Question: Israel’s reputation today in the international arena, mildly speaking, is lamentable and continues to deteriorate. Why is this happening? After all, the historical contribution of our people is enormous.
We gave mankind the Old Testament, the foundations of law, ethics, morality, and much more. In fact, we are talking about a huge impact on the world.
These days it seems that everything is finally over and cut off from us. Should we perhaps re-awaken their potential? Is it time to look back and take a closer look at our own history?
Where did we come from? What ancestral properties define our role among the nations? We have experienced a boom and then went into a long exile, but left with special “baggage” and began to affect the world. What is this “charge” which remains with us everywhere?
Answer: First of all, the period when we were the country and the people is radically different from subsequent events. We ourselves have caused the destruction of the Temple and therefore went into exile.
For generations, from the time of entry into the land of Israel, from the time of Joshua and before, the collapse of our people in varying degrees was in the revelation of the Creator, the Upper Force. Kabbalists were always among us, people knew about them, spoke to them, and they influenced people in their turn.
The era of the prophets, kings, and so on were replaced, but there was a gradual decline after the spiritual peaks of the First Temple. Sometimes there were bursts of “residual” rises, but the overall trend led us down.
In the framework of this process, the Babylonian exile, after the fall of the First Temple, in a spiritual sense, was above the era of the Second Temple. It was a higher comprehension and sensation of the meaning of life , for the disclosure of the Upper Force, which accompanies, took care of, and developed us to become “a Light to the nations.”
The rollback lasted a long time, but before the collapse of the Second Temple, the prominent milestones, people knew and understood that they were “under the care of” the higher power.
Only in the last exile did we begin to shut ourselves down, to be removed from it, but not right away. For another hundred years, people have been depressed by this loss. Memory of the past still lives in us, as evidenced by the Book of Lamentations.
Moreover, the people knew in advance that there was no alternative, and they would have to go into an exile. However, they still had to fight it by trying to take the development along the good way, the path of acceleration.
In general, we always have two paths in front of us: the timely and the accelerated ways. The timely way in which we go under the strict influence of the forces of nature, according to the terms laid down in the general program.
The path of acceleration is where we can speed up the time and sweeten the stages by developing faster than nature requires us to. We are drawn to the future state, mobilizing forces in our environment. It depends on our unity, how eager we are to return to unity despite the egoism that dissociates us.
In order to “stay ahead of time,” pleas, prayers, and invocations are necessary to leverage the Upper Force for help. And then we develop in a good way when united.
Thus, on the one hand, we must recognize that our fall was going to happen, and that it is directed from above, and on the other hand, we must admit that it is caused from above, that we below could not move our development to a different path, a more favorable one in our eyes and in the eyes of a Upper Force.
After all, there are laws according to which at each point of the historic axis we must go through a certain state, experience a certain revelation of egoism of the human nature. Such revelation can take both a positive and a negative form.
By “accelerating” on the right path, I manifest my egoism since it is necessary for the egoism’s correction. In this case, I am not afraid because I know beforehand that it will be unpleasant, and I store appropriate strength, certain details of perception, and connection with friends, so together we would control the revelation of this “monster.” We are not afraid of it as joint forces can keep it in check so that it will not attack us.
Question: It is said that the Temple was destroyed because of baseless hatred. Does this mean that we were not able to cope with the egoism?
Answer: Yes, the egoism broke free and scattered us away from each other. This alienation is called hatred. The hatred is really causeless, and I find vitality in this for myself. I feel good and nice to hate everyone. Such hatred manifests differently in our relationships, taking such forms that have no justification, no reason. Egoism rages in everyone by causing the contention.
Today we see how the hostility covers the whole world. Strife and conflict multiply, and like all naughty children, we sink into the mire of conflict by finding nothing else to do while walking on the brink of a major war.
So, the people of Israel lost the ability to curb their egoism and to stay on top of it. “Love your neighbor as thyself, a great Torah rule!” Rabbi Akiva shouted, “Let’s go back to love! Otherwise as a result of our hatred we will end up with the collapse of the Temple, the collapse of the people, and the collapse of the country, the end of everything.” But he was not heard.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” 12/25/14