Does Sin Exist?

Dr. Michael LaitmanIf the anointed Cohen [priest] sins, bringing guilt to the people, then he shall bring for his sin which he has committed, an unblemished young bull as a sin offering to the Lord.

If a leader [of Israel] sins and unintentionally commits one of all the commandments of the Lord, which may not be committed, incurring guilt;

If one person of the people of the land commits a sin unintentionally, by his committing one of the commandments of the Lord which may not be committed, incurring guilt;

if his sin that he committed is made known to him, he shall bring his sacrifice: an unblemished female goat, for his sin that he committed. (Leviticus 4:3, 22, 27, 28)

Question: What is this chain that begins with the priest and ends with the common man?

Answer: This is the gradation of desires in a person according to the ego that is revealed in him.

The fact is there is no sin. Nobody is guilty because all sins derive from our original state. As it is written: “I created the evil inclination, I created the Torah as a spice for it; for the Light in it will return him to the good” (Kiddushin 30b).

If we study the Torah correctly, in a circle, in friendship, under special conditions, then through this we awaken the influence of the unique power of the characteristic of bestowal on ourselves. The Light of the Torah influences us and helps to change the property of reception to bestowal, passing from an individual nature to altruism.

So if a person puts himself into a particular society and works on himself in a circle of friends, all of our sins are gradually revealed in us. At the time of receiving the Torah on Mount Sinai, it became clear that the Light of Torah acts on people only on condition that they yearn for connection, for mutual Arvut (guarantee).  “Torah” is derived from the word “Ohr” (Light).

The circle in which we clarify things symbolizes the position around our immense ego and our work with it. And if we want to rise above the ego, then the point of connection between us, called “Moses,” goes up the mountain and enters into contact with the Creator. This point is our spiritual guide.

All of the egoistic desires are called Egypt. First we exit them, receive instructions, the Torah, on Mount Sinai, which is the means for their correction, and begin to connect. And when we want to connect more, we discover the Sinai desert, “mutual hatred” (“Sina” – hatred), and along with this we yearn for connection. And yet, the more that we aspire to connection, the stronger is the rejection that we discover.

All of Egypt (our ego) begins to be discovered in us again. This is what we call the “sins” that are discovered in us. And they were all prepared from the start; so everything that is revealed in a person is what was prepared for him. And we ourselves don’t commit any sin.

In the Torah is written all the laws of purity, correction, of our internal “sins” that were prepared for us from the start. As has been said, “I created the evil inclination, I created the Torah as a spice.” This evil inclination is gradually discovered in us and we correct it for the good through yearning for connection and approaching the Upper Light.
From KabTV’s Secrets of the Eternal Book 11/27/15

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Good Actions As A Result Of Bad Deeds

Dr. Michael LaitmanIn the News (The Economist):  “’VIRTUE,’ according to George Bernard Shaw, ‘is insufficient temptation.’ But new research on the consumption patterns of the environmentally minded suggests that virtue and self-indulgence often go hand-in-hand.

“A recent paper by Uma Karmarkar of Harvard Business School and Bryan Bollinger of Duke Fuqua School of Business finds that shoppers who bring their own bags when they buy groceries like to reward themselves for it. For two years the authors tracked transactions at a supermarket in America. Perhaps unsurprisingly, shoppers who brought their own bags bought more green products than those who used the store’s bags. …

“A study from 2011 on water-conservation in Massachusetts shows how. In the experiment, some 150 apartments were divided into two groups. Half received water-saving tips and weekly estimates of their usage; the other half served as a control.

“The households that were urged to use less water did so: their consumption fell by an average of 6% compared with the control group. The hitch was that their electricity consumption rose by 5.6%. The moral licensing was so strong, in other words, that it more or less outweighed the original act of virtue.

“Moral licensing does not seem to occur when virtuous conduct is obligatory. In one study, participants imagined themselves doing community service. Then they were asked to pick between two rewards: an indulgent one (a pair of designer jeans) and a practical one (a vacuum cleaner). If they were told to imagine that they had been sentenced to community service for a driving violation, they were much less likely to choose the jeans than if they pictured themselves as volunteers. The best way to get people to do good, it seems, is to make them feel bad about themselves.”

My Comment: We are commanded to act either by nature (the path of suffering) or by Kabbalah (the path of Light) in order to realize the insignificance of our egoistic nature, from which, in this case, there is an opportunity to escape.

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Carry The Good For The People

Laitman_931-01The Zohar, “Sulam Commentary,” Chapter “BaHar”: “Live in the country…” “Live in the country” refers to the highest country, Malchut, for there is no man in the world who can live in Malchut until the good awakes in it, Yesod of Zeir Anpin, since Malchut without Yesod is full of harsh courts.

When a man awoke him with his good deeds, it seemed that he had “created it” on his own. Then, they say, “live in the country,” live within it, that is in Malchut, and eat its fruits and be happy with it.

Malchut of Atzilut is this common, single, and only soul. If, by rushing for the goodness and love, and wishing them to all the rest, I can connect myself with all the creatures (inanimate, vegetative, animate, and human nature) into a single entity, then I will be included in Malchut.

It is entirely possible that, at first, I could join it with some of my egoism, perhaps with its tenth part. This means that it is how much I will be able to connect to Malchut, causing it to move toward the next level, Zeir Anpin, where there is the highest Light. Zeir Anpin will fulfill the part that I have made in Malchut by its good intention.

The purpose of our correction is a one hundred percent arrival into the whole soul, into Malchut. Therefore, if I awake the common desire in the soul for goodness and love, then I take my own little place in it, my point. Then, my motivation rises above and manifests the higher Light upon this point, the Light that accumulates inside Malchut.

That is, we rise up to it from below, and the Upper Light descends into it from above, and then it is filled with our good wishes and the Upper Light. This ends our earthly existence, and we become inhabitants of the world of Infinity.

The goal of each and every one of us is to correct ourselves up to this state and rise to the world of Infinity. We are on the way to the goal, connecting to Malchut with all of the feelings, thoughts, desires, and gradually going through the 125 spiritual degrees because there are 125 egoistic thresholds within us.

Question: In order to rise up, we need to manifest a state of love and kindness. How does this relate to the unity between us?

Answer: Only a unity with all of the others and striving to connect to the world, to carry the good for the people through myself, will I get the opportunity to enter Malchut. Only in this way will I be able to contact my soul. Otherwise, I do not have a soul. Otherwise, I am just an egoist, an animal.

Through the love of my neighbor I move toward the love for the Creator, and, in the desire to carry the good for others, I rush to receive the higher Light in order to pass it through me onto them. Only in this case do I conquer a part of my soul.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 6/18/14

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Like A Bundle Of Reeds—Expendable, 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 6: Expendable
Contemporary Anti-Semitism

What They Need and What We Get

On the face of it, it seems as though the world is ungrateful for the contributions made by Jews to the benefit of humanity in science, education, economy, sociology, psychology, and virtually every realm of life. However, that ostensible ingratitude should serve as an indication that what we are giving is not necessarily what they need from us.

In fact, people do acknowledge the uniqueness of the Jewish people, but it is we who misuse that uniqueness by giving what we want to give, instead of what they want to receive.

To better understand what the world needs from us, we should look at some of the more damning and poignant documents written about Jews. A great example of such a document is Henry Ford’s (founder of the Ford Motor Company) infamous book, The International Jew—The World’s Foremost Problem. While still making gross generalizations, the book often establishes points that are well worth considering. For that, however, we must put aside our affront, and truly look into Ford’s arguments (emphases in italics are the editor’s): “Every Jew ought to know also that in every Christian church where the ancient prophecies are received and studied, there is a great revival of interest in the future of the Ancient People. It is not forgotten that certain promises were made to them regarding their position in the world, and it is held that these prophecies will be fulfilled. The future of the Jew … is intimately bound up with the future of this planet, and the Christian church in large part … sees a Restoration of the Chosen People yet to come. If the mass of the Jews knew how understandingly and sympathetically all the prophecies concerning them are being studied in the Church, and the faith that exists that these prophecies will find fulfillment and that they will result in great Jewish service to society at large, they would probably regard the Church with another mind.”[i]

Earlier in the book, Ford writes, “The whole prophetic purpose with reference to Israel seems to have been the moral enlightenment of the world through its agency.”[ii] And in another place, he adds, “Society has a large claim against [the Jew] that he … begin to fulfill [what], in a sense, his exclusiveness has never yet enabled him to fulfill—the ancient prophecy that through him all the nations of the earth should be blessed.”[iii]

John Adams, second President of the United States, also commented on what he believed the Jews have given to the world. In his words, “The Hebrews have done more to civilize men than any other nation. If I were an atheist, and believed in blind eternal fate, I should still believe that fate had ordained the Jews to be the most essential instrument for civilizing the nations. If I were an atheist of the other sect, who believe, or pretend to believe that all is ordered by chance, I should believe that chance had ordered the Jews to preserve and propagate to all mankind the doctrine of a supreme, intelligent, wise, almighty sovereign of the universe, which I believe to be the great essential principle of all morality, and consequently of all civilization.”[iv]

Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by his pen name, Mark Twain, does acknowledge the Jewish distinction in all realms of human engagement, but he, too, ends up pondering the source of that preeminence: “…If statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of stardust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way. Properly, the Jew ought hardly to be heard of, but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk. His contributions to the world’s list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also away out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a marvelous fight in this world, in all the ages; and had done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be vain of himself, and be excused for it.

“The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed, and made a vast noise, and they are gone. Other people have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished. The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?”[v]

And finally, there are those who not only recognize that Jews are special in the spiritual sense, more than in the corporeal one, but even detail the essence of that spirituality: unity. Such was the case of Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during World War II, Sir Winston Churchill. In Churchill and the Jews, author Martin Gilbert quotes Churchill: “The Jews were a lucky community because they had that corporate spirit, the spirit of their race and faith. [Churchill] would not … ask them to use that spirit in any narrow or clannish sense, to shut themselves off from others … far from their mood and intention, far from the counsels that were given them by those most entitled to advise. That personal and special power which they possessed would enable them to bring vitality into their institutions, which nothing else would ever give. [Churchill sincerely believed that] A Jew cannot be a good Englishman unless he is a good Jew.”[vi]

We can therefore see that what the nations want from the Jews is not excellence in science, finance, or any of the other realms mentioned in the quotes above. What the world needs from us is spirituality, namely, the ability to connect to the Creator. This is the one thing that we had possessed, and which no other nation has, had, can, or is intended to possess unless we rekindle it within us and pass it on as a light for the nations. As long as we refrain from carrying out that mission, the nations will by and large consider us expendable, if not downright injurious, and certainly, as Ford stated, “The world’s foremost problem.”

[i] Henry Ford, The International Jew—The World’s Foremost Problem (The Noontide Press: Books On-Line), 40.

[ii] Henry Ford, The International Jew—The World’s Foremost Problem (The Noontide Press: Books On-Line), 8.

[iii] Henry Ford, The International Jew—The World’s Foremost Problem (The Noontide Press: Books On-Line), 28.

[iv] John Adams, in a letter to F. A. Vanderkemp (16 February 1809), as quoted in The Roots of American Order (1974) by Russel Kirk.

[v] Mark Twain, The Complete Essays of Mark Twain, “Concerning The Jews” (published in Harper’s Magazine, 1899), Doubleday, [1963], pg. 249.

[vi] Martin Gilbert, Churchill and the Jews (UK, Simon & Schuster, 2007), 16.