Kabbalah Moments: What’s The Goal?

What Hides Behind Each Word Of The Zohar?

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Zohar, Chapter “VaYetze (And Jacob Went Out),” Item 133: …And since those NHY join with the lower one during the Katnut, afterwards, during the Gadlut, when the upper one brings its NHY back to its degree, from the place of the lower one, it rises along with them to the place of the upper one, and the lower one is attached to them, as well. Thus, the lower one receives the lights that are in the upper one….

Suppose, we read a passage from The Zohar. What did it talk about? The Zohar spoke of the relation between the souls, between the parts of reality and nothing else. It doesn’t matter what words are used to describe it, be it HGT, the Upper One, Leah, and so on. Regardless, we have no clue what is going on here. Kabbalists use the words of the corporeal world to express the relation of forces in spirituality, which is a completely different reality.

While reading every word, I have to tell myself: “This is the connection between the souls. That is the property of bestowal dwelling among us, and the Upper Light that fills the souls (our desires), connecting them in one common vessel. This is the Creator revealed in the creature, and that is the creature perceiving the Creator.” Behind all these words, I must always see one reality. Then it makes no difference what words I’m reading. After each word I read I remind myself that the Book is talking about unity, the property of bestowal that fills the entire desire to enjoy.

The most correct, inner approach is to constantly sense and feel that it all speaks about unity, connection, love, adhesion, a single reality, and mutual guarantee. Thus, all the words just explain in more detail those sensations experienced in my mind and thoughts. This approach will make it easier to perceive all that we read in The Zohar more correctly.

From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/25/10, The Zohar

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Introductory Lecture: “Kabbalah Now” – 06.29.10

Kabbalah for the Nation Introductory Lecture Series, “Kabbalah Now”
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The Main Character In The Kabbalistic Book

Dr. Michael LaitmanA question I received: In books, there is always a main character of the story. When I read a Kabbalistic book and try to imagine all the internal forces are there also a central force as well as less important secondary forces?

My Answer: When you read a Kabbalistic book, what counts is not your understanding, but rather your effort. Spiritual revelation is a contradictory process. On the one hand, revelation is an intimate, individual process that occurs within me, and on the other, the forces that are needed to attain the revelation come from other souls through my connection with them. It looks like a contradiction in terms. I would rather my desire for spirituality stay one on one with the Creator and the Light that Reforms. Yet, if I wish to reveal spirituality, I can do so only in the Light of bestowal which comes to me through the group.

So it follows that I use my point in the heart (a desire for spirituality) to read the Kabbalistic book, and while reading to want to put together the picture within myself as it is described in the book. But what material serves me as a basis for the changes I undergo? For this practical work, I am given the environment, the group. Only by being interconnected with each other whereby I relate to them correctly and they do the same in return, can we raise our request, MAN.

In return, I receive the Light that Reforms; that is, I am granted a correct attitude that enables me to see what is written in the book. That is when I begin to transform myself and see my authentic connection with others. At this point, establishing union with others is no longer a problem. They become my world through which I implement what I read about; by connecting with others, I feel the property of bestowal, our interconnectedness that the book was depicting.

For now I only sense an irresolvable conflict. I agree to have a relationship between myself and the Creator, myself and the book, myself and the Light, myself and myself, myself and the world, myself and the group, but I always insist that everything starts with me! Here, however, I need to connect with the others in order to serve them, to act only for their benefit. This is something totally unclear to me.

How can I possibly switch the attention from myself to the others without feeling the difference between us? How can I open and give away my heart to them? At first, I refer to a Kabbalistic book using my egoism, but later on, I begin to understand that I need the force of bestowal. That is when I appeal to the group so as to receive a sensation of bestowal from it. And when I realize that I do not have and cannot have this property, I understand that I need the Light that Reforms which helps me transform myself in accordance with the book.

Having a common desire which we receive from the group, we all raise MAN. In return, I receive the Light of correction and begin to relate to a Kabbalistic book differently. I can build myself in accordance with the book’s instructions, like putting together a Lego set.

From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/24/10, The Zohar

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Karl Marx On The Influence Of The Environment

Dr. Michael LaitmanKarl Marx, Wage-Labour and Capital, Chapter 6: Our wants and pleasures have their origin in society; we therefore measure them in relation to society; we do not measure them in relation to the objects which serve for their gratification. Since they are of a social nature, they are of a relative nature.

My Commentary: The difference between Kabbalah and Marx’s methods for attaining a perfect society is as follows:

According to Kabbalah, a person is transformed with the help of the Torah (the Light that Reforms). According to Marx, human nature can be changed only by the influence of the surrounding environment and social relations.

It is possible that Marx was aware that he was only describing the first stage of correction: unification. And that afterward, in the attempt to unite, people would understand their inability to overcome their nature. Then they would reveal that they can use the Upper Light to unite. (See Baal HaSulam’s article “The Criticism of Marxism,” in the “Hauma” newspaper.)

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Shame Is A Spiritual Degree

Dr. Michael LaitmanA question I received: If presently I don’t feel shame before the Creator, does it mean that I still don’t have the need to become independent?

My Answer: Obviously, at present, we still do not feel the need to become independent because we do not yet sense our dependency on Him. For that, we have to undergo a gradual, cause-and-effect development, the process of developing the creature.

We see an example of this kind of development in our children. They want to develop, but refuse to listen to their parents since they aspire to do everything themselves. Nature compels them to act this way since otherwise they would not grow. The same principle applies to us.

However, our spiritual development  is under the condition that we feel our dependency on the Creator and He does everything instead of our doing it ourselves. When we sense this condition, we don’t want to remain in this state; we wish to become independent, big, and do something ourselves!

For this reason, the creature begins to feel shame, its dependency on the Creator, and detaches itself from Him. That is, we are willing to take upon ourselves the concealment; we want to feel and protect it and make sure it does not disappear. Above the concealment, we build our similarity to the Creator. Meanwhile, this concealment, the First Restriction, does not go away. We adopt it on ourselves. We do not want to become annulled in front of the immense force of the Creator.

From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/29/10, “The Need For Love of Friends”

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The Creator’s Works Are Manifold

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Zohar, Chapter “VaYetze (And Jacob Went Out),Item 190: “How manifold are Your works, O Lord! In wisdom You have made them all.” “How manifold are Your works, O Lord” indicates that there is no number to them, meaning Mochin de Hassadim [Light of Mercy]. “In wisdom You have made them all” indicates the Mochin of a number, of Hochma.

It is impossible to count Hassadim because there is no restriction on the property of bestowal and love; there is no thickness (Aviut) of the desire, screens, or height. Even if we do count Hassadim, we do so according to the Light of Hochma, the receiving desires (Kelim) on the basis of which we acquire Hassadim. Yet, there is no count for the Light of Hassadim itself; there is no restriction on it or measurement for it.

From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/29/10, The Zohar

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Religion Is A Reverse Connection With Spirituality

Dr. Michael LaitmanReligion was given to the nation of Israel during the exile so that the nation would realize the evil nature of egoism and develop the need for the Light that Reforms. All other nations had to evolve by means of their own religions and beliefs. Back in ancient Babylon, Abraham “gave presents (belief systems) to the children of his concubines and sent them to the East.” The nations nearby received these “presents” in the form of the world religions Christianity and Islam. They are considered presents because they stem from the Creator and their mission is to bring people closer to Him. Their followers, too, are called to help man realize the evil nature of his egoism.

All religions are a “reverse” connection with spirituality. This link ultimately shows us that we are opposite to spirituality. Gradually, we reveal that our egoism has developed to the point of no return; it is like a cancerous tumor that consumes us. This is revealed with the Light’s help. All of our historical development occurred by the influence of the Upper Light. The Light does everything by acting toward us directly or in its reverse form.

The Light develops our egoism and gradually elucidates its own nature to us. It lets us see that we exist in the evil, egoistic nature and that we distinguish only darkness which is only what is beneficial to us. We slowly realize egoism to be evil, as the reason for all evil in the world. By seeing all of it, we then strive for goodness.

These are all necessary stages of our development.

From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/29/10, “Preface to the Sulam Commentary”

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Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 06.29.10

Rabash, Shlavei HaSulam, “The Need For Love of Friends”
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The Book of Zohar – Selections, Chapter “VaYetze (And Jacob Went Out), Item 184
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Rav Yehuda Ashlag, “Preface to the Sulam Commentary,” Item 87
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Rav Yehuda Ashlag, “Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot,” Item 3, Lesson 4
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