Question: New people who strive to actively participate in the life of the group should receive a set of rules that state how they should behave during the meals: staying silent, listening, singing together with others, etc. Although, if a person doesn’t have the right desire, he won’t understand that these rules are not invented by us; rather, they have a spiritual root.
Is it worth holding a series of meetings at which major moments in the life of the group are analyzed in the form of seminars? Shall we choose “rules at joint meals” as the first topic?
Answer: Today, in the state we are currently in, when all of us are members of a big community and we have no time left to communicate with each other, we hold the meals together with women and children. Therefore, it’s quite different from how Kabbalists did it.
I still hope that we will be able to rise above this situation and will behave correctly even though it is a very hard task to achieve. Our meals are accompanied by music, songs, speeches, questions and answers. They include everything except one thing: silence!
I am afraid that if we start holding real Kabbalistic meals, after one or two events people will stop attending them since it is very hard to keep complete silence throughout the meal. We cannot push people so hard although my teacher Rabash, was very strict about this requirement and imposed this kind of behavior on us.
I understand that we have to raise the importance of Kabbalistic meals and eventually we will do them. Through the ritual of sharing food—a purely animalistic activity—people will aspire to elevate this action to its spiritual roots. We know what receiving for the sake of bestowal inside the Kli (vessel) means: It is a Tzimtzum (restriction), reflected Light, etc. When we really necessitate actions that bring us closer to spirituality, we eventually begin acting so.
At Rabash’s meals we sat silently for 45 minutes to an hour. Nobody slept. The tension was very tangible. However, I don’t think it’s feasible to behave like this in our groups.
For that, we have to go through serious internal clarifications. Possibly, a person in his or her everyday routine doesn’t have time for self-exploration, choosing, analyzing, systematizing questions, finding answers, having arguments, setting up intentions, etc. One just cannot scan or scrutinize oneself, nor can one put things on the right shelves and clean up one’s internal house.
I don’t know if people can agree to act this way or if they are capable of doing these things at all. It was much easier for Rabash, since he had 20-30 students; whereas, there are more than 300 people who come here and thousands of others who are present at our events throughout the world. In essence, during Kabbalistic meals we start internal self-clarifications that are similar to the ones we go through during our lessons. It is good work.
From the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/17/14, Questions and Answers with Dr. Laitman