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Lo Lishma

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: How is it possible to check if a person is in the state of Lo Lishma; what typifies the Lo Lishma from which we reach Lishma?

Answer: Lo Lishma, means that a person is seeking the truth. He has heard and theoretically has an idea what it is, but at the same time he still is in the intention to receive for himself.


Lo Lishma


If we measure Lo Lishma according to a scale from 0% to 100%, then in the case where a friend borrows $1,000 from me, 0% of Lo Lishma is when the friend must return all $1,000 to me.

1% of Lo Lishma is when he returns $999 to me, and I accept this as if he returned all of the $1000. And 100% of Lo Lishma is when he returns 0 dollars to me, an empty envelope. And I check this with my senses, see that there is nothing there and accept this as if he returned the entire debt to me. This is to say, this shows me how much I can go beyond the receiving desires.

But certainly all of this advancement is possible only due to the influence of the Surrounding Light (Ohr Makif). But when we pass from Lo Lishma to Lishma, then we begin to operate the Direct Light (Ohr Yashar).

Baal HaSulam provides a definition of Lo Lishma in The Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot: “Indeed, practicing Torah and Mitzvot in Lo Lishma means that one believes in the Creator, in the Torah, and in reward and punishment. And he engages in the Torah because the Creator commanded the engagement, but he associates his own pleasure with bringing contentment to his Maker.”
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/15/13, Shamati #64 “From Lo Lishma to Lishma

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Growth From The Point In The Heart

Dr. Michael LaitmanBaal HaSulam, “The Teaching of the Kabbalah and Its Essence”: So it is with our matter. Once we have learned about the purpose, it is also clear to us that all the conducts of Creation, in its every corner, inlet, and outlet, are completely prearranged for the purpose of nurturing the human species from its midst, to improve its qualities until it can sense the Creator as one feels one’s friend.

These ascensions are like rungs of a ladder, arranged degree-by-degree until it is completed and achieves its purpose.

Development is divided into two stages: In the beginning from above to below, and after that from below to above.

First, all of the distinctions are developed from above to below, from the desire to bestow to the desire to receive, from Olam Ein Sof to Olam Ha Assiya. In this way there are five worlds and 125 levels according to the model of HaVaYaH that is clarified to the most distant “material” from the Creator; and this must be changed 25 times: five times five, which includes the tip of the letter “Yod.”

With this we reach the level of the creature, to its foundation, to the middle point of all the worlds. And from here begins the way from below to above, by way of the correction of the desire to receive. The desire to receive grew, rising more and more from the “point in the heart,” and together with this, when it grew, it had to install the form of bestowal upon itself, which is the screen (Masach) and Reflected Light (Ohr Hozer).

Therefore when we rise, we grow from below to above with two distinctions:

  • The desire to receive, which is the “material” that is gradually gathered into the “point in the heart”
  • The desire to bestow, which is the screen (Masach) and Reflected Light (Ohr Hozer) i.e., the external form that is clothed on the desire to receive. And this is called Man (Adam).

That is how we grow until we come back to the higher power, to equivalence with the Creator.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/14/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam, “The Teaching of Kabbalah and Its Essence

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A Light Conductor

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: When we go out to the public, we enjoy the fact that people listen to us and complement us, etc. How can I avoid being “stuck” on myself? How can I remember that it is the Creator who does all the work?

Answer: You have to feel that the Creator is working inside you, and that you are the conductor of His work.

Suppose I give a lecture to a certain group of people; when I enter the hall I begin to work, I speak with those in charge, and I constantly feel the Creator working through me. I want Him to work through me since after all He does everything and I simply convey the connection between Him and the audience like a pipe through which the Upper Light flows.

I want the Light to influence them so they will understand the inner meaning of my words, which I actually don’t understand, but will understand them now together with my audience since the Creator influences them through me.

I want to become one united whole together with them where I play the part of the source of Light and they are the consumers, but the Light exists in all of us. It straightens, equalizes,and unites us, and repairs all the consequences of the shattered vessel. All the people who were separate parts are now getting used to connecting to one another and they forget that not too long ago they were separated from one another. Everything comes together.

I want to feel and sense all of this so that the Creator will unite and fill us according to our unity. I constantly work in this direction, and it has to become my constant feeling every minute of my life!

I enter a supermarket, buy products, go to the bank, perform different actions there, spend time at work, come home, and I want the Creator to operate through me, no matter where I am. In all my interactions, even with the still, vegetative, and animate parts of nature, with everything that surrounds me, I want the Creator to bestow upon the world around me, through me. Then I am called Israel, the connector of the Creator to the world. This is our mission!
From the Talk about Group and Dissemination 10/21/13

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It’s Enough To Pray For Economic Growth

Dr. Michael LaitmanIn the News (from Slate): “The call to stop economic growth sounded still in 1972 in the Club of Rome report. The mythology of economic growth implies that the increase in GDP leads to a reduction in unemployment.

“It is proposed to move away from the equation economic growth = employment = wealth, to leave the ‘religion of economic growth’ with its emphasis on production development.

“The decline in economic activity should be aimed at protecting the environment from the looting, at the desire to lay the foundations of a friendly society.

“It is proposed to introduce a full lifetime supply for all the members of the public with everything needed for a simple but decent living (housing, food, clothing, water, energy, medical care…), that is, to give everyone free metered access to vital resources, accompanied by an insignificant amount for ‘special expenses.’”

My Comment: Such provisions will lead to work ceasing to be our main goal, the only basis for public relations, and the only way to ensure a decent life; the production of useless things will be annihilated; people will be freed for integral development; this will put an end to unemployment, will form an exit from capitalism and the market dogma to a free sector of re-organizing society, a system of consumption, production methods, and the determination of our real needs.

The methods for the free distribution of resources should be discussed in classes of integral education, as well as a mandatory part of public works. During workshops, there will be discussions about the tasks and methods of their realization.

The weakness of the program is in the absence of figures and the non-acceptance of integral economy that allows skeptics to dismiss all proposals. Distribution is possible with the approval of an acceptable income and solution to housing problems. Only to the extent of people learning integral education, can there be a gradual transition to a new system of all parts of society, from the lowest according to the level of income to the highest.

In any case, we are faced with a choice between a conscious recession to a rational level and the inevitable unmanageable recession.

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A Priceless Gift

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What is false humility in the relationships between the groups?

Answer: In our work there is no false humility because if you knew for sure that salvation is only possible through the connection with the friends you would not be shy. You would beg them for help.

Let’s say I know that I have a problem with my health and there is some remedy for it in South America. That means that I would connect with one of the groups living there and ask them to send this remedy to me. This is natural because we often help each other this way.

If so, why can’t you ask for the inner support? This would be help not only for you. Since you ask your friend about connection with him, you do the same service for him. For now, you still don’t understand the essence of the common work! If I know that my friend and I have the correct relations I have to accept a gift from him. By doing this I express my attitude toward him and I understand his attitude towards me.

When you love someone you want to give him gifts. If he says, “No I don’t need this, why?” So he doesn’t understand your action. He has to show that he is happy to receive your gift, “I wanted this so much! It is so great that you guessed what I wanted!”
From the Lesson About “Group and Dissemination,” 10/21/13

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The Ark Of The Covenant

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Torah, “Exodus,” 25:22: “I will arrange My meetings with you there, and I will speak with you from atop the ark-cover from between the two cherubim that are upon the Ark of the Testimony, all that I will command you unto the children of Israel.”

The Ark of the Covenant is called Aron Kodesh, it is a specially made cabinet in which the Tablets with the Ten Commandments are kept. On top of it there are two cherubim (angels or birds – Kruvim) that cover it with their wings, and between these wings, the Creator’s voice is heard.

This isn’t really a description of some physical objects but of forces and spiritual properties. The wisdom of Kabbalah speaks only about the desire, the only matter existing in nature.

The Ark, or Aron Kodesh symbolizes a person’s corrected desires.

The uppermost area we can correct is called cherubim (Kruvim), (stemming from the word to come closer or to yearn for in Hebrew – Leitkarev). The distance between the cherubim symbolizes the desire that is constantly aimed at and yearns upwards, forward, towards the next level. It has to reach this state when it is totally aimed at the Creator. Therefore, it is from the uppermost form of the desires that are aimed at the Creator that according to the law of the equivalence of form of the Creator’s attributes and the attributes of the created being, that a person hears the Creator’s voice. It is there that his appeal to the Creator comes in contact with Him.

The construction of the Ark is described in the Torah and it means that we are shown of what desires and of what connection between them we should assemble ourselves, our soul.

We gather these components and put together all the parts of the desire in the right order consistently, and they create a resemblance to the Creator. So the soul is called Adam which means to resemble in Hebrew, the one who resembles the Creator. This is our work along the middle line, between the cherubim, the right line and the left line, where the revelation of the Creator takes place.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 8/12/13

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How Do You Escape Loneliness?

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Often, frustration and depression is caused by a deep distinct fear of being alone in this world deprived of connection with loved ones. In other words, there is strong basis, foundation, on which to build family relationships.

Irrespective of the fact that we may not need each other as before, the obvious decline of family traditions, the availability of sexual partners, doors that used to be locked in the past are now widely open, and in spite of the fact that family partners have significantly less in common these days, there still remains something intrinsic in us: a primordial, existential fear of loneliness that many experience today.

Answer: And yet, people are less likely to find an answer to this fear in marriage. Mutual reliance and mutual support are not associated with a contemporary family anymore. The fear is there, but the solutions are not yet visible.

By all means, it’s better to be together with someone rather than stay alone. People with a lot of “baggage” feel that their partners depend on them; they understand that they are responsible for them at least due to habits that were built in the past. We are just people.

However, at the same time, I don’t think that the fear of being alone keeps people within a good, faithful family. This “theory” doesn’t need to be proved by contradiction, nor can it be solved by hiding from the negative downsides. All we really need is to be positive.

Question: Psychology states that we don’t become attached to anyone merely because of fear; rather, we are seeking deeper internal bonding, unity. Yet there is no doubt that many people are driven by fear. This is where the process begins, although it’s quite obvious that the correct connection does not come from it. On the contrary, fear gives rise to other phenomena, often stopping us from breaking connections that were inherently flawed.

Let’s speak about a situation when people strive to establish relationships, but don’t know what to do. The question is: Where to start?

Typically various methods offer people means of self-exploration that let them get acquainted with their nature: “What portion of myself can I devote to connect with my partner?” After asking this question, one makes a “list”: “What do I expect from my partner and from our common life?” Then, when one understands what one wants and expects, it can be configured for a particular kind of relationship. This exercise is very common these days. Is it correct?

Answer: I assume, that it is popular not only today. It was always this way: People calculated their input and the contribution made by their partners into their common life. Matchmakers of all kinds always communicated this way and helped young people and their parents “make good deals.” In fact, it was all about business. Both spouses-to-be were egoists and had to soberly justify whether it’s worth living together. Their feelings towards each other were just one of many components in this formula. Their emotions had a “purchasing power” and were included into a general equation.

Is this approach correct? I don’t think so. Of course, it worked for some time, but we have changed dramatically. We are not exactly sure what we want today, and especially do not know what we will want tomorrow. Besides, our psychology is largely perverted by a huge external effect that pushes us from side to side with artificial restrictions and permissions, imaginary benefits and losses.

Each “fad,” each “change of season” completely alters us from the outside in addition to all internal changes that we undergo. That’s why our calculation of benefits and disadvantages of our potential future family life might be wrong. Only if we set a higher value as a goal and agree to a certain challenge, to an objective that elevates us above the disruptions that happen both in the society and within us, only then will the society and its cells, the young couples not only survive, but will flourish.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” 9/6/13

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Family In The 21st Century: Update

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: There is less in common among us today; old community traditions gradually disappear. It would seem that the world is permeated with many relationships and “stitched together” with advanced networks of communication… However, a real platform of interconnection and unity has vanished.

On what basis can we build a common “infrastructure?” What unites people, primarily at the family level, while the former types of connections collapse?

Answer: This is the problem. Previously, the natural bond among us was based on three factors, three basic needs: food, sex, family. But today, everything has changed.

First of all, prepared food is readily available everywhere, my future wife may not even know how to cook. So, by staying single we add a big fat “plus” to our existence.

Furthermore, sex is totally accessible and available to everybody these days. Moreover, we are brought up in this spirit. Even if we want to maintain a solid, permanent relationship, the world confuses us with its standards, all the while reminding us about how much we “lose” if we stick to the “old-fashioned” approaches. So, our environment draws a big “minus” in the “family box.”

Thirdly, the mere notion of “family” scares us off since it imposes obligations and “incarcerates” us in the prison of endless responsibilities.

As a consequence, we obviously have to create a model of a different family structure that is no longer based on unrealistic images of modest girls with braids wearing long dresses. The patriarchal family has vanished, along with the domestic arrangement of three generations maintaining a traditional household with a big backyard, chickens, and a vegetable garden. A new family is around the corner, which apparently has to acquire a very different form.

In the family we see a piece, a small cell of the global system. We teach people how to maintain the relationship as the correct universal connection that corresponds to nature; this is necessary for survival in this contemporary society. We must come to mutual reciprocity and unity, as in the example of a unified system, a single mechanism, one living body capable of balancing itself, controlling its life, and taking care of its overall health. This is how a healthy biological organism functions, and this is a model of how human society has to behave. We should learn from these examples and bring them closer to our level of existence.

We have to treat a family “cell” according to this principle; we should treat it as a part of a common “body.” It has two opposite poles, a man and a woman that are connected to each other and represent a basic social unit. Integral education will show people that we are obligated by nature to unite and shows us that unity is the only correct attitude we can possibly exercise in life.

When people see and feel this, public opinion will change: t will become clear that marriage is necessary for the relationship and for the family units that comprise society, which will also be like one big family. The whole world will be like one big family. This is the only way to achieve genuine success, rid ourselves of frustration and despair, resolve oppressive problems, and enter a new period and new, unprecedented lives.

This is the only possible method. We cannot succeed on our own if we stick to a narrow personal approach. Everything we do has to be a part of a common concern about making our society as one family. And I repeat: the collective opinion plays the key role here. It will obligate young people to connect as correct family couples.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” 9/6/13

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Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 11.20.13

Preparation to the Lesson

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Writings of Rabash “Shlavei HaSulam,” Make for Yourself a Rav and Buy Yourself a Friend – 1

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The Book of Zohar — Selected Excerpts, Parashat, “Beresheet,” Item 367

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Talmud Eser Sefirot, Vol. 1, Part 2, Chapter 1, Item 6

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Writings of Baal HaSulam, “The Teaching of Kabbalah and Its Essence

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