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The One Who Is Close Is Important

Dr. Michael LaitmanBaal HaSulam, “One Commandment:” …it is possible for the smallest of prophets to succeed in his prophecy even more than the greatest prophet—concerning the above-mentioned speed—since he relies on revelations of prior prophets, who paved his way for him. Obviously, it also depends on the development of his listeners, since clear and concise words require a more developed generation so they can understand him. And if these two additions join one small degree, he can succeed far more than a great one.

The main thing is that the generation is able to accept our message. Here, time does its thing, until the time to act comes, and then precisely the small one can become a mediator, conveying down the spiritual idea.

After all, a great one, in his perfection, is like the lord who makes decisions at the highest level and not condescending to the “local” details. Many agents stand between him and an average person and yet this person needs specific help in his ordinary, everyday life.

That is why, in a sense, the small one is closer to people than the great one. It is because he can talk more simply and lead them to the degrees of attainment, explaining their work in detail.

The great one is far from the masses. Baal HaSulam writes in “The Prophecy of Baal HaSulam” that he asked to lower himself so as to be able to explain to people. For this, he went down to a lower degree and then passed the method down.

On the other hand, at the highest levels he would not have been able to write for us. There, attainment cannot be expressed in writing, in an understandable language. It is available only in the form of Gematria characters or by the words he wrote in his notebooks, the words that do not exist in our world. After all, the forces and laws, governing combinations of letters at their source under the Parsa of Bina do not function at the highest degrees, and therefore, it is necessary to descend below Chazeh of Partzuf AVI and proceed to new Zivugim there.

However, in any case, it is not about people but about the degrees and of course, either the small or the great one, descending to a lower degree, can bring us much more good—in any case, at this stage of the path.

So, for us, the one who is close to us is important but not the one who is far. If today, we met Baal HaSulam or someone from our forefathers—if, theoretically, we had come into contact with the soul, separated from us let’s say by a hundred degrees—we could have done nothing about it. We simply would have nothing to ask.

Our generation needs connection with a Kabbalist in a series of ascents, descents, and all sorts of states as we are imbued with the desires of the environment. Even our questions arise from our study. If he had not taught us, we would have had almost nothing to ask, in fact, as the whole world…

It turns out that the one who is close is important.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/29/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam

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Buy The Truth And Don’t Sell It!

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: It says: “The reward is according to one’s sorrow.” But why should one suffer and feel sorrow, shouldn’t the Lord’s servant be glad?

Answer: I don’t see that my students are constantly happy as if they are at their wedding with the Creator. We operate against our desire and this requires great efforts in constantly being focused on connection, on annulling our ego, and on the intention not to think about ourselves.

We are forced to exert ourselves without any compensation in the egoistic desire to receive with which we work. But I have made an effort, burnt calories and both my body and my soul demand a filling in return. But I don’t get anything; so how will my body be able to go on working without any compensation? After all, it’s a machine, both a physiological and a mental one that must receive a filling, fuel.

I am told that I will receive a filling only if I ask for the chance to work without a filling. But I still want to receive something for myself, and so my exertion is accompanied with sorrow. It’s because I have to give up my ego, give up my reward, and I have to think about someone else instead of myself every time. I see that I cannot do that, and so I turn to the Creator. But until I turn to Him and until He responds, I have to go through an unpleasant state…and that is a rather difficult time.

When a person first comes to the group he is happy and is ready to move mountains, to do anything. Later, however, we suddenly see that he cools down and we see less and less of him; instead of sitting in the front rows, he draws further away and gradually gets closer to the exit, until he disappears completely.

It says: “a thousand enter a room and only one comes out an instructor.” In our times it isn’t one but many more, but this principle is still true. It’s only those who can give up everything and say that they don’t care about what would happen to them because there is no other truth and so they are here! This is called “buy the truth and don’t sell it!” But there aren’t many such people and it depends on a person’s desire, on the point in the heart that the Creator has given him.

A person can also pray to the Creator and ask, although it’s very difficult and complicated. If a person has not received the desire to receive, the point in the heart that helps him reach the goal of creation from birth, then he can still turn with a strong enough prayer to be empowered, despite the weak point in the heart that he has. It’s as if he skips from one generation to another, from one life to another.

You can now receive directly what you were supposed to receive in a few more lives according to the general plan, by returning to this world, living and suffering in it, dying and then coming back again, by the great effort of your request—like you are able to jump through time.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/29/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam

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The Train Is Leaving

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe wisdom of Kabbalah is the revelation of the Creator to the creature in this world. The revelation is realized through the Torah, that is, a special method. The Torah brings a person to love, to the principle of “And you shall love your friend as yourself” so that the Creator will be revealed in a person. We realize this principle with the help of the Light that Reforms. And in order to attract the Light, it is up to us to meet certain conditions. You see the Light is found everywhere but preparation is required from our side to cause its activation.

So what is the proper preparation?

Do we build a true desire, a lack for the Light that Reforms so that it will grant us the love of friends because we have “ripened” within the group, strove to be connected, linked together? Or perhaps it is the opposite? While seeking love of friends, we need to go outside, to absorb “additional” desires, to inject “new blood” into the group, to attract new people in order to feel a response, to wake up thanks to them, and only after that we should be concerned about the Light that Reforms?

Or perhaps it is necessary to go outside of the boundaries of the group, to begin to sow that same message, that same principle of “And you shall love your friend as yourself,” to raise the significance of connection in the form of “integral education”? Behind its slogans the same things are hidden, it is said in a slightly different form in order to ease the way for people, to make it easier to resolve the false stereotypes that cause hatred and dislike.

It is up to us to clarify all of this. There are people who claim that our methods are not appropriate for the modern era and the current conditions, that we don’t have the support of anyone for carrying out this task and for turning to the general public.

There are many questions and it is up to us to understand them. It is possible that there could be unpleasant encounters with opponents who may claim that we are not acting properly. Therefore it is up to us to understand what we are doing. This clarifies the system, our relationship in regard to it and our place within it. The main thing is that it clarifies the character and function of integral education, making it possible to explain the situation to those friends who don’t agree with integral education because they don’t feel the wisdom of Kabbalah in it.

Yet in spite of it all, without wide dissemination we will not require the Creator. Without going out to the wider public, a person will not require a group and friends.

It is clear that this departure must be considered, but the main thing is to ultimately satisfy the Creator. Am I ready to connect the final point of importance, the concern for others with their everyday problems? Can I link my connection to the others and my connection to the Creator? I absorb the desires of the other so that they will prompt me to strengthen the connection to the group, to get the right intention that makes it possible to turn to the Creator, and then realize the chain of actions back towards the other.

Am I on target? Do I bring the Creator contentment? If so good, but if not, then I have not succeeded. But one way or another, specifically that same formula works here between the other, myself, and by way of the books, the teacher, the group, and the Creator. If I see that there is a strong and necessary connection, if I understand that I have no other possibility of satisfying the Creator, then I am “clean.”

But if there is another way, then show it to me and I will change my way immediately. I will agree that you have saved my life and have made it possible for me not to waste it.

Clarification like this is required from us, especially in thinking about the fact that many people around us prefer to “sit on the sidelines” in the meantime, and they don’t see anything terrible about this. In my eyes this is terrible, but they are not interested in participating in dissemination. They think that it is possible to wait, that first others will do it, and they will later. But they don’t understand that in this way they “harm” themselves in an extreme and irreversible way. Perhaps this is their only opportunity, maybe a person who hops on the train now will continue to travel but someone who doesn’t will remain “empty-handed” on the platform.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/17/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam

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“Why Islam Is Dying Too”

Dr. Michael LaitmanOpinion (David Goldman, author of How Civilizations Die: (And Why Islam Is Dying Too)): “Population decline is the elephant in the world’s living room. As a matter of arithmetic, we know that the social life of most developed countries will break down within two generations. Two out of three Italians and three of four Japanese will be elderly dependents by 2050. If present fertility rates hold, the number of Germans will fall by 98% over the next two centuries. No pension and health care system can support such an inverted population pyramid. Nor is the problem limited to the industrial nations. Fertility is falling at even faster rates – indeed, at rates never before registered anywhere – in the Muslim world.

“The world faces a danger more terrible than the worst Green imaginings. The European environmentalist who wants to shrink the world’s population to reduce carbon emissions will spend her declining years in misery, for there will not be enough Europeans alive a generation from now to pay for her pension and medical care. For the first time in world history, the birth rate of the whole developed world is well below replacement, and a significant part of it has passed the demographic point of no return.

But Islamic society is even more fragile. As Muslim fertility shrinks at a rate demographers have never seen before, it is converging on Europe’s catastrophically low fertility as if in time-lapse photography. …  By the middle of this century, the belt of Muslim countries from Morocco to Iran will become as gray as depopulating Europe. The Islamic world will have the same proportion of dependent elderly as the industrial countries – but one-tenth the productivity. A time bomb that cannot be defused is ticking in the Muslim world.

“Imminent population collapse makes radical Islam more dangerous, not less so. For in their despair, radical Muslims who can already taste the ruin of their culture believe that they have nothing to lose.

“Political science is at a loss in the face of demographic decline and its consequences. The wasting away of nations is an insoluble conundrum for modern political theory, which is based on the principle of rational self-interest. At the threshold of extinction, the political scientists’ clever models break down. We “do not negotiate with terrorists.”…

“A good deal of the world seems to have lost the taste for life. …  In the past, nations that foresaw their own demise fell to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: War, Plague, Famine, and Death. Riding point for the old quartet in today’s more civilized world is a Fifth Horseman: loss of faith. Today’s cultures are dying of apathy, not by the swords of their enemies.

European apathy is the opposite side of the coin of Islamic extremism. Both apathetic Europeans and radical Muslims have lost their connection to the past and their confidence in the future. There is not a great deal of daylight between European resignation to cultural extinction at the hundred-year horizon. …

“Situations of this sort have arisen frequently in history, but never as frequently as today, when so many of the world’s cultures are not expected to survive the next two centuries. A people facing cultural extinction may well choose war, if war offers even a slim chance of survival.

“That is just how radical Islamists view the predicament of traditional Muslim society in the face of modernity. The Islamists fear that if they fail, their religion and culture will disappear into the maelstrom of the modern world. …

“A wealthy and successful Jewish state next to a poor and dysfunctional Palestinian state may imply the end of the moral authority of Islam, and some Palestinians would rather fight to the death than embrace such an outcome. Rather than consign their children to the Western milieu of personal freedom and sexual license, radical Muslims will fight to the death.”

My Comment: That’s why all of humanity is becoming able to accept the method of integral education so that even in this existence and gradually implement the exit to a new dimension of immortality and perfection. Humanity has no other way out . By disseminating the method of integral education, we are accelerating, revealing the only possible solution, and strengthening awareness of the need to make this transition before the forces of nature compel us to do this.

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The Era Of Excessive Fermentation Of The Ego

Dr. Michael LaitmanBaal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” Item 61: The answer is that the world, during the six thousand years of its existence, is like one Partzuf divided into thirds: Rosh (head), Toch (interior), Sof (end), meaning HBD (Hochma, Bina, Daat), HGT (Hesed, Gevura, Tifferet), NHY (Netzah, Hod, Yesod). This is what our sages wrote: “The first 2,000 years of Tohu (chaos), second 2,000 years of Torah, and the last 2,000 years are the days of the Messiah.” (Sanhedrin 97a).

Now, in our generation, since we are nearing the end of the last 2,000 years, we are given permission to reveal the words of The Zohar throughout the world to a great extent in such a way that from our generation onwards the words of The Zohar will become increasingly revealed in the world, until the full measure is revealed, as the Creator wills it.

Question: Where are we located on this sketch of the three periods of two thousand years each?

Answer: At its bottom. We have passed through all the periods from the beginning of creation to our day, and as of today we are close to the end of correction.

Question: The impression is that we are closer to the completion of destruction….

Answer: This is correct, for in order to reach correction, it’s up to us first of all to recognize the destruction. And therefore we are passing through the period of recognition of evil in the worst state of the Kelim (the desires) that are difficult to awaken, to move to something. It’s precisely these conditions that are appropriate for the end of correction.

It’s said about the “Days of the Messiah” that in these times insolence will increase. The Kelim will be the worst, the cruelest, and the most egoistic; those that have passed through “excessive fermentation.” The people in this period will begin to “eat themselves,” for even progress, egoistic gain will no longer be important to them as it used to be. The recognition of evil has arrived. They understand that the ego ultimately will not make it possible for them to succeed in anything. And therefore, even indifference will appear and an agreement with death. It won’t matter to people that there will be war, even a world war. Just give them an injection to forget about everything and leave them in quiet.

The tendency today is no longer directed at the continuation of egoistic development. On the contrary, the ego has become a cancerous growth that “wipes out” everything that it can, and now is itself dead, taking with it the weakened “body.” And so we are living in the last most important period of corrections, which “seals” the entire process. And our concern needs to be how to build and to realize our work correctly.

Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” Item 63: …this is the rule in all the Partzufim (plural for Partzuf) of the worlds and of the souls, that the purest are the first to be selected into the Partzuf. Therefore, the purer Kelim, HBD, were selected first in the world and in the souls. Thus, the souls in the first 2,000 years were much Higher. Yet, they could not receive the full measure of Light, due to the lack of the lower parts in the world and in themselves, which are HGT NHYM.

And afterwards, in the second two thousand years, when the Kelim of HGT were selected into the world and in the souls, the souls were indeed very pure in and of themselves. This is because the merit of the Kelim of HGT is close to that of HBD. Yet, the Lights were still concealed in the world, due to the absence of the Kelim from the Chazeh down, in the world and in the souls. Thus, in our generation, although the essence of the souls is the worst, which is why they could not be selected for Kedusha thus far, they are the ones that complete the Partzuf of the world and the Partzuf of the souls with respect to the Kelim, and the work is completed only through them. This is because now, when the Kelim of NHY are being completed, and all the Kelim, Rosh, Toch, Sof are in the Partzuf, the full measures of Light, in Rosh, Toch, and Sof, are now being extended to all those who are worthy, meaning complete NRN (Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama). Hence, only after the completion of these lowly souls can the Highest Lights manifest, and not before.

It is possible to reveal the Light of the Neshama only on condition that the Light of Nefesh descends to our Kelim, to our level. In the first two thousand years the Light of Nefesh entered into the upper third of the Partzuf. In the next two thousand years it descended into the middle third and the Light of Ruach entered into the first third, and in the end, the last two thousand years, the Light of Nefesh and the Light of Ruach descend even further down and make it possible for the Light of Neshama to enter into the Partzuf. And then we acquire NRN.

The Era Of Excessive Fermentation Of The Ego
Therefore it’s possible to reveal higher Lights only if we take care of the lower Kelim. And therefore our generation is so important from the aspect of the Kelim, for we correct the most “dense” desires below and through this we reveal the greatest Lights above. Even though we are nourished only by the smallest Light, Nefesh de Nefesh, taking care of the “densest” Kelim makes it possible for us to awaken the greatest Lights within the entire system.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/16/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam

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This Is Undoubtedly the Right Place!

Dr. Michael LaitmanIt says: “for they shall all know Me, from their smallest to their greatest,” (Jeremiah 31:33). This means that everyone must reach the end of correction.

It is very hard to fulfill this, but there is no other way. Everyday each of our friends who are on the spiritual path perform certain spiritual actions of correction, partly by their own freewill and partly unwillingly. Yet people still go through the process of correction, partly consciously but mostly unconsciously.

I have no doubts that I am leading my students correctly and that they will never say that they don’t understand where I have brought them to. They can check my recommendations by reading the sources based on the writings of other teachers, etc.

Question: Did you have any doubts when you were a student?

Answer: No, I reached the wisdom of Kabbalah having no doubts that it was the right choice. I immediately felt that the place I arrived had everything. Until then I had been through a long road of searching and had seen a lot of stupidity and folly.

It is impossible to find anything in science anymore. Internally, I understood that philosophy is empty. It is all nonsense and it is totally limited to our world. Then I thought that I might find something in religion, but would I?

After being in several religious institutions, I saw that some engaged only in observing the physical Mitzvot (commandments) without changing their inner attributes, so what’s the point? Others read Kabbalah, but they didn’t understand what they were reading at all, thinking it was enough to simply engage in reading. This means that they were like the other religious people who observe all the Mitzvot but read too and that there is nothing more to it than that, so what’s next?

So when I heard a logical explanation, I realized that I had a found a place that was undoubtedly right—the most serious thinking, accurate direction, with total connection to all the sources!

Before I found my teacher I read many books: the writings of Ari, the Talmud, and the Bible. I knew all the Mitzvot and observed them in part. So when I came to Rabash I was already living a religious life for about five years because in order to visit religious institutions I had to look accordingly at least externally. Besides, I believed that I had to be tied to our roots since my grandfather was also a very religious man.

But when I came to Rabash I realized that these people’s dealings are based only on the sources. Before, I also tried to read Baal HaSulam, The Study of the Ten Sefirot, The Book of Zohar, which describe special corrections, but what could I understand then? After all, I had never seen such knowledge, such extensiveness, such penetration of the still, vegetative, animate, and human connection.

So people who don’t understand what we study and what we speak about think that it is mysticism. Even today people have no idea what a great system we are dealing with.

We, however, play, juggling: this world, the next world, how they connect, how they integrate, and how a person feels himself in them. It is as if all this volume is before us. Of course, it is still theoretical and abstract for us now and cannot be described; it isn’t mystic but  theoretical and abstract. We work with this volume of forces, of interactions, attributes, and connections, while a person on the outside has to spend years in order to enter this system.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 7/29/13

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A Double Request And A Double Response

Dr. Michael LaitmanEven while under the domination of the egoistic forces, the shells (Klipot), we can awaken the upper. Only those in whom the point in the heart has awakened have the potential of connecting with the Creator, but with an intention that is still for oneself. A person turns to the Creator with intentions that are still for himself and therefore is considered to be at the mercy of the impure forces.

The greater the strength one has to turn to the Creator yet while doing it for himself, the greater the egoism (Klipa). Therefore, as it is written, “He who is greater than his friend, his desire is greater than his.” The great wicked, the enormous forces of egoism, that the Torah speaks about—Balaam, Balak, Pharaoh (the general shell), Haman, Ahaseurus, and the seven nations that occupy the Land of Israel before the arrival of the Jews—all these attributes are awakened in a person according to his level. The greater the shell a person is in, the greater Holiness he is awarded in contrast to it.

The ascent begins when the point in the heart awakens in a person while it is in the captivity of the egoistic force, Klipot, and in the intention to receive for oneself. Despite the egoistic intention of in order to receive in which the point in the heart is, not by choice, it raises a prayer (MAN). Although the prayer is egoistic, in order to receive, it is still a prayer of the lower, of the shell that awakens the upper level to act. Then, the upper begins to work on this prayer and raises it from one level to another until Ein Sof (infinity). However, we learn only about three levels: the lower, the upper, and the uppermost. All the other levels operate in the same way.

This trio constantly operates: the lower, the upper, and the uppermost. The lower is in egoism, and the upper, which feels the sorrow of the lower and knows how to properly translate it, processes the lower’s corrupt prayer to a corrected prayer and raises it to the upper upper that is in holiness, disconnected from the corrupt lower. So, in the upper upper, there is already all the Light and power necessary to take care of the lower.

The upper raises itself to the upper upper with a double prayer: the prayer of the lower and its response to it. So, the upper upper gives it double the greatness that it needs in order to take care of the lower. When it reaches greatness, it can already take care of the corrupt lower. Thus, it turns out that the “first born” that is called the upper Partzuf receives double from the uppermost, its part and the part for the corrupt lower. This is how the chain operates.

This is the only action in our correction and it takes us out of the Klipot. So, the first condition is the prayer. All our spiritual work, all the reality that we feel, is arranged and ready to help raise a prayer to the upper. There is nothing but our request. This is because we cannot perform any actions except for the chance to ask. This is actually what we forget.

We eventually will understand that there is none else besides Him and that the Creator is good and benevolent, that there is one force that operates in reality, about which it is written: “I am the first, and I am the last.” All this is meant to help us discover our request at any given moment.

The request of the lower must be arranged correctly in order to bestow. If we ask for ourselves, we are in the Klipot under the domination of impure, egoistic forces. If we continue to ask for ourselves, we find ourselves more deeply in this egoism.

All of our requests, all the deficiencies—even from the most disgraceful states—still rise upward. The only question is in which form. If the requests are not in equivalence of form with the upper, they still are accepted and still influence the system and its development. But in this case, the forces compel us to torture ourselves and see the world growing more strongly evil and dark. We advance but by the path of suffering, in its time.

If our requests are according to the desire of the upper, they awaken all the levels of correction to rise up to Ein Sof and bring us down the new Light that will clarify, correct, and fill our vessels in order to bestow. Then, we will advance by the path of “I shall hasten it.”
From the Preparation to the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/22/13

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All Work Must Finish With A Prayer

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe most important task in this world is for a person to be constantly ready for prayer. This is the only action that can make a difference. We make efforts physically, mentally, in thought, and in desire, but in fact we needed all these thousands of actions for thousands of years only so that at the end of the matter we would reach the right prayer, cry, desire. When we can accept our desire in the right form, then we will succeed in attracting the higher power to us that does everything.

Only the Light acts and only we with a “point in the heart” are prepared to arouse the Light to action. Basically, all the rest cannot do this, only to the most minimal degree by way of “in its time” (Isaiah 60:22) and to the degree that we are integrated with them, yet no more than this. About this it is written that the “nations of the world” have no link with the higher power, with the Creator. The general desire for pleasure, according to its structure, cannot connect directly with the Creator, except only through those who have the spiritual spark.

Therefore, at those times and in those conditions where we cannot arise correctly for the world, we distance ourselves and the whole world from the Creator. Through the evil powers that rise, by means of the feeling of distance and recognition of evil, in spite of it all we advance, yet not in a desirable way.

Only we who have a “point in the heart” are ready to pray. All the rest do this either out of habit implanted from childhood or with simply egoistic motives. And the prayer of a simple egoist is better since the person screams about his pain. All dissatisfaction is already a prayer and a cry to the Creator, even if the person doesn’t think about Him. This is already some kind of turning upward. These turnings have been gathered for thousands of years from the screams of billions of people, and eventually collectively awaken them and the Upper Light.

Yet even though the Upper Light reaches them through us, the general structure is not changed. Even if we are not ready to work with the Light correctly, it is there and exists. And so it reaches us and bumps into us like a wall because we are found in exile and cannot think about the nations of the world.

In a form like this, we are far from the Creator because we are not raising the prayer to Him, and we are also distant from the nations of the world because we have not conveyed their prayer upwards. It follows that we are at a double loss. We need to consider this! The problems and troubles will not cease as long as the people of Israel have not realized their real task, until it will be the higher level for the nations of the world in order to convey the double prayer, theirs and that of the entire world, to the higher level.

We are supposed to make practical applications for our work with the general public, meaning, those who are not ready to awaken to connection with the Creator and are therefore called the “nations of the world.” As much as this work with people will be perfected, skillful, professional, it will not bring the right results and will not bear fruit if it doesn’t end with a prayer.

All our invested efforts, each one separately and all together, are imperative solely and only so that we will reach prayer. From the start we went out to operate because the Creator sent us (“I am first”) so that as a result of our action we would reach the double prayer after we absorb the desires of the people and thereby arouse our desire. Then we can ask to make us a part of the conduit only for their sake so we will be able to take care of people. After all, the Creator created us with a “point in the heart.”

Following work like this with the general public, we reach the lifting of prayer, that is, the work entrusted to Israel. Here there already exist the three components required for spiritual action: the lower level – the public, the upper level – us; and the highest level – the Creator. In this way we work together.

If we think about this before and after the action, and are prepared to link it to this state, then our action will be blessed and successful. About this it is written: “The firstborn… give him a double share” (Deuteronomy 21:17), for himself and for the younger brother.
From the Preparation to the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/22/13

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Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 10.01.13

Preparation to the Lesson

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Shamati #38 The Fear of God Is His Treasure

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Talmud Eser Sefirot, Vol. 3, Part 9

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Writings of Baal HaSulam One Commandment

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