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In 170 BCE, the Greeks, led by Antiochus IV Epiphanes, captured the Temple. There was a division between the adherents of Greek philosophy and religion and those who remained loyal to the concept of a single Creator.
Some priests, including the high priest (Cohen Rishon), supported the Greeks. The Jerusalem Temple was desecrated and turned into a sanctuary of Zeus. Severe persecution and forced Hellenization of the population led to the Maccabean revolt, led by Matityahu Hashmonay who issued the call, “He who is for God, follow me!”
The uprising ended with the victory of the Maccabees. Having entered the Temple, they found that the pure oil to light the Menorah candles would last for only one day. But a miracle occurred. The candles burned for eight days and so is called the miracle of Hanukkah.
Question: What does Hanukkah represent from the spiritual point of view?
Answer: The history leading to this holiday begins with Abraham as the founder of the Jewish people. Long before the Maccabees, It was he who first issued the call, “Whoever is moving towards the Creator – follow me!” Under this motto, he gathered a large group of Babylonians, to whom he taught his approach to the universe, the purpose of life and creation, the higher human destiny, etc.
But most importantly, under the slogan of “unity in the name of unity,” Abraham began to unite those who sided with him because it is in the pursuit of unity that we reveal the upper force of nature, the Creator, which unites us. It forms us into one whole and we become invincible to either external or internal egoism. What Abraham began, the Maccabees, united with each other, continued.
In principle, it is the same action of a rebellion against egoism, only at different levels, and that is why it occurred at different points in history.
Having united people, the Maccabees came to the same state as Abraham and won. To the extent of unity with greater groups of people who joined them, they revealed a greater spiritual force, which was the force of unity, the upper force of bestowal and love. Therefore, they were invincible to egoism, which was personified by the Greeks in this case, in Babylon by the Babylonians, in Egypt by Pharaoh, and later, by the Romans.
Through unity with large groups of people joining them, they recognized more and more spiritual power: the power of unity and the supreme power of love and bestowal. Therefore, they were invincible against the selfishness personified in this case by the Greeks, the Babylonians, Pharaoh and the Egyptians, and later, the Romans.
In general, it is the only fight, a war throughout all generations. And even when we do not have an apparent enemy, our inner enemy always rebels within us, again and again pulling us towards worshiping various idols in our life. We must fight it.
It is easy to draw a parallel between these two wars and today since modern idols are fully exposed as complete nonentities, leading us to some end and we have nothing else to do with them. On the one hand, we are still drawn to them, and on the other hand, we understand that this is temporary, harmful and brings no good results.
Therefore, our behavior is reminiscent of a man who gets drunk, does not know or hear anything, forgets himself,and is disconnected from what is happening. We become immersed in business or other things just to stay occupied, thus imitating a movie hero, a literary character, or just acquaintances who have supposedly succeeded in life. This is the idol that is so attractive to us.
Question: Do you think that these desires have exhausted themselves?
Answer: No, but I know that all this is temporary and limited. Life itself shows us that. The world is like a theater and we always play a role in it.
There are people who seek nothing. The main thing for them is to live quietly and peacefully, so no one bothers them. But, there are few of them. The majority are pulled by competition, the struggle for a place under the sun, and we begin to pretend that we are business people, running with a briefcase and changing from one plane to another, and in this way, we run to the grave.
Question: Can the miracle of Hanukkah take place nowadays?
Answer: In life there is always a place for a miracle. Every time we connect with each other, the force, which is higher than all the other forces, obstacles, conditions, is manifested, and then there is a miracle before us. We can evoke it, even today.
A miracle is a supernatural phenomenon, but we are able to cause it ourselves, when we wish. Today, if we want to rise above egoism in our unity, then a completely new upper force will be manifested within us, and with its help, we will be able to calm the whole world, arrange everything, and everyone will be fine and easygoing.
Question: What kind of a miracle happened when the candles of the Maccabees were lit?
Answer: Through their unity, the Maccabees attracted the Light that gave them the opportunity to stay in the state of bestowal, love and connection until they began to pull new masses of people towards themselves.
The desires of people who connect with each other in one whole symbolizes the oil, and their gathering in spite of their egoism symbolizes the wick. They burn in their desire to get closer, and when they unite somehow, a light appears within them that support the fire of their desires.
If they begin to be engaged in even greater dissemination and draw towards themselves greater masses of people, then the lamp will burn continuously.
The manifestation of the Light, the upper force, the Creator in the people’s unity is the miracle. Besides that, there are no other miracles because the essence of all miracles is that our unity brings about the manifestation of the inner force, called the property of love, the Creator. It works wonders. The crossing of the Red Sea, the miracle of Hanukkah and the miracle of Purim are always the revelation of the Creator in our unity. Therefore, there is just one technique and it contains nothing complicated. It came to us from Abraham, who first showed how it is realized.
The fact is that we can unite in any manner, but the essence of the miracle is that we unite so that a new upper property appears within us, which is not manifested in any other actions, that raises us to the next level of consciousness, sensation, vision, and existence.
Question: How could people believe that one candle would burn for eight days when they knew that it would be sufficient only for a day?
Answer: If we aspire to unity, we are not interested in anything except to come to this state, within which the Creator is revealed. Then we reach the conditions of infinity and go to the next level of existence, where there is neither time nor space. And eight days is just an allegory, since there are eight Sefirot from the level of Bina to the level of Malchut.
Question: How can a person not think about what will happen tomorrow?
Answer: If you work for bestowal, tomorrow does not exist for you! There is no next moment! The most important is to give.
Tomorrow will disappear from your field of vision, mind, and calculations! It does not exist! You are included in the action of bestowal and are seemingly extended to everyone else. Nothing will remain in you. Your “I” simply disappears.
Then, in the next step, a new egoistic state appears. The same thing is repeated, like the wheel that moves forward, but at the same time revolves around itself.
Question: Under what circumstances is this possible?
Answer: It comes gradually, after many years and only from Above. But it will come. I can promise to all of my students that it will come true, and they will reach this state.
I think that together with them, I will still be able to go through their first steps in this ascent. This is the desire of every spiritual teacher who cannot abandon his child halfway. The teacher wants to guide his students across the desert so that they reach full bestowal, and they would not have any possibility of turning back, since the property of bestowal would reign in all their desires.
Then, they will develop their spiritual path on their own, with the next leader, like Moses and Joshua. But it is desirable for us to cross the desert together.
Question: How do you view the miracles from the material point of view? Let’s say, for many years, archaeologists seek confirmation of the exodus of the Jews from Egypt, but find no traces. Indeed, something should have been left. In addition, there no evidence has been found of the 40 years of wandering of the nation of Israel in the desert.
Answer: Archaeologists find confirmation of these or other historical events when the time comes. Therefore in its time, they will suddenly find artifacts of history in the same place where they previously could find nothing. These discoveries are still ahead.
From KabTV’s “Secretes of the Eternal Book” 12/17/14
Answer: You attain your complete correction thanks to the right connection with those who are like you, who have the same attributes and the inclination to connection, unity, and resemblance and equivalence to the Creator. Therefore, you should not struggle with yourself but internally so as to come in contact with others, which means” the children of thy people.”
You don’t need to reject anyone or anything anymore as you were commanded previously, but rather be integrally connected properly with others, adapt yourself to them by accepting all their attributes and their corrections as suitable for you in order to establish a system that is mutually and generally connected, a spiritual society.
A person has to constantly feel how he should change, what form he should take on under the influence of those who surround him, both from those who are close and those who are distant. Those who are distant are those who format you and put you together, and those who are close are those with whom you have to be formatted and put together so that you will be connected to them. It is because they dictate your external form so that like a piece in a puzzle you will fall into your right place.
You process attributes inside you which you can integrate with your whole nation, with all the attributes, desires, and thoughts that surround you. This is the very last mission, which can only be fulfilled if you already work on the connection with them by fulfilling the commandment of love thy friend as thyself.
This means that “distant” refers to working in the state of Hafetz Hesed in which you don’t receive anything but only format yourself internally with the help of the attribute of bestowal that comes from them, which builds you on the level of Bina and makes you absolutely neutral. Thus, you balance the ego.
When this attribute comes through those who are close, which means from those who are in direct contact with you, you already build yourself on the basis of your connection with them. In the first case it is to bestow in order to bestow and in the second case it is to receive in order to bestow.
Question: How can I bring someone else inside me if I only love myself?
Answer: You don’t need to bring anyone inside you, but simply feel everyone like yourself.
The Torah speaks about the fact that you have to attain that and there is a condition for this attainment, but first you are given commandments, which means clear and accurate rules of the upper world and then the methods to fulfill them.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 4/9/14
In recent years, politicians have started talking about legislative consolidation of the Jewish character of the state of Israel. The reason for this is the broad wave of anti-Semitic attacks. The whole world has a problem with the Jewish people, asking: “Why did they take the possession of land that does not belong to them?”
Many do not even agree with the original division of the territory in accordance with the UN resolution. Today, a secondary vote, of course, would deprive us of the right to our own state.
After the disaster, the world was uncomfortable in front of us, and if we indeed were to get the country, this will continue, according to the laws of common development.
However, we have to make it really ours, take the holy land (Eretz) as a desire (Ratzon) to purify and form not as a collection of exiles, but as the people of Israel, in the full sense of the word, fully united and aspiring straight to the Creator (Yashar El).
We have to take a course on cohesion, love, and unity, to become as one man with one heart.
If we had arranged our nation in this way, we would not have had to carry the endless war for the past 66 years without a single second of rest and relaxation. And the situation would not have been like it is today such that when all of Israel is forced to plan an emergency evacuation, an escape plan in case of a disaster.
Question: Again and again, life confronts us with basic issues that affect our very existence in the land of Israel. And always this topic covers the fog of uncertainty, vagueness. Why is there this agonizing incompleteness in our self-determination? Why haven’t all “I’s” been dotted?
Answer: It is because we want to be like all the other nations and define our country like everyone else, according to the traditional representations of territory, borders and public entities. However, for us it does not work and does not apply to us. This usual format does not cause a faithful response in us, where we do not feel for ourselves, and do not find any correlation as to how our country should be identified and appear as our people, and every person in it.
It turns out that we are not the people of Israel, as it should be, and we do not live in the land of Israel nor in the country of Israel, as it should be according to the original sources, according to our basis. We have tried to adopt the concept of external concepts, simply taking them in, but they have not come to fruition. The international standard label comes unglued again and again.
As a result, we feel that it is not suitable, but continue to burden ourselves with it, without making the definition clear. And the world, for its part, does not understand our actions and sees the state of Israel as some artificial entity.
We can eloquently argue that this is our land. We can even sacrifice for the sake of life. However, we still do not understand what “the people” and “the country” mean for the Jewish people.
Baal Sulam wrote a great piece about it in the newspaper “The Nation” (HaUma), which, incidentally, was closed following its initial release. In this paper, the nature of these concepts and the need to return to their roots after two thousand years of exile was described in detail.
Why should we turn to ancient history and to the primitive life now that once was lived by our ancestors? On the contrary, in the previous centuries advanced nations planted their cultures everywhere. A foreign culture with a particular success was transferred to the indigenous peoples of Africa and America. Languages would die out as well as the traditions and beliefs, giving way to the English, Spanish, and French influence.
But we still have not been able to keep within the margins of the present. There is nothing we can borrow from the people of the world. On the contrary, we are organized in such a way that the people of the world adapt the correct things from us.
It is not up to us and it is not pride or arrogance. We are hard-wired this way. It is no coincidence that the world sees us as an intelligent, developed people, nurturing a purpose of life. The world feels that the Jewish people have a secret they do not want to open to others, so this means they must force us to give it up.
This feeling is indestructible, and we must finally understand what they want from us. Indeed, what kind of a mystery lies within us? If we only knew, then we could sell it for triple the price. But no, it does not work this way.
After all, what we hold inside and that lies within the people of Israel without their knowledge is this great, beautiful, alluring, shining goal, the future of the world.
Our world is bound to the brotherhood in which we once lived. We need to regain it, in other words, to live together as a law-abiding people, love our neighbors as ourselves, according to the principles that we received on Mount Sinai, and to be as one man with one heart.
Today our global, integrated world feels the unbreakable relationship of all its parts, literally requires it, and requires compliance with this law. If we reveal an umbrella of guarantee over all of us, we will find ourselves in a world that is for us, is as the Garden of Eden.
That is why in this modern era, the world pays attention to us without knowing how or why and begins to demand the law from us by which it will live tomorrow. After all, today’s life seems more and more intolerable to the world, pitch black, and hopeless. It no longer presents a picture of tomorrow. And subconsciously, people feel that the Jewish people have the answer.
Anti-Semitism flourishes around the world as a consequence, affecting millions of people. Thus, it simply obliges us to wonder about the law and about the way of life that should form the basis of our existence here.
If we really did go back to the roots, if we would put into practice the concept of “the people of Israel” aspiring “straight to the Creator” (Yashar-El), i.e., to unity, solidarity, and love, if this were so, we would educate the people based upon the law combined with each other, as one man with one heart, helping neighbors and binding people together by this partnership. This would serve as an example to the world. Moreover, we would teach people how to build unity.
The world would then understand that we are a special part of it and that we really need to learn. And there is much to learn, since it’s the future and the salvation of all mankind. It is not just for a few decades comprising the lifespan of every generation, but rather a new basis for a new foundation being laid here in which our world will be perfected and ascend to a new level, into the eternal, perfect condition.
Today our egoism devours itself and as a result, we live an average of 70-80 years. If we move from the egoistic receiving desire to an altruistic one, to bestowal, and if everyone would live with their heart wide open among one’s nation, taking care of all, we would find other natural laws, the laws of love and bestowal. At that point we would enter into the eternal, perfect life and our world would open the opportunity to live beyond the limitations of time, space, and motion. We would begin to perceive the world in which there are no limits.
In the meantime, the problems towards the Jewish people, which we call anti-Semitism, will grow more and more. We cannot get rid of this. On the contrary, we will have to give an answer, as it is necessary to stand face to face with this situation.
At the same time, we will need to solve the problem of the Jewish character of the country, recently exposed for public discussion. But, it must not be by artificial language and not on the basis of the laws that we have inherited from the British mandate or Turkish rule. No, we need to take up the Torah and draw out all the necessary definitions.
For millennia, since the days of Abraham, Kabbalists have explained the meaning of “the people of Israel” and “country of Israel,” and who is a “Jewish person.” We need to open ourselves to the world, abandon the boundaries and take into our surroundings, everyone who wants to live by the law of love and unity under the umbrella of bestowal. That’s right, rather than geographic, the boundaries of the land of Israel, that is, universal mutual guarantee, will extend to the whole world.
In principle, the land of Israel is not the territory on the surface of the globe, but a place where people live according to the law of love. So now it does not exist. After all, the earth (Eretz) means the desire (Ratzon). If there is the law of love between people living in any place and they follow such law, their relationship, their common desire is called the land of Israel, the desire aspiring straight to the Creator (Yashar-El), and thus they want to be like the upper force.
That is what we have to explain, demonstrate, and offer to all peoples. And then, instead of hatred, we will feel empathy, respect and affection, which is what we feel right now from many thousands of our students around the world. We see how committed they are to us when we teach them how to unite with each other to cooperatively achieve a higher power.
From the program “A New Life” 11/30/14
Question: We are witnessing disasters all over the world these days, one of them being the situation in the Ukraine. What once seemed like science fiction is now happening in Donezk and Bolgnesk. The Jews are once again returning to Israel. Are you in favor of the Jews coming back to Israel?
Answer: Of course, I believe that our place is here and that we should become a united people, as it says “become Light unto the nations.” We can do it and then we will really reach another level of existence people can’t even imagine. The wisdom of Kabbalah tells us about it.
In any case, we will have to unite as one man in one heart. When we fulfill the principle of love thy friend as thyself among us, the positive force will flow through us to the rest of the world, will connect all of humanity, and then the world will reach absolute balance.
The levels of the still, vegetative, and animate nature already exist in perfect balance but not the level of the speaking. Man’s origin is from the monkey and he differs from all the other animals because he has an egoistic element and lacks the opposite altruistic element. He only has the minus without the plus and we should acquire this plus. But we have turned off the tap of the positive force and don’t allow it to flow into the world. Therefore the nations of the world are in a state of minus and they blame us for it.
We have to turn on the tap so that the positive force will flow through it to all of humanity. This is called being Light unto the nations. It can only be fulfilled by the connection between us, and we can do it.
Question: There are about a million Russian speaking Jews living in Israel. What is their role in your opinion? After all it is very hard to communicate with them,
Answer: We can explain things to them from a scientific perspective or in every possible way by physics, through an anthology of…
Comment: But they should feel it and not try to understand it rationally.
Answer: Only a strong shock can bring them to this state, and this is undesirable. Let’s hope that we will be able to find a more liberal approach and thus reach them.
Question: Unfortunately, the positive force is revealed among us when different problems arise. For example, twenty thousand people attended the funeral of the soldier who was killed in Gaza. I also strongly identified with everyone, but what can we do so that the positive force could be revealed in ordinary situations? I expect that you will say that the answer lies in education.
Answer: That’s right, it depends only on education and it cannot be done any other way. If we want to change things in Israel the only answer is unity. Nothing else will work and we have already seen that. No government can do it but only the people though the right connection between them, which the wisdom of Kabbalah teaches us. It is the basis of our existence and today it should be rediscovered.
Comment: How can we approach the Russian speaking population with the concept of Kabbalah? After all, we will have to explain to them that it isn’t about religion.
Answer: It is intentionally arranged that way so that both you and they will have to work on yourselves. This is how our ego places obstacles along our way. But let’s hope that we will be able to cut down the afflictions.
Comment: You have said that Israel will actually be the safest place on earth.
Answer: Israel is the most sublime, safest, and happiest place on earth. If we begin to work correctly, there will be no chaos here, and it isn’t only Kabbalah books that tell us about that. That’s the way it will be. We will either reach the bright future through a series of world wars, including a nuclear war, or in a good, smooth way by connecting. Let’s wish each other luck.
From KabTV’s “Talk on the Current Situation in Israel” 7/24/14
Writings of Rabash, “Shlavei HaSulam,” “What ‘You Have Given the Strong to the Hands of the Weak’ Means in the Work”
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The Book of Zohar — Selected Excerpts, Item 812
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Talmud Eser Sefirot Vol. 6, Part 16, Item 80
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Writings of Baal HaSulam “The Essence of the Wisdom of Kabbalah”
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