Kabbalists On The Torah And Commandments, Part 30

Dr. Michael LaitmanDear Friends, please ask questions about these passages from the great Kabbalists. The commentaries in brackets are mine.

What Is a Prayer?

We should understand what our sages said, “One does not find himself in debt” (Shabbat, 119). Accordingly, one cannot correct his actions, for he will never see that his actions are corrupt and require correction. Thus, one must always remain corrupt.

The thing is that it is known that man was created with a nature of wanting only to delight himself. Therefore, in everything he learns, he wishes to learn how he can enjoy. Thus, if a person wishes to enjoy, he will naturally avoid learning things other than what his heart desires, for this is his nature.

For this reason, one who wishes to draw near to the Creator and to learn things that show ways by which to bestow upon the Creator, must pray to the Creator to give him a different heart, as it is written, “Create for me a pure heart, O God.” This means that when he has another heart, when the desire in the heart is a desire to bestow, then in everything he learns, he will naturally see ways that show only how to bestow upon the Creator.

However, he will never see against the heart. It is said about that, “And I will remove the stony heart from within you, and I will give you a heart of flesh.”
Rabash, Steps of the Ladder, “One Learns Only where One’s Heart Desires”

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The Binary World

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: You are saying that our desire to give is make-believe.

Answer: Of course, it’s make-believe now. Why would I want something so “otherworldly?” What would I get in return?

For instance, being hungry myself, would I be able to feel another person’s hunger? No, I wouldn’t if such a calculation is not “in sync” with my Kelim (vessels). A person always acts based on desire. How can I want something beyond the reach of my desire? It’s impossible; it’s not instilled in nature.

A tree is a tree, a stone is a stone, and a desire is a desire. The mind is next to it, assisting it to be filled with the desired. There’s nothing else.

Ultimately, we are talking about the very simple “building blocks” of the universe which operate on a binary principle: yes or no. There is no multiplicity nor complication. All that is complex is a sum of these binary components that represent existence or absence. There is no in-between, only total darkness or total light. Then, the very same binary elements generate and build a whole system of nuanced relationships between them.

So, if I want something, I am thinking only about what I want. If I really want something specific, such as a carrot, it means I don’t feel any lack for a banana. The banana doesn’t exist for me at that moment; I am fixated on what I want. This can be seen clearly with children. Computer memory-elements function according to the same principle as do our neurons: yes or no, a “click” or its absence.

Therefore, it simply can’t be that being a receiving desire, I would feel in it a desire to give. I neither understand nor feel what others want. I can feel inside of me only a form called “the other,” but it manifests itself inside my desire.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/26/2011, Writings of Rabash

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Unity Always Prevails

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: How can a person tell that he is acting from the point in the heart, rather than avoiding the suffering of the outside world?

Answer: Does a person act in the group based on the point in the heart rather than his or her egoism? Does he direct himself toward a group instead of the outside world? He does if he puts the desires, goals, means, and efforts of his friends above his own.

What if the friends are wrong? They are always right. Actually, even if they are wrong, what difference does it make to me? What’s most important is that I am part of them. That’s the only choice I’ve got.

Suppose all of them are against my opinion. I’m one hundred percent right, but they are united as one. It means I have to annul myself and go along with them. However, they are wrong, aren’t they? It does not matter. In the spiritual world, the collective, the connection, always prevails.

Approximately two and a half thousand years ago there lived a great sage, Rabbi Yossi ben Kisma. He had, let’s say, a dozen students. Once, he was asked to move to another place, but he replied, “I can’t leave them because then I will lose everything there is within me.” This was despite the fact that he was a great sage of that generation. Who were they compared to him? “They are nobodies,” he said, “but when they are together, I connect to them and receive everything through them. On my own, directly, I cannot receive anything.”

After all, the receiving vessel, the detector, the locator, is the group. Let the group consist of nobodies, beginners; it doesn’t matter whom. If they unite with one another, that’s it; it’s enough. A sage who connects to them adds sensitivity to them and, thus, perceives everything.

On their own, they don’t understand or sense a thing. They’ve just huddled together like calves. However, having united with them, he receives the Light that he wouldn’t have received without them. By gradually conducting their unity through him, they, too, begin to grow. That is what is happening in the world. Therefore, only unity brings the right result.

There are a lot of “smart” people in the group, really clever, serious, very intelligent individualists, and their achievements are worth nothing! When I consider the result that we have to achieve as a group, I know for certain: Even if a person is smart, generates great ideas, performs any assignment brilliantly, and achieves amazing results, all that eventually leads nowhere. If he lacks spiritual direction, he won’t grow as a result of his or her efforts, although on the outside, everything may seem perfect.

All things spiritual are achieved only through unity. If beginners gather together, even though they may be small, by uniting, they achieve greater results than individuals who are great, wise, and perhaps Kabbalists already. Rabbi Yossi wouldn’t have achieved anything without his group. That’s why he didn’t leave it.
From Lesson 2 in Moscow 1/16/2011, “A Prayer of Many”

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With Love From Distant Africa

We have a very unusual group: It is not on land, but on water. It’s composed of our sailor friends from the Ukraine who are contracted to work on the "Gulf Service" floating ship near the shores of Angola.

The group was formed by Maxim. In January 2010 he attended his first mega convention in Odessa, and he was so inspired by it that he gathered a group on the ship. Now they watch the daily Kabbalah lessons, the gatherings of friends, and all the conventions together with us.

They download all their lessons and events once every six months when they are on leave. Our friends from different countries around the world keep in touch with them.

Every letter we receive from our friends is filled with warmth and love and emanates the greatness of the goal and the group. No distance exists for them; they are always completely informed and at the center of all our events.

With Love From Distant Africa1 With Love From Distant Africa2







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The Worse, The Better

Dr. Michael LaitmanWe need to understand that the solution to the modern problems is not to tame our egoism, but to rise above it. That is why the wisdom of Kabbalah isn’t so simple; it is above the level of the methods that teach how to gradually take control of and reduce one’s evil inclination.

Kabbalah says: No, you absolutely don’t need to fight your egoism. And you won’t win that war anyway because your egoism will only keep growing. Moreover, it is smarter than you and will always get away and take everything with it.

You must only learn how to turn it away from you, outward. The wisdom of Kabbalah is the science that teaches us how to work with egoism. It is a very complex science since it includes practically everything there is. It allows us to employ our egoism correctly, and because our egoism keeps growing to gain ever greater opportunities to step outside ourselves and attain what surrounds us.

It isn’t easy to explain to people that transformation does not lie in reducing one’s egoism, but rather, in applying it correctly. The more egoistic you are, the better. People don’t comprehend it, wondering, “How is this better? The more harmful I am to others, the more envious, greedy, frugal, and cunning I am, the better?” That’s right!

Yet, you find yourself asking, “How can that be good? You are wrong: We need to eliminate all these vices. A good person is someone who doesn’t have any of them.” But that’s not so! A good person is someone who has tremendous egoistic miasms, but he transforms them into a connection with others. His aspiration is not to use all his dreadful attributes in some way, but rather to recycle them into good ones. We have to recycle them, but never annihilate them.

It is even very difficult to explain this to people who are intelligent and deep-thinking. Today we are witnessing an imbalance with nature and discord in society, our personal lives, and everywhere else. Is this for the better or for the worse? It is certainly for the better! The worse, the better!

It is hard for people to understand this. This understanding can’t get through all at once. But have patience; little by little, everything will fall into place.
From the 2nd lesson at the Berlin Convention on 1/28/11

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A Man And A Woman: To Be Or Not To Be Together?

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Is it necessary for us to get married?

Answer: On one hand, it is unnecessary to get married. On the other, we must understand that our world is created in similarity to the upper world.

Today, humanity is going through the process of the breaking of family units. In the near five to ten years, we will see that people will not be able to find one another whatsoever. Why get married? What is it all for? People do not feel the need for it. The very foundation of society has disappeared. We see the world changing so much that it seems to have come to its end.

Does a person need to be married to advance in the spiritual world? No, he does not. There is no need for this. However, to take on a greater similarity to the spiritual image, one needs to have a family, children, work, and live a so-called normal life which existed throughout the entire history. But this condition is not essential. This is why, today, Kabbalists do not insist on it.

It is more necessary for men than for women because men must have resistance. However, women, unlike men, do not need to resist; they do not need to overcome their egoism. A woman does work in the group, helps out, studies, and edits materials, and in this way she corrects herself through her desire to help and participate. She correctly includes herself in the common desire, the common Kli (vessel). It is not necessary for her to be married.

On the other hand, in order for a man to attain the spiritual world, he must make a lot of effort which is not comparable to the effort required of a woman. This is why he must get married, take care of his family, and work with friends. His spiritual work is special, difficult, and real.

It is not the same with a woman. It is enough for a woman to help out, participate, and be connected to a group. This way, she completely fulfills her role. It is not harder or easier. These simply are different methods of correction, different types of souls.

Previously in our world, a wife did not have to take care of earning money. A woman is made in a way to take care of the home. The wife is everything that concerns the home and the family, and the husband is everything that concerns earning and not the home.

This is the way things need to be in accordance with the upper roots, the relationship of Malchut and Zeir Anpin in the world of Atzilut. Essentially, our family unit needs to be organized the same way in this world as well. However, we already see the forms it has taken on in the current stage of development. There is nothing we can do; it is a mutation.
From Lesson 2 in Moscow 1/16/2011, “A Prayer of Many”

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Under The Whip Of Universal Egoism

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Why do we need to work on ourselves specifically in a group? Why can we not work on ourselves through interaction with the external world?

Answer: First of all, we need to work among ourselves in a group instead of the external world because Kabbalists recommend it. Why do they recommend this specifically? It is because together, we need to create a common desire which will have similar properties to the properties of the Creator, and then we will be able to reveal Him.

If I were to come up to a person on the street and tell him, “Let’s love one another,” he might think that I am gay. In reality, the property of love is the Creator’s property. It is His main property that is revealed before us. I need to attain this property one way or another. How do I do this? Only by being with people who understand me.

So, this means that we must unite our desires and feel one another as if we all were together, one whole. The common universal egoism is pushing us toward this.

Globalization, the interconnection that is becoming revealed, and the blows of nature, all moves us in one direction and forces us to become closer to “huddle up” like little animals who have nowhere to hide. All the miseries that are about to befall us will force us to become closer. It’s for us to become closer on the inside, instead of simply crowding up in one territory.

Nature will work systematically; it will hit in one place. This is why we need to “huddle up” with the people who understand us, and together create a common desire. As soon as we create it, this will be the group turning into one heart, one desire. Then, to the extent of our unification, we will feel the Creator: the manifestation of the Light of Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama, Haya, and Yechida between us.

All the souls together are included among them into the entire world, but being a part of them, we have already united and passed this entire Light through us. Now, it gradually flows over to the other souls, and they also begin to awaken. They suddenly begin to feel that we have a special kind of fulfillment. And people will feel drawn to us. We will see them join.

But in order for this to happen, you first need to carry out a special condition so that there would be Light in you. This is why you cannot work with other people who do not have any of this. This flows out of the condition of correction of the worlds, and Kabbalah prescribes this. Why? It’s because this is the law of nature.

We need to begin with the uncorrected desires that are closest to the Light. By correcting them, we can use them to descend to a level below, desires that are less corrected. As we correct them, we descend into the even less corrected desires. We constantly go from easier work to harder work. This is the same way we also develop in our lives. We gradually solve all the problems from simple to complicated. This is a natural law of nature.
From Lesson 2 in Moscow 1/16/2011, “A Prayer of Many”

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Russia And Europe: On The Path To Spirituality

Dr. Michael LaitmanIn order to be in balance with nature, it is necessary to consume intelligently, meaning to the degree it is necessary, depending on every person’s needs. Baal HaSulam writes about this in the article, “Peace in the World” and in other articles.

However, this practice cannot be imposed through terror. It can only happen by means of education! Yet in their times the Russian revolutionaries took a different path, having discarded the principle of education.

In addition, this was taking place in an underdeveloped country, with the most underdeveloped population that to this day is used to living in practically feudal conditions. Today the people of Russia, who are good-hearted and kind, still agree to the feudal conditions in which Russia exists to this day. This is not a capitalistic, but a feudal country with its customs, structure, corruption, and all of its social relations. It is feudalism.

It might seem to us, “But how can that be? This, in modern society? Isn’t it long gone? In the West, Feudalism hasn’t existed for 300 years already.” True, in the West it hasn’t existed for 300 years, but in Russia it still exists. That is to say, every person still agrees to it. The people still haven’t developed above that level.

Only a small portion of the population, about 10 – 20%, cannot tolerate these conditions, while everyone else agrees to live in them. They don’t care that they have a master, that they have to submit to someone without law and order, that everything can be bought and sold, and that the rich are powerful and right. People agree to this! That is why it is still deemed a feudal level of social development.

Marx absolutely did not suppose that this kind of country would try to implement his idea. He practically laid out Kabbalah in the form of economic laws. But the egoism of the post-Soviet realm is completely different. This egoism is feudal and not yet ready for serious development.

However, when we work with each person individually or with our groups in Russia, we see an astounding result because the people have points in the heart. They are very responsive and goal-oriented.

The question is: Will the society be able to understand that it has to unite, but not by the laws it was brought up by in the Soviet regime? The unity has to happen by laws where everyone is equal, conscious, and unites consciously. The people of Russia are not used to uniting consciously. Will they reach this, will they be able to do it? That is, indeed, a question.

Therefore, our groups in Russia are very dear to us. I personally know this nation very well since I grew up there and my native language is Russian. But can we look at Russia as the country that has the ability to easily realize the Kabbalistic principles? That is something I do not know.

On the other hand, in Europe, despite the fact that the people are very different from the Russian image, all they have to do is overcome a certain external opposition, a certain shell or casing. After that, as soon as this idea penetrates into people’s thoughts, they realize that it is true and are able to realize it inside of them through their development.

In Russia it is easy to come close to the individual. But in Europe it is much more difficult! Yet I think that if we penetrate inside the individuals in Europe, they will find the forces and abilities inside of them to unite. Their conscious collectivism will emerge.

On the other hand, in Russia collectivism does not emerge despite this. There the society is not developed collectively. I think that it is not yet able to do this.

Nevertheless, notwithstanding all of these surmises, we have to develop Kabbalah and disseminate it everywhere. Of course, there is a great boundary in the countries that were once socialist. But this should not stop us. We shouldn’t give any thought to where it’s easier and where it’s harder, why, and how. We should work, and that’s all. I never make any calculations. We do not know what is better and what is worse, and how everything will occur.
From the 3rd lesson at the Berlin Convention on 1/28/11

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Kabbalah: Revelation Of The Entire Reality Within You

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What is the wisdom of Kabbalah?

Answer: A certain influence descends to us from the upper root (the thought of creation) from Above downward through all the worlds and finally reaches the final point, this world. It includes the exterior and the interior parts: the five upper worlds and the created beings.

The entire universe is worlds and souls which exist inside the worlds. The wisdom of Kabbalah examines everything except for the actual root: how it spreads from Above downward and then returns from below upward, which all happens in relation to the person attaining it.

Kabbalah - Revelation Of The Entire Reality Within You
There is someone referred to as “man” inside this system (so far, we do not know who he is). Everything that is being revealed in relation to him is called the wisdom of Kabbalah.

At this moment, I exist in the reality of this world, and I perceive everything through the five senses: vision, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. They help me reveal and perceive whatever happens outside of me, but I do not know what is actually happening there.

Physicists say that we are being influenced by waves and that nothing but waves exist. Chemists say that these are reactions between certain substances, molecules. However, what matters is that I perceive certain influences and react to them. This is my inner perception, and others could react in a different manner.

We are all people, and we all operate the same way. For this reason, we kind of perceive the same things. Another being would feel a different reality. Every being perceives the world according to his properties, character, and informational genes. People, animals, insects, plants, and even rocks perceive themselves and their environment in different ways.

However, Kabbalah only speaks of the way humans perceive the world. Although there are differences even here, we still have a certain common perception. We still kind of understand one another. Our impressions coincide so much on the still, vegetative, and animate levels that we are completely at one with them.

The difficulties in perception only begin on the human degree where psychology, individual characteristics, perceptions, and sensations begin. If we examine solely the influence on the five senses which has not yet been deformed by the factors of psychological perception, then everything we perceive in them is referred to as the perception of this world, so far without your nerves and thoughts layered upon it.

When we attain the entire five spiritual worlds this way, this is called the wisdom of Kabbalah: the entire descent from Above downward, from beginning to end and back from the end to the beginning, all the objectives and systems, causes and consequences, everything until the very last detail. Thus, Kabbalah explains who man is, his purpose, the reasons for the need to descend from Above downward, and what awaits us at the end of the ascent.

This wisdom incorporates everything. It incorporates physics, chemistry, and a person’s life in this world. Everything is inside there. Kabbalah is the revelation of the entire reality inside the person attaining it.

Man ascends through the spiritual worlds and attains the reality in one of its sections: the first, second, third degree, and so forth. When he ascends to the next degree, it becomes clear that all the previous degrees are included in this degree.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/23/2011, “The Essence of the Wisdom of Kabbalah”

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