Kabbalah Moments: Correct Focus

Evening Zohar Lesson – 06.09.10

The Book of Zohar – Selections, Chapter “VaYigash (Then Judah Approached),” Item 123
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The Book of Zohar – Selections, Chapter “VaYetze (And Jacob Went Out),” Item 1
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A New Desire Comes Along With A New Light

Dr. Michael LaitmanIntroduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot, Item 40: Hence, how do you say, “labored and found”? And if there is effort here, it should have said, “labored and purchased” or “labored and acquired”… If there is effort, then shouldn’t our work result in a payment or a reward, that is, in an anticipated outcome?

In contrast, here we have a gap whereby prolonged conscious efforts are crowned with an unexpected find, a completely different result than we imagined the reward to be. It is something new and unexpected. At the same time, even if we receive it in a form of an unanticipated result, it does not disappoint us!

I labored in order to reach a certain goal, anticipating to receive an egoistic reward that I pictured to myself. By exerting effort, I acted according to my earthly mind and feeling. However, I got transformed along the way! I acquired a new desire toward bestowal which I couldn’t even picture to myself before.

The desire has changed, and so did the anticipated fulfillment. I pictured to myself reception as a reward, but it turned out that the reward is in bestowal, when the Creator is revealed within me. All of this is called a “find”: a new desire and a new Light.

From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/8/10, Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot

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Luck: Releasing the Light For Us Drop By Drop

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Zohar, Chapter “VaYigash (Then Judah Approached),” Item 55: Man’s nourishments before the Creator are as hard as the tearing of the Red Sea. This is so because the nourishments of the world are from above, from ZA, from the Masach de Hirik in the middle line. It is so because sons, life, and nourishments do not depend on merit, but depend on luck. And for this reason, man’s nourishments before Him are hard, since it depends on luck, from which the sons, life, and nourishments arrive. This is why the nourishments of the world are hard before Him, for they are not in his possession before he is blessed by luck.

Luck (Mazal) means "flowing" (Nozel) and indicates Upper abundance which comes in drops. It does not pour down as an endless current due to our limitation, our inability to receive more. The Upper One wishes to give us the whole World of Infinity, but He is forced to release the Light for us in drops, to the extent that we are able to perceive it.

This is why it is written that "Man’s nourishments before the Creator are as hard as the tearing of the Red Sea." According to His nature He is “good and does good,” and it is hard for Him to hold back and not give man all the goodness at once. For this reason, it is difficult for the Creator to give only drop by drop.

From the Evening Zohar Lesson 6/7/10

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Infinity Is Boundless Unification

Dr. Michael LaitmanIn order to perceive reality correctly we need to bring together all the forms that are revealed to us. Only a person’s inner world exists. Infinity is not infinite distances; it is boundless unification! At a certain point a barrier emerges in this World of Infinity, determining how close you can be to me. That is, within this Infinity, an egoistic desire is revealed and it creates a distance between different parts.

This distance between desires, between the ego is imaginary. And as a result, the worlds begin to be spread from Infinity downward, meaning that a sensation of distance between different parts emerges in the same place. This is called a descent of the worlds or intensification of the concealment among us.

After all, this distance is not physical but sensory. We need to transition to a more internal perception. We should realize that I can be physically close to or distant from certain people while feeling that they are either close to or distant from me; one factor is completely independent of the other. In spirituality, this imaginary world of distances does not exist, only feelings do. We measure sensory perception in Sefirot, Partzufim, and the worlds according to equivalence of properties between spiritual objects or desires.

On the one hand, certainly there are differences between desires as they are each different. But on the other, they are similar to each other since they strive to be together regardless of their unchanging natural differences. Only this “distance” is measured in spirituality, and it is only this “closeness” in intention that we aspire to achieve.

Despite the differences among our initial desires that are so infinitely distanced from each other, through the screen and the Reflected Light (mutual bestowal), we will achieve a common aspiration to become close. We will reach sensory unification which will be infinite and devoid of any boundaries. In our desires we will feel infinite, physical distance so to say, while in our sensory aspiration to be together, we will step over this boundary and feel our infinite, boundless unification where we all exist in one point.

These two forms of measurement should coexist together and provide intensity to our unification and adhesion. One form is the infinite distance that separates our desires which are opposite to each other, while the other one is endless, boundless unification of everyone, in one point in a common intention and aspiration.

From the Talk about a New Internet 6/4/10

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Stop Living In A Fantasy

Dr. Michael LaitmanKabbalistic books tell us about our future states that we have to discover within ourselves by ascribing them the names of the spiritual worlds, Sefirot, and Partzufim. By combing our desires to achieve this, we will create a demand for correction that will draw the reaction of the Light. It will add the intention of bestowal to our desire, and we will start perceiving what the Kabbalists describe to us.

All these future states that we wish to attain and sense – AB, SAG, Abba ve Ima, Zivugim, and Partzufim – relate only to the connection between us, that is, to various types of bestowal. This connection begins at the level of this world (this is what our current connection is called) and extending over the steps of the spiritual worlds, reaches the connection called Infinity (limitless connection among everybody).

Infinity means the absence of boundaries when all souls are corrected to such a degree that they unite as one whole. Although we’re not in this state yet, it should be our immediate goal. We should aspire to be as “one man with one heart” and anticipate it happening.

It’s very important to transition from the external perception to the internal one where all the worlds and everything that there is exist within a person. We don’t understand what “within a person” means, so we imagine geometrical space, but we should constantly work on the correct picture. In the beginning of the path, a person imagines his inner work, spirituality, and the group in a very peculiar way. However, as he advances, he should assure that all the pictures, forms, approaches, transformations, and the goal itself align themselves into a single point. Besides this point, there isn’t any other space.

Thus, you begin to imagine everything only in the point of your perception, and thereby return to the point of creation, “Yesh Mi Ain” (existence from absence). This is not a fantasy. In fact, now we are constantly living in a fantasy for everybody exists in his own imaginary world.

From the Talk about a New Internet 6/4/10

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Who Can We Call A Creature?

A questiDr. Michael Laitmanon I received: What is the creature that Kabbalah talks about all the time? Are we creatures or not? What makes someone a creature; is it a special desire or state? For example, are a cow, cat, or dog creatures or not? They seem to exist, yet they have no freedom of will so can someone without free will be called a creature? If so, then it seems metal could also be called a creature. If a creature is something that has free will, then can we be called creatures? Maybe a creature is only one who knows the Creator, communicates with Him, and mutually bestows to Him? In other words, is a creature a measure of being similar to the Creator?

My Answer: The Creator and the creature exist together, in one desire. The creature bestows to the Creator, and the Creator to the creature. The Creator and the creature both make decisions. The creature exists if it perceives the Creator; it is a creature to a smaller or a larger degree according to the measure to which it feels the Creator, that is, is similar to Him. A creature is not simply a controllable robot under the complete rule of the Creator.

For this reason, the creature begins with the union of Malchut with Bina, that is, when Malchut rises to Bina and forces her to either open or close herself. This indicates that someone else beside the Creator is performing actions.

Hence an independent creature standing opposite to the Creator is born following an entire sequence of events. It isn’t that simple to accept the forces of love of bestowal from Bina or to gain the strength to renounce one’s egoism. And it’s equally hard to rise to Bina, restrict her, and say: “Don’t give me anything, I’m unable to receive unselfishly.”

I want to receive; yet I can’t because that will bring me spiritual death. If I do receive, I will stop being independent; that is, I will die as a creature. The Upper One has everything that I want, but I ask Him not to reveal Himself, not to give me anything. I restrict Him by myself so that He won’t give me anything.

Only after I restrict the Upper One do I start to gradually reveal myself to Him. I regulate the Light coming from Above by myself and determine the way, the amount, and the conditions of receiving it. And by acquiring  multi-sided fulfillment, I acquire the form of the creature, which is my similarity to the Creator.

I cannot do it alone. I have to accumulate the desire, which comes from the group, and the strength, which comes from the Light that Reforms, and the Light enables us to become similar to the Creator.

From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/9/10, “Preface to the Sulam Commentary”

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Our Work Is In Preparing The Desire

Dr. Michael LaitmanAccording to the Kabbalists, The Zohar is the most effective part of the entire Torah and of all Kabbalah books. Why? These books are called holy (the property of Bina) because they are written from the heights of spiritual attainment. Therefore, by reading them, we can attract upon ourselves the Light that brings us back to the Creator (to similarity to Him).

However, we can correct the desire to receive only by the desire to correct ourselves for there is no Light, no fulfillment without a desire. Hence, we have to demand for the Light to act upon and transform us. This Light is called the “Surrounding Light” because it shines on us from afar. Under the influence of the Light, our “evil intention” turns into a good one. Then, to the measure to which the desire resembles the Light, the Light fills it.

Hence to prepare for the study of the Torah means to acquire the desire for correction. This desire is preceded by realizing that our nature is evil (for us). The evil in our nature is our inability to unite with each other! Our unification is precisely the vessel where our Upper, spiritual life can be revealed.

For this reason, we have to try to establish a connection with each other and to unite together. This is described in the writings when Israel stood at the foot of  Mount Sinai: “as one man with one heart,” “all of Israel are friends,” and  “love thy neighbor as you love thyself.” After we discover our inability to unite and start feeling what prevents us from achieving our good state, then MAN, a true prayer, the wish to become corrected, will emerge within us.

That is, preparation for studying the Torah amounts to our efforts to unite, feeling how incapable we are of doing it, and realizing this state as evil, as an obstacle on the path toward good. That is, the Torah study comes after the correct preparation; MAN emerges itself.

We can think and clarify all of it already while we read The Book of the Zohar. Meanwhile, the Light will help us in our work.

From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/9/10, The Zohar

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Pictures From The Hebrew Book Week in Israel

Pictures from the Hebrew Book Week in Israel, June 2-12, 2010.

Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 06.09.10

The Book of Zohar – Selections, Chapter “VaYigash (Then Judah Approached),” Item 106
When one experiences a “hardening of the heart”, he should lower his head and immerse himself in a group. The group’s strength will help deal with the raging egoism.
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Rav Yehuda Ashlag, “Preface to the Sulam Commentary,” Item 54
The creation is someone who gradually builds within himself the Creator’s form.
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Rav Yehuda Ashlag, Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot, Item 44
The Creator will never give up concealment. We rise above the concealment, above the receiving nature, and reveal Him.
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Writings of Rabash, Article “Could Anything Negative Come Down from the Sky?” Page 37, 1984  
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