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Opinion (Paul Craig Roberts, American economist and columnist for Creators Syndicate): “According to the official economic fairy tale, the US economy has been in recovery since June 2009. This fairy tale supports America’s image as the safe haven, an image that keeps the dollar up, the stock market up, and interest rates down. It is an image that causes the massive numbers of unemployed Americans to blame themselves and not the mishandled economy. Industrial production, properly deflated, remains well below the pre-recession level.
“Economists it appears, have simply vanished from the earth. Or, if some are still present, they have lost their voices and do not speak.
“Consider ‘globalism.’ Every country has been convinced that globalism is imperative and that not to be part of the ‘global economy’ means economic death. In fact, to be part of the global economy means death.
“Understand the economic destruction that globalism has wreaked on the United States. Millions of middle class factory jobs and professional skill jobs such as software engineering and Information Technology have been taken away from the American middle class and given to people in Asia. In the short-run this drops labor costs and benefits the profits of the US corporations that offshore the jobs, but the consequence is to destroy the domestic consumer market as jobs that permit the formation of households are replaced with lowly paid part-time jobs that do not.
“When manufacturing jobs are offshored, the US plants are closed, and the tax base of state and local governments declines. When the governments have trouble servicing their accumulated debt, the tendency is not to meet their pension obligations. This reduces retiree incomes, incomes already reduced by zero or negative interest rates.
“If households cannot form, the demand for housing, home appliances and furnishings declines. College graduates return home to live with their parents.
“Part-time jobs hurt the ability to save. People are only able to purchase cars because they can get 100 percent financing, and more in order to pay off an existing car loan that exceeds the vehicle’s trade-in value, in a six-year loan.
“This unraveling of consumer demand, the basis for our economy, was entirely obvious at the very beginning. Yet junk economists or hired corporate mouthpieces promised Americans a ‘New Economy’ that would provide them with better, higher paying, cleaner jobs to take the place of the jobs moved abroad. As I have pointed out for more than a decade, there is no sign of these jobs anywhere in the economy.
“Globalism, like neoliberal economics, is an instrument of economic imperialism. Labor is exploited, while peoples, cultures, and environments are destroyed. Yet the propaganda is so powerful that people partake of their own destruction.”
My Comment: Egoism is invincible! The Book of Zohar says that we are being prepared for the poison on the end of the blade that the angel of death brings to the mouth, and the unfortunate human being has no other option but to open his mouth and swallow the drop of poison.
After all, he feels pleasure in it and only afterward—death! Only by the influence of the Upper Light can we bring about its correction. This is what the wisdom of Kabbalah explains to us.
Question: Who needs to be in power in Israel, the right or the left?
Answer: Neither one nor the other. Managing the process should be people who understand what unity is. As it is said in Jeremiah 51:5: Israel is not widowed. There are people like this in the world and I hope that we find them and that they will also organize and act.
We hope that we will succeed in bringing the people of Israel to such a state in which nobody will feel himself hurt or left out, where everyone will have a normal standard of living, housing, and everything they want. After all, if we unite, we can organize life in the best way, without any obstacles, and become an example for others.
The world of today is split, divided, and separated, and in this state, thanks to the right example, we can truly become a “light unto the nations.” This is what we must choose bit is because also the true choice of the people now. In whatever direction we go, we must choose the path of agreement and mutual understanding, the golden path that connects the camps of the right and the left.
What I hope for today for the people of Israel is that they make the real choice after the political election. Good luck!
From the Talk on “Elections,” 3/18/15
Answer: The length of one’s life is determined by a person’s role with respect to everyone else because we are all connected in one network. I determine the length of my life and its value to the extent that I try to advance and pull all those around me towards the goal.
However, if I don’t make any such efforts, there is no point in keeping me alive. A person is given a long life to the extent that he is necessary to others and is willing to help them.
Question: Does that mean that if a person lives a long life, he has good relationships with others?
Answer: No, the calculation here is much more complicated. It is impossible to calculate it so simply. When a person sees his place in the general system, he will know how to participate in it correctly and will thus prolong his life. However, a long life doesn’t necessarily mean a meaningful life.
From Israeli Radio Program 103FM, 2/15/15
Question: My acquaintances tell me that it is dangerous to study the wisdom of Kabbalah because you can go crazy. Is it true that it is so dangerous and what should one beware of in the study?
Answer: In the “Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot,” the main textbook for studying the wisdom of Kabbalah, it is written that the Kabbalists intentionally spread the rumor that it is dangerous to study the wisdom of Kabbalah because they didn’t want people to come to study. So the wisdom of Kabbalah was concealed from the time of the destruction of the Beit HaMikdash (Temple) almost until our day.
This had to happen because humanity had to develop and the people of Israel had to go through exile. The exile is also detachment from the wisdom of Kabbalah, from knowledge of the system, and a sinking into darkness. So we were in darkness for 2,000 years and this myth has existed about the wisdom of Kabbalah until today. But it was spread by the Kabbalists themselves to keep people away from the wisdom of Kabbalah until its time would come.
And today everything is precisely the opposite. Just as our entire world has transformed, so has the attitude towards the wisdom of Kabbalah changed. The Kabbalists write that from our day and onward everyone must discover the wisdom of Kabbalah and see what it gives to the people of Israel. This is because we cannot solve our problems nor exist any longer without it.
So there is nothing to fear. It is possible to open the book and study, and there are plenty of books that are appropriate for beginners, men and women.
Question: So it follows that in recent years humanity has reached a stage in which the wisdom of Kabbalah must be studied by everyone? Previously this wasn’t so and there even existed a prohibition on its study. But today humanity is found in such a blind alley that the only exit from it is to learn about life existing beyond these boundaries?
Answer: It is specifically the same outlet that is revealed to us through the study of the wisdom of Kabbalah that takes us out of the blind alley in which we are now found.
Question: What do you mean by “beyond the boundaries of life”?
Answer: This is life beyond the boundaries of our corruption, a life in a corrected world. The world continues to act according to determined laws and nothing is changed other than our attitude. The wisdom of Kabbalah explains to us how to manage the forces and the network of connection between us so that everyone will be connected in the right way.
We reach such a harmony, such a unity, in the relationships between us that we discover a unique force between us that helps us rise above this life that is within the body and only for its sake. We begin to feel life on a higher level, and in this manner we go out beyond the limits of this world, this life.
Question: Doesn’t one have to be a great sage for this?
Answer: This is accessible to everyone. In our house there is a refrigerator, a stove, a microwave; do you know how they work? Even if you don’t it doesn’t keep you from using them.
In the same way there were wise Kabbalists who created the method, like a microwave. And there are ordinary people for whom it is enough only to learn to use it. Each one must learn to some degree, similar to how we need to know how a microwave works, in terms of what buttons to press and how to change its states.
From Israeli Radio Program 103FM, 2/15/15
Question: If I study Kabbalah, will I know about my previous incarnations and my future so as to bring a little order to my life? Now I am living only for today, for this moment, without knowing what can happen tomorrow.
Answer: First of all, a person learns exactly with what he is given freedom of choice, what its limits are and how much he can influence his fate. He becomes aware of what awaits him in every situation and in every step. He sees two ways before him, and he has the possibility of choosing between a good way and a bad way.
A bad way is a way of suffering in which fate pushes and goads us from day to day through blows and pokes. But we have the possibility of choosing the way of Light in which we can use the forces of nature that are now concealed from us and take ourselves forward, even before the blows reach us.
The wisdom of Kabbalah teaches us to yearn for the next goal constantly, in such a way and manner that we advance more quickly than the blows that come and are rolling along behind us.
Question: Is a person ready to avoid the blows of fate?
Answer: A person is prepared to take himself out from under a blow. This can also be so for an entire people.
Question: Is it possible to understand what the next station is on your road of life, even before reaching it?
Answer: Certainly this is possible because the wisdom of Kabbalah opens and reveals before us the entire program, and with the help of the spiritual forces, we discover in what form we must connect to advance to the next stage, to pass through it smoothly and easily.
The wisdom of Kabbalah makes it possible for us to advance in life as if we had a GPS that constantly tells us what is the best way, when to turn right and when left. It reveals to a person the entire map of his past and future and generally every second in the history of humanity, not only the history of this world, but also between earthly incarnations.
Humanity has now reached a unique state in all of its history as it finds itself in a blind alley. But this is actually a good state because it ultimately obligates us to understand where we are and why this is happening. This critical situation will force us to clarify the question about the meaning of our lives. Then we will discover what we need to do and we will see what rewards we will receive in exchange.
From Israeli Radio Program 103FM, 2/15/15
The story of Purim is a metaphor that tells us about the role of the Jewish nation and about its last breakthrough to wholeness. Mordecai seems weak and helpless at first. He sits at the king’s gate and seems powerless, a typical Jew in the diaspora. Opposite him is a respectable minister, Haman, who sees that he can annihilate the Jews who are in exile.
Question: Why should he annihilate the Jews?
Answer: Haman feels that they disrupt his rule. It is true that the Jews are in exile under a foreign domination and anyone can humiliate them, but, despite the fact that they are defenseless, they have an enormous concealed attribute that the nations of the world cannot stand.
Everyone around them feels that they don’t have the major asset that the Jews have and that they never will have it. They feel that we understand better and are more strongly connected to some holy secret of creation.
I remember that decades ago an elderly woman in Siberia where no one had even seen Jews told me, “the Creator loves you.” It turns out that during WWII when her mother told her about the fascists’ intentions, she said, “Hitler won’t win since he is operating against the Jews.”
This feeling is alive among the nations of the world. This is the reason that Ahasuerus and especially Haman wanted to annihilate us. This is the reason for the holocaust, although it seems that we didn’t bother the Nazis. Our very existence is painful and hurts those around us, as if we are preventing them from reaching wholeness.
We gave humanity the Torah, the source of the two major religions. We lay the foundations for education and culture. We are a nation that seems to rule the world not by power, but by wisdom, by depth, by being close to the concealed secret sources of creation, which others cannot attain. This is a heavy burden for the nations.
A Threatening Factor
However, we can reach goodness only through the recognition of evil. This is the reason that we need Haman who invokes the evil in us so that the conflict with him will push us toward goodness. Without this factor we wouldn’t have returned to the land of Israel from the exile. Haman invokes fear in the Jews, a very serious, existential fear. Then, Mordecai sends Esther to ask the king for help so that he would annul the sentence.
In reply, she says, “I cannot. Whom shall I go with? I need a desire, a deficiency. I need a necessity. I need to bring the people’s cry to the king. I have nothing of my own to tell him. Gather the Jews in the capital city and tell them to fast and pray to the Creator for three days.” Esther cannot come to the King empty handed. She needs a request that can be born only out of fasting, when the Jews want nothing but connection and unity among them. This is what Mordecai must explain to his brothers, that only connection and unity between them can save them, and if not, they are going to die. It is one of the two.
Two Royal Faces
Then, the Jews listened and saw that they were not united, and they wanted to be. It is with that desire that Esther came to the King, and he did help, but this is already the upper king. Ahasuerus is only one side of the Creator, the leadership with the attribute of Din (judgment). Besides that, there is the side of mercy.
The Jews must try to reach unity and see that they cannot do so. Indeed it is not in our power to truly unite. Still, as the book of Esther tells us, if we ask for help from above with the right deficiency, we get it. So, instead of Haman, Mordecai rides the horse, and we reach success, our highest state, and a happy life.
From Israeli Radio Program 103FM, 2/1/15
The Torah, “Leviticus,” 25:1 – 25:5: And the Lord spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai, saying, Speak to the children of Israel and you shall say to them: You may sow your field for six years, and for six years you may prune your vineyard, and gather in its produce, But in the seventh year, the land shall have a complete rest, a Sabbath to the Lord; you shall not sow your field, nor shall you prune your vineyard. You shall not reap the aftergrowth of your harvest, and you shall not pick the grapes you had set aside [for yourself], [for] it shall be a year of rest for the land.
At first glance it seems that in the weekly section of the Torah Ba’har we are given laws that tell us how to work the land, grow crops, and cultivate the land. But if we examine this section from the perspective of our inner desires that are divided into the natures of the still nature, vegetative, animate, and speaking (the four levels of the egoistic desires), we can understand how to focus ourselves on correction in our spiritual work.
The desires on the level of still nature, for example, don’t develop or develop so slowly that they don’t feel their development during their existence, which means during a whole life cycle. The desires that keep themselves on a fixed level belong to the level of the still nature. I don’t want them to change but I have to make efforts in order to achieve that.
Let’s say I have to constantly love and care about my friends. That is, my level of interaction with them is constant and non-living because I don’t develop it. But at the same time, the level itself develops because I constantly work on its stability. It thus advances and the mutual relations with my friends change. When we remain on the level of still nature our character doesn’t change, but we ascend to an even higher level. Therefore our mutuality, love, and our incorporation in one another, the understanding we share and the support constantly change.
Question: Does that mean that the mutual relations between the friends become stronger if they rise to an even higher level?
Answer: They become stronger, but it is when I focus all my actions on keeping the stability of the nature of our mutual relations. Imagine to what extent the level of the still nature is actually alive since it belongs to me and not to the external nature that surrounds it.
Question: So what do our desires on the vegetative level vegetative symbolize? The Torah says: You may sow your field for six years, and for six years you may prune your vineyard, and gather in its produce.
Answer: This means that I process the vegetative level of the desire, which means that I include all my independent thoughts and desires in order to keep the relations with the friend in the strongest bilateral unity, in mutual guarantee.
I develop them on the next levels when I raise them from the still level to the vegetative level and then to the animate level and to the speaking level. On these levels I constantly make sure that all my actions belong to the still nature and this is how I keep the fixed level of mutual relations.
The seventh year is a very special action, which thanks to the fact that I have worked on all my six parameters (Hesed, Gevura, Tifferet, Netzach, Hod, Yesod), I receive from Above the next level of ascent.
I leap on it like a number in the counter without any additional exertion on my part. In the seventh year I don’t do anything, as everything comes to me from Above.
In other words, the still level of nature only seems like the still nature to us, since all the other levels stem from it. In order to advance I have to work with the still level first, which is symbolized by the land.
Then I have to work with the level of the vegetative on the land, in order to produce fruit to nourish myself. In order to do so I plow and sow the land with the help of a special type of the animate level (animals) that were created so that we use them in order to develop.
When we receive the fruit of the land we have to use them in order to nourish the land in the form of fertilizer. This is done either by the animate level or by the vegetative level. Then I turn them into food for the vegetative, animate, and human levels.
It turns out that the still level of nature nourishes the whole cycle, and so when I arrive at the seventh year I don’t work because Malchut connects and operates on the Returning Light (Ohr Hozer) and everything that I have done erupts from below. Thus, when I connect the work that has been done I can come in contact with the Creator.
This is the reason that the seventh year is called the year of the Creator. Everything that I have created by my exertion is poured into this year, receiving the power of the Light that raises me to the next level. I cannot rise to it by myself. When I internally fulfill all the efforts on the four types of desire, I complete the work and go on to the next level where the same thing happens but in a different quality and I undergo a totally different experience.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 7/16/14
My egoistic attributes are projected on this force of bestowal and depict different colorful pictures on the background of this white Light.
These colors are the reflection of my different egoistic attributes and therefore I see a big world, but in truth, it is only the form of my ego that is inside me.
I am an egoist who sees things according to my attributes as if they are on the outside. The whole world is actually the egoistic picture of my attributes that appear on an external screen.
Thanks to this perception I can thoroughly study myself since I see a huge world around me that lives and operates, but these are all my own attributes. It is as if I see my own radiograph.
Question: Do Isis and the fundamentalist Moslems also exist inside me?
Answer: Of course, otherwise it wouldn’t exist on the outside. Everything on the outside exists only because it is inside me. This perception gives me the unique opportunity to learn and explore myself. I can attain myself and discover how I have to correct myself thanks to the fact that all my inner attributes are exposed on the outside and perceived by me as the external world.
If I begin to treat everyone in this world nicely, I will see how all the negative attributes and flaws disappear and take on other forms. The whole world gradually evaporates and turns into the white Light, into bestowal and love.
From Israeli Radio Program 103FM, 2/8/15
Chapter 8: Together Forever
Unity, Unity, and Unity Once Again
Unity—The Heart and Soul of Israel
Although Beit Shamai and Beit Hillel were disputed, they treated each other with fondness and friendship, to keep what was said (Zachariah 8), “Love truth and peace.”
Babylonian Talmud, Yevamot, Chapter 1, p 14b
In Israel is the secret to the unity of the world. This is why they are called “men.”
Rav Avraham Yitzhak HaCohen Kook (the Raiah), Orot HaKodesh [Lights of Holiness], Vol. 2, p 415
It was established on Mount Sinai that the children of Israel became one nation. This is why it is written, “I,” in singular form, because to the extent of the unity between them, His Godliness is present over the children of Israel.
Yehuda Leib Arie Altar (ADMOR of Gur), Sefat Emet [Language of Truth], VaYikra [Leviticus], Parashat BaHar [Portion, On the Mount], TARLAV (1893)
It is known that from the perspective of the mind, each person is an individual … but from the perspective of the heart, there is unity in Israel.
Rabbi Shmuel Bornstein, Shem MiShmuel [A Name Out of Samuel], Shemot [Exodus], TAR’AH (1915)
When Israel entered the land, they were completely one nation. The evidence of that is that as long as Israel did not cross the Jordan and did not arrive at the land, they were not punished … until they crossed and became responsible for one another.
Thus, Israel did not become responsible for one another because one is called Arev [guarantor/responsible for] when one is Meorav [mixed/mingled] with another, and Israel did not become connected into being entirely one nation until they arrived at the land and were together in the land, and had one place, the land of Israel. And through the land of Israel, they are completely one nation.
Judah Loewe ben Bezalel (the Maharal of Prague), Eternal Paths, “Path of Righteousness,” Chapter 6
Because the 600,000 souls of Israel are all tied to one another like a woven rope, united as one without separation, should you shake the beginning of the tightened rope, you will shake all of it. Therefore, should one man sin, wrath will be upon the entire congregation. The reason is that all of Israel are responsible for one another.
One who blemishes, blemishes all the souls of Israel until he returns to mend what he had corrupted in his soul. …It means that since the parts relate to one another, they will not be separated.
Rabbi Eliyahu Di Vidash, Beginning of Wisdom, “Gate of Fear,” Chapter 14
The soul ascends and becomes complete primarily when all the souls mingle and become one, for then they rise toward the sanctity, for sanctity is one. …Therefore, first, one should take upon oneself the commandment, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” as our Rav wrote that it is impossible to utter words of prayer unless by peace, when one connects with all the souls of Israel.
Rabbi Nathan Sternhertz, Likutey Halachot [Assorted Rules], “Synagogue Rules,” Rule no. 1
Although the bodies of the whole of Israel are divided, their souls are a single unity at the root. …This is why Israel are commanded to unity of the hearts, as it is written, “And Israel encamped there,” in singular form [in Hebrew], which means that they were corresponding below, meaning they had unity.
Rabbi David Solomon Eibenschutz, Willows of the Brook, Nassoh [Take]
Israel were not given the Torah [Law of Bestowal] before they had acquired complete unity, as we wrote regarding the verse (Exodus 19:2), “And Israel encamped there before the mount.” Moses too would not receive at all, as our sages said, (Berachot [Blessings], 32a) that the Creator said to Moses concerning the calf, “Come down from your greatness, for I have given you greatness only for Israel.”
Rabbi Moshe Alsheich, Moses’ Law, concerning Deuteronomy, 33:4-5.
When Israel have unity, there is no end to their attainment.
Rabbi Elimelech Weisblum of Lizhensk, Noam Elimelech [The Pleasantness of Elimelech], Pinehas
“Jerusalem that is built as a city that is joined together” (Psalms, 122:3)—a city that makes all of Israel friends.
Jerusalem Talmud, Hagigah, Chapter 3, Rule 6
You, the friends who are here, as you were in fondness and love before, henceforth you will not part from one another, until the Lord rejoices with you and declares peace over you. And by your merit there will be peace in the world, as it is written, “For the sake of my brothers and friends I will speak, ‘May peace be in you.’”
Rav Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam), The Book of Zohar with the Sulam Commentary, Aharei Mot [After the Death], item 66