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Weekly Torah Portion – 02.20.13

The Book of Zohar, Weekly Torah Portion, “HaShavuah” Selected Excerpts

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Knowledge That Doesn’t Deprive You Of Your Freedom

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: People today still hope that their governments will solve the economic problems…

Answer: The governments won’t solve anything, and it doesn’t matter whom we vote for. After all, it doesn’t depend on a prime minister or a president. No matter who it is, he has nowhere to get the money for the wellbeing of his people. We have entered a round global system in which everyone is connected to each other and dependent on one another. Still, many believe in the approach of isolation and that they will be able to survive on their own. But, in fact, this approach only brings them closer to total collapse.

Today every country that tries to act only in its own interests is destroying itself. It was possible once when there were those who dominated others, but today everything has changed and even the US is facing resistance against its global ambitions. Today the old system of man’s dominating man and nation dominating nation is collapsing. It doesn’t work since the new law of nature is already active internally. Everything is now mutually connected and no matter what I do for others, my attitude comes back to me as a boomerang increased several times.

Question: But still, I don’t actually see that I am part of a general whole yet, I am changing…

Answer: Do you want the Creator to reveal to you now the whole plan of creation and by that lower you to the “animal” level? Suppose I show you that we all depend on one another, and that if I intend to eat breakfast without caring that others have breakfast too, I would be poisoned and might even die. This would deprive me of my freewill and I would be like an animal, like a dog, who knows in advance by what something smells like whether it can be eaten or not. In that case, I would not be able to be a human being any more.

Things have to be different here. We are not animals; we can’t be connected on the corporeal level of emotion and knowledge since it isn’t the human level. Suppose someone gives me a million dollars, should I take it or not? If I feel that by that I would be causing myself harm, I will not take the money. But it would be an egoistic decision “within reason” and I wouldn’t grow by that, since I have to resemble the Creator.

It says, “And they shall all know me from the smallest to the greatest.” This means that everyone will know what the pure attribute of bestowal is; they will know it in their hearts and act accordingly; this is what we are advancing towards. If the benefit of the connection were revealed it wouldn’t be hard for us to connect egoistically. But no, we shouldn’t connect on the basis of knowledge but in faith above reason, which is opposite from knowing. I don’t see that the connection is in my benefit in advance.

This is called “labor pains,” when two opposite forces are active in me. It’s the only way we can advance. Otherwise, without fulfilling our mission, we would remain on the “animal” level. So we must understand where to get the powers to discover for ourselves first of all, and then for others; it is a qualitatively different knowledge of the facts about the egoistic desires “moving against the wind,” which allow me to be born into a new dimension.

We felt it during the Arava Convention to some extent when we had the chance to break through upward, to rise above the body and above anything that has to do with it, to break away from it. It’s a psychological problem but still this idea can be conveyed to people. We all have the right potential that only needs to be brought to life, to be brought out, so that this discernment will float upwards.
From the 4th Part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/17/13, A Speech for the Completion of The Zohar”

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Goodness Is A Constant That Cannot Be Changed

Dr. Michael LaitmanIt is obvious that we have many complaints to the Creator about our state, the conditions we would like, and about the host who is responsible for everything that happens to us. But this won’t help. We either agree to the conditions we have been given or we have to advance by the path of sufferings.

After all, in order to set such conditions, we have to know the whole process, the whole system; we have to understand that everything is for the best and that it’s impossible to fulfill the conditions if we don’t know the systems and are in constant concealment as we advance from the bottom up. The only thing left for us is to believe that all our work has to be done above criticism and complaints. When we look at everything from our ego, we can’t come to any other conclusion since the advancement is actually with regard to the desire to bestow and not toward the desire to receive; so in our state, we will never be able to understand how we advance.

It says, “Open a gate for me that is as big as the eye of a needle,” which means just exert yourselves a little, “and I shall open the upper gates before you.” But we have to discover the “eye of the needle” by ourselves, and it’s a very difficult task. It is because I have to lower my head, to annul my pride, and to understand that we will not be able to perceive and to appreciate anything inside our ego, but rather it is by the feeling of our lowliness, the lowering of our heads, that we begin to understand what is happening.

After all, it’s by the concealment of our ego that we begin to know the Creator who is concealed and we begin to resemble Him in some way. A mother who takes care of her baby is also in concealment from him, since the baby doesn’t know how much she cares; he doesn’t have to know either. What’s important is that the result of all her efforts will be fulfilled in him, the conditions for his growth.

But if we yearn for the Creator, we have to discover His actions with regard to us and to repeat them by ourselves. In order to do that, we have to humble ourselves like a mother who forgets about herself for the sake of her baby, or like the Creator with regard to the created beings. We only feel the result of the Creator’s care for us, but all His actions with regard to us are not revealed since we are babies who can’t understand anything.

So how can we be evoked so that we will want to know the Creator’s work? It’s impossible to know it until we become parents too. Only then will we appreciate what our parents did for us. In order for us to grow in the spiritual world and to become spiritual parents, the Creator doesn’t fill all our childish desires, He doesn’t serve us sweet porridge like a loving mother, doesn’t change our diapers and doesn’t amuse us with different toys so that we will be happy. He doesn’t spoil our desire to receive, but rather evokes different questions in us, sufferings, and unpleasant discernments with which we have to work in order to discover the reason for it, since this is how we will be able to discover His work.

If I don’t feel good, I must discover why. Of course, first I feel dissatisfaction; it’s my natural response, I resent the fact that I feel bad! The next thought is already aimed at the Creator and at why He acts this way. He is wrong; He should change! But if the problem doesn’t go away and I can’t get out of it, the blows force me to be more patient. I don’t resent this anymore; I ask, “What is the point of this kind of life?” This brings me to study the Creator’s actions.

I am told that I am responsible for everything that happens. Did I do something? All is done by the Creator! But it turns out that everything is opposite from the way it seems to me, “There is none else besides Him,” “the good and the benevolent,” and all the good that He gives me turns into many different contrasting forces within me. I don’t see that all this stems from the good and the benevolent. Although sometimes something good happens, it’s mostly bad.

I have to determine that it’s a fact that everything that I receive comes from the Creator who is good and benevolent and that there is none else besides Him. If I do that in the state I am given now, I will reach my first spiritual level. Later the same kind of work is expected of me but more qualitative and sublime. This means that our work is first to see that we are the source of the problem and not the Giver, and then to correct ourselves so the problem will disappear. The Giver, His action, and I should connect into one whole called “adhesion“. This will be the proof that I have reached an equivalence of from with Him.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/17/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam

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What Are We Being “Fed”?

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Why haven’t Kabbalists written a manual for life so that every person will be able to use it?

Answer: If this book were about how to make a profit and to gain something, people would read it, but the book would be about how to give up, to bestow. So whom would you offer it to? If I had something to interest ordinary people with, I would have done it a long time ago. All the leading TV channels would have invited me for interviews, “He has a recipe for comprehensive infinite pleasure!” But here, on the contrary, there is a psychological barrier: We have to transcend our nature and move on to the next level, and then we will receive pleasure.

So how can I raise myself above the “threshold of the strangulation” of death? People think that they reach the next world, which means the spiritual world after the body dies. I really don’t understand why the body stands in their way, but this is how they see things: that the body is buried in the ground and the soul rises “upwards.” How can I imagine a state that I kill my ego? It says, “He who wants to live should kill himself.” Only then can I really start living. But how can I fulfill that? How can I explain this to people?

Here we offer the remedy before the illness. First we inform people that they are ill, which means that we act like the Creator who reveals the crisis in humanity. Today everyone feels troubles to a certain extent, so what is the diagnosis? Our ego is ill.

But this is not enough, a specialist has to come and speak to the patient so that he will listen, because if people don’t listen, then the illness will keep on developing until the pain will sharpen their hearing.

On the whole, humanity has to hear what’s important: The whole problem is the wrong mutual connection among people. It’s for this reason that they don’t know how to live correctly in the integral world, how to educate their kids, and how to establish the right relations. They have to realize that the whole problem is our ego. Later we will be able to carry on this conversation and explain how people should connect by integral education.

Then people will finally understand what’s going on; they will understand why they are being driven “crazy” by every possible means, why they are required to work 14 hours a day so that they have no time to think about anything. Children are intentionally educated the way they are at school, the TV channels broadcast series of murder and rape and this is all in order to turn a person into a zero, to turn him into an “animal” so that he will not be able to find a solution for his life.

Question: Why don’t Kabbalists have a campaign against the ego, just like the campaign against smoking? Why don’t they write a book about how to prevent the “egoistic fever”?

Answer: Kabbalists don’t have the same authority and the same power that doctors have; Baal HaSulam already tried to warn people but no one listened. As for “effective campaigns,” they also have an egoistic motive. The cigarette manufacturers may be losing money but another group is making a profit from that, for example, food manufacturers who produce unhealthy food. They profit when people don’t smoke and don’t die early from cancer so that they buy their products for many more years. These products make people ill, and at the same time make the medicine companies richer. The main thing is to keep people in a “corral” like animals, in the framework of modern life that doesn’t allow them to think too much about what’s important.

Everything comes down to the profit that someone makes from the consumerist society. Thus all this could go on infinitely if it weren’t for nature’s plan. We would remain slaves who consume what they are being “fed” by supermarkets and the media, without choice. But the Creator has other plans, so we are approaching the collapse of the current capitalistic trend.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/15/13, “The Peace”

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Everyone Makes A Decision

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Could we take the ready forms of integral unity and implement them now at the workplace?

Answer: No. If you begin to implement this at workplaces it would be pure communism, it will not work. You should gradually bring people to an integral level; otherwise, nothing will come out.

To the extent of people’s spiritual advancement, interconnection, to the feeling that they are a community, and work is something common for them, to the extent that they feel that their contributions determine the fate of the company, which is clearly reflected on them, on their interaction, on their moral and material fulfillment, then it is possible to start these actions.

Moreover, it is necessary to show that since we have eliminated some problems and reduced unnecessary cost due to our good cooperation, we can afford to raise wages to the lowest paid workers by 20%, and the highest paid workers are ready to reduce their salaries by 5%.

Question: How can we make these decisions; after all, everyone has a different level of development?

Answer: It is necessary to establish certain criteria: absenteeism, number of sick days, the quality of output, speed, and reliability. It is necessary to consider all the factors that exist in the enterprise: depreciation, the level of saved energy, the amount of human and material resources, etc.

Then, it will be clear how much you have succeeded as a result of correct relationships with each other when everyone relates to others as in one family: Save energy, do not create any problems, take care and support each other, etc. According to this, you can raise salaries or do something else. And people will be proud!

These decisions are taken by the local committee, which includes the most spiritual, collectively conscious people, from cleaning personnel to vice presidents, who together discuss this at a roundtable, and moreover feel absolutely equal.

The local committee is a selected group of people who represent the entire company. They are not promoted according to a prepared list, but directly at the general meeting where the whole team selects and votes for them. This is a part of their collective unity, based on the analysis of who can really express their opinion.
From KabTV’s “Professional Secrets” 2/5/13

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The Share Economy: The Economy Of The Future

Dr. Michael LaitmanIn the News (from Forbes): “The sharing concept has created markets out of things that wouldn’t have been considered monetizable assets before. … FORBES estimates the revenue flowing through the share economy directly into people’s wallets will surpass $3.5 billion this year, with growth exceeding 25%. At that rate peer-to-peer sharing is moving from an income boost in a stagnant wage market into a disruptive economic force. Technology has vastly improved on the newspaper classifieds that brokered the sweating of assets for a century. … ‘We’re moving from a world where we’re organized around ownership to one organized around access to assets,’ says Lisa Gansky, who started the Ofoto photo-sharing site, before selling it in 2001 to Eastman Kodak. …

“Ownership, the root of the American Dream, took a hit. ‘It’s changed, especially with the younger generation’ says Shannon King, chair for strategic planning at the National Association of Realtors. ‘Also they like the idea of not being tied into a property. They can move to different areas of town and live a more flexible lifestyle.’ …

“Millennials, the ascendant economic force in America, have been culturally programmed to borrow, rent and share. They don’t buy newspapers; they grab and disseminate stories a la carte via Facebook and Twitter. They don’t buy DVD sets; they stream shows. They don’t buy CDs; they subscribe to music on services such as Spotify or Pandora (or just steal it).”

My Comment: Everything is heading towards generalization, unity, and closeness. This is a consequence of a new type of desire that occur in people under the program of Nature. Certainly, it all leads to an integrated economy that will be the most cost-effective and will provide everyone with relatively equal services on the condition that people themselves will look for opportunities to save materials, energy, and labor.

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Free Cashflow In The Economy

Dr. Michael LaitmanOpinion (from Spydell): “An incredible ability to ignore the problems of the financial markets is surprising. Just on Friday, they saw a projection of a serene bright future, and now again the crisis began. There was no crisis on Friday, and now it has started to up again in a few days.

“The situation comes to the point of absurdity. To raise the GDP, you need to eat a lot, which will increase sales of food and fast-food income. But after that, people will be sick with obesity and diabetes, which will increase revenues of pharmaceutical companies and drug sellers. The more you eat and get sick, the better it is for the economy and corporations, but it is worse for you. The bad environment also positively affects the economy because the number of diseases grows, and revenues increase in proportion in the health sector.

“The more deadly weapons produced, the better economy is, but accordingly, there are more wars and killing.

“Sooner or later this craziness with endless growth must end. The economy of growth violates the natural limits of living organisms; no single organic being is capable of either growing or living forever. Even the poorest category of the population in developed countries live at the level of gods of the poor Asian and African regions. … Society adapted to the subsidies and is not going to boost consumption, especially when the shelves are full of goods.”

My Comment: Infinite growth is impossible, not only because there are natural limits of the planet and the population, but also because our desires grow not only quantitatively, but qualitatively, meaning there is a sense of desolation and apathy, emptiness, yearning for drugs, suicide; there is a new void that cannot be filled by anything from the world around us; the question of meaning is rebooting; we are coming to the next stage of our development, when fulfillment will come mainly from the revelation of the upper world, and consumption will be only to the extent necessary for existence. The changing desires will inevitably lead us to this.

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Regulators Of Spiritual Traffic

Dr. Michael LaitmanBaal HaSulam, “A Speech for the Completion of The Zohar”: “The fact of the matter is that the Creator delivered our holy land from the foreigners and has given it back to us, yet we have not received the land into our own authority, since the time of reception has not yet come, as we explained concerning the complete attainment.”

Question: Is it possible for the State of Israel to achieve economic independence?

Answer: The State of Israel is the only country in the world that has a chance to become totally independent. Definitely, there is a possibility for it. As to the implementation of this chance, it all depends on the Bnei Baruch Israeli group and Bnei Baruch groups around the world. From the Israeli point of view, we are the only place in the world, the only country, the only people, who can become really independent. No other country is capable of it. All countries are interlaced with each other and depend on each other, but we are not the same.

Today, the world is still in the process of revealing the global interconnection, but soon it will discover that it depends on us. That’s when the problem will arise. If we don’t correct our relationship with the Creator and with other nations, they will blame us for all troubles that happen in the world: the crisis, ecological calamities, etc. We’ll be judged guilty of everything!

In fact, they are right, since troubles happen because we are in the upper Light’s way, thus preventing It from spreading and fulfilling everybody, whereas we should rather be working as an “adapter.” So, accusations in our direction are inevitable. The crisis is escalating and our interdependency becomes more obvious. This forces many people to see protectionism and fascism as ways out. Distress and instability are yet to come. The US and many other countries will collapse and everybody will unanimously hold us responsible for these disasters. The UN that created the State of Israel may make a decision on its dissolution: “Last time we made a mistake. Who is for the dissolution? Unanimously…”

This will happen in case we fail to do what we are supposed to. Besides, the prophets predicted much more severe hardships.

So, you are asking about the economy, but in fact we really can become independent of everybody in everything. The entire world is dependent, including on us, and we are independent of all if we manage to connect with the Creator for the sake of conveying His abundance to the entire world. If we cope with this task, we will be indestructible. It is the only reliable action, place, and state.

Conversely, as long as we are deprived of the Light and stay detached from the Creator, darkness will rule and we will spread it to the rest of the world. A black candle is what the nations of the world sense we are.

Israel can be the most developed and rich country in the world, but it is all about a special wealth that has nothing to do with bank accounts. The thing is that we should develop spiritually without considering anything else.

Instead of trying to follow other nations’ examples, trying to look like them or copying them, our nation has to contemplate the major question: “What can we do to serve the Creator and the world?” Our mission is to be a transitional link that is attached to the Creator on one side and to the nations of the world on the other side.

For that, Bnei Baruch members (the internal part of Israel) have to ask themselves: “How can we, the world group, stay connected with the Creator and transmit bestowal to other nations of the world through the people of Israel according to the general structure of the pyramid?” This is our duty; this is our place. We are the Bina or the “Kingdom of Priests.” In general, the entire people of Israel have to ascend to this task.

In order to cope with this work, we have to study Baal HaSulam’s books and re-write them in the form that will be clear to many. Today, during this relatively “quiet” period of time, Israel has to rise above the current events that serve as external incentives. We should think of our mission and of what the Creator wants us to create from the situation we are going through. We should enhance dissemination; first, internal dissemination in our groups, so that it starts pouring out from the inside to the outside, onto the people of Israel that live on the land of Israel, then to the people of Israel that are dispersed all over the world, and finally to the nations of the world.

It is our duty to act both internally and externally; otherwise, we won’t serve as a link between the Creator and the creation. For that, we have a very limited time on our hands.

At the same time, we are not obligated to “carry the whole world” on our shoulders. We should work as a doorman who opens the entrance: “Please come in!” There is nothing easier than this: On one hand, we are plugged into “Keter” (the first three Sefirot of Bina), on the other hand, we are connected to Malchut (the seven lower Sefirot of Bina.) So, it is as if we don’t even exist. The middle point is all there is, the middle third of Tifferet, Klipat Noga, which constantly decides what has to be reduced, what has to be added, what is good and what is wrong. Thus, we manage to regulate the “traffic.”

Here, everything depends on our attitude. We are afraid of responsibilities, shame, criticism… But there is no other choice; we have to do the best we can to fulfill the duty that is entrusted to us.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/10/13, “A Speech for the Completion of The Zohar

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The General Commander In The Creator’s War Against Amalek

Dr. Michael LaitmanBaal HaSulam, Writings of Baal HaSulam, Letter 17: This is because there is he who walks, who is worse than he who sits idly. It is he who deflects from the road, for the path of truth is a very thin line that one walks until one comes to the King’s palace.

One who begins to walk at the beginning of the line needs great care so as not to deviate to the right or to the left of the line even as much as a hair’s breadth. This is so because if at first the deviation is as a hair’s breadth, even if one continues completely straight, it is certain that he will no longer come to the King’s palace, as he is not stepping on the true line…

Question: What shall we do to defend ourselves and stay on the right track if we are entirely in the hands of the upper force?

Answer: Indeed, if I am in the world that is governed by the upper force, then why should I be taking care of myself? Can’t this force take care of me? It is said that the Creator puts one’s hand on the good fate and says: “Choose it!” It is He who brings us to the group, the teacher, and the books. From whom should I defend myself if there is “none else besides Him?”

However, in order to clarify the point of adhesion, to become wise, sensitive, and accomplished according to the Creator’s level, I have to fight against all forces that are seemingly opposite to Him. I have to elucidate them, to sort them and figure out which ones act “for” and which “against.” In this war, among the “allies” and “opponents,” I have to come to a conclusion that I am not able to cope with this on my own, even though I have feelings, a brain, and a certain experience.

I still need the Creator next to me irrespective of my mind and feelings that help me only in the beginning and afterward only interfere. This explains why I call for the Creator’s help and fight only together with Him, which is called fighting by the “power of faith.”

This turns me into a judge, a general commander in the Creator’s war against Amalek, staying between the two of them. This entire war unfolds in accordance with my clarifications and requests. This is the way we advance.

There are fatal “mistakes” that are hard to explain. In order to understand them, one has see the entire system as a whole. One makes a small insignificant mistake in the very beginning of one’s path in the situations that one doesn’t understand and thus loses the track and can’t return to it.

In one of his letters, Baal HaSulam describes a person who was given a lucky chance to get to the Garden of Eden. There, he feels that the Creator is standing right behind him. He turns around and follows the Creator, and then all of a sudden figures that he failed to tell the place where the Garden of Eden ended and the Hell, which is next to it right behind the fence, started. He exits the Garden of Eden and gets back to his regular life. The Creator stays in the Garden and locks the door in the wall until the next time, maybe after a couple of life circles.

Of course, we cannot advance without making mistakes. It is said: “There is no righteous man on earth who does good and does not sin.” However, it is said about other mistakes that we make when the Creator teaches us and forces us to err so that we deeper understand the basics where we should never make mistakes.

At each step there is a mistake that the Creator brings me to. However, He holds me by the hand, like an adult holds the child, leads me to this error, and says: “See, you might have fallen here, this place is dangerous.” He helps me feel problematic places. I’m like a child in the hands of an adult who carries and teaches me, and thus I’m not scared at all and feel confident on His hands.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/6/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam

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