Audio Version Of The Blog – 09.27.14

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In The Cycle Of The Holidays

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe New Year is the beginning of a long chain of inner corrections that we gradually go through. We begin understanding our mission in this chain when we arrive at the Day of Judgment (Yom Kippur) where we judge ourselves in a strict manner.

We make a decision about what we need to do in order to attain the force which we have set as our goal. This force is united, and therefore, we also need to become as one man, uniting all of humanity.

This time, the unity includes not only the small group that once ran away from Ancient Babylon, and not only the nation of Israel. Now all of humanity has to reach unity with the general system of nature. That is how we understand the might and uniqueness of the Day of Judgment.

The culmination point of the Day of Judgment is when we read an excerpt from the Book of Prophets, Maftir Yonah, which speaks about Yonah the Prophet whom the Almighty sent to Ninveh to warn the people living there that the city will be destroyed unless they repent. History tells us that Yonah wanted to run away from his mission of bringing all of humanity to correction, where the city of Ninveh represented humanity. However, the course of events unfolded in a way where he understood that he won’t be able to run away and has to fulfill the mission that was entrusted to him.

The nation of Israel, like Yonah the Prophet, knows about its mission and has the power to fulfill it, and it must lead the whole world, the whole “city of Ninveh” out of its situation.

After that we have the holiday of Sukkot, when we sit in the shadow of a special tent—a Sukkah, or in other words, we cover ourselves with a screen. The four symbols of the holiday of Sukkot—the Lulav (palm branch), Hadassim (myrtle branches), Aravot (willow branches), and Etrog (a citrus fruit)—symbolize the full HaVaYaH, or the four stages of the upper force’s revelation in one’s corrected will to receive.

Our egoistic desire has four layers which we need to correct. Egoism is what stands between us, hindering us from uniting. If we can connect all these forms of egoism together (take all four symbols of Sukkot into our hands) and aim them directly at the force of unity, this means we perform the blessing called “Arba Minim.”

Sukkot is followed by the holiday of Simchat Torah (the Joy of the Torah), when we rejoice at the upper force which came to us all the time and helped us make the corrections and go through all of their stages.

Then we reach the holiday of Hanukkah—a state where we do not want anything. We only look at the holiday candles, but don’t use them. Hanukkah is a spiritual holiday because we only rejoice at the Light, at how the upper force sets in within us and separates us from our egoism or the evil inside us, while all of us together wish to connect to this force.

The next holiday is Purim, as opposed to Yom Kippur (KiPurim—like Purim). On Yom Kippur we observe a special fast, while on Purim, on the contrary, we eat and drink to our heart’s content, and rejoice. On Purim there is a commandment to get so drunk that you can’t tell Haman apart from Mordechai, a sinner from a righteous man.

That’s because we are no longer as ephemeral or devoid of all egoism as on Hanukkah, but on the contrary, we correct our evil. We correct all of the previous egoism and the evil inclinations against unity. That is why this holiday is opposite to the Day of Judgment, Yom Kippur, which is “like Purim.” On Yom Kippur the un-corrected desires merely become revealed, while on Purim they actually become corrected.

Now all the desires and aspirations can be connected into one whole. Every person can give others presents, demonstrating his love. That is how we reach the state where we do not differentiate between a sinner and a righteous man, since everything is corrected. You are permitted to do anything you wish, and it will be good! There is no difference between people. All of our aspirations, desires and thoughts are correct.

The following holiday, Passover, symbolizes our constant exodus from evil into good, from slavery to freedom. We come out of our egoism, “step over” (Pasah) it, becoming free of slavery, of the power of our egoistic desire which rules over us, and we rise above it.

Then we begin counting the days of the Omer, where we count the corrections of our desires until we reach the holiday of Shavuot—the Giving of the Torah. We discern that we have to receive the upper force, which will correct us, because the only thing we have inside us is the evil inclination. But in addition to the evil inclination, a means to correct it was created—the Torah, the Light that Reforms.

The holiday of Shavuot, the giving of the Torah, means that we have to receive the force for our correction from above. This force helps us to build ourselves, but we cannot remain in this state and so we break. This collapse is symbolized by the 9th of Av, which completes the cycle.

By building ourselves up and then breaking, we come to understand the reasons for our fall and the entire depth of evil. Prior to that, the evil was concealed and was not sufficiently apparent, but now we understand that we need greater correction of evil. By correcting it, we attain the end of correction.

It’s very much like promising yourself that you won’t eat any sweets, and then finding yourself in a confectionery shop where you are surrounded by so many delicious treats that you completely forget about your promise and the fact that sugar is bad for you. The pleasure enslaves you and you end up overpowered by it.

The same situation arises on the 9th of Av, but on a much greater scale. Yet through this collapse, we learn the depth to which we will have to correct ourselves in order to withstand the enormous “confectionery shop” which confuses us. That’s because we need to correct ourselves not just in relation to a tiny candy, but in relation to the entire, tremendous egoism.

That is how we attain the full correction. We attain unity and thereby reach equivalence with all of nature. But that is not enough. The story of Yonah the Prophet reminds us that we have to take care of the rest of humanity. That is when, after correcting itself, the nation of Israel passes the method on to all of humanity. It comes to humanity like to the city of Nivneh in order to correct it.

Thus, the entire world attains a state of prosperity, completing the cycle that is symbolized by the Jewish holidays.
From a TV Program “A New Life,” No. 434, 09/14/2014

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Within The Framework Of A Single Thought

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: If, during a workshop, we are trying to come to a common state, enter into it, disconnect, connect, and suddenly a latecomer joins us, we immediately feel imbalance.

Answer: There should be no imbalance! We immediately need to “swallow” the friend who came. Suppose we have nine people, and suddenly there is the tenth, but he is not a disturbance to us, because we are working on him so much with our intention, our desire, that he immediately feels the framework that we give him and is included with us.

And if not, then during a round, no matter what he said or where he went, he must feel the framework of the group, and then occupy his place.

But in order for us not to fall out of this state, we need to specifically drive ourselves into it. Through our desire, our efforts, our constant example, including external efforts, we need to make other people feel that they exist so in a special ideological framework in which they cannot allow themselves even to speak about something external. This total pressure on each of us needs to be very strong.
From Preparatory lesson 1 of the Congress in St. Petersburg 9/18/14

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The Effort Is The Pleasure

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: You said that we need to learn to take pleasure from making efforts in our progress and in the same way to take care of our friends.

If we combine these two sentences, it turns out that we need to work hard to help a friend get pleasure from making efforts?

Answer: Yes. As a result, the more you work, the more enjoyment you get, not from the results of the labor, but from the work, from the effort itself. When you are correcting egoism, efforts turn into pleasure.

It does not exist in our world. Here we work in order to earn, and earn to buy something or to enjoy something.

Why is the spiritual world infinite and there is no concept of time? Because the very effort includes both effort and its fulfillment, the Kli (vessel). The effort itself is fulfillment.

Start thinking about it, and you will see what a spiritual state is. There is no cause and consequence development of events, so a spiritual state is permanent.
From Preparatory lesson 1 of the Congress in St. Petersburg 9/18/14

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Fate Has Brought Us Together And It Is Irreversible

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: The military operation, “Protective Edge,” and all the events related to it evoked a special feeling of connection in the Israeli nation. The Israeli nation unites every time we encounter an emergency, but this time the connection that was felt was extraordinary and especially strong and unprecedented.

It affected everyone, including small children and the elderly. There is a picture of a tank covered with children’s drawings that were sent to the soldiers. Strangers visited the wounded soldiers, helped their families, and sent packages to the front. There has never been an expression of mutual help on such a scale. What is the special feeling that awakened in the Israeli nation during this war?

Answer: There is a special concealed force in the Israeli nation, and I have even seen references to it in books and movies by directors who are not Israeli. There is a certain preparation for self-sacrifice in the Jewish people. It can be expressed in their attitude to science, to a particular profession, or to a certain matter. A person feels that he must devote himself totally to a certain idea. Although this phenomenon exists in every nation, it is still expressed more uniquely among the Jews. They express their loyalty, their connection, to the extent of self-sacrifice whenever they have an opportunity to do so.

A person doesn’t look for any reward and doesn’t care whether others know about his actions, talks about him, or remembers him as a hero. The readiness for self-sacrifice that stems from the history of the Jewish people suddenly awakens in a person.

We were connected in the past in the days of the First and Second Temples (which symbolize a whole vessel, one soul). This connection created a very deep, eternal connection that nourishes and fills us to this day. It invokes in us the special feeling between the individual and the nation of Israel, even if he were to do everything in his power to detach himself from the entire nation and escape to a remote place at the ends of the earth so that no one would know that he is a Jew, so that he would forget it and be like everyone else. However, he cannot do that since the connections between us are above this world and are on the level of the upper world. Thus, a person cannot cease to be Jewish, even if he may want to.

This connection is expressed even after several generations when the person, himself, doesn’t know that he is Jewish. I have met many such people. Especially in Spain and Portugal, I often meet people who claim they are not Jewish by birth, but that they feel they belong to the Jewish nation. They are the descendants of the converts who were forced to give up the Jewish religion under the threat of the expulsion from Spain, but the connection to the Jewish people still lives inside them.

It is a natural phenomenon that stems from the system of reality. The connection was gradually created on a very high spiritual level when everyone was connected in the state of one man in one heart, in one soul. The connection imprinted within us a special spiritual gene on a higher level than we are today, on the human level.

Therefore, we cannot break this connection because it is unchangeable, but only can be reconstructed. Thus, we wake up today as a result of different problems and troubles and return to the state of the internal connection.

There is no choice. We are connected, and fate, the Creator, awakens us. We have had enough pressures on the corporeal level—where we live on the animate level—and the feeling of the presence of the human level immediately awakens in us on a different, higher level. This is the level we were during the connection and  to which we can now return.

This internal connection exists among all the Jews and even in all the lost tribes of the time of the First Temple. There are many people in the world who belong to those lost tribes. The bodies are not reincarnated, but the soul remains the same soul. There is the same connection between us that is concealed, most internal, eternal, spiritual, and most sublime.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” 8/12/14

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A Science Of The Upper World

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Is the wisdom of Kabbalah a science or not?

Answer: The wisdom of Kabbalah is a divine science, a science of the upper world, and not a regular science. It works with other tools, not like biology, physics, or anatomy. This is a science that is different from all the sciences of this world for it uses different tools and methods.

Although essentially, its goal is not that different. This is because in regular science the person is also subconsciously looking for the Creator, the origin of life. From this yearning he gets a drive for scientific investigation. He feels fulfillment from reaching some kind of truth.

Perhaps this truth is the opposite of the truth, but this is not important. Science has some divine spark in it, and this is what attracts the scientist. The problem is that this spark captivates the person and clothes into his ego so much that it is difficult to extract it.

Nevertheless, by virtue of this spark the scientists are great fanatics of their science. They are ready to sacrifice themselves for its sake, to conduct clinical trials on themselves, and to engage in it day and night. Basically, they are running after the spark that is submerged in the ego, in “Klipa.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/27/14, Writings of Baal HaSulam

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New Friends Concealed Inside The Old Ones

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: How does a person gradually develop an inner dialog with the upper force and discover the Creator by adhering to the group and to the teacher?

Answer: I may not like the friend’s face but I want to be in contact with him and see that the human being is being concealed from me, the inclination of the truth in him, the special attitude. By performing different actions and changing myself I discover these friends of mine by whose appearance I was previously repelled by. Now, however, I begin to discover their beautiful inner form. This is how we move from one state to another.

Later this inner state seems ordinary and not special at all and I lose interest in it, but I still continue to work and discover a deeper and more sublime form. Thus we establish the inner connection with the friend.

Question: What exactly do I continue?

Answer: I continue to look for the friend’s inner desire and not for his external attributes. If I look for it this way then instead of the old friends, I will discover new friends that have been concealed within them.

Question: What does it mean to yearn to see the internality of the friend and not his externality?

Answer: Seeing the friend on the inside means to try to connect to him even more strongly and to justify him. I understand the Creator who has sent this friend to me in order to find the Creator through the connection with him. Therefore, I am forced to work with him although I would rather have the Creator send me Baal HaSulam as a friend.

Question: I was indifferent to the friend but suddenly a new attitude towards him begins to develop in me. What is this change?

Answer: The Light begins to influence you and so you begin to pay attention that there is something greater in your friend than just a corporeal body, this is called “in Your Light we will see Light.” As a result of the influence of the Light you discover that there is also Light in your friend. You don’t know or understand that it is Light yet, but you already begin to see that there is something valuable in the friend.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/27/14, Writings of Baal HaSulam

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A New Pharaoh With The Name “Hamas” Is Unnecessary

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: There is a sensation of the existence of a deep inner connection within the people of Israel that is awakened every time there is an external threat.

Answer: When they press on us from a physical level, we begin to feel an inner connection on a higher level. It could be said that this connection is awakened, yet more precisely, we become more sensitive to it.

I live my life: home, family, work, and suddenly tension is created in this life— troubles, problems, or war. As a result of this I want to be less connected to this stratum of life, less involved with physicality. I want to rise above it and become further away from the problems.

This helps me to feel the regular physical level less and become more sensitive to a higher level of life where we were once connected together as one soul. In the past we already used this principle, being like one person with one heart, we lived as one people, as one soul, with one desire, with one intention and goal, mutual Arvut.

Each one understood what he was living for, according to the principle, “don’t do to your friend what is hateful to you,” and “you shall love your friend as yourself,” “all of Israel are friends.” Unity and Arvut permeated the people. This state existed and was recorded in our genes, even though it did not continue for a long time. So in our root we belong to this level. The moment that things are bad for us on a physical level, we become more sensitive to the spiritual level.

The spiritual level is always found in us, and in difficult moments its sensation is awakened immediately. So we are ready to help the soldiers and also one another. We do this not only because we feel as brothers in times of trouble and connect on a physical level like animals that are saved from a forest fire, but also for higher reasons.

Our mutual cooperation is derived from spiritual roots, meaning that we belong to a single root. A connection like this doesn’t exist in this world. It makes it possible to feel one another so much so that it is not given to find differences in this mutual connection, in the collective heart. This is what is called being “like one person with one heart.”

We have to return to this state “like one person with one heart.” And don’t allow this process to advance by way of the plagues of Egypt, as it did in the past. These plagues brought the children of Israel closer to unification; as it is said, Pharaoh brought the children of Israel closer to the Creator. However now it is up to us to advance towards unity with our own powers— there is no need for war, for a new Pharaoh with the name “Hamas” and additional enemies who attack us from all directions.

Instead, it is up to us to develop within us a sensation of the importance of that state when we were together, and to want to attain it in the best way and not through blows. Come, let’s begin to talk about it, nurture it, publicize it, so that unification will become something desirable to us; then we won’t need any negative external influence and we will advance in the best way.

Spiritual connection is always found among us only it is concealed behind daily concerns. However we can awaken this connection not only during times of war, but in ordinary life also. Then our daily lives will become more spiritual and directed towards a loftier goal. It is possible to use daily life to constantly renew and revive the inner connection more and more.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” 8/12/14

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The Unity Gene That Has Awakened

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: The Israeli nation has been through many wars and always had a difficult time lifting the spirit, but why is there a special feeling of connection revealed in this war that cannot be compared to anything else?

Answer: We are advancing together with all of humanity to a state called a global system. It obliges all of us to connect in harmony into one closed system since all of nature exists according to this principle.

The upper force of nature is one and unique, and there is nothing other than that. Humanity must exist in a system that is similar to the upper system and that is compatible to it. The further we are from the limits of connection and unity, from cooperation and mutual connection, the more blows we receive.

We must realize that the blows we have received are intentional and that there is a reason for them. They are meant to teach us that connection is a good thing, while separation and detachment are bad, and that it is worthwhile to connect to one another mentally in order to connect to this one system consciously and of our own free will. We will reach it not under pressure and blows, but because we want to be connected since we appreciate bestowal and mutual connection.

Love of others is not a formal law that we must follow, and it is not some foreign domination that pressures us and forces us to obey it. We have to reach a state in which we will begin to appreciate and understand by ourselves that it is much more sublime than our current nature, how good and wonderful it is when there is mutual cooperation, connection, support and mutual help between us.

Although our egoist nature detests it, this oppositeness actually helps us clarify exactly which attribute is more important and sublime, and more humane, and to prefer bestowal over receiving, love over hate, and connection and unity over separation.

The faster we discover this inclination of nature to bestowal, the better off we will be. Therefore, we find ourselves now in a global crisis that is meant to show us how far away we are from mutual harmony and to what extent we are responsible for it as human beings in facing all of nature.

Today, even astrophysicists say that human thought causes explosions in distant stars in the depth of the universe. They feel it as a result of their research which makes them sensitive to what happens in space.

Man is the crown of creation, and it is in his power to bring all the parts of nature—including still, vegetative, animate, and human nature—either to connection or to separation. If nature aspires to connect all its separated parts, we humans must think about that and aspire in the same direction.

If we aspired even a little in the direction of unity, we could awaken the concealed spiritual genes that are in us from the time we existed as one man. Then, we could annul all the obstacles and the blows. There would be no need for them in our advancement to connection since they come only for one reason: to awaken the root of the comprehensive unity in us and to force us to fulfill it.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” 8/12/14

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Kabbalah For All

Only through love can we succeed, or as The Book of Zohar puts it, “Everything stands on love” (Portion, VaEtchanan), since “love your neighbor as yourself” is the great rule of the Torah, as Rabbi Akiva asserts. This is the essence of the change that the wisdom of Kabbalah is offering to humanity. The result of proper connections and unity among us will be the revelation of the positive force, and complete disappearance of all problems.

In his essay, “Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot,” Kabbalist, Rav Yehuda Ashlag writes, “It is written in The Zohar: ‘With this composition [The Book of Zohar], the children of Israel will be redeemed from exile.’ Also, in many other places, [it is written that] only through the expansion of the wisdom of Kabbalah in the masses will we obtain complete redemption.”

Our organization has set for itself the goal of following the footsteps of the great Kabbalists and disclosing the method of connection to the entire world. We have branches in 64 countries, and more than two million students worldwide. These students have but one hope: to achieve unity the right way.

The complete text of the brochure is here