Lessons from the St. Louis Congress

Virtual Lesson On Google's ProjectBefore the St. Louis Congress began, I gave several lessons on the topic: “The world in the epoch of globalization and crisis.” The lessons are based on Baal HaSulam’s article, “The Peace.”

I recommend watching or listening to them!

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What Would It Take to Feed Everyone In the World?

feedA question I received: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations stated that “The world only needs 30 billion dollars a year to eradicate the scourge of hunger.” Yet 700 billion dollars have been allotted to solving the credit crisis. We easily found 700 billion dollars to cover the financial crisis, but we can’t find 30 billion to solve the problem of worldwide hunger. Why is that?

My Answer: Obviously, the bankers feel that their problems are more important. But may I ask: How did the UN distribute their funds in the past? Why didn’t they help fight the problem of worldwide hunger, or at least to improve it?

The fact is that you can’t feed the world this way! People shouldn’t go against the Creator (Nature). The only thing that needs correction is human nature, and if it is corrected, there will be plenty of everything for everyone!

Related Material:
Laitman.com Post: What Does a Fallow Year Have to Do with Rice? – an Article about the Food Crisis
Laitman.com Post: Food Crisis – Rising Food Prices and the Meaning of Life
Kabbalah Today Article: Mankind’s Growing Hunger

“Righteous” and “Wicked” Are Spiritual States In One Person

What Do Villains and Prophets Have to Do With Bnei Baruch's Virtual Group?Two questions I received on the notions of “righteous” and “wicked”:

Question: You explained in one of the morning lessons that a “holy man” is defined by the amount of efforts he made. On the other hand, you explained that a “holy man” (Tzaddik) is one who justifies (Matzdik) the Creator on the level of his spiritual attainment, and that to justify is not to talk about it, but to discover it for yourself and to value the Creator’s actions as a result. So holiness is defined by one’s equivalence of form with the Creator. But what difference does it make how many efforts you made if holiness is measured by the result, by how much one justifies the Creator?

My Answer: It’s because in order to attain the level of a “righteous man” – in order to reveal and justify the Creator’s actions, every person has to make the same amount of efforts, although the efforts are specific for every person and are “counted” relative one’s abilities and strength.

Question: In Shamati #86, “And They Built Store-Cities,” it says: It follows that the righteous receive the strength to go from strength to strength through the wicked, and the wicked have become dust under the feet of the righteous, and the righteous walk on the discernments that remain as wicked.

Hence, in retrospect, this work specifically is important. And it is not because of necessity, as they first thought, while there was evil inclination. Now they see that even without the evil inclination it is worthwhile to work in bestowal and faith.

In this excerpt, what is meant by “the righteous” and “the wicked?”

My Answer: The righteous and the wicked are the past and present states in one person.

Related Material:
Laitman.com Post: What Do Villains and Prophets Have In Common With Bnei Baruch’s Virtual Group?

We Cannot Go Around the Laws of Nature

go-aroundA question I received: The great Kabbalist Baal HaSulam calls upon people to not violate the laws of nature, as if laws of nature are like traffic rules where a person can cross the street in the wrong place or drive onto an oncoming lane. For example, humanity has been violating the law of gravity since the times of the Wright brothers. Nonetheless, this law is still in effect; we simply go around it. And so what?

Is it possible to make a list of nature’s laws, or are they known only to Kabbalists?

My Answer: Every time man violates the laws of nature, his actions evoke a negative influence upon him, to the point of death. The law of behavior in the global community did not manifest as a law of nature until our times, but it is now starting to manifest because we are now entering the final phase of our development, the level of “human,” whereas before we were going through lower levels called still, vegetative, and animate.

The laws of nature are stricter than traffic laws because nature has no pity and demands the “exact payment.” We cannot go around the laws of nature, but we can study them and learn to use them correctly. Globalization obliges us to unite in order to match the governing forces of nature. If we will do this, then we will be using the laws of nature to our advantage. But if we won’t act as a global community, then we’ll crash like the poorly constructed original airplanes, until we learn how to use the laws of nature correctly!

Related Material:
Laitman.com Post: Friends, Let’s Join Hands!

“The End of America” – Or Is It?

A New Year's Wish to the WorldA question I received (from a student in Russia): Aren’t you happy about “the end of America?”

My Answer: Unlike you, I cannot revel in hearing news about the crisis in the USA nor rejoice at this being God’s punishment for their pride, because I respect the people who have built such a powerful country with their own hands, without outsourcing it. I don’t believe in a polar world; I know that the world is round and that’s the only way it can be.

In order to be a great country, it is necessary to have influence in the world: capital, technology, developed sciences, and a perfect system of government, instead of manipulating people through fear. I look at the world objectively, from above, and I feel sad about the suffering that’s to come. I don’t feel any animalistic pleasure from this.

However, you will soon be disappointed, because America will live through the crisis. It’s more flexible than other countries and will be able to re-adapt more easily. The collapse of the Western civilization and the end of the world as we know it will force all of us to change. Those who are smart won’t be too squeamish to study Kabbalah, and they will suffer less and recover faster. This is what I wish for everyone – including the Russian people.

Related Material:
Laitman.com Post: Why Was America Hit First?
Laitman.com Post: The US Market – A Chance for Recovery
Laitman.com Post: Obama: A Chance for Hope or Another Disappointment?

To Be Anointed Means to Draw the Light of Hochma

Don't Look for Love In This WorldA question I received: Why do you say that the word Mashiach (Messiah) originates from the word Lishmoch – to pull? I think it originates from the word Limshoach – to anoint, and it refers to one who is anointed for service.

My Answer: To be anointed means to draw the Upper Light of Hochma upon a person. In our world, this Light is represented by oil. This is how a person ascends to a level required to serve the Creator.

This procedure was done by a prophet who was on such a high level that he could pull a person up to the spiritual level of service to the Creator. Kabbalah doesn’t talk about “whom, how and with what to anoint,” but tells us about the essence of this phenomenon: about the reception of the Upper Light that actually gives a person the force and right to be God’s anointed, to be close to the Creator. I “translate” these words to get directly to the essence of what is happening.

By the way, these letters are interchangeable in Hebrew. However, if you feel more drawn to corporeal anointment, then you should read the non-Kabbalistic explanations. Everything written in the Torah can be understood directly, as physical actions, and/or according to its true, inner meaning. Still, by understanding the text literally, one does not reveal its true meaning. It is because the Mashiach is the force of liberation from egoism, and not a person.

It says in the “Introduction to the Book of Zohar, Item 70: “Alas, these people, who make the spirit of the Messiah vanish from the world, so as never to return, make the Torah dry, without the moist of mind and knowledge, for they confine themselves to the practical part of the Torah, and do not wish to try and understand the wisdom of Kabbalah, to know and educate themselves in the secrets and the reason behind the Torah and Mitzvot…”

Related Material:
Laitman.com Post: The Coming of the Messiah
Laitman.com Post: The Messiah – the Force that will Correct the World
The Book of Zohar. Chapter “The Vision of Rabbi Hiya”, items 57-60