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Opinion (Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum):
“The post-crisis era is over, and the ‘post-post-crisis world’ is upon us. It is time to adopt a new framework of realistic solutions that promote shared prosperity within the global economy of today and tomorrow.
“In this new era, economic growth will occur more slowly – but potentially more sustainably – than it did before the crisis. And technological change will be its driving force.
“The pace of change has been accelerated by the interconnected nature of today’s world. Technological progress is occurring within a complex and deeply integrated ecosystem, meaning that it simultaneously affects economic structures, governments, security arrangements, and people’s daily lives.
“In order to prepare a country to reap the benefits of rapid, far-reaching change, policymakers must account for the entirety of the ecosystem in which it is taking place, ensuring that government, business, and society all adjust to every shift. In other words, competing in the twenty-first century economy will require relentless adaptation.”
My Comment: The changes will positively manifest in us only if we become like them, i.e., will take care to meet them in an integral society. Otherwise, we will be forced to change to more positive relationships with each other, and we will perceive this enforcement as great suffering.
They would suddenly become airy, and what was airy, on the contrary, would become solid. Properties of matter in nature that are not known to us today would be discovered.
Question: Can you really pass through walls?
Answer: Certainly not. The idea is that a person who studies the wisdom of Kabbalah discovers hidden phenomena in nature and sees a different picture of the world. He begins to live within it in addition to his normal existence in this world. He is found simultaneously in two channels of the perception of reality. It is as if there were two channels on our television. The first channel is what we perceive through our physical senses. And the second channel is what we perceive through our spiritual senses, called Keter, Hochma, Bina, Zeir Anpin, and Malchut.
Similar to the senses that are in our bodies: sight, hearing, smelling, taste, and touch, we also have five kinds of feelings that belong to the soul: Keter, Hochma, Bina, Zeir Anpin, and Malchut.
Question: And what do we see on the second channel?
Answer: On the second channel we see another world in which there is a network of forces that govern our world, that is the one broadcast on the first channel. If we want to discover how this world operates, what moves it, which forces manage it, where its control point is found, from where all the decisions go out, all this is found in the spiritual world. The wisdom of Kabbalah teaches us how to enter into it, in order to truly receive an opportunity to manage our situation, our life. Then we wake up from the dream in which we were living all the time. For after all, we can look at ourselves from the side and understand what kind of a dream we will be found in if we don’t attain the upper world.
Question: If we are asleep and are not seeing the real life, why isn’t there some kind of alarm clock that will wake us up to it, like the alarm clock that wakes us up every morning from sleep?
Answer: There is an awakening like this at the time of death. Death interrupts our dream and we stop dreaming about this life. The world that we see now is the lowest world among all the worlds; there is nothing lower than it. Yet, in spite of it all, it gives us some sense of life, even though it is very limited and misleading. It is possible to clarify and analyze this feeling to see its falsity. With the help of the wisdom of Kabbalah we learn to turn our new senses as if they were all turning in different directions: counterclockwise or clockwise. Thus we create all possible combinations and we can see the forms of other worlds, worlds on different levels of the perception of reality. To do this it is only necessary to learn to manage our nature, our desires.
From the Radio Program Israeli 103FM 2/1/15
“There is none else beside Him” is the main and most important topic in the wisdom of Kabbalah and in the life of a person in general. First of all, it is the foundation for our entire outlook on life and the perception of reality since everything is derived from one force. It is up to us to know how to relate to what He portrays within us, how He has constructed us to feel as if we exist within bodies in an external reality, and how desires and thoughts are awakened in us at every moment so it seems to us that we exist and reality surrounds us.
But all in all this is an imaginary portrayal that doesn’t really exist; it only seems that way to us. Through the right attitude towards reality and ourselves, through everything that we feel within our senses, can we reach a true perception of the higher power. We discover that He exists and He actually determines and molds everything for us.
“There is none else beside Him,” means that everything that I feel comes from this Higher Power, which portrays this picture for me. It is up to me to relate to the entire reality that comes from Him.
I forget this at every moment, and at every moment is a new way to perceive a new reality as if I exist and the environment exists by itself, not derived from any outside source.
At every moment I must concentrate my perception, my inner sight, my inner feeling and thought, that in the end, all of this arises as a result of the influence of the upper force on me. There exists a particular point in me and this force portrays all the rest for me. Within that point I feel myself, and the world in which everything is turning and transforming.
I must say that everything that I feel as a disturbance that diverts me from the right perception comes from the Creator and “There is none else beside Him.” Only He creates this reality and confuses me at every moment. It is up to me to say that all of this is for my own good. Which is to say, all of the disturbances, the confusion, the disappointments, all of the pleasant and unpleasant things, everything that attracts or repels, everything that passes my way, He organizes for me very precisely so that according to all of these disturbances I will direct myself at every moment to the only source that arouses everything within me.
In this war between me and the Creator (who is always confusing me), I begin to relate to the world as if it exists on its own, for the various people who influence me and awaken various impressions in me and also that I am constantly changing myself. In all of this, it is up to me to see only Him.
In this way I clarify all of the Reshimot (remembrances), meaning the entire great performance that they display in front of me and in which I participate. If I persist, clarifying as successfully as possible, I seem to advance. But that is not true; I don’t advance that way.
It is logical that if I relate to the Creator like this, then I am found in a conflict, in opposition to Him; we are found one against the other. And this attitude is incorrect. After all, the Creator organized all of these states for me so that I would be constantly directed towards Him. I will err, I will be confused, and I won’t succeed in remaining directed towards Him and feeling that all of this imaginary reality exists on some screen between Him and me on which He portrays the world for me.
If a person constantly wants to locate the Creator behind this entire picture, he reaches absolute despair because he is unable to hold on to this. This despair is most helpful, targeted from the Creator. After all, the person then begins to feel that he needs help from above, because he is not able to be connected to that source, to that single cause that builds for him the reality around him at every moment. And so he breaks out with a request, with a prayer, with a cry, with resentment that he is constantly yearning to be in connection with the source, with the cause, with the Creator, for this escapes him. A request is formed in him, a correct demand that the Creator help him. It means that he stops the game, the competition against the Creator, whereas the Creator had given the person a perception of the world so that he will feel himself. And the person feels that this is the reality. He relates to it without connection to the cause that constructs it, which is the upper force. The person sees that he is detached from the Creator all the time and is found in a performance, in a picture of an imaginary reality.
If the person’s request approaches being an inner demand again and again, he begins to feel that he is having a dialogue with the Creator about reality, faced by disturbances, which he no longer sees as disturbances but help. Through this he builds himself so that he can understand and feel the Creator. He begins to learn the language, how the Creator is turning towards him through all of this reality and how he attributes all of this reality to the Creator and knows how to answer Him.
And then, from his complaint, his suit against the Creator, he reaches thanks. He begins to understand that this is how the Creator is developing, growing, and educating him. He is teaching him to understand the higher language, which doesn’t come through words or letters but through the surrounding world.
The whole world, all of the person’s feelings about himself and the world, all of his perception becomes a very rich language; for the entire world is showing the person how the Creator relates to him and how the person relates to the Creator in response.
The world becomes a screen on which, through various forms, colors, sounds, through all the distinctions in the perception of the world, the person begins to identify a very unique and hidden code. As a result of this he begins to feel and understand the Creator.
Instead of the claims against the Creator that he has no control over the world and he cannot identify the source, the upper force, the unique cause, he begins to thank the Creator for everything that happens. About this it is said, “The entire world is worthwhile for him.” That is how the person advances.
The question that begins to be clarified is, “Why did the Creator make all of this?” To the degree that the person is ready to thank the Creator, to identify with Him, to be detached from himself, as if he didn’t exist at all, but he is ready to penetrate into the picture that the Creator presents to him and to identify with the upper force, he truly begins to feel by way of this language, which is the whole world, that he is adhered to the Creator and advances together with him by means of those same steps, the changes, the colored forms, the sounds, the feelings, and the thoughts.
The person identifies with the Creator and changes himself so much that he begins to advance together with the Creator with the same movement. And not only does he receive impressions from the Creator, but he tries to react, to adhere to that form, to that world, and to that picture. He doesn’t go after the Creator like a little child, but both of them begin to work with the same form, at the same rate. And then this world disappears.
For the world is a result of the difference between the influence of the Creator on the person and the reaction of the person in regard to that. But if they begin to be alike, to move at the same rate, with every step and with every stride without any difference between the deed that the Creator initiates and the deed that the person finishes, but everything happens together, then the form of the world, the picture of the world, disappears (“Olam” [world] from the word “Halam” [hidden]). Then the person and the Creator connect. This state is called “adhesion.” That is what we must reach.
From the Convention In France “One For All And All For One,” Day Two 5/10/14, Lesson 2
Psalms 91:1 – 91:4, 91:11: He who dwells in the covert of the Most High will lodge in the shadow of the Almighty. I shall say of the Lord [that He is] my shelter and my fortress, my God in Whom I trust. For He will save you from the snare that traps from the devastating pestilence. With His wind He will cover you, and under His wings you will take refuge; His truth is an encompassing shield. For He will command His angels on your behalf to guard you in all your ways.
The person who is found “in the covert of the Most High,” meaning that he feels the concealment that approaches him and must be careful not to fall into double concealment. In regular concealment a person understands that the concealment comes from the Creator, and in the double concealment, he already forgets that it is sent to him by the Creator and he succumbs to despair and discouragement.
Only mutual Arvut in a group and a rigid schedule can save him from regular concealment, that is something that works on the level of the still: the connection with the group and the rigid schedule. And besides this, it could be that they will have mercy on him from above and will give him awakening. But the main thing is how he prepares himself for these states from the start. It is impossible to rely on miracles and a special relationship; rather, he must constantly think about how not to depart from the process of advancement.
If a person is found a bit above double concealment, meaning in regular concealment, he must understand that he is “In the Covert of the Most High,” meaning that both the concealment and its form are sent from above. Everything, down to the last smallest detail, is arranged according to the relationship between the Light and the Kli that are optimally arranged for the person’s purposeful advancement.
So he must be thankful for this concealment. It is clear that he has no elevation, no power, nothing illuminates him or draws him forward, and nothing pushes him forward. Yet together with the absence of the power that attracts and pushes, in spite of the lack of energy that he has in general, he must draw conclusions in order to clarify his desire: How much is he ready or not ready to overcome?
He must analyze his life when he is awakened and illuminated from above and his life is in concealment.
What is the difference between this and that? How much does his system depend upon the awakening from above? Can he attain it through awakening by the group? After all, it is said: “They helped every one his neighbor” (Isaiah 41:6), “The envy of the scribes increases wisdom” (Baba Batra 22a),”Envy, lust, and honor take a person out of the world” (Pirkei Avot 4:28), meaning, from the bad state in which he is found to the good state.
It is impossible to submit to states where you are in a shadow, in concealment, “In the covert of the Most High”; rather, it is necessary to try to find signs of the work in them. As with the piano, where there are white keys – major, and black – minor, and it is impossible to play without the black, they are required.
Even though spices are only an addition to food, it is impossible to do without them as then the food would lack taste. So in darkness there are many discernments and it is necessary to prepare for it well. It is said: “Don’t be afraid of the dark night,” for if you use the states of darkness correctly, then only with them can you discover the courage, your good preparation, stability, and proper organization.
From the Preparation to the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/18/14
Chapter 4: A Nation on a Mission
The Role of the Jewish People
“Abraham was awarded the blessing of being as the stars of the heaven, Isaac, the blessing of the sand, and Jacob, as the dust of the earth, for the children of Israel were created to correct the whole of Creation.”
Yehuda Leib Arie Altar (ADMOR of Gur),
Sefat Emet [Language of Truth], Bamidbar [Numbers].
At the end of the previous chapter we asked, “If everything is all right, why is there so much wrong with the world?” and “If life’s fundamental law can be known to all, how come so few know it, especially now that we are we at a loss as to how to handle the multiple crises engulfing human society?” We said that to answer those questions, we need to understand how the knowledge of the law spreads, and how Jews are related to its spreading.
You may recall that in the Introduction, we established that once Abraham discovered that a single force was leading the world, he rushed to tell his countryfolk about his discovery. He posed no preconditions; he wished to share his newfound knowledge with everyone. Alas, neither his king, Nimrod, nor the people were ready to accept the notion that life’s governing force is one of bestowal, and that their goal in life, as we said in Chapter 1, is to reveal it through being similar, or even equal to it. The Babylonians of Abraham’s time were too preoccupied with building their tower and attempting to defy the laws of Nature.
As Abraham wandered through what is now the Near and Middle East on his way to Canaan, he gathered into his tent, and tenet, all who were able to comprehend his notions and commit to self-transformation from egotism to bestowal. Those people later became the nation of Israel, named so after the desire to reach straight for the Creator.
And yet, life’s four levels—still, vegetative, animate, and speaking—are a constant. They must be actualized to the fullest, and all those who physically belong to the speaking level must eventually achieve it spiritually, as well. The fact that not all Babylonians were ready to commit to changing themselves at Abraham’s time changes nothing in terms of the final purpose for which the human race exists. Hence, those who were ready and willing to commit became the “guardians” of the knowledge, entrusted with keeping and nurturing it for posterity.
In his essay, “The Arvut (mutual guarantee),” Baal HaSulam wrote, “[The Creator said] ‘You shall be My Segula [remedy/virtue] from among all peoples.’ This means that you will be My remedy, and sparks of purification and cleansing of the body shall pass through you onto all the peoples and the nations of the world. The nations of the world are not yet ready for it, and I need at least one nation to start with now, so it will be as a remedy for all the nations.”[i]
This quote, coupled with the words of Rabbi Altar, quoted in the beginning of this chapter, “The children of Israel were created to correct the whole of Creation,” and joined with the quotations below in this chapter, leaves little doubt as to the view of Jewish spiritual leaders throughout the ages regarding the role for which Jews exist in the world.
When Moses led the people of Israel out of Egypt, he intended first and foremost to pass on to them the law he had learned himself, the law that Abraham had learned before him. His aim was to finish, or at least advance the mission that Abraham had started generations prior. Rav Moshe Chaim Lozzatto, the great Ramchal, wrote about it, “Moses wished to complete the correction of the world at that time. This is why he took the mixed multitude [self-centered people, without corrected desires], as he thought that thus would be the correction of the world that will be done at the end of correction … However, he did not succeed because of the corruptions that occurred along the way.”[ii] Despite the difficulties, writes Rabbi Isaac Wildman, “That was Moses’ prayer and blessing to the generation of the desert, that they would be the beginning of the correction of the world.”[iii]
Yet, the world had no wish for correction. The nations were not ready to relinquish self-love and embrace altruism—giving—as their prime quality. So in the meantime, the Israeli nation kept “polishing up” its own correction in wait for the rest of the nations to be ready and willing. In the words of Ramchal, “You should know … that Creation as a whole will not be completed until the whole of the chosen nation is arranged in the right order, completed in all its decorations, with the Shechina [Divinity] adhered to it. Consequently, the world will reach the complete state. …We must come to a state where the nation is fully complemented in all the required conditions, and the whole of Creation receives its completeness, and then the world will be established permanently in the corrected state.”[iv]
It follows that the Israeli nation serves as a channel by which correction, namely the quality of bestowal, should reach its intended recipients: the nations of the world. In his eloquent, florid style, Rav Kook details how he sees the role of the Jews regarding the rest of the nations. “As Israel’s vocation, being the nation of the Lord, is present, complete, apparent, lasting, and active in the world, it is a valid testimony for the world for all posterity to complement the form of the human race, to keep its characteristics, and to elevate it through the rungs of sanctity appropriate for it … which the Lord determined. And since our own vocation is ever standing, accompanying the vocation of the whole of Nature—whose law is to complete all creations and bring them to the apex of perfection—we must guard it devoutly for the life of us all, which is kept within it, and for the whole of humanity and its moral development, whose fate depends on the fate of our existence.”[v]
As shown in the Introduction to this book, the Rav Kook even goes so far as to say, “The genuine movement of the Israeli soul at its grandest is expressed only by its sacred, eternal force, which flows within its spirit. It is that which has made it, is making it, and will make it still a nation that stands as a light unto nations.”[vi]
In his book, Ein Ayah [A Hawk’s Eye], Rav Kook adds further: “Within Israel is a hidden sanctity of elevating the value of life itself through the Divinity that is present in Israel. The national soul of the Assembly of Israel aspires for the most sublime and exalted, to act in life by the most exalted and Godly value, by that same value that will make no person capable of asking, ‘What is the purpose of such a life?’ having seen the glory and sublimity of its pleasantness and magnificence. With utter completeness will it be completed within the house of Israel, and from it, it will radiate to the earth and to the whole world, ‘for a covenant of the people, for a light of the nations.’”[vii]
Similarly, Rabbi Naphtali Tzvi Yehuda Berlin (known as “The NATZIV of Volojin”) wrote, “Isaiah the prophet said, ‘I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations,’ that is, to correct the covenant, which is the faith, for every nation. They will be casting off the faith in idols and will believe in one God. Indeed, the covenant with Abraham our Father had been signed on that matter.”[viii]
[i] Rav Yehuda Leib HaLevi Ashlag (Baal HaSulam), The Writings of Baal HaSulam, “The Arvut [Mutual Guarantee],” item 28 (Ashlag Research Institute, Israel, 2009), 397.
[ii] Rav Moshe Chaim Lozzatto (Ramchal), The Commentary of Ramchal on the Torah, BaMidbar [Numbers].
[iii] Yitzhak Isaac Hever Wildman, Beit Olamim [A House Everlasting] (Warsaw, 1889), 130a.
[iv] Rav Moshe Chaim Lozzatto (Ramchal), Essay of the Tenets, (Oybervisha (Felsövisó) Romania, 1928), 15. Online source: http://www.hebrewbooks.org/33059
[v] Rav Abraham Isaac HaCohen Kook (Raaiah) (appeared in HaPeles, a rabbinical magazine, Berlin, Germany, 1901) (A. The Vocation of Israel and Its Nationality, Chapter 1, p 26).
[vi] HaRav Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook, Letters of the RAAIAH 3, 194-195.
[vii] Rav Abraham Isaac HaCohen Kook (Raaiah), Ein Ayah [A Hawk’s Eye], Shabbat 1, p 188.
[viii] Rabbi Naphtali Tzvi Yehuda Berlin (The NATZIV of Volojin), Haamek Davar [Delve Deep in the Matter] about Devarim [Deuteronomy], Chapter 27:5.