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The Scroll Of Esther: Collective Punishment

Dr. Michael LaitmanFor hundreds of years we have tried to organize a normal life in the countries in which we lived, but circumstances constantly forced us to return to the realization of unity. The clearest example of this is the story of Purim.

The Jews were scattered throughout the Babylonian empire, and with time they began to forget their mission. They simply wanted to be like all the peoples of Babylon and live like everyone else, but a series of events put them in danger of annihilation.

Everything began with a Jew named Mordechai who lived in the capital city of Shushan. His protege Esther, by concealing her origin, was taken to the palace and became the queen.

There was a time when Mordechai exposed an attempt to assassinate the King, and by this action, he saved the King’s life but didn’t merit an expression of thanks and gratitude. Moreover, instead of Mordechai, the King promoted Haman and raised him to be a minister over all the ministers and instructed all of his subjects to bow down before him.

And that is what everyone did, except for Mordechai. Haman was furious, full of rage, and so decided to annihilate all of the Jews. He informed the king that there was one scattered and separated people in his kingdom who didn’t accept the orders of the king, so they had to be annihilated.
From the brochure about the holiday of Purim, 03/2015

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The Scroll Of Esther: Our Spiritual Heritage

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Scroll of Esther 3:8: Haman said to King Achashverosh, There is one nation, scattered and dispersed among the nations throughout the provinces of your kingdom, whose laws are unlike those of any other nation and who do not obey the laws of the King. It is not in the King’s interest to tolerate them. Unity was always the basis and the foundation of the Jewish people and was the power that didn’t let them dissolve while in exile.

There is a wonderful destiny for this unity, and at the beginning of it was Adam, the first man to rise above himself.

Spiritual Heritage

Adam laid the foundation for the spiritual history of humanity. He was the first among all humans who ascended above the properties of ego and self-love to a higher level of love of others. In this higher characteristic he discovered the upper world, a world outside of himself and outside of his ego.

His students continued the spiritual elevation of Adam, and with the passage of 20 generations, this chain reached ancient Babylon, which was the cradle of the present civilization.

Abraham lived here and continued the way of Adam. After gathering people from among the Babylonians who possessed an identical outlook, Abraham went with them to the land of Israel in order to give the whole world an example of real unity. The continuation of this group became the same people that still haunts humanity.

Thus, the Jewish people arose originally not on an ethnic basis, but an ideological one. Our ancestors picked up an idea, and throughout the history of humanity, and it alone determines our common path: the path to the universal unification of humanity.

With the passage of almost 1,000 years after leaving ancient Babylon, we fell from the level of love of others into increasing egoism, and with this we again found ourselves in the same Babylon, and in exile.
From the brochure about the holiday of Purim, 03/2015

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Group Senses

laitman_938_04Our advancement in the modern world is different from it was in the past in that there is no need to struggle for nourishment, shelter, health care, and the like. We have already arranged the necessary conditions for physical existence for ourselves. So the blows will come from the wrong connection between us, societal and national disputes.

Essentially, deficiencies will no longer be physical; it will not be a sensation of hunger or discomfort but a sensation of heaviness and emptiness in life, which people will try to suppress with drugs and alcohol. Life will turn in a completely different direction if we don’t start with the right education and information.

The problem is that a person doesn’t see a goal before him.

Question: Which goals will be in front of us in the new world?

Answer: To see them, there is a need for a new sense—a “group” sense. This sense will be discovered as a result of the connection between people. We are entering into a stage of development such that we cannot see any suitable goal before us if we don’t supply ourselves with group or social senses.

I must observe things not through my eyes, but through the eyes of the group; hear not with my ears, but with the ears of the group. It is necessary to create an image of one person consisting of a multitude of people yearning to connect together into some kind of single whole. I begin to see life, its goals and the means for attaining them, through this collective image. Everything is only through this collective sense.

Question: Will any personal goals remain for me?

Answer: Personal goals will remain only in case that they are included in the goals of the group. I cannot realize them apart from others. A personal goal can exist only within the group and can be attained through group participation.

Question: But isn’t the group composed of individuals?

Answer: Individual people will disappear within a group that has a common goal. It is clear that everyone will be concerned for what is imperative for his existence: his house, his family. Yet if we are talking about the goal of life that his soul longs for and to which he directs all of his thoughts, aspirations, and yearnings, the goal will be within the group.

After all, a person will attain life on a higher dimension through the group. He will begin to differentiate between life felt through the physical body and life that is felt through connection with others, meaning through the soul. This is a completely different life on an absolutely different level of existence, with other goals, attainments, and powers.

Just as a cat cannot understand a person, so at the present time we are also not able to understand this common image that all of us build together when we connect in the right way.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” 4/29/14

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A Small Human Being Is Already Growing Inside You

laitman_276_02Our work isn’t over when we reach adhesion with the Creator. The very next moment we will find ourselves in a shattered state again. After we transcend the Machsom (barrier) and reach adhesion with the Creator, we fall again and feel hatred, rejection, and disappointment otherwise further correction wouldn’t be possible.

After the Machsom, a person falls into worse states than the ones we experience today. Our current state is the weakest, without any real ups and downs. We are simply marching in the same spot—one millimeter forward and one millimeter backward.

We are like babies who are being fully taken care of and who suffer only from very simple things: from heat or from cold, and from the unusual taste of food. In the meantime we are like spoiled as babies. But later we will be required to do some serious work.

“Thou hast hemmed me in behind and before…,” everything comes from Him. But I have to discover that. This is my work. I have to discover that the whole world is the picture that the Creator has depicted so that I will discover Him through it, in every image, in every nuance.

I have to discover the Creator with all my impressions of the world. There is no other way to discover the Creator if there is no concealment among us through which I can discover Him. The concealment has to turn into a revelation like black letters on white background.

Therefore, we have to be thankful for the bad as well as for the good—these are the letters of our work. Try and see that you gradually acquire these feelings if you make efforts.

Even if it takes you 15 years, it isn’t considered a delay in your development. After all, we know that small children develop very quickly in the first years of their life and go through many states, but they don’t understand the changes they go through and later don’t remember them.

We also think that nothing happens, but inside us a small human being is already growing from the drop of spiritual semen. However, he cannot work with his vessels consciously yet and this is the state we are reaching now. The main thing that helps our quick maturation is taking care of the public.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/14/14, Writings of Baal HaSulam

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Professionalism In Spiritual Work

laitman_249-03Question: How does a person feel that he is performing a service for the Creator, that he is studying the interior of the Torah and is not found in external activities?

Answer: The difference between the exterior of the Torah and its interior is that a person tries to see the relationship between him and the Creator in everything that is happening to him.

The whole world, the friends, the inner feelings, all kinds of images, events, and situations, this is the only language that we speak with the Creator. If I begin to relate to reality like this, it is said that I have I have begun a dialogue with the Creator and I am found in inner work.

Every professional feels his work finely and minutely, which is not understood from the side. If you are installing an air conditioner in a building, the consumer wants it to work and cool the room, but you are thinking about a multitude of details and subtleties, deciding how best to do this. Everything depends upon the development of the senses, the sensitivity.

This is because with each piece of metal you have a connection with an internal sense and decide to do it this way or another. Everything passes through the language of the senses, just as a violinist feels every note that he plays. So every expert feels the material with which he is working, no matter how coarse it is.

In spiritual work, as well, a feeling is required that is attained by going deeper and deeper into it. We really begin to feel it on the physical level, in the body, in the heart. The substance of creation is a desire for pleasure that perceives everything in feeling. The mind only helps us to understand what we are feeling and arranges a comparison between phenomena comparing qualities, forms, and colors.

The mind works in a dual system like a computer, with zeroes and ones only: yes/no. So understanding comes only with experience. The main thing is to try to go deeper into sensations that are relevant to connection between the Creator and us, and not to let one’s mind wander to external things. Concentrate mainly on the center of the connection, the interior of the connection.

Nobody is as wise as the experienced. But if we work in a group, then we are integrated with each other, we are stimulated by others, by their words, by their questions, and we advance much faster.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/2/14, Writings of Rabash

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Like A Bundle Of Reeds—Pariahs, Part 3

Like a Bundle of ReedsLike A Bundle of Reeds, Why Unity and Mutual Guarantee Are Today’s Call of the Hour, Michael Laitman, Ph.D.

Chapter 5: Pariahs
The Roots of Anti-Semitism

Two Ways—One Blissful, One Painful

The state of complete redemption—the attainment of the Creator by all of humanity—is mandatory. Baal HaSulam says that there are two ways by which we can achieve it: the way of Torah, when we voluntarily adopt the law of bestowal as our way of life, or the way of suffering, whereby reality compels us to nevertheless adopt the Law of Bestowal as our way of life.[i]

As compulsory as the words of those two contemporary sages may sound, they rest on a sound basis. The Talmud writes, “Rabbi Eliezer says, ‘If Israel repent, they are redeemed. If not, they are not redeemed.’ Rabbi Yehoshua said to him, ‘If they do not repent, they are not redeemed, but the Lord will set up over them a king whose decrees are as harsh as Haman’s, Israel will repent, and He will reform them.’”[ii]

Even that momentous occasion at the foot of Mount Sinai, when we collectively received the Torah with a spectacular audio-visual show, was apparently not as joyous or as festive as has been described. The Talmud tells us that the circumstances were such that there was not much else we could do other than receive it. In today’s terminology, we would say that the Creator gave us an offer we could not refuse: “It is written, ‘And they stood at the bottom of the mountain.’ Rav Dimi Bar Hama said that it means that the Lord had forced the mountain over Israel like a vault, and said unto them: ‘If you accept the Torah [Law of Bestowal], very well, but if not, there will it be your grave.’”[iii]

Indeed, no one said that it is easy having the primogeniture. But the Jews, the descendants of Abraham’s clan, are just that. They were the first to attain the purpose of Creation; hence, it is naturally up to them to lead the way for the rest of humanity. As long as we avoid that undertaking, we will encounter rejection by all the nations.

[i] Rav Yehuda Leib HaLevi Ashlag (Baal HaSulam), The Writings of Baal HaSulam, “The Freedom” (Ashlag Research Institute, Israel, 2009), 420.

[ii] Babylonian Talmud, Masechet Sanhedrin, 97b.

[iii] Babylonian Talmud, Masechet Avodah Zarah [Idolatry], 2b.