Question: The commandment to love your neighbor as yourself is known around the world. Then, how is its original interpretation different from the conventional one?
Answer: It’s all about the difference between Abraham and Babylon. In Babylon, it was accepted to keep the uncorrected egoism and, at the same time, shout about love. On the other hand, the method of Abraham, that is, the property of mercy (Hassadim), is self-correction on the path to bestowal where the other becomes more important than yourself.
This can be achieved only through group work based on and constructed by Abraham. At the time, having gathered people, he began to teach them self-denial, self-nullification, and unity to the point of love for the other as for oneself. One must carry out this work precisely in the group where we build our environment on practice.
Do various religions and beliefs, circles and organizations that preach love for the other facilitate the correction of egoism or do they just implant these or those collective attributes? For example, Nazi Germany also united people.
So, the question is the kind of unity we are talking about.
We have a methodology that enables a person to become united with others, to give himself to the environment in order to reveal mutual bestowal and love for the sake of all of humanity—not just some part of it that shields itself by fascist or protectionist methods—and ultimately, to achieve an absolute, abstract form of bestowal and love, in other words, to bring contentment to the Creator.
You can find a huge amount of material online about love for the other. Everyone talks about it, without mentioning Israel and Abraham, as if it is his personal invention or the property of his religion. When egoism covers the eyes, people do not understand the depth of the question, do not know the history, and claim that they know the ultimate truth. There is nothing you can do about it.
On our side, we already are based on the method of Abraham. He discovered love for the other as for oneself and, having exited Babylon, adopted this methodology. Then, Moses developed it by means of unity at Mount Sinai and so on. In general, we are talking about the task of the people of Israel, about its foundation. It was originally formed on this base. If there were no foundation, there would have been no nation.
All other nations came into being naturally, but Israel is “not a people” in this sense. It is not among other nations because its foundation is bestowal, love for the other as for oneself, separated from the reality of our world. Israel is the people connected to each other by the desire to find between themselves bestowal and love, and to rise in this love above their egoistic desire. There is no nation of Israel without this foundation. In other words, it cannot be called “a people” while it is in exile from the spiritual world.
The Jews in Egypt were not a nation until they came out of slavery and accepted the means that allowed them to live as one man with one heart, in common mutual guarantee. Only then did they become a people. Today, they are again not a people but a gathering of exiles.
It is no coincidence that throughout history Jews were so concerned about education. We also want to establish the method of integral education in our midst and then pass it to the entire nation and the entire world. There is only one reason: It does not exist without the nation.
The very concepts of “people,” “country,” and “society” among the Jews followed education. Before Abraham educated—taught those who escaped with him from Babylon—they were not a people. After all, it is necessary to have “glue” that will connect people into one; otherwise they are strangers to each other. It is the education on the principle of love for the other as for oneself that brings them together into a unified group or a unified nation. Of course, it is a unique people, different from all the others. They are united according to the conditions of our world, and in order to unite, Israel must accept the terms of the spiritual world.
This is the origin of its complete oppositeness to the rest of the world in terms of education and the essence of love for the other. If others are willing to distribute this principle to their nations, Israel cannot be limited to itself because this is not love as it should be. We must initially be aware of the goal of creation and carry it to the world. Otherwise, instead of love, there will be “people’s ego,” “national ego,” or, as it is called today, “national pride,” which is nonsense. Israel can have nothing like this. It must limit its ego and connect spiritual, higher values to it instead of boasting its differences in the matters of this world.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/3/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam