Audio Version Of The Blog – 11.16.11

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The Convention In The Arava Is A Planned Disconnection From All Disturbances

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What’s the use of the group’s seclusion at the Convention in the Arava desert?

Answer: We have gathered here to lay the foundation for a new society, whose purpose is to attain adhesion with the Creator. In order to attain adhesion with Him, we have to attain adhesion among us. And in order to attain adhesion among us, we have to unite, disconnecting from the disturbances of the outside world. After all, we’re small and we have to strengthen one another, so let the world not interfere with our doing so. That is why we are going to the desert.

In the past, groups of Kabbalists took much more extraordinary measures to isolate themselves from the external environment. A person has to allow himself a bit more freedom from this confused and senseless world, to collect himself inside a bit more and understand what his predestination is.

In the whirlwind of life, under the roar of the radio and television, you can’t make out the fine voice of your soul or attain the fragile inner inspiration. You simply don’t have the energy for it. Even Kabbalists living hundreds and thousands of years ago in a completely different world, which did not know the “wonders” of mass media, still secluded themselves, barring themselves from their habitual environment, and even “going into exile,” leaving home without taking anything with them and going off to wander for years, getting by with occasional earnings and food.

You don’t even know what you are losing in the modern world, which is stuffing and miring you with its filth. Do you want to attain something exalted? If you do, then what efforts are you making to break away from the lowlands?

It’s worthwhile for us to find time for this kind of seclusion where we will feel only our own forces, without the disturbances of the outside world. Let’s separate a day in life to feel who we are instead of who they are.

Obviously, we don’t force anyone to participate and we don’t make lists of participants or deserters. We don’t put check-marks for the future. Whoever doesn’t want to or can’t come just doesn’t come. In this sense, everything is very liberal and open. But on the other hand, if a person comes there, he has to participate in the actions that the group has assigned to help us detach from everything and feel only ourselves.

Don’t you sometimes wish to be alone with yourself? That is how the group wants to be alone with itself, to feel itself. You enter a room, close the door, and remain with your own thoughts. That is how we want to remain with our thoughts. In reality, this is clear and commonly accepted. But for us it’s not just a minute of rest, but a detachment from “the degree of women and children” and an ascent to the “men’s level.”

In the article, “The importance of the group,” Rabash writes, “When a person works on the true path, he needs to seclude himself from other people. After all, the path of truth requires fortification because it contradicts common notions. The world’s opinions are built upon knowledge and reception, whereas the Torah’s opinions are built upon faith and bestowal. And if a person is distracted, then he immediately forgets about all work on the path of the truth and falls into the world of self-love. Only in the group do the friends help one another, and therefore every person receives forces from it to fight the commonly accepted notions.”

The upper world is our inner world. We have to shift our gaze from externality to internality. Therefore, with the help of the friends, I try to go inside, to look inward, to acquire a deep wisdom, to attain the inner meaning of the Torah. There is no other choice—I need this.

A person must constantly immerse himself inward, penetrate into his depths—and precisely there he reveals the true world. The external world deliberately confuses us so through the conflict with it, upon the resistance, we would build our direction inward. Our struggle is to penetrate deeper and deeper on the background of this world’s reality, which pulls us outward.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/16/11, “The Arvut (Mutual Guarantee)”

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Most Of US Unemployed No Longer Receive Benefits

Dr. Michael LaitmanIn the News (from MSNBC): “The jobs crisis has left so many people out of work for so long that most of America’s unemployed are no longer receiving unemployment benefits.

“Early last year, 75 percent were receiving checks. The figure is now 48 percent — a shift that points to a growing crisis of long-term unemployment. Nearly one-third of America’s 14 million unemployed have had no job for a year or more.

“Congress is expected to decide by year’s end whether to continue providing emergency unemployment benefits for up to 99 weeks in the hardest-hit states. If the emergency benefits expire, the proportion of the unemployed receiving aid would fall further.

“The ranks of the poor would also rise. The Census Bureau says unemployment benefits kept 3.2 million people from slipping into poverty last year. It defines poverty as annual income below $22,314 for a family of four.

“Yet for a growing share of the unemployed, a vote in Congress to extend the benefits to 99 weeks is irrelevant. They’ve had no job for more than 99 weeks. They’re no longer eligible for benefits.

“Their options include food stamps or other social programs. Nearly 46 million people received food stamps in August, a record total. That figure could grow as more people lose unemployment benefits.

“Government unemployment benefits weren’t designed to sustain people for long stretches without work. They usually don’t have to. In the recoveries from the previous three recessions, the longest average duration of unemployment was 21 weeks, in July 1983.

“But the economy has remained so weak that an analysis of long-term unemployment data suggests that about 2 million people have used up 99 weeks of checks and still can’t find work.

“Congress has extended the program nine times. But it might balk at the $45 billion cost. It will be the first time the Republican-led House of Representatives will vote on the issue.”

My Comment: Turning the unemployed into students who take courses on Integral Society will prevent discontent, raise their awareness of what is happening, encourage them to participate actively in creative processes, and bring them to the point when they won’t rebel, but build. The program exists and was proven in action.

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The Coming Of The Angel Of Death

Dr. Michael LaitmanOpinion: (Mark Buchanan, from Bloomberg): “The European nations are linked in a network of debts, as Bill Marsh recently illustrated in the New York Times with a beautiful piece of graphic art. Greece and Italy are prominent; Ireland, Portugal and Spain lurk ominously nearby. France and Germany seem exposed, too, as does the U.S.


The Coming Of The Angel Of Death

“The image is like a complex wiring diagram for a ticking debt bomb. Yet what it shows may be less important than what it leaves out: a largely invisible network of ties among institutions around the world, which could ultimately cause global financial chaos.

“But these undisclosed ties matter a lot. They were the primary reason the U.S. government needed to intervene in 2008 to prevent the collapse of insurance giant American International Group Inc.

“The AIG case illustrates an important paradox that looms again in today’s European debt crisis.

“…when the connectivity is relatively low, if one bank suddenly goes bankrupt, the repercussions aren’t so serious; the failure causes problems for a few other institutions but doesn’t generally propagate too far.

“However, with rising connectivity… things change dramatically. Beyond a certain connectivity threshold, attempts to share risk actually increase the likelihood that a bank will go under.

“So many pathways are created along which trouble can spread that system-wide collapse becomes more likely. The web of risk-sharing connections within which an institution operates only gives an illusion of security.

“What reduces risk for individual institutions in small quantities spells trouble for the larger banking system when pushed too far. This is especially worrying when you consider that the number of CDS contracts outstanding on European sovereign debt has doubled in only the past three years, even after the AIG catastrophe.

“The explosion of unregulated and largely hidden CDS contracts was made possible by financial deregulation in 2000, and it has made the financial system more risky. Their unrestrained use – especially with little knowledge of who is doing what – looks like a recipe for disaster.”

My Comment: The Angel of Death appears before a person with a drop of poison on the tip of the knife blade. He offers it to the person—and it appears so sweet that the person can think of nothing else and is forced to open his mouth. He swallows the drop of poison and dies, not being able to resist illusory pleasure.…

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Russia: Prices Will Rise And Income Will Drop

Opinion (Michael Khazin, an economist, from “Russia’s economy is dependent on the world’s. And if the global crisis continues to grow and oil prices keep falling, the result will be a greater financial ‘hole.’ We do not have a self-sustaining industrial core and are not food self-sufficient.

“If high inflation begins in the U.S. and Europe, then due to fixed oil pricing, if oil prices do not fall, the food prices will increase dramatically. That is, the income of some segments of the population will drop. This sounds like the story of Egypt and Tunisia, where the revolution took place because a greater part of the population spent 80 percent of income on food.

“Now, any actions provoke a negative situation. Nothing depends on Russia. For Russia, the increasing role of imports is a disaster because the entire industry, including food and consumer goods, is imported. Prices are rising, but the state cannot do anything.

“It will become much more difficult for domestic producers because the pressure of imports will be higher. And Russia has nothing to export.”

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Global Economic Crisis Deepens

Dr. Michael LaitmanIn the News (from The Bob Tuskin Radio Show): “Global Depression grips world economies. Destructive polices fueled today’s crisis. Conditions are fast coming to a head.

“Throwing good money after bad delays decision day at the price of far greater trouble on arrival. D-Day will shake world economies. It may, in fact, be months away, perhaps in 2012.

“Perhaps Greece is the canary in the coal mine. The country’s bankrupt. Only its obituary isn’t written. Its citizens are being impoverished. Anger rages in Athens. Revolutionary sentiment may explode any time, sending shock waves across Europe.

“Others in troubled countries aren’t far behind, including in America where growing thousands rage against a system destroying their livelihoods and futures.

“On October 16, the Global Europe Anticipation Bulletin (GEAB) headlined its latest economic assessment, ‘Global systemic crisis – First half of 2012: Decimation of the Western Banks,’ saying: Second half of 2011 has global economies heading for ‘unstoppable….geopolitical dislocation(s), characterized by the convergence of monetary, financial, economic, social, political and strategic crises.’

“As a result, expect profit ‘freefall, balance sheets in disarray, with the disappearance of trillions of (dollar) assets,’ compounded by growing public anger, so now ‘the scaffold has been erected’ to eliminate 10 – 20% of Western banks.

“Progressive Radio News Hour contributor Bob Chapman calls debt problems ‘endemic worldwide. We are in a major financial crisis.’ Out-of-control debt is the problem. Much of it can’t be repaid. More of it makes things worse. Serious trouble looms.

“Daily rumors suggest plans to save Eurozone countries from crisis. ‘All are bogus to keep stock and bond markets from collapsing. There is no way out for Europe nor for the entire financial system.’ No one will admit the system is broken.

“In his article headlined, ‘The End of History,’ Paul Craig Roberts wonders how Washington will finance its growing empire given enormous budget deficit constraints. Only money printing provides it. Inflation inevitably results.

“Based on how calculated decades earlier, economist John Williams has it at 11.5%.

“In the new millennium, political Washington destroyed rule of law standards, public accountability, and ‘every moral principle to achieve (global) hegemony.…’

“At the same time, it showered Wall Street and other corporate favorites with trillions of handout dollars, wrecking America’s economy in the process.

“Has it also ended America’s chance to rule the world, or will it engineer a last hurrah global war to try? With lunatics running the asylum, don’t bet they won’t, at the risk of destroying humanity entirely.”

My Comment: Nature puts pressure on us from every side, showing that we cannot come out from this state by means of our mind and experience. The only way is upward: We have to correct ourselves, and from there, once we understand the situation, we have to correct social relationships, and then political, economic, and family connections in society. It is possible to build, and not to destroy, namely on the basis of understanding what is happening.

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Questions About Women And Studying

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: If you ask people what the soul is, the majority will say that it is something like a cloud or some kind of energy, characteristic of this person (his or her reaction to what happens around them). During my studies I understood that the soul is the quality of a character, which we do not know, and that we discover it only when we unite with each other.

But a woman cannot unite. Does this mean that she has no soul? A woman does not draw the Light and, and hence she does not have to study The Study of the Ten Sefirot or The Zohar. Once, there were women prophets. What is the difference between them and those who predict the future?

Answer: By participating, a woman receives everything through a man even if she does not study Kabbalah, although today it is not forbidden to anyone.

Question: When I feel good and easy about my life, what can I do to quickly discover the next part about myself that is lacking? This morning I felt the need to connect and study with others, but the lesson does not start until later tonight! I feel like I am wasting time. What should I do?

Answer: Read Shamati, the Psalms, and any of our sources.

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Before An Attack

Dr. Michael LaitmanOur main work is to rise above our thoughts and desires, to manage to separate from them, and to ascend to the height where we all exist together, where the soul is. There is only one soul in the world.

This is why it is written that before receiving the Torah, the sons of Israel had to abstain for three days. Each one was trying to rise above all their corporeal concerns, thoughts, desires, and calculations in order to dedicate themselves only to the higher goal.

It is very difficult and requires dedicated, meticulous work, similar to picking up tiny grains until we get all of them, one by one, and our egoistic calculations end, until useless thoughts and desires stop awakening in a person, which pull him in different directions. Then, he will be more or less ready to include himself in thoughts and desires of the environment.

This austerity and abstinence, the enormous effort a person makes to prepare himself, is not a simple thing. A person must break his ego, come out of himself, pull himself off his position with actual physical effort, and become physically included in others. Then, he has to try to lower his head and accept their spirit from them, which will influence him. He cannot allow any freedom to his thoughts because they can throw him back outside the limits of the society, the group.

A person must lower himself and force himself to concentrate so as to put everything under the power of the environment, in both the corporeal form and on the inside, spiritually, in thoughts, in the desire. He must lose himself! He must let that which exists in the environment influence him so that no heart or mind would remain within him, and the only thing controlling him would be whatever exists in the environment.

This is the first stage of preparation in becoming included in one another. If we are able to do this, we can begin to speak of the influence of the upper force, the power of the group.

The group is not the physical formation that we imagine; it is not a group of physical bodies. The inner force of the group will influence us together with the Light that Reforms that exists in the group, gives sanctity to everyone, and enables them to rise above themselves. Then in this ascent a person will begin to feel the general force that fills the universe, and he will be able to understand what was written.

For this reason, during our convention and at least three days before it (and we should begin to accustom ourselves to it today), the most important thing for us is to be above all foreign thoughts and calculations and to limit ourselves to necessities that leave us no choice. Act through faith above reason in every regard.

Especially during the last three days before the convention, we must begin a real attack, days of abstinence, both physical and in thoughts and desires, so that we have only one aspiration and feel the least amount of disturbances.
From Lesson 1, Israel Arvut Convention, 11/11/2011

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Weekly Torah Portion – 11.16.11

The Book of Zohar, Weekly Torah Portion “Hayei Sarah,” Selected Excerpts
Download: WMV Video|MP3 Audio

A Broken Heart

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: We only reveal the Creator, the force of bestowal, when we become similar to Him in our qualities. Then what is the meaning of the principle, “don’t lose hope in His mercy?”

Answer: It means that one has appealed a thousand times, like King David who symbolizes the collective Malchut, the collective vessel, one that is deeper than the Psalms reveal. Read them. They are all his appeals and requests, praises and lamentations. This is the meaning of “do not lose hope in His mercy.” Try to express and realize your lamentation the same way, and then you will come to a final blessing.

Question: So it turns out that the Creator is waiting for us to scream at the top of our lungs?

Answer: It is written that the Creator is waiting for prayers and a broken heart, that He likes people whose hearts are broken, and that He receives a lot of pleasure from your tears. This is because your tears are a sign of egoism’s weakness and your disappointment in it.

We receive blows from egoism, not the Creator. However, it takes time to understand that. Really, what do you want from the Creator if you are being hit by your evil inclination?

This is why we need to strictly determine that our place of work is the group. Only then will we reach a true prayer, and naturally, it will happen through a number of disappointments.
From Lesson 3, Israel Arvut Convention, 11/11/2011

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