Question: On April 15th, Israel celebrates Memorial Day honoring fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism. How can a person deal with the pain of loss? And generally, how does the science of Kabbalah relate to such a painful subject?
Answer: I have faced this inescapable issue, which in essence is an attempt to find the culprit. “Whose is to blame for my feeling bad?”—an inconsolable mother asks, and together with her, one way or another, everyone else asks. In the end, this question unequivocally brings us to the one who can make a difference.
There are times when it cannot be changed. For example, the still, vegetative, and animate nature obey the laws of their development. Until a person parted with the legacy of the ape and in the time of Adam got a chance to determine his states in something, he had been developing through a sequence of constant troubles: Our ancestors were eaten by animals, killed by diseases, natural disasters, etc.
In general, we can only point to the general law of the universe, which defines what is happening, as required by gradual development. It says: “Don’t show a fool a job half done.” We also go through this process.
However, when we have the opportunity to determine our states for benefit or harm, then it is necessary to understand what is happening. Now, in addition to the “roller of development,” set in motion by Nature, he has a kind of addition.
For example, I drive a car that is not in fully operational order on a rough, bumpy road. One wheel is flat; the brakes barely work; in short, I am in trouble.
And so it is in life: Part of our problems are caused by nature that paved such a path for us and the other part depends on us. This is the part that we usually talk about. After all, nothing can be done with nature; it leads creation from the primary, egoistic state to the final, altruistic one. It is a powerful irresistible force that drives everything forward. And in addition, at each stage, the created being has an opportunity to facilitate its development, understanding that it is inevitable and desirable. The created being is able to look to the future in its final state and see that there is no alternative, that it is worth it.
We behave in the same way when we are doing any hard work. For example, having enrolled at university, I am “harnessed” by hard daily work for four to six years, knowing that I have no other options. Moreover, I continue studying afterward because I don’t want to remain just an engineer all my life. Although on the way, I encounter things I don’t like and I suffer through obstacles that do not depend on me be they exams or assignments that seem meaningless and which I hate, but I look forward and understand that I have to go through all that. After all, the smart people above have decided that I need all that, at least for broadening my horizons so that I am not restricted in my approach.
In Kabbalah we know that we talk about a complete perfect program, which foresees all the nuances. We are sent the necessary steps and we pass them along the “middle” way, neither through an endless series of terrible suffering, nor through the “pink alley,” above which the melodies of the higher spheres sound.
We cannot walk the best shortest easiest path; however, of course, we are not interested in the path of suffering with its nightmares at every turn. Thus, we somehow make our way in the middle, according to what is said in the Torah. Obviously, due to our nature, we have to balance between two forces—negative and positive—combining the properties of “judgment” and “mercy,” being in awe and at the same time valuing what we receive.
And again, there are different developmental periods. Sometimes, we have an opportunity to succeed on the kind path of unity, easily and comfortably reaching an intermediary result. But it also happens that we are faced with insurmountable difficulties; we cannot unite, and then what happens is happening. This applies to all wars which we have fought from the moment of the revival of the state of Israel and earlier, as well as the Holocaust.
And, of course, all that we could have corrected and prevented in advance, but unfortunately, we did not make the corrections. Not only Baal HaSulam but also other Kabbalists write about this and hint at this, but on the other hand, they prefer not to go into this topic. Indeed, what can they tell people? This topic is so painful that direct explanations will only cause rejection. A person should reach the conclusion himself that all this depends on us. Correct studies are necessary, based on which the findings will be made by the student and not by the instructor…
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/15/13, “Israel Nation” (Independence Day in Israel)