The First Innovation

Dr. Michael LaitmanWritings of Rabash, “The First Innovation”: All the innovations begin only after a person comes out of self-love. Therefore, the Torah cannot be taught to idolaters. When a person is in Egypt, he cannot be Jewish because he is enslaved to Pharaoh, the Egyptian king. And as long as he is a slave to Pharaoh, he cannot be a slave to the Creator.

It is written concerning this, “The sons of Israel are for Me,” they are My slaves and not slaves of slaves. When a person serves himself, he cannot be the Creator’s slave because it is impossible to serve two kings at the same time. Only after a person comes out of Egypt, meaning egoism, can he be the Creator’s servant. And then he can receive the Torah. It follows that the first innovation is the exit from Egypt.

A person who is inside of his egoistic desire is called a “non-Jew.” A person who rises above his egoistic desire, meaning who comes out of Egypt, is called a “Jew” (Yehudi) because he attains unity (Ihud) with the Light, the Creator.

It is possible to study the Torah, meaning the ways of bestowal, only by ascending, by coming out of Egypt. That is why it is written that the Torah cannot be taught to idolaters, where “cannot” means “it is impossible.” That’s because as long as you remain in the egoistic desire, you do not understand anything about spirituality and you don’t have the smallest chance of reaching it. In your desires and thoughts you cannot grab hold of the end of any thread that extends from the spiritual world.

You need auxiliary means, and only by correctly using them will you attain what you desire. Therefore, all the innovations and spiritual changes are possible only after coming out of Egypt, meaning egoism. Until then, it is impossible to understand anything. Until then, we are in total darkness and can only advance with our eyes closed according to the Kabbalists’ advice.

This is all that remains for us—to understand how opposite our world is to the spiritual world. In order to climb out of the darkness to the Light, it won’t help us to turn 180 degrees around. That’s because our darkness is the darkness of Egypt, which does not have a direction toward the Light. Only gradually, by means of making the right actions do we reach the right desire. Even though it is also egoistic, yet by virtue of the Light’s influence we can then come out of Egypt into the altruistic intention of Lishma.

This is talking about states that are absolutely divided from one another. A person who is in the lower world, meaning in the egoistic state, in the intention “for the sake of reception” is unable to understand the plans and actions of those who are moved by bestowal. One does not have any contact with the other. They are completely different programs that do not intersect with one another in any way.

In relation to the spiritual world, our world does not exist. It is expressed only in a person’s imagination as a preliminary, imaginary reality that is necessary for entering the spiritual reality, which is the only one that exists. Everything we see and imagine here is similar to the visions of a person who lies unconscious.

Therefore, all the innovations, attainments, and true calculations begin with the exit from Egypt.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/12/11, Writings of Rabash

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TES: A Kabbalist’s Personal Diary

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: If the key is to draw the Light upon ourselves, why do we so thoroughly discuss the structure of the worlds described in TES (The Study of the Ten Sefirot) during the lesson?

Answer: It’s not our goal to talk about the structure of the worlds in detail; we simply try to grasp some details in order to tap into what Kabbalists tell us about. But when we study TES, as any other source, we first of all must think of the soul since it is there where all these elements I am reading about reside and where all the phenomena occur.

Kabbalists who revealed within themselves the property of bestowal discern what actions they can perform within it, and they write about it. Besides this, there is nothing else. Either we are in some imaginary reality of this world, which doesn’t really exist and dissolves later on, and live in it as in a dream, or we reach the authentic reality of bestowal, the reality of the Creator.

After all, there is “none else besides Him,” and if something actually exists, it’s only there. And TES describes in what form this authentic reality is being revealed to us within our desires.

As a Kabbalist, I can describe to what extent I enter this reality and discover that it does indeed operate in me, how well I connect and begin to identify myself with it. And other Kabbalists do the same. In other words, we all write about the same unification with the eternal upper Light and what we find in it from our black point of creation, the “point of absence.”

When I come in contact with the Light and achieve equivalence with it, I feel how within me various phenomena start occurring, dressing into me from Above downward (the Light of Hochma) or breadth-wise (the Light of Hassadim). These phenomena produce various sensations in me, and I describe them,as I have obtained the opportunity to express them in words and sounds.

But all the impressions we have derive from the encounter of this black point with the Light, where the former becomes similar to the latter. And this is the essence of the wisdom of Kabblah: to find the Light within the black point of creation.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/12/11, Talmud Eser Sefirot

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Knowledge Is Passed Down The Chain

Dr. Michael LaitmanWhen we read TES (The Study of the Ten Sefirot), we discuss and clarify meanings that are closer to us, in order to prepare ourselves to understand it. But then we have to read the original, authentic text written by great Kabbalists who channel the upper Light to us.

I don’t possess such upper Light as Rabash and Baal HaSulam do, but I can help you connect to it. In order to teach a child, one doesn’t have to be a professor but just someone who can come down to the child’s level.

Therefore, next to the pupil there is a teacher, the most important person who can help him right now. But besides, there are authentic sources which are very precious to us from which the Light comes down to us. It is impossible to get by without one or the other.

On your own, without such a special person as the teacher, you would never be able to attune yourself to the spiritual source of Rabash or Baal HaSulam. And so it was throughout all generations. We don’t speak about such unique souls as Adam HaRishon and Abraham who discovered the spiritual world on their own. Sometimes, there are moments in life when something gets revealed to a person from Above, for some special predestination of the soul.

But if we speak of Kabbalah as the passing of spiritual knowledge through the chain of Kabbalists from generation to generation (“Kabbalah” means “receiving”), then we always imply a teacher and a disciple. Above everything else, the teacher aims you at the goal; he helps you to get around and gives you direction in life. And its realization is definitely your responsibility—with the help of the great Kabbalists who wrote these holy authentic sources for us.

On one hand, there is a teacher who supports and guides you, and that is why you ought to be loyal to him so that he may “hold you in his arms” like a baby. On the other, you walk along his side in order to connect to the authentic sources.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/12/11, Talmud Eser Sefirot

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This Isn’t The Torah Yet

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: In one of the articles in Dargot HaSulam (Steps of the Ladder), Rabash writes that it is forbidden to teach gentiles, meaning egoists, the Torah. What then are we doing here?

Answer: "Forbidden" in Kabbalah means impossible. It would be similar to saying that egoists mustn’t get the upper Light. Try to break this law and we’ll see what happens.

We are talking about the laws of nature, and nature doesn’t ban anything. But if you go against it, you will be punished. “Prohibition” means inability. If Kabbalists write “no,” it means you are unable to do it.

Egoists can’t learn the Torah, or in other words, they can’t study the Torah because an egoist cannot do so in principle. He has no means for it, no tools. After all, he is a gentile and worships his own ego that won’t allow him to establish a connection with the Lights.

The Torah, or the wisdom of Kabbalah, is the method that connects the vessels and the Lights. But if you don’t have the former, you can’t find the latter. And therefore, you can’t learn the Torah since “Torah” is the passages of the Light that expands into desires according to the law of equivalence of form.

Question cont.: So what are we doing during the lessons?

Answer: We are moving toward it. We employ the Torah as the Light that Reforms; we use it as if from a distance.

At a higher spiritual degree, there are the Lights and vessels, and I am cut away from them. But I wish to be at this rung and in the degree of my motivation, I draw from it a small illumination that is preparing me for an ascent.

Thus, I use the Torah as the Surrounding Light but not the Light in the full sense of this word. I am not studying the Torah as such yet. The real study is the expansion of the Lights in the reformed vessels (desires), the interaction between the Light and the desire by way of the screen. That is what the Torah is.

My spiritual “I” is the receiving desire which is reformed by the intention to bestow and able to receive the Light. Wishing to achieve this, we read Kabbalistic books, yearn with all our might, and work in the group in order to somehow express our desire aimed at bestowal.

But a response arrives only in the form of the Surrounding Light. I don’t even know what it is, but time after time, I feel changes within me: a little more understanding, a bit more sensation. It isn’t the Torah yet. The real Torah is something concrete: desire, the screen, and connection between them, which leads to the revelation of the Creator, or the Light in the vessel.

But still, even now we are using the force of the Torah. This is described as: “I created the evil inclination and I created the Torah as a spice since the Light in it Reforms.”
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/12/11, The Writings of Rabash

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The Point Of Entering Spirituality

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Why is it written that “this world is created for none else except Israel” rather than for the nations of the world, although their correction is the goal of creation?

Answer: We need to follow scientific definitions of the wisdom of Kabbalah. The “world” (Olam) means “concealment” (Alama). Concealment is created only for Israel, those who aspire “straight to the Creator.” Those who desire to reach the Creator need to go through concealments, suffering, and blows in order to build within themselves a negative form opposite to the Creator and then desire to reach the Creator’s quality: bestowal detached from reception.

This is the point that we need to reach. Meanwhile, our desire should not be similar to the Creator in all His might. Not at all! You can have a desire that weighs only 1 ounce, but it should be correct! A correct desire means that you feel what it means to be detached from reception. This quality is most important, and we need to experience it.

After all, for the time being we are able to give only if we see a benefit. As it is written, we “trade a cow for a donkey,” as we receive what we consider more preferable. For example, a book is more important than money for me. Then I give money and receive a book. This is called an acquisition.

But why is it an acquisition? Didn’t you pay? Didn’t you give your money? No. What I gave is less important to me than what I received. If I needed to give something of equal value in exchange, I would be unable to do this. I always need to imagine that what I receive is more preferable to me than what I give. And the greater the difference between them, the more it fulfills me since I profit from it: “Look at what I found! It was almost free!”

This is how you live: Your fulfillment should be as preferable as possible relative to what you give in return. And then it is not called bestowal.

How does one feel the separation from reception in order to give and not to receive anything in return? I am willing to work without receiving anything in exchange if I believe that I thereby earn myself the world to come. It is as though I open an account in the future and make installments there. This is even more reliable: No one will take it away and nothing will get lost like in this world.

But how do you feel that you are completely detached from the result of bestowal, that you do not profit in any way from it, and it is completely isolated from you? You work arduously your whole life, and no one, including the Creator, knows anything about you. But you know about it; you work and wish to remain only in this. However, if you work in order not to feel guilty, this is your pay.

So how can we tear away from desires of reception? You need to feel this detachment in as little as one ounce, and that’s all; you don’t need any more than that. Then you are ready for revelation. After all, that is already an image of the genuine quality of bestowal, an image of the Creator.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/11/2011, The Zohar

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Who Suffers From The Egyptian Plagues?

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Why does the condition of becoming “like one man with one heart” arise only at Mount Sinai and not before, during the exodus from Egypt?

Answer: "One man with one heart" is already a correction which we can achieve only if the Creator is revealed. He performs this correction on us. How can people who are still in “Egypt,” in their egoistic desire, be obliged to unite like one man with one heart?

If I am still immersed into my egoism and I have not yet escaped from Pharaoh, haven’t risen above my ego, how can I unite with others like one man? I escape from Egypt with the help of the Light, due to my desire to come out from there, to jump out of my ego! There is one point in me with which I wish to come out and to which I wish to relate, to identify myself only with it. I wish to connect to others only through these points. For now I merely want this, but I am not in this yet.

We run for salvation together. However, there is no unification between us yet; this whole escape is carried out with the force from Above. We do not understand that we are not doing anything on our own yet. We are only preparing ourselves as much as possible.

It is written: “And the sons of Israel cried out from this work!” We are standing in front of Pharaoh and the Egyptian plagues, and there is no way out: These blows come to us and help us separate from our ego. Who suffers from these blows? The Pharaoh within us, our egoism, does. And I have suffered so much from it that I am willing to break away from it.

Imagine what will happen if some Egyptian plagues befall our world and there will be nothing to eat or drink, no air to breathe—it will be impossible to receive anything if we act egoistically! And then there will be no choice but to run away, not knowing where, into darkness, with closed eyes, only to be saved from a completely hopeless state. We have destroyed Earth and human society and reached a state where every living moment causes terrible pain. It is then that we are ready to run.

For now it is only a general run for the sake of salvation, and not unity. We understand that we need to unite as one man with one heart, but for the time being we are unable to imagine what that is. In order to understand this, we will still need to reach Mount Sinai (the mountain of hatred) and go through the Final Sea (Yam Suf) on the way.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/10/2011, Writings of Rabash

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Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 04.14.11

Baal HaSulam, Shamati #90 “Every Act Leaves an Imprint
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The Book of Zohar – Selections, Chapter “Passover, Bo (Come Unto Pharaoh),” “This Month Shall Be Unto You,” Item 158
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Writings of the ARI “Shaar HaKavanot”
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Pri Chacham
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