Answer: On the whole, Kabbalah is the method of revealing the higher system of governance and providence over all reality. We’re talking about a system of Infinity that spans across five levels of “restriction” down to our world, and controls it.
Essentially, the wisdom of Kabbalah reveals this entire gigantic system, the level of Infinity and all that lies below: the levels of Adam Kadmon, Atzilut, Beria, Yetzira, and Assiya, down to our world. And it explains how these forces arrive from Above, from the level of Infinity, like spheres folded one into another. And as a result, our universe, Earth, and ourselves constitute the smallest sphere, which is also the focus of all these forces, of all the worlds along with everything that comprises them.
What is the purpose of this? To bring man to the desired path of development. To help him to develop via his own efforts and acquire a special desire, which is essentially the desire to become the master, one who understands, feels, and activates this entire system in place of the upper force.
Thus, all the things Nature sends our way are meant to awaken us to this—to push us to take the system’s activation into our own hands. In essence, that is what we reveal. However, in order to set this system in motion correctly, we need to learn and know a great deal; moreover, we ourselves need to upgrade, to correct ourselves. A gangster mustn’t be trusted with running a hospital. A crook mustn’t be tasked with running a bank. A person with vile inclinations mustn’t be made school principal.
In other words, the level of access to the spiritual worlds depends on the level of man’s development. By taking part in governance from Above, one takes upon oneself some part of it and activates it independently, making sure there is no difference between the commands coming down from Above and those passing through him.
The entire system is structured in a way that in the end we must undertake the governance of the level (world) of Infinity. We the people have to govern all of reality, including the degree of our world, to as if block any commands coming down from the Infinity. On the foundation of knowledge, understanding, and self-perfection we will correct ourselves to such an extent that we’ll truly be able to assume this role of governance and act in place of the upper force.
That is the process in general terms. And there are two options with which to lead us along:
- We can correct ourselves and slot into this system willingly, with acceptance, good sense, and determination, by igniting this fire within.
- Those upper forces of Nature that man should have replaced but didn’t pressure him, leading him through painful states.
This doesn’t mean we can already explain how and why the world is experiencing outbreaks of wars, pandemics, and other disasters. We are not familiar with the system; indeed, we are very far from being familiar with it. But if we were familiar, we would see that it is we who provoke all the problems, from the minor and personal to the great and global. We provoke them by not compensating the upper system, by not taking on the governance of reality in its place.
Question: What exactly is the purpose of the war for the nation of Israel? How does it facilitate the process of development?
Answer: As a rule, war leaves us with a negative impression. If the impression is a positive one, and we feel pride and the joy of victory, as it was after the Six Day War, for instance, then on one hand, it is good, but on the other, the deficiency from the former state of rapture is revealed over time. In the end, the Six Day War caused us great harm: We decided that everything was good and we didn’t need to work on our own relationships, to progress as a people, and correct ourselves.
Question: But in our wars we always defend against enemy attacks, being forced to fight so as to defend ourselves?
Answer: That is true. But we also need to see it from a different angle. By the late 19th century we have begun returning to the land of Israel, which, by the way, was called “Palestine” at the time. And ever since then the people that had lived here have had a problem with us. They also want to return to what they believe is their home.
If you look at the issue from the side, were we within our right to claim the territory of another nation, driving out a portion of it and settling here? On what grounds do we believe this land to be ours? On the grounds that our ancestors had lived here two thousand years ago? But it was they that had lived here, and not us.
What were the conditions of their living here? If we’re referring to history, let us check. It is said, quite simply: The Jewish people must be united as one man with one heart, by the principle of loving your neighbor as yourself. To prepare and carry out this condition, they needed forty years. Only then were they ready to enter the land of Israel, which became a place where we could live.
In the ancient times we drove seven nations from this land, and although this was a decree that came down from the Creator, it was also accompanied by a very serious discussion: Was it our right to act in such a manner?
On the whole, history shows that when we are truly united, then we live on this territory called the “land of Israel.” The era of the Temple was one of true unity among the children of Israel. But then came the descent, and we fell to brotherly strife, losing the connection between one another,meaning our spiritual degree. And that is why we were exiled from here to Babylon.
There we spent seventy years in exile and then, thanks to the events known as Purim, we were able to genuinely unite once again. How? We were faced with a dilemma: Either we would be destroyed, or we would unite as per the will of Mordecai and Esther, and thus defeat Haman and his retinue. We were successful, and returned to the land of Israel, rising in our unity to the degree of the Second Temple, albeit losing ten tribes in the process. Just look at the heavy price we pay for our disunion.
The unity of the Second Temple lasted only several years. In the time of Rabbi Akiva, new defects began manifesting. He did all he could, appealing to us to love thy neighbor as yourself, “Let’s do it! For otherwise we are doomed!” But it didn’t help. 24,000 of his students plunged into a true egoistic epidemic, a fratricidal war, and the Second Temple was subsequently ruined, driving the people back into exile.
So, if we are not united, we are not the nation of Israel. This has been the case since Abraham, who had gathered and led his group from Ancient Babylon, which represented essentially all of humanity at that time. Abraham invited to come along everybody who wanted to go to the land of Israel, to become as one man with one heart, to unite and reveal the upper force. As the Rambam writes, he was joined by five thousand followers, and he united them, laying the foundation of the nation thereby.
Therefore, at our very source we were given a very straightforward condition: no matter how different we may be, if we wish to become like the Creator, to aspire to Him (Israel stands for Yashar Kel — “straight to the Creator”), to acquire love and bestowal, in then we constitute that very notion of the nation of Israel. It is not inherited by birth. Rather, if a person undertakes this condition upon himself, he joins the nation of Israel, and if he does not, then he does not belong to them.
This means that the nation of Israel exists only in unity, only in the work towards unification, with the objective to become similar to the force of love and bestowal, the upper force.
Accordingly, the land of Israel is such only under the condition that the true nation of Israel inhabits it. If not, then it is Palestine, named after the Philistines that had lived here in the times of the first conquest three thousand years ago. In fact, without the nation of Israel being here, you can call it anything at all.
Getting back, in the late 19th century we were granted permission to come here, even though we had not gone through the “forty years in the desert,” —had not corrected ourselves and united. Moreover, we continued internecine infighting, as evidenced by the Altalena Affair and all that it entailed. Essentially, we arrived in this land in a state that’s actually pushing us to leave it.
Yet, despite the lack in preparation, we were allotted a certain time frame to correct ourselves. And if we accomplish this within said time frame, the land of Israel will become ours. Indeed, in such a case we will achieve a degree of unity of the nation of Israel, and the land will therefore correspond to its intended purpose. Such is the opportunity that we can put into effect.
So far, however, a different scenario is playing out. It’s been more than a century, and we have yet to realize the purpose of our return, have yet to understand what true nation of Israel should be like in its land. We remain nothing more than a collection of exiles, and this is not the land of Israel, for it has none of the moral principles or laws related to the notion I’m speaking now not about the laws of the Torah, but about the sole law governing our relationships: love thy neighbor as thyself. It must be a supreme canon for us.
If there’s no brotherly love among us, then instead of the good providence we suffer the distortions triggered by our faulty participation in the operation of the general system of forces. The results are clear: endless wars and problems. And the outcome is obvious: When the deadline passes for the opportunity we’ve been given, we’re going to need to leave this
Question: What exactly must the nation do concerning the principle of love thy neighbor as thyself? How do we correctly arrange the social systems, laws, and so on? Might it be enough to simply be a normal, prospering nation, and nothing more?
Answer: No. We can never be “normal” in the eyes of the world. Just the opposite, we have always been abnormal, always playing the role of strangers. There is but one condition presented to us—to unite and thus serve as an example for the whole world. That is the meaning of being a “light to the nations.”
Today we do not share a connection imbued with brotherly love. We are engaged in conflicts and competition among ourselves, we feel hatred, repulsion, indifference, and loathing for one another. This negativity goes deep down, and it is truly the cause of all wars and After all, we claim to be that same nation that came out of Ancient Babylon. So why do we not observe the laws upon which it was built?
The nation of Israel is possible only if we observe the condition of unity, by creating the appropriate mechanism of relationships in the entire society, and also by caring that the world come to unity as well. The global crisis is not accidental—it was caused precisely by disconnection. And whose fault is it that the world is lacking the right kind of adhesion?
Who’s depriving it of harmony in the relations between people and harmony with Nature? Only the nation of Israel. After all, it is this nation which must lead by example and teach others about unity.
And if we don’t, the nations of the world accuse us of robbery: “You have driven Arabs from this land, the people who used to live here, but you are not doing anything to justify it, you are not realizing your mission. We supported you ardently at first, thinking that your return will help you to actualize your main condition. But today we see that you’ve become a bone stuck in the throat of the world….”
One might think, why are we put to such a high standard? But we cannot view the nation of Israel through the typical criteria. Israel is special, and even though we try to be like everybody else, we are doomed to fail from the start. If you want to be like everybody else, don’t be Jewish.
Indeed, the mission of the nation of Israel is to be the good teacher for the world. And if that doesn’t happen, it will be accused for being a bad example and blamed for all the world’s problems. We have always been the butt of a natural, instinctive hatred, and that alone testifies of our special role. So, let us see what exactly we are capable of and what the nations are truly demanding of us.
We can only balance the situation with the right example of unification, which will allow us to resolve the crisis.
Question: What can we lean on to not be like everybody else? That is a difficult task.
Answer: Lean on the wisdom of Kabbalah. That is why it is being revealed in our world, and explaining what has to be done. With its help we can correct the nation of Israel and the whole world, for it allows us to use the upper force to arrange everything in proper order. It is indeed the pillar that will grant us confidence.
From a TV Program “Kabbalists Write. Israel’s Wars,” July 18, 2014