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The Eternal Flame Of Unity

Laitman_931-01Question: How did your teacher Rabash relate to Chanukah?

Answer: Very little was said about Chanukah. We read a little about the holiday from the book of the Ari, The Gate Of Intentions (Shaar Kavanot).

The point is that this holiday doesn’t stem from the Torah itself. Chanukah symbolizes a typical case that from the time of Abraham onwards should continuously repeat itself. It symbolizes the numerous corrections that await us along the spiritual path.

We are in a continuous war against our internal egoistic enemies and should constantly connect and unite against them. Then a miracle takes place in the connection between us, the upper force of love.

Question: Is this why we say Chanu-kah which in Hebrew means a stop along the way?

Answer: A stop along the way is only half of the correction of the ego, of the desire to receive until the level of bestowal. But we have nothing to bestow and so Chanukah symbolizes the ascent above the ego. This ascent is like the flame of a candle that flickers above the ego.

The oil that is absorbed by the wick symbolizes our ego that has to be corrected that way so that in contrast to our nature, it will give its Light. This happens under inner pressure when we intend to connect despite our ego in order to reach complete bestowal. This is the essence of Chanukah.

The burning of the oil symbolizes our self-annulment before each other in the connection between us. The wick is our collective effort to connect and to unite, which lights the fire.

The miracle is when the Light that connects Malchut (our egoistic desires) with Bina (the attribute of bestowal) arrives. Eight days (eight levels) later Malchut attains the attribute of Bina and a new ego begins to grow with which we work in the same manner.

Question: We have to reach a state of unity one way or the other, either along the path of the Light or along the path of suffering. What will happen with Chanukah then?

Answer: All the holidays except for Purim will disappear. In Chanukah we only rise above our ego while in Purim we use it in order to work with the intention of in order to bestow. Here we use all our old ego to the end so that it fully works in love and bestowal. Thus a state like Purim is eternal.

It is a state of upper joy that swallows all the other states and the holidays that match them and so they all disappear.

Purim is the most sublime holiday that symbolizes the end of the correction of humanity.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 12/17/14

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True Kabbalah Without Mysticism Or Myths, Part 1

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Lately the topic of a person’s spiritual development has become very popular. More and more people are beginning to be interested in the wisdom of Kabbalah. The word “Kabbalah” awakens lots of curiosity among people, but few can explain what this truly is.

For many years a multitude of myths, rumors, opinions, and secrets have been generated around the wisdom of Kabbalah. What is the true, original, and authentic wisdom of Kabbalah?

Answer: The wisdom of Kabbalah is accompanied by so many myths because it was concealed for many years. As an explanation, I can bring a personal example from my life. I was born into a family of doctors. My father was a dentist and my mother was a gynecologist. Both of them were experts in their fields and in our home a whole room was allocated as a library

All of the walls of the room were covered with bookshelves. My children’s books were on the bottom shelves at a height accessible to me. And the more I grew, the higher I could reach and take books from the higher shelves. I remember that at the age of ten or eleven I was terribly curious to see what was found on the higher shelves where books about gynecology stood. But everything was arranged such that I could not reach them.

From this example, it is understood that every age is typified by its development, and that there are things that need to be known and there are things that are still too advanced to understand. It is necessary to wait another year or two or three and receive knowledge to the degree of your development. Only in a circumstance like this will it be absorbed correctly and be beneficial to you.

When we buy books or toys for children, we ask for what age the toy is intended, for children of three, five, and so on. That is how we can buy what is appropriate for a child. This was the same situation with the wisdom of Kabbalah for many years. The wisdom of Kabbalah had to be revealed to humanity at the moment that humanity was ready for it.

And it also was not revealed at the same time for everyone since there are different parts of humanity. On the face of the earth there still exist such tribes that live just about the same way as in ancient times, in jungles. There are people who are more developed and who have established some kind of civilization, but in the meantime, they lag behind other very developed nations who manage a modern way of life and who cannot imagine how it would be possible to get along without a computer, the Internet, or a cell phone.

In accordance with this development, it is necessary to reveal new knowledge to people. So now we are also discovering new remedies and new phenomena in nature that we didn’t even suspect thousands of years ago. Previously we were not yet ready to discover all of this or use it correctly.

The wisdom of Kabbalah speaks about the forces that manage our world. In principle, there is only one force that is divided into a multitude of forces that act on all of humanity, on the levels of the still, vegetative, animate, and on the entire universe. This is talking about a network of forces that manage the still substance of the universe and the natures of the still, vegetative, animate, and human on the face of the globe and that leads everything towards some kind of goal.

According to our development, we gradually discover the laws of physics, chemistry, biology, zoology, that is, the sciences about the nature of the still, vegetative, and animate. And there is another science about the human level, about people, but it must be revealed on a particular level of a person’s development, when he can learn and use it correctly.

It is impossible to give an atomic bomb to the residents of an ancient tribe. This is because without being aware of the consequences, they would immediately explode it along with themselves and the whole world. So wisdom that speaks about human transformation and elevation to the next level of existence, instead of the simple benefit to which they have grown accustomed on the same level, is a very unique wisdom.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” 12/18/14

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The Kabbalists About The Nation Of Israel And The Nations Of The World, Part 15

Baal HaSulamThe Israeli nation must fulfill its mission.

Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Book of ZoharThus you see that the redemption of Israel and the whole of Israel’s merit depend on the study of The Zohar and the internality of the Torah. And vice versa, all the destruction and the decline of the Children of Israel are because they have abandoned the internality of the Torah. They have degraded its merit and made it seemingly redundant.

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A World Without Borders

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Torah, “Leviticus,” Parshat Kedoshim, 19:23-25: And when ye shall come into the land, and shall have planted all manner of trees for food, then ye shall count the fruit thereof as forbidden; three years shall it be as forbidden unto you; it shall not be eaten. And in the fourth year all the fruit thereof shall be holy, for giving praise unto the LORD. But in the fifth year may ye eat of the fruit thereof, that it may yield unto you more richly the increase thereof: I am the LORD your God.

Question: What is the intention of division into three, four, and five? What is this gradation within a person?

Answer: A person who is involved in correcting himself has five levels of ego within himself. In the first three levels (0, 1, 2) he can’t feel his egoistic desires yet, just as a little child who is also unconscious of himself. After he goes through these three years, he attains the fourth level, the level of the sacred.

In the fourth level, the level of Bina, he must give all the fruits that he grows in the present level. This is called bestowal in order to bestow. And on the fifth level, his reception will be intended in order to bestow and so on this level, he can consume the fruits of his effort.

In the physical world, when talking about fulfilling a Mitzvah (precept) of consuming fruit, we take into account only what grows within the boundaries of the land of Israel, and not what is outside of the land. So from generation to generation, there have been constant debates about where the true borders of Israel stop. According to the Biblical borders, all of the holdings of King David, which existed even before the first Beit HaMikdash (temple), belong to Israel.

This included quite a wide area that included Transjordan, Syria, and Lebanon. And so when we bring fruit that grows from there, a problem is created. On the one hand, the Israelites didn’t grow the fruit, but on the other hand, it is not clear in whose territory they were working. There are a great many questions here, but they don’t affect us since we are involved with spiritual correction not physical correction.

It is said: “And when ye shall come into the land, and shall have planted all manner of trees for food.” In spiritual work, when you come to a desire and begin to work with it, it transforms from the level of the still to the vegetative. You can use it in order to bestow, only after you pass it through the first four phases: 0, 1, 2, 3 without using it, for in the fourth phase of Bina, everything is transmitted to the Beit HaMikdash. Only in the last phase is it possible to use it for yourself, because now your reception will be in order to bestow.

Question: Do you suppose that the physical borders of Israel must be like those in the days of King David?

Answer: According to the Talmud, there was a time that the borders of Israel stretched from the Nile on one side, including the Sinai, and on the other side, to Babylon.

I suppose that we don’t need to argue about this at all because the correction that is forcefully approaching us now will, in any case, destroy all the borders and blur them between the different people, their cultures, and all the different forms of life. The correction will unite everything and the mixture of the people will itself become the same Babylon, except corrected.

Question: Why doesn’t this directly affect Israel? Why is the mixture of different people taking place everywhere, whereas Israel is apparently left on the side?

Answer: It is because Israel must be the teacher, the leader of the overall correction, and must provide the demonstration of the correction.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 4/09/14

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The Maccabees And The Greek Ideology, Part 1

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: While we are celebrating  Chanukah, the festival of the victory of the Maccabees, let’s talk about the Hellenization, which prompted them to go to war with the Greeks.

After the conquests of Alexander of Macedonia, the Greeks imposed their culture, which in those days seemed quite enlightened, rational, and intellectual.

The rational approach, consciousness and understanding was at the forefront, on the one hand, and on the other hand, beauty and aesthetics. Competition also played an important role. Essentially, ancient Greek culture was portrayed as very progressive and dynamic.

Initially, in the first two centuries, the new government was sympathetic to all the peoples, including the Jews, allowing them to keep their customs and religious rituals. Together with this, they were required to be a part of the universal  “supermodel” empire with cultured moral principles.

At first glance, everything was okay. The Jewish elite joined the process and saw the developmental trends in it. But among the Jewish people appeared a group that opposed assimilation and wanted to keep its uniqueness instead of disappearing into the “collective” culture. Why was that? What was bad about it?

Answer: First of all, these events look very different to my eyes. That part of the people who remained faithful to Jewish culture represented not a quantitative, but a qualitative minority—the weakness of man’s internal forces.

Greek culture could not seriously penetrate Jewish culture, for it was in absolute opposition to what the Jewish people lived and breathed and what absorbed their entire approach to life. First of all, in those times, the Jews passed through a powerful comprehensive education system. It was said that there was no child from the age of six from Dan to Beersheba who didn’t know the laws of impurity and purity.

Moreover, this is talking about the inner purity of a person. Today Rabbis pass examinations on Kashrut, but the people knew then that “purity” was essentially the intention to bestow, and “love your friend as yourself.” Impurity was its opposite, the use of the ego for personal benefit. The Jews lived according to the law of love until the days of Rabbi Akiva, when the second Beit HaMikdash (temple) was destroyed and the principle of love your friend as yourself collapsed, something which later led to the exile of the Jewish people.

Indeed in the period of the Maccabees, they were all still at a great spiritual height; people knew how to keep the Torah and the Mitzvot (precepts) in the spiritual sense by correcting their desires for the good of others and for the good of the Creator. All of them then were truly as one person with one heart. They certainly were compelled at every moment to overcome the evil inclination that was continuously growing, and in this way, they rose higher and higher in the love of others, in unity. Their unity caused growth of the ego at all times and they again united again above it in order to discover all of the ego within the people, connect above it, and attain the completion of correction.

They yearned for this, and on this condition the first Beit HaMikdash was built. Then a retreat from this began, which was completely natural, until everything was destroyed and the people of Israel went into exile and then later left it, as it is said, Genesis 15:14: with great substance, as in the time of the exodus from Egypt. However, this time it would draw all of humanity after it, which in fact is something that we need to do today.

First of all it is necessary to understand the process, which is completely opposite of what happens with all other people. The people of Israel live according to the law, Leviticus 19:18: And you shall love your friend as yourself, in Arvut (mutual guarantee), each one supporting the others and creating unity through the power of bestowal. And then the Creator was revealed among them.

The prophets also appeared from here. Everything that they did and wrote was derived from living within the Light, through discovering the higher power, the true higher reality.
From the program “A New Life” 12/14/14

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Dr. Michael LaitmanToday’s modern world has become a small village in which everyone depends on everyone else. However, it is steadily degrading because it lacks the power of connection that would consolidate and weld us all together. The world needs to get this power from the people of Israel.

But the people of Israel don’t want to carry out their role or fulfill their mission and serve as an example for connection and unity for the rest of the world. Each one aspires to hide in his niche, imitating the European lifestyle under the conditions of Western democracy that make it possible for a person to live in isolation independently.

But this aspiration is absolutely opposed to the spirit of the people of Israel, for it doesn’t allow us to attain Arvut (mutual guarantee). And Arvut is the foundation and basis for the existence of our people.

Question: It has seemed to us that the problem is in the forces of darkness that are arising in the world in the terrorist organizations of extremist Islam. So now it is becoming clear that the world lacks the power of connection and unity?

Answer: The point is not the terrorists and not the anti-Semites. This is only the result of the lack of Light, due to which dark desires appear in humanity, in an individual or in a group of people.

In the hands of the people of Israel is a faucet of Light, and whether this faucet is opened so that the Light will stream to the world or whether it is closed depends upon them. This is the reason that all the nations of the world blame Israel; they blame us that they aren’t getting the Light. They don’t understand that they lack the Light, but intuitively they feel that we are to blame for all of their problems.

Everything that happens among the people of Israel influences the whole world. Whereas, our people don’t understand and don’t want to listen to the fact that without inner unity, we are not at all the people of Israel and we are not positioning ourselves against the power of nature.

Question: The mood today in Israeli society is very bleak. People feel disappointment from what is happening in the nation. Today we very much require such a miracle as occurred on Chanukah. What must be done so that the miracle will happen?

Answer: The miracle will happen only thanks to integral education. The war of the Maccabees was an ideological war. The Greeks didn’t come with the goal of physically annihilating the Jewish people, they wanted to annihilate them ideologically. If we were to place them in an endless soccer game, then it would be possible to assume that the Jewish people would be wiped out. Annihilation of the people of Israel means playing instead of engaging in connection and unity.

Question: Soccer is a good example because this year there were unprecedented events of cruelty and violence at soccer games, the like of which has never been seen in Israel. Warm feelings of fans for their team suddenly became so fanatically violent that it was really frightening to enter the stadium. This is an example of an anti-Israeli spirit. What is the Israeli spirit that we need to attain instead of this?

Answer: It is said: (Proverbs 10:12): Love covereth all transgressions. Above every force of separation we need to establish the force of unity. This is even though this force of separation remains and we cannot do anything about it because this force comes to us from nature. We don’t need to struggle against this force, our impatience, or the hatred and jealousy. In spite of their existence, we must cover them with love, our good attitude towards others, bestowal and trust.
From the program “A New Life” 12/11/14

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Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 12.24.14

Writings of Rabash, “Shlavei HaSulam,” Article 32  

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The Book of Zohar — Selected Excerpts

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Talmud Eser Sefirot Vol. 6, Part 16, Item 81

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Talmud Eser Sefirot Vol. 2, Part 6, Item 2 

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Writings of Baal HaSulam “The Essence of the Wisdom of Kabbalah,” “The Language of the Kabbalists Is A Language of Branches”  

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