Food Crisis – Rising Food Prices and the Meaning of Life

Food Crisis - Rising Food Prices and the Meaning of LifeToday’s daily lesson mostly revolved around questions from students about the crisis in food and rising food prices. Here are some questions and answers from the first part of the lesson,* as well as a link to the third part of the lesson (see “About the World Food Crisis” at the bottom of the post):

A question I received: Food prices around the world are on the rise. Whether it’s corn, soya beans or rice – everything is getting more expensive, and it’s only getting worse. Can you explain this, and where it’s leading us to?

My Answer:

A question I received: Suffering brings people to ask about the meaning of life. But if the suffering is based on not having any food to eat, then how can one think about the meaning of life while being hungry? [Read more →]

icon for podpress  About the World Food Crisis [57:39m]: Play Now | Download
 
icon for podpress  About the World Food Crisis [57:39m]: Play Now | Download
 

The Freedom (Baal HaSulam)

Baal HaSulamFreedom of Will

Does man have the freedom to act according to one’s own free will?

If we consider our actions, we will find they are compulsory, that we are forced to do them, and that we have no freedom of choice, since our actions are driven by either pleasure or pain. Thus, we haven’t the freedom to choose pain or to reject pleasure.

Man’s advantage over the beast is only that one can endure suffering for a remote, future goal. However, here, too, it is not a choice, but rather a calculation. It follows that Providence guides every person towards the goal, using pleasure or suffering, and without consulting us.

The social environment determines what people enjoy; every movement they make is subjugated to the fancies of society.

It follows that if there is no freedom of will, one is not one’s own master. And if we are not our own masters, that is, if we do not do what we want to do, but what society dictates, then there are no reward and punishment. [Read more →]

icon for podpress  Lesson on "The Freedom" [01:57:42m]: Play Now | Download
 
icon for podpress  Lesson on "The Freedom" [01:57:42m]: Play Now | Download
 

Women as Leaders of Nations

Women as Leaders of NationsA question I received: These days, many women are taking national leading positions. Some examples are Angela Merkel (Germany), Tarja Halonen (Finland), Vaira Vike-Freiberg (Latvia), Cristina Kirshner (Argentina), Pratibha Patil (India), Gloria Macapagal (The Philippines), Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (Liberia), and Yulia Tymoshenko (Ukraine). It also looks like France and the USA are next. What does Kabbalah have to say about this situation of women taking national leadership?

My Answer: It doesn’t correspond to the spiritual system. In our era, equal rights seems correct and just, while the demands of spirituality (where the woman helps, directs, strengthens and approves, while the man attains the Upper Light of correction and fulfillment) seem sexist.

Nevertheless, if we don’t correspond (as much as humanity’s desire for spirituality develops) to Nature (the Creator, the property of absolute love), we’ll disfigure our existence. Our dissimilarity and imbalance evoke the negative forces of correction, which we feel as suffering, and Nature (the Creator) will nevertheless make us follow its laws by force.

So we can follow Nature laws either by being forced, i.e. through the path of suffering, or we can consciously will ourselves to follow them. The place of our freedom is not in inventing our own paths, because there’s only one truth and only one path to it (the same path through which we descended from the World of Infinity). The place of our freedom is in our aspiration (our request for correction), above our egoistic aspirations (to receive), and our striving toward the goal of Nature (to bestow).

Why is it that women are being allowed to take leadership positions in our times? It’s because they use their egoism more carefully than men. When it comes to today’s enormous egoism, a woman’s egoism is better and calmer than a man’s.

(In the photo: my daughter and I.)