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Question: Do you consider the Commandments that Moses gave to the Jews the key to inner peace, that is, balance between altruism and egoism?
Answer: Of course. The most important of them, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” is the foundation of the entire Torah, which is a handbook on how to achieve this condition. Unfortunately, those who consider themselves adherents and believers by observing the Torah do not always pursue this goal.
Question: The commandments, which Moses passed on, included only good deeds and warned not to commit the bad ones. But there was nothing said about how it would be rewarded.
Answer: No compensation should be asked for fulfilling the commandments. If you want to love your neighbor and treat him well, you must do it absolutely unconditionally. Then the inner satisfaction that you receive from it will be your reward.
From KabTV’s “A Special Opinion” 8/17/14
Question: The holy books often refer to the beauty of a woman, whether to her appearance, her character, her motherhood, etc. But there is no detailed description of a woman’s perfection like in the “Song of Songs.” What does King Solomon want to teach us?
Answer: He wants to say that our reality: the still, vegetative, animate, and human nature is beautiful, good, and perfect and it is only my personal correction which determines whether I will be able to relate to it with absolute love.
It is about our attitude towards nature as a whole and the correction of man: to what extent I have completed and covered my evil inclination with this love. Then I see that there is no flaw in reality and that it is all like a beautiful woman.
We have no other words to express love, including the right kind of love. It is because we understand loving someone only as using that person. It is the kind of love in which I am willing to give and to fill to the extent that I receive pleasure.
Here on the other hand, it is an opposite love: I give and fill another person because I want to do good to him or her. But I need the evil inclination in order to test my attitude towards that person: Do I operate above hate, detachment, and repulsion?
Can I do that? This is how I check whether it is true and real love that stems from the good inclination and not an egoistic love that stems from the evil inclination. This type of love is called independent love. What is it independent of? Of receiving, since it is based on bestowal. Where does the name of the book the “Song of Songs” stem from? In an ordinary song we usually speak about pleasure: “I love you and I want to enjoy you.” In the “Song of Songs.” on the other hand, it means that I want to do good to others.
Question: We see that there are reference to beauty throughout this book. What is expressed by the concept of beauty? Why does the world seem beautiful to a person in love?
Answer: This is called “love will cover all sins.” Have you ever seen how a mother picks up her baby and shows you: “Look how beautiful he is!” She is proud of him and that is perfectly natural. A person who is loved is always beautiful, and therefore we have no standard for beauty.
If I want to fill the other and I enjoy this desire, the more he lacks, the more I can fill and complete him, the more I love him as a result of my concern, and the more beautiful he is in my eyes. Then everything about him becomes beautiful. Parents of adopted children love them no less and sometimes even more than their own biological kids. They try to give them more in order to attain their love, to fill them more, and thus they love them even more.
It says: “love will cover all sins.” Love cannot appear unless there is a dispute that precedes it. There has to be a feeling of detachment, conflict, resistance, and above that there is connection, embrace and love. Then the beauty appears as a result: A person who is loved seems beautiful just like a baby is in his mother’s eyes.
Question: King Solomon says: “One is my dove, my precious.” What is the meaning of the expression “one?”
Answer: There is nothing but that. It is one creation, one perfect system. It is actually thanks to the completion of all the positive and negative attributes existing together that the beauty appears. Beauty is wholeness. The wholeness appears when I see that good and bad things complement one another and cannot exist independently. Goodness cannot exist without evil and evil is the basis for the revelation of goodness.
Now we discover only the evil in this woman, which means in all of creation, since we look at things only from our evil inclination and cannot see anything good. But this is an essential phase since until the “Song of Songs,” a person has to discover all the flaws, all the sins, and only then can he reveal love on top of that.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” 5/28/14
Torah, “Leviticus” Kedoshim 19:17: Do not harbor hatred in your heart towards your brother. The Torah describes the immense hatred that exists between brothers. They say that there is a thin line between love and hate.
The blood ties don’t operate on the next level of connection, the realization for the sake of the ascent, and are expressed as hatred, competition, and confrontation, while a person views his own brother as a huge interference.
There is a very fine line between “you and I are brothers in the goal of the ascent” and “we are just brothers.” If we are just brothers, then we’re competitors.
We have one father, and I want to be his sole heir. I don’t want to depend on someone else and owe anything to anybody. I always owe to a brother, since I depend on him due to the blood ties. If he does something that is either good or bad, somehow the light shines good or bad upon me.
A brother is a very big obstacle. He and I are equal before the whole world, but I don’t want to deal with anyone being equal to me. He expresses something that I can’t by his actions, and by doing so, he uncovers me since we are from the same level and from one father and mother.
So if I want to hide something, do something one way and not the other, then he will do it in his own style, deciding his own way, and possibly complete me, or vice versa, by being ahead of me. I depend on him and his actions always shine a good or a bad light upon me.
The concept of brothers is essentially non-existent in our world. In fact, this is a very delicate connection.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book”
Answer: First you need to accept a condition: all that Kabbalah talks about is
1) What is happening in the spiritual world
2) What is happening inside one person
The war of the Maccabees with the Yavanas is a struggle between the forces of reception and bestowal in a person who is on the way to unite with the Creator. The one who doesn’t study Kabbalah, doesn’t feel internally any Maccabees, any Yavanas, no Pharaoh, and no other characters in the Torah. All of them appear in a person only when one properly studies Kabbalah.
Question: People are different, so how can they influence different processes in nature together with other people?
Answer: Everything depends on the level of bestowal. If we speak about the levels in nature of the still, vegetative, and animate, humanity is destroying and corrupting the environment and causing great harm to the ecology. At the same time, however, the upper providence is arranged so that it enables a person to gradually learn from his actions until he understands because everything exists and operates for a purpose. Even though we should have already disappeared from the surface of the earth because of our corruptions, nature is still arranged from above in a way that it can bear us and allow us to continue until we learn and grow wiser and gradually realize, according to our human nature, that we have to change.
Question: Won’t humanity reach the recognition and the revelation as to how the world is arranged and how the different forces operating in it are arranged up until the very last moment of its evolution? Is it our eternal fate to live in such a mess, wars and outbursts of desires?
Answer: There is no mess and no coincidence. We are in a very accurate, rigid, and deterministic system. Everything is arranged in a clear and accurate manner without any defects or flaws.
There are no concepts such as “as if,” “suddenly,” or “approximately,” etc. The more we learn about nature according to different sciences, the more clearly the very accurate unchangeable laws are revealed to us. We divide and classify our knowledge in different fields, but, in fact, there are no different sciences like chemistry, physics, etc, in the world around us.
It is only the unknown areas that have not been explored and studied as yet by which we can attempt to clarify things, but it is merely our perception that stems from ignorance. We simply cannot perceive the whole general picture.
Still, if we delve deeper into this issue, we see that nothing in creation happens for no reason, suddenly, as if, or approximately. It is on our part that we see things that way as “one judges according to his own flaws.” If our mind could grasp and penetrate the depths of nature, we could see a magnificent system in which everything exists in perfection. We could actually see what Godliness is and that everything is related to everything on all levels from the top down. The natures of the still, vegetative, animate, and human beings are one in their spiritual and corporeal revelation, and by one movement of my arm, I can move and operate all the worlds. This is how it is all built. There is no event that can remain unfelt and not affect the whole system.
Question: Why can’t humanity reach this level of evolution and see this picture?
Answer: We cannot do that in our egoistic mind and our egoistic feelings. We can only perceive the whole picture if we acquire the attribute of bestowal, the second and altruistic force.
Therefore, we study only on the levels of the still, vegetative, and animate and only on an elementary level, which is not bestowal and reception.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/7/14, Writings of Baal HaSulam
Question: (Song of Songs 1:1) In the “Song of Songs, King Solomon is perhaps the most striking symbol of love. It is enough to look at the list of the works of art that were based upon quotations from the “Song of Songs” to understand the degree of influence of this book on the emotions and imagination of people from the moment it was written until our day. Immediately the question arises, for whom was this wonderful song written?
Answer: It was written for a person who already feels that all of life and all of nature is love, and the general rule, “And you shall love your neighbor as yourself,” is the general force that rules the world. This is speaking about a man who in his development has already attained an understanding and awareness that goodness surrounds him and that all of reality is arranged and built according to the final goal from the start, to attain wholeness.
Wholeness is not acting under the influence of hormones and calling this “love,” such as from my experience of feeling pleasure from something and saying that I love it. For example, I love fish. But we cannot love a fish other than by eating it. If a person understands that he loves with his essence, meaning with the evil inclination, then this is natural, earthly love.
Through this love he destroys the world because he approaches what is good for him and rejects what is bad for him. In this way he doesn’t rise above his egoistic desire. It follows that our love is worthless from the start.
A person must rise to a completely different love: to connection. He must connect with everyone, with the substance of the still, vegetative, animate, and humans above his natural attitudes. If I turn towards the world like this, which is entirely love, then this means that I participate in the general desires and suffering. I feel what is imperative and required for everyone, and want to fulfill and complete this: “And you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
This is what is called “love,” and not the yearning to enjoy the surrounding world and accordingly determine what does and doesn’t please me. I detach myself from this natural love, rise above it, and begin to love everyone because according to the general law of nature I must be connected with everyone. This is attained with the help of a unique education, in the course of which I begin to understand and become aware that everything is connected, interdependent, that there is one fate for everyone, and we guide it.
If I attain a relationship to nature like this, then I see that in fact the force of love is acting in everything. And the “Song of Songs” begins from this: “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth” (Song of Songs 1:2), meaning that I am already connected with all of nature and begin to investigate how to continue developing my connection of love.
In other words, a “song” from the start raises me to a very high level. I understand that I must fulfill and complete the creation in which we humans exist in opposition: “the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth” (Genesis 8:21). This means that instead of exploiting the world that exists outside of me, I must connect with it and complement it in such a form that will be good for it.
This is to say that love is expressed in my wanting things to be good for everyone. That is how we relate to children, we think constantly about what we can add further to our concern about them, fulfilling and creating a good mood. This is the expression of love. I don’t enjoy the object, as generally happens in our life; rather, I enjoy it being good for him. From the moment that I am directed towards this, the story begins.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” 5/28/14
The shattering was on purpose, in order to allow us to prepare our soul for the revelation of the Upper Light within it. When we try to correct the shattering and establish relationships of love and mutual bestowal among us, we discover that we cannot do so.
It is good that we cannot do so by ourselves since then we yearn for the Light, for the force of bestowal, that should help us. We want that force to appear among us and enable us to connect into one network of mutual bestowal.
I draw the Light to the extent that I want to bestow unto others and to love them. When the Light appears, I feel the connection with the friends and I begin to see and to feel them thanks to the influence of the Light. The Light puts us through different states with different connections, and I can thus see and learn how our collective vessel begins to connect and how all its parts are integrated correctly by the Light.
I don’t actually see the Light, but I feel its actions which help me connect with the friends. I see what is going on in the network of the connections that are revealed between us, and thus I study the actions of the Light and begin to understand and to feel it. It is said: “From Your actions we will know You.”
Thus, the network of connections between us is gradually built to the extent that I need it. The friends help me yearn for it, I exert myself and so we draw the Light and build this network.
Inside the network we discover the Upper Light and how it formats us, which means that we attain it according to its actions. But this isn’t enough either, because we have to rise from the love of the created beings to the love of the Creator. Once we reach the love of friends, we rise to a higher level by our desire to be equal to the force that operates in the network of connections between us.
This means that we don’t want to resemble the actual connection between us on the first floor, but the force that operates inside it, which is called the second floor.
This is how three levels are created. The first level is the ground floor, which is where we are during the period of preparation.
We ascend to the first floor when we reach the love of friends. It is only called love of friends, but in fact, these are my efforts to build the network of connections between us with all the complete ten Sefirot since all of creation is comprised of ten Sefirot. It is then that the Creator is revealed within this network.
We actually build Malchut, the Shechina, which is the place where the Creator can dwell and be revealed. Building such a place is called love of friends in the ordinary words of this world, but we should understand that it refers to the building of the spiritual vessels, to the network of connections.
Thanks to this, we actually reconstruct the network of connection, correct the shattering, and begin to understand the Creator’s actions. If the Creator hadn’t shattered this structure, we would never have been able to reveal it, but would have been angels who are in their natural attribute of bestowal.
But since we ask for the revelation of the Creator in order that He will connect us after the shattering and help us, we will thus know His actions and attain “the advantage of the Light in the darkness.” This is how we can imagine the vessel and the Light within it because they become two separate entities, like a body and the Light that fills it.
We shouldn’t think that the love of friends is redundant. Years go by before a person begins to understand the importance of the love of friends as a result of the influence of small portions of Light. We can increase the importance of that by our actions in front of one another. In fact, no one feels the real importance, which is great; in this way we reconstruct the shattered soul. Then we discover our adhesion to the Creator within it.
It is impossible to treat the Creator better than the friends! It is impossible to connect to Him, to bestow unto Him and to love Him more than connecting, bestowing unto and loving the friends. After all, everything is determined by the vessels.
Everyone should understand that eventually there is no choice but to annul before the group, to try to connect with everyone with all one’s heart and soul so that instead of feeling oneself, we will only feel everyone together as one whole.
It is because we want to hasten our development and to help ourselves reach the state in which we will finally begin to discover the spiritual space that we organize a convention of connection and gather in order to make a collective effort to connect.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/2/14, Writings of Rabash
Baal HaSulam, Article “The Freedom”: It turns out that when humankind achieves its goal, with respect to the success of the bodies, by bringing them to the degree of complete love of others, all the bodies in the world will unite into a single body and a single heart, as written in the article, “The Peace.” Only then will all the happiness intended for humanity become revealed in all its glory.
Humanity needs to reach a state in which everyone attains spirituality and the complete revelation of the Creator.
Baal HaSulam, The Study of The Ten Sefirot, Volume 3, Ohr Pnimi, Item 88: All our dealings with the prayers and the practical Mitzvot are in order to clarify time and time again and to raise all the souls that dropped from the First Man and fell to the shells, until they are brought back to their initial root, as they were before the sin of the Tree of Knowledge, which means that before the sin of the Tree of Knowledge First Man was already in his ultimate wholeness.
No more, no less. We must correct the whole shattering that the First Man (Adam HaRishon) underwent and to restore him to the corrected state. All the people in the world should reach the complete revelation of the Creator.
Baal HaSulam: In our generation when every individual needs the help of every state in the world to attain his own happiness (since we are living in a global integral world), the individual must be enslaved to the whole world like a cogwheel in a machine.
We are all like cogwheels in the same mechanism, totally dependent on one another to such an extent that no one can reach correction unless everyone else is corrected. At the moment it doesn’t concern us since we are only on the first level of correction, before the revelation of the Creator. There are 125 other levels of the spiritual ladder before us and the higher we ascend this ladder, the more we will have to expand and the more people we will have to include in the process of correction in order to reveal the upper world. This is especially true today when our world has become integral.
Baal HaSulam, “Peace in the World”: Therefore, the possibility of making good, happy, and peaceful conducts in one state is inconceivable when it is not so in all the countries in the world, and vice versa.
It is impossible to reach a good life in one country only. Today everyone understands this point. On the contrary, if it is bad in a certain place, it will be bad for everyone. It is a pity that politicians don’t understand this.
So how can we attract people to correction? We can succeed with quantity and we can succeed with quality. There can be a very small but strong group of Kabbalists, but sometimes it is the other way around, when the average is low but the size of the group compensates for that by the number of members, 30, 49, or 70 people.
There is a hero in quantity and a hero in quality just like in our life. If I have to move a load from one place to another, I can do it with the help of several “heroes,” but if I don’t have any “heroes,” I can do the same job with a much greater number of ordinary people.
The same is true with regard to the wisdom of Kabbalah. It is clear that we should yearn for quality, but we shouldn’t underestimate quantity, since it is also very helpful. Even if we are small, we can manage if there is a quantity and we might do the job even faster.
There is a great advantage to a large number of participants. If one of them falls, another rises. Everyone helps one another, and the fact that they are all on different levels and in different states makes it easier to carry out the work. Therefore, we have to make sure that the group expands, grows, and “gets fat.”
Baal HaSulam, “The Last Generation,” Part 2: The inclination of life is to carefully attain adhesion for the sake of the Creator alone, or to award the masses with adhesion with the Creator.
This means that we have to reach adhesion with the Creator while still alive. This is precisely the reason we were born in a corporeal body, which means that we have received an extra ego called a body. Now we have to rise above the ego and to adhere to the Creator and connect to Him.
Baal HaSulam says that this is everyman’s goal. But if you cannot attain it, you will be able to do so by disseminating the wisdom of Kabbalah to others. As it says: …Thus you can learn that the inclination of life is to carefully attain adhesion for the sake of the Creator alone, or to award the masses with adhesion with the Creator. Baal HaSulam, “The Last Generation,” Part 2.
Every person has his own work style. There are those who engage in dissemination and others study, which means that they engage either in an external or an internal correction, each according to his abilities.
From the Congress In Verona “Day Two” 11/22/14, Lesson 4
Writings of Baal HaSulam “The Teaching of Kabbalah and Its Essence”
The Book of Zohar “Introduction,” “On the Night of the Bride,” Item 138
Writings of Baal HaSulam “Introduction to the Preface of the Wisdom of Kabbalah”
Writings of Baal HaSulam “The Essence of the Wisdom of Kabbalah,” “Abstract Names”