Art In The Epoch Of Crisis

How To Calculate The Tither

Dr. Michael LaitmanThree questions I received on tither (Maaser):

Question: You wrote on your blog that one should pay Maaser from his net income. However, in one of your lessons you said that Maaser is paid from the total income before tax deductions. My question is: is it paid from the income before tax deductions or from the net income after tax deductions?

My Answer: The rule states that the Maaser is 10% of one’s gross income. Otherwise, the tenth part from your taxes does not get corrected! However, beginners get a “discount” in order to get used to the Maaser and to make the calculation easier for them.

Question: My question regards the giving of Maaser. I understand the spiritual meaning of tithing 10% of your income to disseminating Kabbalah. What is unclear to me is the method in which a person must give Maaser. For example, a person earns $400 a week working at their job (which comes down to $10 per hour). Considering how time equals money, if a person volunteers 4 hours of their time disseminating, they have given $40 worth of time. Is this a valid form of giving Maaser?

My Answer: It is written that a person has to separate a tithe (10%) from all of his income.

Question: I am retired. My husband, who is not “on the path,” still works and we live on the money he earns. I participate in dissemination whereas his main interest is football. We don’t spend money on entertainment, other than going on vacation once a year. How should I calculate the Maaser?

My Answer: It is 10% of your pension. For example, you can make an arrangement with the Bnei Baruch dissemination center to buy our newspapers or books, and then hand them out or distribute them to libraries.

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Economists Say Beautiful Words, But Cannot Implement Them

Shari Arison, the famous Israeli-American businesswoman (and the richest Israeli citizen), said the following about the financial crisis:

We are going through a difficult but extremely important period – important for the Jewish people and all of humankind.

We have a very important role, which is to raise the torch and set it afire. We will lead through awareness, humaneness, truth, values, love and peace. We must be united – only then will the turmoil, pain and hatred disperse.

The world today is on the brink of destruction. Anywhere you look there’s chaos, and it starts with something small – the relationships between people. The turmoil, danger and pain permeate all aspects of life: personal, interpersonal, ecological and economic. Today everyone understands this, and it’s a pity that we don’t see the solution.

I stand before you today and say to you: there is a solution, and it lies in our value system. The solution is concealed in the verse, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” We all want to change the collective situation, and we can do it. However, each and every one of us must assume the individual responsibility, the personal obligation.

My Comment: These are beautiful words, but there’s no way to implement them. I only hope that people will soon recognize that egoism is the cause of all their troubles, and then quickly realize that the only method of correcting it is by drawing the forces of Nature from the outside.

It is written: “I created egoism and I gave the Torah for its correction, because the Light that’s in it returns one to the Source.” This Light descends upon a person only during the correct use of Kabbalah – see item 155 of Baal HaSulam’s “Introduction to Talmud Esser Sefirot.”

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The Surrounding Light’s Influence Depends On Your Aspiration To The Future State (Advanced)

authorA question I received: When does the Surrounding Light influence me – only during the lesson or also during dissemination? (Considering that while I’m doing it I aspire to attain the Upper One through the unification with the group.)

My Answer: It influences you during the study, dissemination, and other group actions, depending on your intention to connect with everyone in order to reveal the Creator – the quality of bestowal and love. The Surrounding Light is the Light that will fill you on a higher level.

The fact is that you already exist in all of your future states. However, you don’t perceive it. You must attain these states yourself. By aspiring to them, you draw the influence of your future state upon you and it changes you, making you similar to it. Everything depends only on your desire, your aspiration to that future state.

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Our Television – YES 66

A T T E N T I O N!

Channel YES 66 in Israel

Is now showing non-stop broadcasts

of the “Kabbalah Channel.”

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The same programs are also broadcast in Hebrew

On the Internet, on Kab.tv

In Search Of The “Bottom” For The Financial Markets

bottomNews Report: (translated from gazeta.ru): Analysts are eagerly looking for signs that the world’s financial markets are nearing the end of their collapse. Investors all over the world are waiting for the markets to finally hit the “bottom.” They’re hoping that this will be followed by a recovery, and then they will be able win back their losses, or perhaps to gain even more than before.

My Comment: The collapse will not be followed by a recovery. People are very far from understanding the cause of the collapse, because the cause lies deep in the egoistic qualities of our egoism and its opposition to the Creator. Even if the financial crisis will end, it will be replaced by another crisis, whether shortage of food and water or an environmental crisis. “The plagues of Egypt” will continue until we realize their cause – our egoism, called “the Pharaoh” – and annul it.

We must realize that the way out of the crisis is the way out of “Egypt” – out of our egoism. There is no other way.

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Why War Is Compatible With “Love For One’s Neghbor”

War Is No SolutionA question I received: In the last lesson on the article “The Revelation of Godliness (Matan Torah)” you explained that in reality the other religions do not contain the rule “love your neighbor.” You gave an example of wars that are fought over issues such as the right way to pray and the Caste system in Hinduism, and that these are all signs that religion do not follow the rule “love your neighbor.”

So how are we to understand the “wars against the seven nations” and the war with Amalek? I am trying to understand how these actions can be implemented while keeping the rule “love your neighbor.” I think that even if they are performed while keeping this rule, the future generations will make wrong conclusions about them and as a result, commit cruelty and destruction.

My Answer: Correction takes place precisely through wars and clashes between egoism and the Light. Take King David for example, whose Psalms are valued by the entire world because they are the highest manifestation of love to the Creator. He spent forty years fighting wars, and moreover, he was the aggressor. This is known as the “Conquest of David” (Kibush David), spanning from Egypt to Babylon, including Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and other territories that have Upper Spiritual roots (other territories don’t have such roots). Another example is Joshua, who conquered the Land of Israel and exiled seven nations from it. Moreover, it was the Creator’s prohibition to let them stay in that land. All of this is described in the Torah, and it happens in congruence with the correction of egoism and its replacement with “bestowal.”

In order to correctly picture the arrangement of people in our world, one must imagine the forces that govern them. If the actions happen according to the Creator’s directive, like the wars fought by Joshua and David in Biblical times, then it is equivalent to the correction of egoism (see Rashbi’s commentary on Beresheet). On the other hand, if the actions are based on man’s decision, then they are egoistic! Since those times, Israel has not fought any wars where it was the aggressor.

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Why Am I Here?

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Baal HaSulam begins the fundamental Kabbalistic text, the “Introduction to Talmud Eser Sefirot,” with the following words:

1. At the outset of my words, I find a great need to break an iron wall that has been separating us from the wisdom of Kabbalah…

2. Indeed, if we set our hearts to answer but one very famous question, I am certain that all the questions and doubts about the study of Kabbalah will vanish from the horizon. This indignant question is a question that the whole world asks, namely, “What is the meaning of my life?” These numbered years of our life that cost us so heavily and the numerous pains and torments that we suffer for them, to complete them to the fullest, who is it that enjoys them? Or, even more precisely, to whom do I give delight?

It is indeed true that historians have grown weary contemplating it and particularly in our generation. No one even wishes to consider it. Yet the question stands as bitterly and as vehemently as ever. Sometimes it meets us uninvitingly, pecks at our mind and humiliates us to the ground before we find the famous ploy to flow mindlessly in the currents of life as yesterday…

In order to help you answer this question, Kabbalah is now being revealed to you! By answering it, you will become human; while it is still a mystery – you’re still not!

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