achieve a certain quality and quantity of positive connection above all our differences, we can expect tensions to continue rising.

Great Jewish leaders throughout the ages circulated this message however they could. Rabbi Kalman Kalonymus wrote in Maor va Shemesh (Light and Sun): “When there are love, unity, and friendship between each other in Israel, no calamity can come upon them.” Similarly, Rabbi Shmuel Bornsztain wrote in Shem mi Shmuel (A Name Out of Samuel): “When Israel are as one man with one heart, they are as a fortified wall against the forces of evil.” Likewise, Rabbi Yehuda Leib Arieh Altar, the ADMOR of Gur, stressed in Sefat Emet (True Tongue): “Israel’s unity induces great salvations and removes all the slanderers.”

Why the World Revolves Around Israel

The people of Israel act as a central junction in the human network. If we try to connect positively above our differences, we let nature’s positive connective force flow through us into the entire human network. As a result, people start changing, albeit unconsciously. Connection would become more valued, and as a byproduct, the attitude toward the people of Israel would become more positive. On the other hand, failure to invest in enhancing human connection invites the negative force to further fuel humanity’s subconscious, enabling the flames of hatred to rise higher and higher in our direction. Therefore, in the situation at hand with Iran, it is only a matter of time before the people of Israel will be judged as those to blame for the tension.

Israel Currently Working Against its Divine Mission

In periods when such tensions escalate to all-out war, the climax of fear momentarily connects us. We stop caring about our internal disputes and all focus on protecting ourselves from the external threat. However, such temporary connection has no lasting strength. That is, the moment the external threat goes away, we continue business-as-usual, and all our internal disputes again take center stage.

Therefore, while time is still tilted in our favor, we should concern ourselves with initiating our connection through positive incentives. The world is waiting for us to carry out our fateful mission: to infuse it with positive connection. The more we can inspire relations of care, kindness and love to each other above our divisive inclinations, the more we will pave the path for a key attitude shift to sweep over humanity. It is my hope that we will use our ambitious energy to enliven our connection and spread it to the world sooner rather than later, instead of waiting for turmoil and suffering to goad us from the other end of the spectrum.

Breaking Israel News: “The Greatest Role Natalie Portman and Other Jews in the Entertainment Industry Should Aspire To”

The largest portal Breaking Israel News published my recent article “The Greatest Role Natalie Portman and Other Jews in the Entertainment Industry Should Aspire To

While the media spins into a frenzy over Natalie Portman’s turning down of the Genesis Prize (the “Jewish Nobel”) as a critical statement of Israel’s leadership, I was asked to comment on her actions. Frankly, I have nothing to say about her or what she did. Instead, the discharge of anger, accusations and opinionated ping pong surrounding the event presents a clear example that we as a Jewish people are not focused on what really matters. If we were, thenwe would rise above all the outrage and examine the core issue: our very identity and function in the world.

It’s no secret that the media thrives on generating hysteria by amplifying celebrities’ insignificant comments into wildfires of public opinion. What should we ask ourselves is why do we enjoy it so much? Why do we let ourselves get swept into this socially divisive snowball effect? Why don’t we enjoy in more socially beneficial ways, by engaging in the creation of a more positively connected society?

Actors Had Far Less Influence in the Past

Historically, actors were never at the center of public discourse as they now are. For example, in ancient Rome, actors had even less civil and political rights than their fellow citizens. Their ability to switch between different characters and behaviors made them seem “soulless,” as if they lacked personality and identity. As such, they were considered as being of lower social status. However, the 1920s saw Hollywood’s penetration into mass consciousness. Actors drew public attention. They suddenly rose in popularity and wealth to a high social status, and their opinions were also placed on an international pedestal.

Backed by the immense material strength of an audacious industry, actors ride controversial media trends, mostly political ones, showing support or opposition to one of the sides, in order to create buzz and empower their public image. It stems from sheer self-interest, and it’s why I’m not interested in dealing with it.

If we’re speaking about Jewish people in the entertainment industry, then I would expect them to portray an authentic representation of the Jewish essence. More succinctly, I would expect them to show examples of the tendency to unite above differences, that a kind, loving and caring attitude to others above all the primal divisive urges is what defines Jews at their nucleus.

A Mission for Jews in the Entertainment Industry

In practical terms, I would recommend that the entertainment industry’s Jews work on creating a new social vision, one of a positively connected future where we and humanity as a whole will succeed to connect above all of our differences. Instead of romanticizing the past or creating fantasies completely removed from reality, we should emphasize what can bring us together: the creation of a vision of how our society can overcome our current problems, divisions and conflicts and reach harmony rich with everyone’s individual characteristics and expressions continually strengthening a massive enveloping unification.

For example, the ceremonies in last week’s 70 years of independence celebrations in Israel sentimentalized the nation’s struggles and achievements over the last 2,000 years. From stories of the nation receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai, through 2,000 years of exile, encounters with anti-Semitism, tragedy in the pogroms and the Holocaust, the return to Israel, and the extensive efforts and ingenuity of Israel’s progress in security, agriculture, the economy and high tech in order to reach the solid national infrastructure Israel holds today—it is true that the people of Israel have been through a lot and have a great story to tell.

However, I would completely shift the focus of this story. Instead of reminiscing about our past and present achievements, we should see these as a background to our real challenge: How can we realize a new and enhanced vision of nothing less than a perfect future, one where instead of division, conflict, friction, and struggle, we will bring to the world connection, positivity, love, and happiness? We should accept the fact that we have been given a portion of land as an opportunity to realize our true identity and function in the world: to unite (“love your friend as yourself” [Leviticus 19:18]) and be an example of that unity for humanity (“a light unto nations” [Isaiah 49:6]).

The biggest story about our fate as a Jewish people is not in the past. It is happening right now. If we work toward envisioning and materializing this vision of social unity, then we will find ourselves living out our monumentally epic tale of biblical proportions on a day-by-day, moment-by-moment basis: we would start carrying out the role we were put here on this planet to fulfill.

Therefore, in echoing the words of Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag, that “I am glad that I have been born in such a generation when it is permitted to disclose the wisdom of truth,” (in “The Teaching of the Kabbalah and Its Essence”) we all have access to feel this joy by focusing ourselves on a vision of a positively connected future for ourselves and humanity, and starting to work together to materialize this vision.

The Greatest Role Jews Have Is Creating a Better World

I, therefore, wish for us all to start thinking about this vision and our role in it, that we discuss it, act it out and promote it to each other, and that large aggregates such as the entertainment industry and its actors whose opinions constantly ripple throughout our media networks, will start also playing their part in this new direction. Today, we have the opportunity and the potential to set off a major transformation to a positively connected world the likes of what we’ve never seen before, and it is my dear hope that we will realize it.
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“Privacy in the New Digital Era: What Have We Got To Hide?” – Linkedin

Linkedin: “Privacy in the New Digital Era: What Have We Got To Hide?

“Mr.Zuckerberg,” asked senator Dick Durbin, regarding the way the Facebook CEO perceives his privacy, “Would you be comfortable sharing with us the name of the hotel you stayed in last night?”

“Um…” Zuckerberg took his time to answer as dozens of TV and newspaper cameras watched on. “No.” said the young man in the suit and tie. The crowd chuckled awkwardly as he answered the surprising question.

“If you’ve messaged anybody this week, would you share with us the names of the people you’ve messaged?” Durbin continued to inquire.

“Senator, no, I would probably not choose to do that publicly here,” Zuckerberg said, more avidly than before. But senator Durbin, like many of his colleagues, did not seem satisfied; even as Zuckerberg’s baby face looked back at them with a humbled look.

For over six hours, Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, testified before the Senate in Washington. Zuckerberg had to explain how the private information of 87 million users had reached the hands of Cambridge Analytica, a data mining company.

In fact, what was being interrogated on that stand was not Facebook, nor its CEO, but the very right to privacy. In an advanced technological world, with an open and increasingly interconnected virtual space, is there any room left for privacy in our lives?

My answer is: almost none. Internet users might fight for it, but the future trend shows that there really isn’t that much to hide.

Laws should indeed be legislated to limit the ability of big monopolies to trade our information and trample our rights. But that is not the main point. Human society is marching into a new age where we’ll all know everything about everyone—from the most basic information that any minor computer geek can easily track, to the most supposedly embarrassing deeds we try to hide from the eyes of our neighbors and colleagues.

We are about to experience a major transformation of what we feel ashamed about, a new era where everything becomes disclosed. It will soon become clear that we are all made of the same material.

Overcoming the Façade of Righteousness and Seeing Ourselves as We Are

A short glance at the leaders of our world today and their public image, reveals the naked truth: President Clinton had extramarital sexual affairs, President Trump is now faced with accusations of cheating on his wife with porn stars, the former prime minister of Italy, Silvio Berlusconi boasted about his orgiastic “bunga bunga” parties, stories of Libya’s former dictator, Kaddafi’s passion parties abound, as do a myriad of other rumors of different public personas.

Public personas and officials are no different to anyone else. Their official role does not make them immune to the natural drives and impulses inherent to every man and woman in the world. Every man—from small to great, from worker to leader, from elderly to youth—is driven by desires to enjoy food, sex and family. Regarding these desires, we are no different than any other animal. Therefore, there is no reason to become perplexed about the information revealed about us in social media, it reveals nothing new about our true nature.

If anyone does have a problem with your nature, with your preferences and inclinations, your passions and behaviors, your character and your thoughts, then you can answer them with a line from the Jewish sages: “Go to the craftsman who made me and say to him, ‘How ugly is the vessel which you have made’” (Talmud, Taanit 20a–b).

When we’ll realize we are all made of the same material, each with a different shade and color of desire, privacy will then become a thing of the past. When that happens, we can then delve deeper into what makes us human.

So what does make us human?

We are made up of two levels, the physical-bodily level and the human-spiritual level. On the first level, every person needs to satisfy their corporeal desires. This is all well and good, on condition that no harm is done to anyone in the process. On the second level, there is our internal essence, which is what we need for true, heartfelt connection to others.

This second level is hidden from us. It is the deep level of relationships with others, a spiritual level that is not experienced in our first-level corporeal ties. It is called “the human” in us, as Kabbalists refer to it, and to grasp it further, one needs to consciously evolve.

Since the second level is hidden from us, it is intangible and we cannot feel it. We mistakenly equate our “human” spiritual self to our physical human body. As a result, we create social norms and moral values that limit the use of the human body, i.e. the fulfillment of desires on the first level.

Precisely at this point is where the media enters to take advantage of the way we limit ourselves. The media thrives on celebrating our lack of connection to our inner essence. To continue making money, the media deludes us day and night, producing extravagant shows out of our natural impulses. The media dramatizes behaviors and actions that derive from our instinctive basic drives, instead of reminding us that it is our real nature, and theirs. And so we are gradually brainwashed by a fake value system, praising or reprimanding others for the natural drives they were born with.

A correct version of the media would engage itself in creating positive human connections, “to connect people, to build community and to bring the world closer together’, as Zuckerberg testified before US Congress and the world. The media needs to help elevate us to the second, hidden level; to create a new set of values based not on our bodies and natural impulses, but a set of values aimed at attaining our essence, to strengthen our contribution to society and to encourage good relationships.

Humans are Wired for Connection

The public’s victory in the struggle for privacy will be possible when we begin to develop our “inner human,” and connect meaningfully and positively to others. It is through mutual relations that we will discover nature’s hidden force—a force binding us on all levels, and which is increasingly pressuring us to wake up and face our connection to each other. By attaining such a mutual sensation of nature’s higher force, we will lift the veil of smoke covering what we deem as private and shameful, and this “mystery” surrounding the virtual world will be gone.

The media, with Facebook as one of its current leading players, has the ability to create positive trends that will inspire and elevate humanity to greater connection. They have the power to set the social tone and create a new culture, to sharpen the social perception of reality into a healthy perception of human nature, and to aid every person in adopting new understandings about his or her physical and spiritual drives.

When meaningful content flows in the veins of social networks, no one will be ashamed or afraid of exposure any longer. The more we identify with our spiritual level that is disconnected from any physical need, the more we will be able to be calm about such incidences as this privacy leak of tens of millions of users. We will know how to put our self in the right perspective, the physical and the spiritual. In such a social climate the only shame that will afflict man will be when one takes a hard look at oneself and considers: “Have I invested enough in creating positive relations? Have I contributed to positive connection in society? Have I been considerate of others, the way a ‘human’ should?”

Breaking Israel News: “Why Kabbalists Are Celebrating Israel’s 70th Anniversary“

The largest portal Breaking Israel News published my new article “Why Kabbalists Are Celebrating Israel’s 70th Anniversary“:

“Out of the darkness came forth light, and out of concealment came forth and revealed the deep. One came out of the other. Out of good came forth bad, and out of mercy came forth judgment. Everything is included in one another, the good inclination and the bad inclination, right and left, Israel and the rest of the nations, white and black. Everything depends on one another.”
The Zohar, Kedoshim, 7-8.

Kabbalists are adding to the celebration of Israel’s 70 years of Statehood an additional reason to celebrate: that in the State of Israel, a major spiritual resurgence is starting to take shape after 2,000 years of spiritual exile.

Darkness and light, descents and ascents, exile and glory, are all characteristic of the people of Israel, ancient and modern. We have enjoyed states of blossoming unity and brotherly love at the time of the First and Second Temples. We have endured states of bitter defeat, where unfounded hatred breached our unity, allowing the Roman Empire to take advantage of our disunity and bring about the ruin of the Temple.

In exile, even while detached and dispersed around the world, we found ways to prosper and develop the countries we settled in, making our mark in education, economics, science, technology, law, and society. However, while doing so, since there is a seeded expectation in humanity’s subconscious upon the people of Israel to bring a completely different kind of prosperity and growth than the materialistic version we’ve brought till now, then we’ve been plagued with the constant phenomenon of anti-Semitism: from slander and blood libel to the devastating pogroms and the Holocaust.

After the utter horror millions of our ancestors experienced in the Holocaust, the world had mercy on us and supported the establishment of our new national home: the State of Israel. However, not even a single day passed of relishing our independence, and we were once again at war to hold onto what we were given.

70 years have passed. Wars and instability with our every neighboring nation have spurred our development of a well-equipped army and what has been ranked as the world’s mightiest air force. Struggles to build infrastructure and develop exports on a land that provides little natural resources has catalyzed our becoming one of the most technologically advanced nations.

All that remains is to rekindle the national love that is dwindling, to revive the national essence that has been inactive for 2,000 years, to reawaken ourselves to unity and illuminate the light that humanity subconsciously expects from us.

Therefore, I’m very happy that on Israel’s 70 years of independence, we have been given a golden opportunity to proudly carry the wisdom of truth and publicize it. After 2,000 years of ups and downs, light and darkness, glory and exile, the veil has been lifted over the wisdom of Israel—the wisdom of Kabbalah—and we are becoming ripe to start using it to realize our true role in the world: to achieve “love your friend as yourself” and “each shall help his friend” in order to become “a light unto nations.”

As with a fruit’s development, our external skin has been getting tougher, yet the sweet inner part is still hidden within. The time has come to learn how we can peel off this skin and expose the sweet, inner part of Israel to the world.

The annual shift from Yom HaZikaron, the day we pay homage to Israel’s fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism, to Independence Day, when we celebrate the establishment of the State of Israel, is symbolic of the way we can only experience a rise after a preceding fall. The people of Israel experience darkness and light adjacently, and we gain discernments from these combined states. Our remembrance and our independence are as one, in the morning we mourn and in the evening we cheer. “And there was evening and there was morning, one day” (Genesis 1:5).
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“Privacy In The New Digital Era: What Have We Got To Hide?”

Medium published my new article “Privacy in the New Digital Era: What Have We Got To Hide?

“Mr.Zuckerberg,” asked senator Dick Durbin, regarding the way the Facebook CEO perceives his privacy, “Would you be comfortable sharing with us the name of the hotel you stayed in last night?”

“Um…” Zuckerberg took his time to answer as dozens of TV and newspaper cameras watched on. “No.” said the young man in the suit and tie. The crowd chuckled awkwardly as he answered the surprising question.

“If you’ve messaged anybody this week, would you share with us the names of the people you’ve messaged?” Durbin continued to inquire.

“Senator, no, I would probably not choose to do that publicly here,” Zuckerberg said, more avidly than before. But Senator Durbin, like many of his colleagues, did not seem satisfied; even as Zuckerberg’s baby face looked back at them with a humbled look.

For over six hours, Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, testified before the Senate in Washington. Zuckerberg had to explain how the private information of 87 million users had reached the hands of Cambridge Analytica, a data mining company.

In fact, what was being interrogated on that stand was not Facebook, nor its CEO, but the very right to privacy. In an advanced technological world, with an open and increasingly interconnected virtual space, is there any room left for privacy in our lives?

My answer is: almost none. Internet users might fight for it, but the future trend shows that there really isn’t that much to hide.

Laws should indeed be legislated to limit the ability of big monopolies to trade our information and trample our rights. But that is not the main point. Human society is marching into a new age where we’ll all know everything about everyone — from the most basic information that any minor computer geek can easily track, to the most supposedly embarrassing deeds we try to hide from the eyes of our neighbors and colleagues.

We are about to experience a major transformation of what we feel ashamed about, a new era where everything becomes disclosed. It will soon become clear that we are all made of the same material.

Overcoming the Façade of Righteousness and Seeing Ourselves as We Are

A short glance at the leaders of our world today and their public image, reveals the naked truth: President Clinton had extramarital sexual affairs, President Trump is now faced with accusations of cheating on his wife with porn stars, the former prime minister of Italy, Silvio Berlusconi boasted about his orgiastic “bunga bunga” parties, stories of Libya’s former dictator, Kaddafi’s passion parties abound, as do a myriad of other rumors of different public personas.

Public personas and officials are no different to anyone else. Their official role does not make them immune to the natural drives and impulses inherent to every man and woman in the world. Every man — from small to great, from worker to leader, from elderly to youth — is driven by desires to enjoy food, sex and family. Regarding these desires, we are no different than any other animal. Therefore, there is no reason to become perplexed about the information revealed about us in social media, it reveals nothing new about our true nature.

If anyone does have a problem with your nature, with your preferences and inclinations, your passions and behaviors, your character and your thoughts, then you can answer them with a line from the Jewish sages: “Go to the craftsman who made me and say to him, ‘How ugly is the vessel which you have made’” (Talmud, Taanit 20a–b).

When we’ll realize we are all made of the same material, each with a different shade and color of desire, privacy will then become a thing of the past. When that happens, we can then delve deeper into what makes us human.

So what does make us human?

We are made up of two levels, the physical-bodily level and the human-spiritual level. On the first level, every person needs to satisfy their corporeal desires. This is all well and good, on condition that no harm is done to anyone in the process. On the second level, there is our internal essence, which is what we need for true, heartfelt connection to others.

This second level is hidden from us. It is the deep level of relationships with others, a spiritual level that is not experienced in our first-level corporeal ties. It is called “the human” in us, as Kabbalists refer to it, and to grasp it further, one needs to consciously evolve.

Since the second level is hidden from us, it is intangible and we cannot feel it. We mistakenly equate our “human” spiritual self to our physical human body. As a result, we create social norms and moral values that limit the use of the human body, i.e., the fulfillment of desires on the first level.

Precisely at this point is where the media enters to take advantage of the way we limit ourselves. The media thrives on celebrating our lack of connection to our inner essence. To continue making money, the media deludes us day and night, producing extravagant shows out of our natural impulses. The media dramatizes behaviors and actions that derive from our instinctive basic drives, instead of reminding us that it is our real nature, and theirs. And so we are gradually brainwashed by a fake value system, praising or reprimanding others for the natural drives they were born with.

A correct version of the media would engage itself in creating positive human connections, “to connect people, to build community and to bring the world closer together,’ as Zuckerberg testified before the US Congress and the world. The media needs to help elevate us to the second, hidden level; to create a new set of values based not on our bodies and natural impulses, but a set of values aimed at attaining our essence, to strengthen our contribution to society and to encourage good relationships.

Humans are Wired for Connection

The public’s victory in the struggle for privacy will be possible when we begin to develop our “inner human,” and connect meaningfully and positively to others. It is through mutual relations that we will discover nature’s hidden force — a force binding us on all levels, and which is increasingly pressuring us to wake up and face our connection to each other. By attaining such a mutual sensation of nature’s higher force, we will lift the veil of smoke covering what we deem as private and shameful, and this “mystery” surrounding the virtual world will be gone.

The media, with Facebook as one of its current leading players, has the ability to create positive trends that will inspire and elevate humanity to greater connection. They have the power to set the social tone and create a new culture, to sharpen the social perception of reality into a healthy perception of human nature, and to aid every person in adopting new understandings about his or her physical and spiritual drives.

When meaningful content flows in the veins of social networks, no one will be ashamed or afraid of exposure any longer. The more we identify with our spiritual level that is disconnected from any physical need, the more we will be able to be calm about such incidences as this privacy leak of tens of millions of users. We will know how to put our self in the right perspective, the physical and the spiritual. In such a social climate the only shame that will afflict man will be when one takes a hard look at oneself and considers: “Have I invested enough in creating positive relations? Have I contributed to positive connection in society? Have I been considerate of others, the way a ‘human’ should?”