What Does a Fallow Year Have to Do with Rice? – an Article about the Food Crisis

What Does a Fallow Year Have to Do with Rice? - an Article about the Food CrisisThe following is a translation of an article about the global food crisis that was recently published in one of Israel’s leading newspapers, Yediot Aharonot:

What Does a Fallow Year Have to Do with Rice?

Next Sabbath we are going to read Parashat BaHar (a weekly Torah portion), which deals with one of the most ancient and complex precepts that were entrusted with the people of Israel – the precept of a fallow year. Once every seven years the people of Israel are commanded to rest from cultivating the fields and leave the fruit to whoever wishes to pick it. What will we eat in the eighth year? The answer is that in the sixth year there will be enough crops to feed on, and even in the ninth year.

It may be symbolic that precisely on a fallow year, when we are promised to have no shortage, we are facing the beginning of a serious global food crisis. Even if we overlook media spins, which were probably meant to raise the price of rice, we cannot keep ignoring the fact that the American and global economy are already in a deep crisis. This crisis is likely to plunge us all into a deep recession, affect the structure of society, and shake relationships between various nations and economies.

But what is causing this crazy turbulence, and how do we curb the erosion? Or in other words, what does a fallow year have to do with the stock market in Chicago? Here is the gist of the Kabbalistic explanation to the crisis, along with suggestions for a solution.

In economy, just as with any social system, interdependence is the name of the game. Crises where one factor “infects” others and brings the market to the verge of collapse are part of the symptoms of modern economic globalization. However, the attempt to predict economic crises using sophisticated models has failed time after time. It turns out, that the economic system cannot be controlled or predicted accurately, and an action in one place causes far reaching changes in other, unexpected places. [Read more →]

The Lost Generation

The Lost GenerationA question I received: In the beginning of the article “The Essence of Religion and Its Purpose,” where Baal HaSulam refers to the science of Kabbalah by the word “religion,” why does he write that “the second generation has almost completely slipped from under our hands”?

My Answer: In my opinion, he means that with the opportunity to return to the Land of Israel, we also have the opportunity for common spiritual correction and ascent. Moreover, the fact that we’re not realizing such correction means that the exile from spirituality has ended, all the souls have intermixed, but we are late with our correction. This is making the two new generations, which have arrived since the full end of the exile (late 19th century – early 20th century), ask the question about the meaning of life, which remains unanswered.

People are leaving religion, which supported them during the period of exile, because they aren’t receiving answers to their new questions. Only Kabbalah can provide such answers, because it provides answers on the essence of life, governance, the essence of the Creator, and the reasons and purposes of our lives. That such questions remain unanswered spawns more and more crises in all areas of life, which then becomes a general crisis concerning the negative influence we have on our environment. How do we fix this state of affairs? There is only one way to fix it, and that is by changing human nature. This is what the method of Kabbalah is for, as it is the method that guides such a change.

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HaVaYaH – Phases of the Development of Desire (Advanced)

HaVaYaH - Phases of the Development of Desire (Advanced)A question I received: I would like to understand the meaning of the sacred name HaVaYaH: the beginning of the letter Yod, the letter Yod, and the rest of the letters in their order. How do they designate the Sefirot in our Kelim and in the worlds, and how does all this relate to Malchut both in the spiritual world and in our world, in our souls from Nefesh to Yechida?

My Answer: The letters and the Sefirot are the same thing. There is nothing besides the desire and the Light that created and fills it. Everything else is a designation of their mutual states. The framework of the spiritual desire is the five-level desire, whose last level constitutes the final desire.

It’s the same with us: The desire forms until we start perceiving and realizing it. It must go through four stages of development, beginning from the Light that begets it as a point, the beginning of the letter Yod, and then continuing along the four phases of the development of the HaVaYaH. Once the desire is formed, it starts reacting to the Light that begot it, and this is already the reversed HaVaYaH. [Read more →]

icon for podpress  Lesson on Baal HaSulam's article "Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah" [29:28m]: Play Now | Download
icon for podpress  Lesson on Baal HaSulam's article "Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah" [29:28m]: Play Now | Download

The Difference Between Secular People, Religious People and Kabbalists

The Difference Between Secular People, Religious People and KabbalistsA question I received: Religious people, especially those who became religious, say that they feel an enormous force, the joy of life, and lights that do them miracles. How can they feel all that if the Light only comes through the study of Kabbalah and related activities?

My Answer: We constantly develop from one generation to the next, each person at a different rate. Some people – the secular – are content with simply living domesticated, earthly lives. Others need more, a connection with something higher, and a hope of reward – these being the religious.

There are also those who need nothing more than to attain the Upper One, called Kabbalists. Kabbalists are people who attain the Creator, as written, “Know your Creator in order to work with Him” (Da Hashem Elokeycha Ve Avdeu). In our times, egoism is outgrowing the regular, earthly boundaries, and both secular and religious people are starting to feel empty. This feeling of emptiness will bring people from all walks of life – secular, religious and whatever else one wants to call oneself – to Kabbalah, the science of fulfillment (by the Light of the Creator).

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