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Comment: During the Hanukkah candle lighting ceremony at the Western Wall, the prime minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu said: “Israel is a torch in the darkness. Great darkness surrounds us and here in Jerusalem, in the nation of Israel, we lift the miracle of the independence of humanity, in honor of humanity, for the right of the people of Israel to live freely in its land and in its city, the same city that the Maccabees liberated. This struggle continues even in our generation. In each and every generation they have risen up to eliminate us and in each and every generation the Holy One, Blessed be He, saved us from their hands, provided that we hold onto the banner and torch, and even the sword of Israel.”
My Comment: Hanukkah is a battle of the supporters of the union of the Jewish people as an ideology and as the only means of our salvation. Specifically through unity, the higher power is awakened in us, and Abraham created the Jewish people precisely through unity in ancient Babylon, so our existence depends on our unity. But when we separate, we scatter, and we have already seen this for 2,000 years, especially in our time. Benjamin Netanyahu can claim anything that he wants, but to this very day, in Israel there is no nation and no people. According to the natural and historical definition, the people and the nation can exist only when we are united by a single ideology, a single goal, an understanding of our existence and its significance.
And so the miracle of Hanukkah happened. That is what happened in history and this is what must happen now, but it isn’t happening because we are not united.
We need to understand why we are conducting endless wars with shield and sword in hand instead of holding a seven-branched Menorah in our hand and bringing it to the world. The Menorah symbolizes the unity of the people according to the ideology of “And you shall love your friend as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18). But we don’t have this unity.
We don’t have such a policy; there is no ideology like this and there is no education of the people like this that will place the goal of providing education of the method of union. It doesn’t exist anywhere: not a in private life or in society.
Jews from different countries with different world views coexist in Israel, and in no way do they consider themselves s a single, united people. They can say, “We are one people,” but their feeling comes from the fact they are surrounded by enemies who force them to defend themselves. And in this state of self-defense, they feel themselves as a people. It is specifically the enemy that unites them and not an inner yearning for each other. So it is thanks to our enemies who press us that we still exist; without them there would not have been a Jewish people for quite some time. If they were to stop applying pressure from the outside, we would cease to exist as a people.
This is a paradox! For, on the other hand, it would seem that if pressure is applied, then everyone would flee in all directions. No! Here they will not flee. Here, like sheep, they huddle together to escape the wolves.
But is this the only way we can exist as one people and still convey the ideology of our unity to the entire world, which is so needed now?
Therefore, we should not just have a shield and sword but also the awareness that we are fighting for the sake of unity. Then the shield and sword will become the menorah of Hanukkah.
From KabTV’s “News with Michael Laitman” 12/8/15
Answer: It was not a miracle, because when we move to the next level, other laws operate there. There it is possible for one small jar of oil to burn for eight days. We see that even in our world, as we develop, we learn to extract energy from sources we previously were unable to use, or we use known sources more efficiently, with a new quality. Who would have thought that a kilogram of material, for example Uranium, could be more energy efficient than a mountain of coal?
Question: So what is the secret here? How can one small jar of oil be made to burn for eight days?
By uniting, we rise from our closed, mortal world bounded by three coordinates—time, motion, and space—to the world of Infinity. It is not just an eightfold increase as in the miracle of Hanukkah; we rise to an infinite world.
I am a scientist, I want to know, due to what can we multiply our world to the infinite dimensions? It is only through our connection. In this manner, each one becomes a master of the entire integral world instead of a single point. I connect with seven billion people, and so do you, and so does he, and so does each one of us. So instead of being by myself, I am with seven billion, and each one of them is connected with all seven billion.
We are connected, all the while increasing the power of our unity. Anyone who attains the intensity of connection connects with those who are also connected with the seven billion, and so we multiply our power infinitely.
And ultimately we become a sphere with an infinite number of connections, and each connection gets the unit of energy and mutual understanding of life. That is how we ascend to the world of infinity.
This is a simple scientific mathematical formula, so this is not a miracle. The miracle is only in one thing: that an ordinary Jew who hears about this now will want to try to implement this unity at least a bit.
From the Israeli Radio Program 103FM 12/6/15
Answer: These kind of sporting events have nothing to do with friendship or love. This competition is held on the basis of mutual hatred, hostility, rejection, and opposition. In sports, athletes must overcome pain, laziness, and all sorts of problems, especially today when athletic achievements are beyond human powers.
There is no connection to unity or friendship in this. There is a great contradiction between athletic sports and how it is today. Now sports have become venal, athletes use doping to win, etc.
A real sport makes a person healthier, helps him survive correctly in his physical envelope and solve the essential problem he was created for: the attainment of the goal of creation. It requires strength, a normal healthy nervous system, and mutual understanding. True sports are directed only toward the rehabilitation of the body of everyone, “A healthy mind in a healthy True sport must be directed only toward improving everyone’s bodies, “a healthy mind in a healthy body!” And when you try to be better than others, this is no longer sports. Sports should be collective, not for someone or something, or against something, but for the sake of connection and unity. I am in favor of this kind of sports!
From KabTV’s “Conversations with Michael Laitman” 12/6/15
From the News (Newsweek): “What does it take to communicate? If you’re on a crowded train platform, shouting to your friend 20 yards away, it might take simplification. Imagine trying to say ‘unequivocally.’ It probably wouldn’t work out. Any words with lots of consonants and complicated syllables would likely get garbled, swallowed up by the noise around you, blocked by the throng of bodies and kiosks and other objects in your way. So you keep it simple. A plain, old ‘yeah’ is probably going to reach her ears better.
“Now imagine extrapolating these constraints of acoustics to the whole human population, roaming the entire earth. Picture societies developing in myriad ecological habitats. At the same time, they’re evolving their own distinct languages. As it turns out, the characteristics of languages have a lot to do with the environment—specifically the climate and topography—they emerged in, according to new research… .
“People from cultures that originated in hot, tree-covered regions now tend to speak languages with fewer consonants and simpler syllables in part because, according to the researchers, both hot air and vegetation make transmission of higher frequency sounds (like those made with consonants) less reliable. According to Ian Maddieson, a linguist at the University of New Mexico and the study’s primary researcher, this is a major reason that languages spoken by people in tropical areas use many more vowels and simpler syllable structures than their counterparts in more open, colder places. Vowels transmit at lower frequencies, and simpler syllable structures are less likely to be garbled by having trees in their way.
“Rough terrain, like mountains and cliffs, have a similar effect on language as vegetation. People in these regions also speak with simpler syllables and more vowels. Wind and rain appear to play roles in shaping human languages in different areas as well, Maddieson says. All these ecological factors account for about a quarter of the variation in how consonant-dominant a language turns out to be.
“…They found that the average annual precipitation, average annual temperature, vegetation density and ‘rugosity’ (or mountainousness) of a region, as well as its elevation, all correlated to characteristics of that region’s language. The particular acoustics of environments, they concluded, account for a lot of how differences in human languages developed.
“Maddieson says these findings suggest that the acoustic adaptation hypothesis, which has mostly been applied to describe birds, can be applied to humans too. Since the 1970s, researchers have observed that birdsong appears to depend heavily on the ecological habitat each particular species calls home. ‘The highest notes and the range of notes are lower in forested kinds of environments compared to open environments in birdsong,’ Maddieson says. Birds evolved their communication, then, according to acoustic factors similar to the ones Maddieson’s team studied in relation to humans. But unlike birds, humans are one species, which Maddieson says makes this use of the hypothesis particularly compelling.
“’Now, within a single species of bird, they’re finding that the birds that live in cities with a background noise of cars, etcetera, are singing in higher pitch notes than birds that live in rural areas,’ he says. ‘The birds are adapting to the traffic noise. This is really more what we’re talking about with humans. The same species adapting to their environment.’
“Could humans who live in urban areas, then, be currently morphing their rural-born language to better suit those conditions?
“’Over time, I would expect that to evolve. But we haven’t been living probably long enough yet in noisy urban environments yet,’ Maddieson says. ‘But come back in a few more years, and you might see that, yes.’”
My Comment: All of nature is mutually connected in one single system where everything is aligned according to general rules of mutual connection. The goal of nature is to bring all of the parts within it to mutual and full cooperation in which the single force of nature is revealed and everything is filled with the characteristic of unity, the Creator. The main law of nature is balance and harmony; therefore, the full influence of all the characteristics and all the parts of nature on everything is inevitable. This is the law of the integral, linked world.
Question: Why are burning candles the symbol of Hanukkah? We also light candles on other holidays, and lighting candles is basically part of many cultures.
Answer: A candle is a symbol of light, a symbol of physical and spiritual power that fills us and helps us feel that we are beyond the boundaries of this world, in unlimited space.
We forget our body and don’t feel that it limits and pressures us but as if we are floating in the air.
Question: Why is it a custom to add a candle each day of Hanukkah so that there are ultimately there are eight candles?
Answer: I receive a new Sefira with every day that goes by, a new spiritual level from Malchut to Bina. Hanukkah is not the end of our development yet, but only part of it. This is the reason that it is called “Hanukkah”, stemming from the Hebrew words “park” and “here.”
This is how we attain part of the spiritual world, a relatively small part of it, freed of the interference of the “Greeks” inside of us and interconnected. Then, there is another part of the correction from Hanukkah to Purim. In Purim, we attain the complete end of correction and gain control of the whole upper world.
Question: Why is it customary to eat doughnuts during Hanukkah?
Answer: Doughnuts represent the oil, the light. Hanukkah is the holiday of light. When we attain the first unity between us, we feel to what extent it was not in our power, but that it was done with the help of the upper force that fulfilled this unity between us.
This is why the symbol of the holiday is light, a light that is above us like the light of the sun, the light of life, the light of the burning oil.
Once the people had no lamps other than lamps that burned oil. Oil is considered a source of light.
If we Jews begin to fight for our unity, ignoring all external enemies, and strive to get closer to one another, a Light suddenly will come to us from above and connect us. Then, with the help of the great force that will be opened between us, we will be able to overcome all obstacles, conquer all fears, hatred, ISIS, and intifadas.
It is all in our hands, and it all adds up to our force of unity. This is the reason that the Torah tells us only about unity. This is the first and foremost condition for receiving the Torah. Are we ready to connect as one man in one heart in order to keep the rules of “‘What is hateful to you, do not to your neighbor” and “You shall love thy neighbor as thyself”?
Everything is aimed only at connection because in the connection between us we discover the upper world that is meant for us. As it is written, “May you see your world in your lifetime” because it is in this life that we begin to feel spirituality and life in both worlds.
From the Israeli Radio Program 103FM 12/6/15
Preparation for the Lesson
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Writings of Rabash, “Rungs of the Ladder,” Article 24
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Writings of Baal HaSulam, “The Wisdom of Kabbalah and Philosophy,” “Matter and Form in Kabbalah”
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Writings of Baal HaSulam, “Preface to the Sulam Commentary,” Item 87
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