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Question: We were given an opportunity to be in a good group of ten. During the three days of the convention, we understood how strongly we love each other. Why do we cry when we confess our love toward each other?
Answer: This is a very good feeling. There are a number of articles on this subject in the wisdom of Kabbalah that explain when and why tears of happiness or sadness for friends, for emotions, and everything else are created. A person cannot contain an excess of emotion within himself, and this becomes tears.
In Section 13 of The Study of the Ten Sefirot, it is explained where tears come from, in what manner they are created. Tears represent an excess of Light that comes into a Kli that cannot hold it, and the Light apparently overflows beyond the limits of the Kli.
From the Convention In St. Petersburg “Day Three” 9/21/14, Lesson 6
Answer: On every level darkness is called something completely different. Darkness can be a lack of getting something, and it could be a lack of ability to act, that I am powerless, or it could be the opposite: I am grateful for this darkness since I can act with “faith above reason,” and so forth.
Comment: I see that I cannot rise above myself, find a connection with the friends, and feel that a single power manages us. I don’t have anything besides the ego, and I begin to work with its help so that the friends will begin to be included within each other.
Answer: Here, it is necessary for there to be a tremendous prayer of thanks to the Creator that He gives you the opportunity to do something in a state of darkness like this.
This is the first right action. If you, at least, have some kind of opportunity to do something correctly, you must immediately thank the Creator. Then, you will come in contact with Him. It won’t be apparent and clear, but it will be a contact.
You have received the opportunity to turn toward the Creator correctly and to thank Him, so you turn to Him with a request to help the friends, and everything will already be in the chain.
From the Convention In St. Petersburg “Day Three” 9/21/14, Lesson 6
Question: What do the four plant species (Arba Minim) that characterize the Sukkot holiday symbolize for us?
Answer: The Lulav (palm branch) is bestowal, consisting of myrtle and willow (three branches of myrtle and two branches of willow). This is the Yesod that we connect to Malchut, the Etrog.
This is combining the characteristics of the Creator—Hesed, Gevura, Tifferet, Netzach, Hod, Yesod—with our creature characteristics, Malchut. If we were to say this differently, it is a connection of the forms of bestowal that typify the Creator, all the various expressions of His love for us. However, this is not Him Himself. Rather, this is how we perceive Him in our Kelim, in our desires.
Question: Where exactly does a person realize this whole process of adapting himself to complete bestowal and love? Toward whom does he direct his love?
Answer: In order to attain the Creator, I must learn what bestowal and love are. So, I must build a group, acquire friends for myself, so that there among them, I can manifest my attitude. From love for the creatures, the person reaches love for the Creator.
I relate to friends with love just as I would relate to Him. My relationship to the Creator cannot be better than my relationship to the creatures, and only through the friend, through the other, can I attain the Creator.
Answer: Because a relationship with others is the work that the Creator places in front of me. The entire surrounding world is His “theater” in which I can rehearse, practice, and try to attain the same attitude toward the world like the relationship to the Creator should be.
The way toward Him must pass through this world. Individually, I don’t discover the Creator. Rather, it is only within this world, through it. I practice in a group of people that are conducting a search all the time, and then we pass through the world, through all of its coarseness, in order to attain the Creator.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” 10/5/14
On the Sukkot holiday I hold in my right hand and in my left hand the “four species of plants,” connect them to my heart and sway, meaning that I seemingly attract Lights. All of these things are certainly symbols of internal activities for attracting the bestowal of the Creator, which I summon into myself.
Then, I raise myself, correct myself, remove the concealment, and reach revelation in its place.
All of the ceremonies of the Sukkot holiday are no more than signs and symbols of what is happening in the heart where a person makes his characteristics compatible with the Creator. So, he is called an Adam (man), from the word “Domeh” (similar) to the Creator.
The Creator is fully the giver. He is the characteristic of bestowal and love. There is nothing more than this. There is only complete bestowal, complete love, absolute, pure, perfect, and infinite, and it is revealed in us to the same degree that we are ready to absorb it, to bring ourselves in line with it.
In general, I can understand and feel every characteristic only if it is found within me.
When I look at some cockroach, I don’t feel that it lacks something, that it loves its children and right now, is running to them with crumbs of food. I don’t share any characteristics with it to be able to feel it.
However, if I would begin to go deeper to penetrate and explore, ultimately, I would feel the needs of the beastly level. People are able to be sensitive to animals they are close to, including pet owners or scientists who devote themselves to research.
For example, in my childhood, I had a friend who always had small animals living in his pockets: here a mouse, there a bird. He even would come to school with them, and, much later, he went on to study zoology. So, he understood them. He would find a white mouse and pet it, and the mouse wouldn’t run away.
He would say, “You know, he is not afraid to approach you,” as if he was whispering to it.
However, we need to develop other feelings within us to be able to feel the Creator. If my friend recreated the feelings of the mouse within himself, so we need to give shape within us to a feeling of the Creator, bestowal and love.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” 10/5/14
When we begin our quest to find the Creator, He plays “hide and seek” with us. He “hides” and at the same time directs us forward. In this search, the holiday of Sukkot carries a certain sensation of warmth. It’s as if somebody tells us: “warmer, warmer, hot…!” Something unusual emerges, something in the mist, the contours of a new step that lies between the Creator and us appear.
Let’s talk about the symbols of Sukkot and their meaning in our quest.
First of all, we have to know the system we are in. Any measurements we make are done in accordance with certain standards similar to the measurements of the parameters of any physical system. For example, one liter of water weighs one kilogram. This measurement allows us to weigh various objects by placing a load equal to one kilogram on one of the pan of the scales. One way or the other, we always compare our actions with some standard that is based on well-known parameters.
However, our spiritual path begins with emptiness, a state of unawareness. While we head towards the Creator, we should turn the darkness into the Light, concealment into revelation, insensibility into sensitivity. At first, we don’t know what is missing. Later, we feel the deficiency as if we “taste” this insufficiency.
Let’s say, I am full, I don’t want to eat, I don’t even think about food. A little while later, I feel that I wouldn’t mind having a snack. The desire grows in me. To put it metaphorically, I would say that some time ago my life was easy and serene, but at some point there appeared a curtain, a veil.
In Kabbalah, the absence of hunger is called a “double concealment” since not only the object of my desire (food) is out of my attention, but even the hunger itself is unnoticeable. Then, when I feel the first signs of hunger, a deficiency, I begin searching for the ways to fulfill it.
On our spiritual path, we have to feel the concealment, the “hunger.” That’s why our work at the very beginning of the autumn holidays that begin in the month of Elul and continue further on during the New Year (Rosh Hashanah), throughout the first ten days of atonement, on the judgment day, is to reveal the deficiency, to sense a need for the Creator.
Then, the holiday of Sukkot comes, a festival of “huts.” A hut symbolizes the dome of the world: above it, there is the Light. We are inside the “hut,” sitting in relative shade. It’s not the Creator who hides from us; it’s we who “obscure” Him in order to further reveal Him gradually, to the extent of our abilities. “Being in the hut,” means that we are approaching the revelation, even though we still are at the very first stage of it.
This state triggers the Surrounding Lights (Makifim): the Creator can be felt only from a distance. Our “hug” with Him is not yet obvious, not clarified or recognized. In Kabbalah, this state is also called the Light of Hassadim, the “embrace” of the right arm.” “His left arm is under my head, His right arm embraces me,” as it is written in the Song of Songs. On the left, is an embrace of the harsh properties of judgment (Gevurot), on the right, there are hugs of mercy (Hassadim).
Even though we are behind the curtain, we still make efforts to recognize the One who threw it on us. In other words, we diligently work to turn the concealment into revelation. The Creator approaches us accordingly, to the degree of our exertions.
This work starts with a “zero,” when we don’t even feel that there is somebody who hides from us. “Where is He? Is He inside me? Is He in my thoughts and desires?” All these questions require a meticulous search, profound understanding and deep penetration in the material. Then, He will appear.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” 10/5/14
Question: Your explanation of the essence of Sukkot is that it is a correction of desires by the Surrounding Light. Why is it different from what we were taught at school? We were told that Sukkot reminds the Jews of their escape from Egyptian slavery and of their life in tents in the desert.
Answer: Do these explanations really contradict each other? “Egypt” (Mitzrayim) symbolizes staying inside one’s evil nature (Yetzer-Ra), being in exile, consenting to obey Pharaoh’s authority that rules over our egoistic desires. It was the Creator who made egoism. That’s why He keeps saying: “I hardened the Pharaoh’s heart!”
Later, we go out of Pharaoh’s “jurisdiction” by initiating the process of self-correction. The holiday of Sukkot is a symbol. The only thing the Torah describes are methods of self-improvement in the heart; it is not about historic events. Today, we should implement this story.
Each Jewish holiday, as well as any event mentioned in the Torah, denotes ascents and descents of the power of bestowal and love, or various deviations from observing the instructions given in the Torah. The entire Torah is based on the law of “loving our neighbors as ourselves.” Reaching this kind of love is feasible solely by correcting our egos. It’s viable only with the help of the Torah, the Returning Light. That’s what we are trying to achieve.
Question: Why do people sit in a special “hut” called a Sukkah during this holiday?
Answer: The size of the Sukkah accurately corresponds to the dimensions of the soul. Only inside of the soul can desires and lights be calculated. In the Sukkah, we use “amas” (cubits, ells) as measurement units. This explains why there are rigid requirements for constructing a Sukkah. We should observe the rules of what the walls of a Sukkah should be like. We make the roof of the Sukkah from the “waste of barn and winery,” etc.
All these requirements stem from the spiritual roots. They are all about a special combination of receiving and bestowing forces that are essential for our soul (a desire to receive) in its pursuit to become similar with the Creator. The soul works in both receiving and giving desires just as hearts and lungs constantly contract and expand.
The Sukkah should be built in accurate correspondence with the parts of the soul: ten Sefirot of the Direct Light and ten Sefirot of the Reflected Light. That’s why it cannot be higher than 20 amas. There are firm rules that regulate the time when a Sukkah should be built and what materials are suitable for it, i.e., “pure” enough (oriented to bestowal) to construct it.
A soul is a desire that is fully focused on bestowal to our neighbors, that is; it’s a structure that is totally opposite to the evil inclination, to our genuine nature. Unless we start self-correction, we have no soul.
The Sukkah symbolizes the soul, meaning the corrected desire. It is aimed at loving our neighbors. That’s why while building a Sukkah we have to take into consideration very many conditions. There are 613 desires in the soul: 248 bestowing desires and 365 desires to receive for the sake of giving. All these desires are inside us and we must start correcting them.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” 9/30/14
It means that the Creator (a system of higher nature that has only one force that manifests itself through the system) inputs “something” into our thoughts… i.e., He asks us a question.
There is no other force in the universe except “none else besides Him.” Of course, the Creator would never make a creation that would go against Him; however, He created the thought (against Himself) so that trepidation in front of Him appears…
It is as if a person follows the Creator in his desire to find and reveal Him by scrutinizing in what kinds of interactions between us He can be found.
We cannot imagine how easy it is. Everything is right in front of us, but we look into the distance and don’t see what’s next to us. There is nothing but a psychological barrier. As soon as we switch and get out of ourselves, we begin sensing the Creator in the connections among us.
I move towards others and go outside myself. All of a sudden, it turns out that the natural force that connects, regulates, and holds everything together in the form of a perfect balance exists right here, together with us.
We are the ones who distort the balance and harmony by our egoistic intentions, desires, and relationships. We feel that it is us who are spoiling the balance and harmony. So, it’s clear that the world is something that is created solely by us against the background of perfection.
Attainment is about searching for the Creator using faith above reason. Attainment happens when we find the properties that are beyond this material level, above our earthly considerations and contrary to our logic. All our perceptions stem from the desire to receive for our own sake. That’s why we can’t agree with anything that contradicts this desire.
Conversely, the real world is outside us; it is in our external perception. That’s why faith above reason is a condition to which we all have to eventually arrive through sensing things that happen outside of our natural egoistic needs and aspirations.
Because of the sinner’s question, one has to agree to the power of the Creator over us again and again. This process is called “trepidation.”
The sinner’s question are the constantly arising needs, demands, and thoughts about the ways to please ourselves. It is a permanent movement towards ourselves. It’s when we take care only of ourselves in every possible way and at all levels. Sinners’ questions are given to us on purpose so that after we shake them off, we again start advancing.
And so on without end we fall into egoism by taking care of ourselves in our thoughts and desires. Then, we make efforts and rise again. This process continues until we get tired and refuse to fulfill this job. It goes on until we come to understand that only the environment can support us in this process and help us learn how to think of others.
If we stayed in the state of mutual guarantee and maintained the thought about helping each other, not just ourselves, everything would be very good. Why is that so? It’s because we are unable to think of others. We keep falling into desires of our own. However, if we are able to think about others and at the same time ask the Creator to help us, He will extend His help to us since He responds only to these kinds of thoughts and prayers because they are similar to His properties.
So, as soon as we begin aspiring to serve others and ask the Creator to grant us assistance, He responds immediately and helps us, since we, the group, and the Creator are on the same wavelength and in one joint movement. If we do it on our own, without the Creator, nothing will ever happen. Even if we are together with the group, it won’t happen. There must be a system of a triangle: Me, the group, and the Creator.
This structure must also be accompanied by trepidation. We have to be careful and watchful so that we won’t turn away from our path or lose the correct direction. Our egoism will tear us apart, split us from the inside and whisper: “Please forget about the Creator and the group. Nothing is wrong with abandoning them! The main thing is to either think of yourself or just about the others without involving the third element.”
At this point, we need tremendous support. The more of us that participate in this movement, the better it is. The general mass of people who secure an absolutely correct advancement is called 600,000 souls.
It is a conditional number that is not even a number, but rather a general advancement that causes the impact of Zeir Anpin on Malchut. Since Zeir Anpin consists of six Sefirot that influence Malchut, by influencing a point in Malchut with the Light of Hochma, its level multiplies to 600,000.
Thus, by getting support, we really become able to feel trepidation and constantly stay in the state of permanent aspiration to advance.
This explains the meaning of the phrase: “The Creator made everybody fear Him.” Every bad state that one feels is essential to keep one in one’s current condition.
In other words, if one has not yet climbed the stairs of the Creator’s greatness, one has no chance to overcome oneself. Only when one feels the greatness of the Creator, one’s heart surrenders. It means that one has already ascended the steps of trepidation.
How can one understand that one has reached the state of trepidation, attained the correct level of excitement, and knows how to take care of others? It happens when a person realizes that in his care for others he feels the Creator’s fulfillment. One’s Kli (vessel) becomes corrected only when it receives fulfillment. Until then, we have to continue searching for the fulfillment both in quantity and quality so that our concern, trepidation, and intention will be correctly formulated and will match the level that is above our ego.
For that, we are given the greatness of the group, the importance of our friends, as a means of connection among us, as an exercise tool. It is done solely to feel the Creator’s fulfillment at the end of the process; the gratification inside our ten Sefirot that we can sense only together in the connection between us. When we tie ourselves into this knot, we begin feeling ourselves as a unity inside the unified.
Naturally, one vanishes when one reaches a state of an overall connection. One loses one’s “I-ness.” From one’s individual “I,” one transitions to “we,” from “we” to unity in which “me – we – the Creator” are one whole. It is said: “He and His Name are One.” The Creator is the Light and His name is a Kli (vessel).
So, all these questions and other numerous obstacles bring one to sense the need in the Creator, in His help.
In other words, we are not capable of asking questions and we can’t even make correct mistakes since when we let ourselves go, we commit errors that immediately make us fall. In order to make correct mistakes, we have to aspire forward. It is said: “I created the evil inclination and the Light to correct it.” How does the evil manifest itself? Where can we detect and see it?
It turns out that these words are not about the evil that exists in this material realm and it is not the evil of our relationships with each other. Not a single person in the world knows what the evil made by the Creator is in fact. The wickedness that has to be corrected reveals in us only when we aspire to unity in the right way.
If we aspire to unity and strive to correctly connect in mutual advancement and if by sharing trepidation, we manage to help others not only ourselves, then we begin sensing our egoistic nature, we realize how strongly we are repulsed by it and how extensively we hate, not only each other, but also ourselves. This revelation is so disgusting that we repel it. We stop searching for other internal negative qualities.
At this point, the recognition of evil occurs. The Creator warns us beforehand that it is He who made the evil inclination and that it is us who should reveal it by aspiring to Him. So, we need a special kind of trepidation. We have to make efforts not to shy away from them, and to control, inspect, and check ourselves regularly.
We have to take a close look at whether we subconsciously avoid the revelation of our egoism as something very unpleasant for us. On the contrary, we have to enjoy the process of revelation of the evil inside us since it is an essential stage in our advancement.That’s why we have to be prepared to deal with very unpleasant sensations and enjoy them because they are accompanying our advancement towards the Creator.
At the same time, we should never forget about the Creator’s greatness. We cannot imagine what the upper force is, what, in fact, exists in the universe and not just in the limited picture that we sense now. It is impossible to understand to what extent the picture that dwells in our thoughts and sensations is artificial.
Scientists have already figured out that we are in a dormant state, that we live in illusions and inside a matrix that creates a distorted picture, a dream. Our egoism locks us inside ourselves, which is why we regard everything that happens as if it takes place inside us. Only when we go out and stop sitting in the shell of our own selves do we begin sensing the real world.
Before it happens, it is very difficult to visualize what the upper reality is. It is not at all like our universe, nothing like the solar system, and the Earth or its surface. We just visualize these things as if we are asleep, in our dreams.
From the Convention In St. Petersburg “Day One” 9/19/14, Lesson 1
From the book The Essential Secret of the Jews, M. Brushtein
The Postulates Of The Theory of Integrality
We “play” in meaningless games instead of devoting time to the “human degree.”
We do not see the end and therefore cannot justify the current state.
Nature strives to equilibrium.
We are in a closed sphere. External information is not available to us.
We are looking for a place in the world in accordance with our properties.