Listen to an Audio Version of the Blog
Download: MP3 Audio
Listen to an Audio Version of the Blog
Download: MP3 Audio
In the News (from InoSMI): “Calls for the extermination of the Jews is a legitimate expression of criticizing the Jewish state. This statement, terrible in its meaning, was not announced by the Iranian leader and his allies in the organization ‘Hezbollah,’ and not even by the press service of the Hamas, but the spokesman for the prosecutor office in the Austrian city of Linz.
“Austria that gave rise to Hitler has reached a new level of insensitivity, cynicism and injustice. For the representative of the legal system, Israel is so unpleasant that the call for its destruction is considered as mere criticism, which it is quite legitimate.
“Accidental or deliberate statement of Barack Obama, as the US president, defined the Paris attack as an incident with the ‘accidental shooting at a group of people.’
“And the resourcefulness of the press service of the State Department seeks only to ensure that the anti-Semitic attack is not recognized, thus giving legality to the murder of people whose fault is that they are Jews. The US leader’s statement supports anti-Semitic sentiments, but based on the realities, it seems, they never disappeared.”
My Comment: Anti-Semitism is an imprint of the behavior of Jews: to the extent to which they fulfill their purpose, to lead the world to unity and adhesion with the Creator, to that extent, the world and the Creator treat us. And vice versa…
Question: You said that the strength of luck leads us into the next world. What future world do you have in mind?
Answer: The future world means that I exit my body. In other words, I rise above my ego. The ego is all my desires, thoughts, inclinations and all my selfish awareness that is called my body, not my flesh, which is considered to be an animal.
I must rise above all these desires and thoughts, and instead of seeking to absorb everything internally, I have the desire to give to my neighbor.
This means that the soul leaves the body, I feel the future world and I find a new desire to bestow, to love, and unite. All this is called the second body in which I enter and act on the basis of these new desires. So I move further and further until I reach full correction.
The future world means a world to come, my next state, which I achieve as a result of work on myself and my attitude towards others. I exchange this world for the future world by exchanging love for myself for love of my neighbor. This means I reach the next world from this world and enter the Garden of Eden.
Question: Why is it called the Garden of Eden?
Answer: Because I’m starting to feel that I am beyond all limits, because there are no boundaries in bestowing to others. I am in an expanse that fully belongs to me.
Question: What does it mean to bestow on to everyone?
Answer: To bestow means to do good out of love for everyone.
Question: Why is it if a person wants to do good to all then one is in the Garden of Eden?
Answer: Because the Garden of Eden is called the place where you can do whatever you want without any restrictions. After all, you want to give, and there are no boundaries on bestowal. And then you feel that everything is for the good of everyone, everything is for you and is full abundance.
In other words, the future of the world is called the land of Israel (Eretz Isra-El), the desire fully directed at the Creator. The Creator is a comprehensive force of bestowal and love, which includes all of creation, including us. You have to unravel it according to the similarities of properties with Him. Therefore, you are called Isra-El because you want to achieve the same state, the same values of the Creator.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” 1/8/15
The Torah, “Leviticus,” 23:01 – 23:2: And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, Speak to the children of Israel and say to them: The Lord’s appointed [holy days] that you shall designate as holy occasions. These are My appointed [holy days].
Holy convocation at different levels, this is the holidays.
Before you come together, people are seriously engaged in a spiritual work, trying to unite. This period is called the distance between the holidays. A parish of the unified masses to a new higher degree of unity among themselves epitomizes a holiday.
The Torah describes what sacrifices were made and what level of egoism over which people had to ascend in order to create a particular style of sacred assembly, which is called the Passover, Shavuot, Sukkot, etc.
Question: From a spiritual point of view, towards what point does the chain of events lead a person?
Answer: Towards reaching complete perfection. Of all the holidays, there are two most obscure: Shavuot and Purim. It would seem, especially the holiday of Shavuot (the receiving of the Torah), which lasts only one day and during which they only read very small portions to pray and they eat dairy foods. Receiving the Torah is an enormous celebration! What could be more important than that? The custom to eat dairy food that day comes from the fact that it symbolizes the property to give, to distribute the property of the Torah.
We treat Purim as some children’s holiday. These are the two most hidden holidays because they have to be reached by very serious internal efforts. As a rule, the higher, deeper, and spiritually stronger some states are, so they are more discreet, hidden, and humble .
Comment: We always talk a lot about the holiday of Passover, the exodus from Egypt, but this is only the beginning.
Answer: This is the beginning of all spiritual states. And besides, this is the beginning of the year, the beginning of the month, and the beginning of any calculation in spiritual work.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 5/28/14
In the News (The Independent): “The world has entered an era of ‘peak food’ production with an array of staples from corn and rice to wheat and chicken slowing in growth – with potentially disastrous consequences for feeding the planet.
“New research finds that the supply of 21 staples, such as eggs, meat, vegetables and soybeans is already beginning to run out of momentum, while the global population continues to soar.
“Peak production refers to the point at which the growth in a crop, animal, or other food source begins to slow down, rather than the point at which production actually declines. However, it is regarded as a key signal that the momentum is being lost and it is typically only a matter of time before production plateaus and, in some cases, begins to fall – although it is unclear how long the process could take.
“‘Just nine or 10 plants species feed the world. But we found there’s a peak for all these resources. Even renewable resources won’t last forever,’ said Ralf Seppelt, of the Helmholtz Centre.
“The simultaneous peaking of crops and livestock comes against a backdrop of a growing population, which is expected to reach nine billion by 2050, requiring the world to produce twice as much food by then as it does now, according to a separate study by the California Academy of Sciences.
“‘That trajectory [of needing to double food production] is not a given but more of a warning. It means we have to change how we eat and use food,’ said Jonathan Foley, the director of the California Academy of Sciences.”
My Comment: When there is overproduction of food in the world and the only problem is correct distribution, nature will drive us forward to the correction of our egoism by all possible means: hunger, climate, military, social, terrorist, family, and all the other problems. There will arise such problems, the existence of which we did not even suspect.
Kabbalah talks only about what’s going on inside us. The terms “Israel” and the “nations of the world” stand for our internal properties. However, we use these definitions as if we talk about corporeality. Yet, these notions never imply this realm. Rather, they refer to the internal qualities of a human being.
Kabbalists use common, plain, earthly words to describe spirituality because there are no other words in our vocabulary. Even if we saw the other realm, we would not be able to find accurate words to express our impressions. We would fail to give names to the phenomena that take place there.
If we were to write the titles of all objects in the room on post-it notes, there would be lamps, doors, windows, and bookcases since each thing has a name. If we correct our properties, we would move the wall that separates us from spirituality. We would remove the wall that hides the upper world from us, but, we still wouldn’t find the right words to describe what we actually see there.
It is impossible to find the correct words to name the forces and actions associated with the other realm. How would you explain to others what you saw in spirituality? Let’s say somebody asks you: “Please, tell me a little about what’s there! I am eager to know!” You wouldn’t be able to describe a thing!
Kabbalistic books explain the unexplainable. Kabbalists were the ones who found a solution. We all live in this world, both Kabbalists and common people. We all know this reality.
So, Kabbalists have said: “We will tell you about spirituality.” They wrote books about the spiritual dimension: The Torah, the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmud, Mishnah, The Zohar, The Study of the Ten Sefirot. All these books are called sacred; they are not ordinary books because they describe the upper world.
However, we cannot describe spirituality using spiritual words since there are no words there. That’s why these books tell us stories as if they are happening in this world, when in fact, all of them are about the upper reality.
Spirituality is parallel to this world. It is a dimension of forces, desires, impressions, and sensations. It is a domain of feelings! However, the feelings there are not egoistic as they are here on this planet. Rather, they derive from the property of bestowal that doesn’t exist in this world. These are the sensations of love, bestowal, unity, reciprocity, only positive feelings.
From KabTV’s “The Torah Chapters with Shmuel Vilozni” 2/2/15
Conducting consecrations in the Temple required lots of exertions. For example, during the hardest day of Yom Kippur “The Day of Atonement,” (Judgment Day) Cohens had to fast.
Aaron was incredibly strong. During the initiation of Levites, Aaron lifted each one of them and shook them back and forth, up and down.
One day, he lifted twenty thousand men. Aaron’s vigor was exceptional; all the Cohanim were known for their strength.” (“Let There Be Light,” “Leviticus,” “Emor”)
“Lifting Levites” means to elevate a desire to its next level, to give the desire both the right and left lines and then put them down so that they have to figure out how to climb the steps on their own.
The Upper Bina that is symbolized by the Cohens (priests) possesses a very interesting quality that sits so deep inside the property of bestowal that nobody knows how to rise to it, how to approach it. It is as if a hand stretches from above and elevates one to its level.
This is exactly what the Cohens had to do during Yom Kippur because at this time all five egoistic desires are already “rejected” and people become “empty,” i.e., ready to surrender to everything that is essential for them.
As people are ready to “die,” i.e., complete self-correction at a certain stage that is symbolized by white clothes that the Cohens had to wear on the “Day of Atonement.” In this case, the upper can do anything with the lower that had annulled itself.
For Levites, the Cohen is the upper step. He brings them up. They merge with the Cohens by nullifying themselves. After they’ve been through this state, they return back so that they independently request the power of bestowal and love to raise them back to the level they descended from, regardless of the egoism that came back to them after Yom Kippur is over.
Question: Who is a Levite?
Answer: A Levite personifies a link of connection with the people, the lower part of Bina. Through them, the Cohens contact Israel.
A Cohen is the upper governing step that is connected to the Creator; whereas, Levites are “tangled” both with Cohens and the people of Israel.
From KabTV’s “The Mysteries of the Eternal Book” 5/14/14
Chapter 2: I Want, Therefore I Am
Life as an Evolution of Desires
A Point in the Heart
This is the level that Rabbi Nathan Shapiro called, “the Godly speaking.” It is this desire that drives us to explore how this world runs, what makes it run the way it does, and why. It is this desire that we call “Israel,” Yashar El (straight to the Creator). In Abraham, that desire appeared as the craving to know “How it was possible for this wheel to always turn without a driver? Who is turning it, for it cannot turn itself?”[i]
Baal HaSulam named that desire to know the Creator, “the point in the heart.” In his “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” he explains that the heart can be viewed as the whole of one’s desires, and “the point in the heart” is the desire within us that aims toward the Creator.[ii] My teacher, Rav Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag (the Rabash), the firstborn son of Baal HaSulam and his successor, explained that the “point in the heart” is the desire called “Israel.” In his words, “There is also Israel in a person … but it is called ‘a point in the heart.’”[iii]
Now we can see why Abraham was so determined to share what he had found. He knew that human desires were evolving, and he knew that the more they evolve, the more they will turn toward acquiring wealth, power, domination over others, and knowledge. It was clear to him that without acquiring the knowledge of the nature of human desires, people would not be able to manage themselves and their societies properly.
Once Nimrod succeeded in thwarting Abraham’s efforts to circulate his knowledge to the Babylonians, that wise man took those who followed him and went out of Babylon to spread his message outward. Indeed, Abraham’s legacy for us is that those who understand what he had taught should share the knowledge with whomever is willing to listen. In the words of The Book of Zohar, “Abraham dug that well [Beer Sheba]. He founded it because he had taught all the people in the world to serve the Creator. And once he dug it, it is emitting living waters that never cease.”[iv]
Today’s people of Israel are the descendants of Abraham’s students, people with points in their hearts, the point of Israel within them. And although that point is now buried under centuries of oblivion, it exists and awaits being rekindled. In the words of the Holy Shlah, “Israel are called the ‘Assembly of Israel,’ for although below they are parted from one another, still, above, at the root of their souls, they are one unity, and they are congregated, for they are the part of the Lord. The branches [the people of Israel] that wish to return to their roots must follow the example of their roots, meaning unite below as well. When separation is among them, they seemingly cause separation and severance above, see how far the matter extends. Therefore, the whole of the house of Israel must pursue peace and be one, in peace and wholeness, without a flaw, to resemble their Maker [be in equivalence of form with Him], for so is the name of the Lord, ‘Peace.’”[v]
Once Israel unite and thus correct themselves, they can fulfill their vocation and be “A light unto the nations” (Isaiah 42:6). In the words of Rabbi Naphtali Tzvi Yehuda Berlin (The NATZIV of Volojin), “The main reason why most of us live in exile is that the Lord disclosed to Abraham Our Father that his sons were made to be a light unto the nations, which is impossible unless they are scattered in the exile. So was Jacob, Our Father, when he came to Egypt, where the majority of the people were. By that, His name was made great, when they saw His providence over Jacob and his descendants.”[vi]
Speaking of the evolution of desires, the human race constitutes the fourth, and highest level of desire, the only one that allows for free choice. But to make the right choices, people need to know how everything works from its root. The Israeli people represent the desire to know the root, and it is therefore their responsibility to study the root, and pass their insights and perceptions on to the rest of humanity. Thus, everyone will know how to make their choices work in their benefit.
To obtain that knowledge, Abraham formed a study method that sages throughout the ages nurtured and developed. The next chapter will depict the evolution of that method which, since the writing of The Book of Zohar, has been referred to as “Kabbalah.”
[i] Maimonides, Yad HaChazakah (The Mighty Hand), Part 1, “The Book of Science,” Chapter 1, Item 1.
[ii] Rav Yehuda Leib HaLevi Ashlag (Baal HaSulam), The Writings of Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” items 43-44 (Ashlag Research Institute, Israel, 2009), 444.
[iii] Rav Baruch Shalom Ashlag (the Rabash), The Writings of Rabash, “On My Bed at Night” (Ashlag Research Institute, Israel, 2008), 129.
[iv] Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai (Rashbi), The Book of Zohar (with the Sulam [Ladder] Commentary by Baal HaSulam, New Zohar, Parashat Toldot, vol. 19, item 31 (Jerusalem), 8-9.
[v] Rabbi Isaiah HaLevi Horowitz (The Holy Shlah), Masechet Sukkah [Treatise, Sukkah], Chapter, “Torah, Light” (13).
[vi] Rabbi Naphtali Tzvi Yehuda Berlin (The NATZIV of Volojin), Haamek Davar [Delve Deep in the Matter] about Beresheet [Genesis], Chapter 47:28.
Writings of Rabash, “Steps of the Ladder,” Item 21
The Book of Zohar, Selected Excerpts — “Correction and the End of Correction,” Item 228
Talmud Eser Sefirot, Vol. 6, Part 15, “Histaklut Pnimit,” Item 203
Writings of Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” Item 5