Entries in the 'Spiritual Teacher' Category

Helping A Teacher

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: How can a student help a teacher?

Answer: This can happen only according to the degree of his devotion to an idea, to the study, to unity, and to helping the teacher in his work with the general group.

When I found my teacher in 1980, after a few lessonsI had no doubt that I needed to move closer to him and do everything possible to help him. In his time, conditions were different, there was no Internet, books about Kabbalah were scarce, a real rarity. Since then, 37 years have passed; today there are many books translated into many languages.

Helping the teacher is a very serious incentive for advancement; for this, the student needs to try to resemble the teacher. This is because the “lower face” must aspire to resemble the “upper face,” in the same way that we educate children.

Always try to take an example from the higher and from his attitude toward the world, to the lessons, to dissemination. In this manner, you will advance. This is basically the best incentive for advancement.
From the talk at a videoconference with the Learning Center students, 5/21/17

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Rest For A Kabbalist

Laitman_521Question: What does rest mean for a Kabbalist? After all, studying Kabbalah is a beautiful state of mind when you already are in a state of rest from external problems.

Answer: No, a Kabbalist needs to rest; after all, he gets very tired because the strain that I, for example, withstand now during an hour-long conversation with you is enormous. These words, these thoughts that I express to you, I experience within me on different levels, and therefore, I spend an enormous amount of energy on this. An hour of talking with you is the hardest thing.

When I talk to my students and explain the material to them during the daily lessons, then, on the contrary, I find strength in me because I interact with people who want to receive and give back this energy and this knowledge to me. We work together, and that is why I don’t get tired during lessons.
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 1/22/17

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Advance As The Soul Suggests

laitman_919Question: How can a person understand that he has begun the path of his spiritual development?

Answer: Instinctively. At the time, I went through many hands and found various teachers. But none of them satisfied me. I encountered Kabbalists, but either they were small or very specific.

Even though there were also great Kabbalists among them, they didn’t teach in a style I was ready to grasp. It continued this way until I found my teacher.

Therefore, it is up to a person to search. If you don’t like me, then it could be that there are others. I would advise checking to see if someone is wrong. And then you will understand whether you should return to studying with me or continue with someone else. This is because the most important thing is to advance in a manner that your soul tells you to.
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 1/29/17

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A Man Of Impromptu

laitman_599_01Comment: I have known you for more than twenty years. You always answer questions spontaneously without knowing them in advance.

My Response: I am a man of impromptu, not because I know everything, but because I cannot do things differently.

When someone asks me a question by surprise, a different level of consciousness is turned on in me. According to the wisdom of Kabbalah, it cannot be otherwise. It isn’t only me, but it is the same for any other Kabbalist. Each time a different image is born inside a Kabbalist from which he develops his thought.

I never say anything that I have read somewhere. I can bring such facts to support my ideas, but I always have to speak from what is being born inside me at that specific moment out of a new Partzuf, 10 Sefirotwith all its internal attributes and connections. If this doesn’t exist, you are dead.

Sometimes when I have to lecture before a very demanding audience, like for example before an audience of professors, lecturers, and students, an audience of 1,500 people, I prepare in advance. But I still don’t read from notes I have prepared. The notes are only the general guidelines of my lecture.
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 1/22/17

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The Articles Of Rabash

laitman_527_07Rabash is a special soul. In his articles, he revealed the entire methodology of entering the upper world to humanity.

I remember what I said to him about this. This was in the beginning of my studies. He asked me what I thought about his articles, and because I felt them deeply, my reply was: “You are doing something entirely new, something the world has not seen before.”

Rabash understood the essence of this huge undertaking—the relationships in the group, which is also evident from his side notes that were published in the third volume of his works. They were written before I found Rabash, and briefly introduced the articles that he later wrote after I brought students to him and he began to present everything in a systematic way.

When reading his notes, which essentially he wrote for himself, I feel him more.

Baal HaSulam is different. He is too high above. Even when he writes for himself, or pours his heart out to his students, his words come from such heights, as if you are standing under the sky. His love is ironclad. And Rabash is much more accessible, his heart is very tender.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 10/31/16

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A Kabbalist’s Empathy

Laitman_001_02Question: You said that it is much easier for you to give lessons to veteran students who have been with you for several decades than to newcomers. What is the reason for this?

Answer: We have a common vocabulary, general knowledge, and some sensations. There is a commonality of certain characteristics and expressions, and therefore it is easier for them.

I can say one phrase, even without finishing it, and they understand what I wanted to convey to them. With random listeners or beginners who are very different from each other, of course, it is more difficult.

Question: During a lesson, does a Kabbalist speak exactly about things he is experiencing?

Answer: He cannot do otherwise. For example, I can talk about things that I need to buy in the supermarket—milk, meat, and bread—and do not empathize with anyone about that. But if I say something about Kabbalah at any level, then I must empathize within myself and pass it on to whom I am transmitting this.

Question: When speaking about events in our world or various trends of our development, are you also experiencing them?

Answer: Yes. If, let’s say, I am talking about exiting the crisis, then I experience it inside, not in the form in which it appears to people, but in all its internal problems and qualities. I feel why we need all these corrections exactly as they are presented to us.

Question: How is it possible for you to be in all states at the same time? For example, we are now opening the book and start reading “The Freedom.” How can you experience the states that are described there?

Answer: Are you not experiencing the states described in a book when you read it?

Let’s suppose we spoke about the correction of the world in the lesson, how it moves from neoliberalism and democracy to the completely new state of responsible governance that Trump represents. I experience this very strongly within myself.

Although, in principle, it doesn’t concern me physically, geographically, and socially, I see what forces cause such change in the world, where this trend came from, and how it penetrated the world, in other words, the root of all the problems.

It affects me much more that an ordinary person because I see movement toward the correction of the world.

Question: Where is the place in which you feel empathy?

Answer: It is in desire. Desire isn’t in the human body. We feel the consequences of our desires in the pulse, in blood pressure, and other parameters, but these are just external symptoms.
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 1/29/17

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How Do You Become Devoted To The Wisdom Of Kabbalah?

Laitman_912Question from Facebook: You said in one of your lessons that you all your time with your teacher Rabash. I was very impressed by this, but, at the same time, I also felt afraid. I feel that I will not be able to devote myself to the wisdom of Kabbalah like that.

Answer: Everyone acts according to his inclination. I knew that if I found information about the meaning of life, I would totally devote myself to studying it. It was when I heard Rabash’s first words that I felt that this was what I had wanted to hear for 30 years until I found him.

If you accurately explain to a person the reason for the creation of the world, what we should do, what we should reach, and you bring examples and present everything in a very logical manner, there is no reason to refute it.

Question: Does every individual look for a teacher according to the nature of his soul? How does that happen?

Answer: I looked for everything in a purely logical manner. I was never interested in assumptions and religious tales, nor in mysticism or different philosophies. I was only interested in pure accurate logic.

There was a shocking contradiction between a person’s externality and his internal world until I finally understood what a wise Kabbalist and a real Jewish sage means compared to the external impression that he made on people who didn’t know about his internal filling; it was amazing.

Every person has a destiny, a measure, a place, a day, and a time in this history. Perhaps I had to do that in our generation and you will do it in the next generation or in another time or another dimension.

In any case, everyone will fulfill his destiny and will totally resemble everyone else. We will all reach the same upper level!
From KabTV’s “News with Michael Laitman” 3/1/17

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For The Benefit Of Others

Laitman_510_01Torah, Deuteronomy 21:10: If you go out to war against your enemies.

This is about the war of a person against his nature that is egoism.

On one hand, this is a very difficult work, and the Torah describes it very precisely as a war. After all, you must fight with your internal properties, views, thoughts, and with the constant discovery that everything is directed to the benefit of your body, for your own convenience.

You always have to rise above this, to prefer the convenience of others, and through them, the convenience of the Creator to your own comfort, because the Creator is the personification of everything that is outside of you. This is a huge war with yourself.

Of course, there are forces that help fight and determine how to choose certain methods, opportunities, time, and circumstances in order to somehow rise above yourself and return your thoughts to the actions for the benefit of others and the Creator, and not for your own benefit. But in general, this is a very difficult job.

And the most important thing is, that although this work is so difficult in the inner pressure of a person, all people in the world must take it upon themselves. This is the most incredible fact.

Such thoughts are typical for those few people in the world who have a point in the heart. They understand the need for attaining the purpose of creation and for fulfilling of its plan. They have a rudiment of a new desire that burns them from within.

Ahead, a great fight awaits them. “Go out to war,” as the Torah says. However, they have at least an initial desire for this. For the rest of the people, all of it is in a dormant internal state. Yet, they are the entire humanity less the dozen people who really have a strong need to rise above their nature and are ready for anything.

In the end, it will still affect everyone because humanity must rise to a completely new nature, new laws, and new forces.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 10/5/16

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My First Passover With Rabash

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Question: Did you feel the inner work of Rabash?

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

Question: So what were the dishes prepared for?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Question: What does Passover symbolize for a person?

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

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

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

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

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

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What Should We Hope For?

laitman_938_04Question: You said that you are only an expert in teaching the wisdom of Kabbalah and that you have not attained the complete end of correction. So, what should we, who are merely beginners, hope for?

Answer: No one has actually reached the complete end of correction. It is a very high level, but everyone must attain it.

Rabi Shimon’s group and Baal HaSulam reached a relative complete end of correction. It is impossible to reach the complete end of correction unless all of the people, or more accurately, all of the souls, are corrected. It is because we are living in a system that is mutually connected.

I tell you frankly that I am on an intermediate level, but it is certainly enough in order to teach you. If I were on a higher level, I wouldn’t be able to do so.

Baal HaSulam says in his article “Baal HaSulam’s Prophecy” that he especially asked to be lowered from the high level he was on so that he would be able to express and convey the method of Kabbalah.

Sometimes, the levels of the teacher and the student in the wisdom of Kabbalah are disconnected, and it is not always possible to overcome that. Would a professor in an art academy teach a five-year-old to play the violin? No, since this is what teachers in music schools do. When the child grows, he will learn from more professional teachers until he reaches a master, an expert.

We will continue our motion forward together, and our common teacher will be the Creator.
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 8/7/16

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