A question I received: The current global crisis has affected many people. However, when the blows were over, people did not listen to the science of Kabbalah. Instead, they decided that the difficult times have passed and now a good period is starting, which will make everything fall back into place.
My Answer: This is understandable. The crisis is worsening, but since no one has a solution, people just keep quiet about it. This is the same in every country.
We receive many blows for performing dishonest actions, but we still cannot stop doing them. That means that the blows were not strong enough to teach us the correct way to behave.
Why don’t we learn from our past mistakes? You would think that it’s as simple as one, two, three. If only minor blows could immediately help us reach correction! However, our egoism is constantly developing and becoming bigger. And since we become more egoistic, the previous blows cannot force us to act properly.
Let’s say I stole ten dollars and was punished. Now when I look at ten dollars, I remember the punishment, and this holds me back. However, what will happen if suddenly I find 100 dollars in front of me? I’ve never been punished for 100 dollars before, so 100 dollars is not connected to punishment in my mind. So I steal the 100 dollars and receive punishment.
But what about a thousand dollars? It’s the same thing! This is how we are built – like animals that only know the things they’ve felt. This is why it is written: “A person cannot carry out a commandment (an action of bestowal and love for one’s neighbor) unless he first breaks it (finds the opposite action in him).” First you have to stumble and fall, you have to “steal,” and then you have to repent and correct what you’ve done. This is something that happens only after one receives blows. Without them, it is impossible for a person to change.
The science of Kabbalah explains that each desire develops according to four stages, from the time it is born to its final form. We consist of a desire and an intention. Therefore, there are four possible combinations of the desire and the intention, because there is a total of four combinations from two variables: “you desire something and intend it, you don’t desire something and don’t intend it,” and so on. (See “Inner Reflection” in Talmud Eser Sefirot).
A person has to go through four stages of blows and clarifications in order to reach the last stage, where he desires to use his egoism only for the sake of selfless, unconditional bestowal and love. This is why it is impossible to learn from one small blow. It’s because there is a law acting between the desire and the Light.
The Light creates a desire, and the desire acts precisely according to the program that is placed into it by the Light. If it is the desire to enjoy, it wishes only to receive pleasure. In order to teach it to be bestowing, the Light always has to influence the desire through four stages.
Only on the last stage does the desire realize that it is receiving. As a result, it feels shame and performs a restriction. This happens with every spiritual action.