Audio Version Of The Blog – 05.22.15

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Russian Jewry: An Attraction To Self-Expression

Laitman_167Herzl knew of a rumor about Russian Jewry, but, after he became familiar with representatives from Russia, he noted that he was convinced that they required his help and spiritual leadership, and here at the Basel Congress, he saw that Russian Jewry had brought such a powerful culture that he couldn’t even imagine.

He continued, saying that they have an inner wholeness that had been lost by most of the Jews of Europe. They weren’t assimilated into any other nation, but drew upon all the good that there is in these peoples. By looking at them, he began to understand what gave power to our ancestors to survive in the most difficult times. Once, they asked Herzl, “What would happen if only the Jews of Russia follow you?” He answered, “Only? This is absolutely enough for me.” (From the book by Felix Kandel, The Land Under Our Feet, Book 1, Part 3, Chapter 11)

Russian Jewry is characterized by the integration of many different factors. First, it is very multifaceted. Jews were scattered to all corners of the empire. They settled in Moldavia, Crimea, Central Asia and the Caucasus. Secondly, a serious attraction to inner spiritual development was observed in them, whereas the environment around them was very limited. This is because, at that time, there existed the law of serfdom, a monarchy, and, in an especially rigid way for Russians, they didn’t let the Jews do anything, and a threat always hovered above them, and they feared for their lives. So, they had to provide themselves with at least some kind of security.

The state of affairs itself led to the appearance of an inner craving to find somehow to express oneself. In order not to be dependent on society, the Jews needed to give expression to some value by themselves, to reach their own self-expression within themselves, but from the outside, permission was not given to them. In principle, this has continued to our day, maybe not on such a level, but if we compare this with the days of my youth, I also felt a violation of human rights.

In this way, the general atmosphere in the remote places pushed a person toward great inner attainments since he knew that he only had what was found within him. He could not be a doctor, a politician, or a professor as it was in the West. At that time, there already existed a strong stratum of Jewish intellectuals there. At the same time, there was an an active distancing from Judaism. Many Jews changed their religion, like Strauss, or they completely assimilated into the society that surrounded them. Much later, they were the first who began to leave Western Europe and move to America where they created an absolutely new community that didn’t preserve their customs.

When I asked my grandfather, “Why, in your time, didn’t you travel to America along with everyone else?” He answered, “How could I go where I would have had to work on Shabbat? So, I stayed here.” For him, it was completely clear that in spite of all the pressures and terrible circumstances, he could maintain his internal law here. This was the essential difference between the Jews of Western Europe and the Jews of Eastern Europe, even though the latter were far more oppressed. The Czarist regime couldn’t leave them in peace and quiet. The Jewish question was a sickness within him, and it caused him great suffering. So, new decrees were constantly being issued that limited the rights of the Jews, and the opinion spread that they should be pursued and deported to the backyard of the empire. There, they could exist more or less quietly in spite of everything if only given the opportunity.

Question: Did something unique exist in the Russian people that compelled them to violate the rights of the Jews and thereby prepare them for the great breakthrough?

Answer: I wouldn’t say this. The Russian character is very full of contradictions because it is created from the symbiosis and conflict of different cultures. So, a Russian can begin to beat someone and, immediately after begin to hug and kiss him with great weeping. He himself doesn’t know what manages him, and this is a clear Russian characteristic. So in Russian society there are many bursts of cultural achievements that are impossible in the West. This made an impression on the Jews while they stayed within the irascible Russian society..

The atmosphere itself pushed them to develop. Because you don’t know what will happen to you in the next moment, you need to be directed only toward what is in you, what you know and can do, what you are in yourself. So, the most important were science, knowledge, and understanding of how to become something compared to others, but that this uniqueness will be within me because tomorrow I could become naked and barefoot, but, this they can’t take from me. So, the Russian Jews, who didn’t know what would come tomorrow, were obliged to go into science or culture, to gather an inner cultural or scientific charge, and when the time arrived for some kind of small self-expression, then all of the gathered inner potential began to erupt. The main thing for them was to express themselves.
From KabTV’s “About Our Life” 5/7/15

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We Are Addicted To Work… And Happy About It

laitman_555In the News ( 70 years ago the beginning of the 21st century seemed happy: we thought that machines would do all the hard work while people would only work in order to receive pleasure by realizing their talents and would spend the rest of their time vacationing and enjoying a good happy life.

“So how did we become addicted to work, working more than our fathers who dreamt about our time, and even seem genuinely pleased with this circumstance? The work week in most developed countries is 35 hours and a holiday is not more than 4 weeks long. We take pride in being addicted to work and have no time for meeting new friends, sleeping properly, going on vacations, having sex and even for having a baby.

“People who are idle feel humiliated when they see those who are busy and they become much happier when they get a chance to be part of some activity even if it is very difficult. The actual thought of a vacation or rest seems wrong.”

Answer: Nature has set limits for us (that are external to us) in our corporeal development and we inevitably have to reduce production and consumption. Nature develops more new desires in us and we lose the yearning for corporeal savings.

The new generation is a good example of that. Nothing is more threatening to society than being unemployed; it leads to the deterioration of the individual and society. The only thing we will be able to fully engage in is our re-education.

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Dr. Michael LaitmanIn the News: ( “When a baby is born there are 100 billion neurons in his brain. Neurons are the cells responsible for the ability to think, to see, to feel and they are hardly regenerated during our life.

“Neurons can connect with one another through small regions in the brain called synapses. The neurons that are connected in the synapses build systems that are responsible for all of the brain activities. During the first eight months of our life the neurons create up to 1,000 trillion synapses. But the synapses operate according to the principle of ‘you either use it or lose it.’

“The connections between the neurons have to be maintained by daily exercises and stimuli so that they will be active for a long time. This is the reason that communication between parents and a baby is so important. Usually only half of the synapses remain. The simplest form of communication with a baby can actually determine the creation of connections in the brain.

“Human babies are born imperfect compared to other mammals and they need about a year in order to start walking, whereas animals begin to walk several hours after they are born. If man babies were born with a similarly developed brain, their head would be too big and it would not be able to go through the birth canal.

“This means that the development of a baby’s brain depends directly on the environment he is born in and especially within his social environment. A human baby isn’t fully formed: he comes into the world ready for the grownups to program it. The synapses that are often used become strong while synapses that are rarely used die.

“If parents look at the baby with love and affection the baby’s brain associates the loving and affectionate look with the parents’ attention and the synapses related to this lesson become stronger. The brain is built on this basis. The frontal cortex is one of the regions responsible for feelings and this region develops the fastest from a child’s birth to the age of three.

“A less developed frontal cortex means that a person finds it hard to identify other people’s feelings. This leads to lack of empathy, which is one of the reasons for violence and that under stress a person behaves aggressively or capriciously.”

My Comment: Everything is determined by education, but who educates the parents? Who teaches them how to establish the right connections between them, with the children… see “The Wisdom of Connection (Integral Education).”

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Building Jerusalem Within The Heart

Dr. Michael LaitmanJerusalem is a spiritual concept, which means bestowal to the other. All spiritual definitions indicate different degrees of bestowal, exiting one’s egoism toward others, becoming included in the others and bringing them closer to serve them. Bestowal for the benefit of others is called the spiritual world of the human being.

Jerusalem is a special kind of bestowal. We bestow through our heart, our desires, of which there are 613. Together, they are all building our new desire for bestowal. One of its steps is called “Jerusalem,” a special relationship with others and the height of love.

Question: Why is this human quality called a city?

Answer: The human being consists of four levels, which are four degrees of bestowal: still, vegetative, animate, and human. Bestowal on the first still level is like a city, our world. Then, there are the vegetative, animate, and human levels.

The vegetative, animate, and human levels suggest changes, in contrast to the still level. But a city is a creation of human hands, and thus it also contains the vegetative, animate, and human levels within itself.

Everyone can find Jerusalem inside himself. In the Ari’s book The Tree of Life, it is written that if a person reaches the revelation of the upper force, attitudes towards others, which are love and bestowal on the degree, called the world of Yetzira, inside this state he discovers a special place that is the quality called Jerusalem.

Inside this property, he reveals subproperties: the Temple Mount, the Temple, the Holy of Holies. All of these are the properties of bestowal of a person as he exits himself towards others. Jerusalem is a person’s special attitude towards people, and therefore everyone must build this spiritual Jerusalem within his heart.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” 5/7/15

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Under Gathering Pressure

laitman_435Baal HaSulam, “The Writings of the Last Generation.” Introduction: …and looks into the past as one looks in the mirror and sees one’s flaws so as to correct them. Similarly, the mind sees what it has been through, and corrects its future conducts.

Question: At the end of the 19th century, the first emigration of Jews from Russia to Israel began. Preceding this, there were brutal pogroms in Kutaisi and, after that, in Kishinev. However, the Jews still remained, living there for some time. Why?

Answer: An inner development was required both for the individual and for the people to move them from their place. For example, you can sit and suffer all the time, but still won’t be motivated enough to leave. However, when you are under the influence of external and internal pressure, the awareness of the accumulation of evil and bitterness leads the individual or the entire people to no longer being able to remain in the same place, and they must move.

Question: But why did the Jews specifically begin to leave Russia? After all, the accumulation of evil happened no less in Europe also.

Answer: In the 19th century in Europe, there was relative calm. On a general background of anti-Semitism, the life of the Jews there passed quite well, and they prospered; whereas, at the same time in Russia, the “Black Hundreds” movement became active (extremist right-wing organizations who were active from 1905 to 1917, who among other things were also anti-Semitic). The Jews were put into settlements with defined borders and could not develop cities or villages.

The problem was that Russian society was very backward in much of its development in comparison to European society, whereas the Jews of Russia, according to their rate of advancement, were ahead of the Russians who lived with them. So, Russia was like a prison for Jews. They couldn’t do anything. Only the abolition of serfdom and the first Zionist Congress in Basel created the opportunity for a change in atmosphere, and they could just leave.
From KabTV’s “About Our Life” 5/7/15

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Searching For The Meaning Of Life

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Today the study of the wisdom of Kabbalah has become fashionable. Its devotees are celebrities, like Madonna. Does this disturb or help your global goal to bring a person to a spiritual nature?

Answer: On the one hand, it draws people’s attention to the wisdom of Kabbalah since they begin to read and become interested in it. On the other hand, Madonna and others  are not actually engaged in Kabbalah. Nothing can be done about it; this is how humanity develops. When it comes to the great spiritual system, there is no immediate understanding nor perception of what this is, so people approach this question from various angles.

Even the students who come to us to study don’t understand exactly where they are for half a year or more. They can be compared to those who studied quantum physics. There too, for a year students go around half in despair from lack of understanding. A person cannot immediately enter into a new dimension, so in the wisdom of Kabbalah, there must be a period of adjustment.

Question: Do these celebrities help you?

Answer: This doesn’t depend on them; rather, it is the need, the demand, and the imperative of the person. People come to the wisdom of Kabbalah when the question about the meaning of life pokes at their soul: “What am I living for?!” If this question burns in a person, he feels a lack of meaning in his existence and he cannot be at peace with this, so ultimately he reaches us. But if the question about the meaning of life is satisfied for him through food, sex, wealth, family, knowledge, etc., then he is stuck somewhere in these levels of satisfaction. This is neither good nor bad; in the meantime, the person is simply found on this level of development.

For some time I myself searched for the meaning of life, beginning with science and after that religion, and I didn’t find it in them. And when this became completely unbearable, I was advised to search for Kabbalists. I searched for my teacher for four years, and when I found him, I understood that this was for me.
From the press conference 3/11/15

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Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 05.22.15

Writings of Baal HaSulam, Igrot,” Letter 17

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The Book of Zohar – Selected Excerpts, “BeLaila De Kala (On the Night of the Bride), Item 141

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Writings of Baal HaSulam “Introduction to the Study of Ten Sefirot” 

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Shamati #66 “Giving of the Torah” 

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