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The Jerusalem Post: “Passover — A Chance To Pass Over”

My article “Passover – a chance to pass over” was published recently in The Jerusalem Post, an English language news source for Jews.

“Passover – A Chance to Pass Over”

Soon, as we do every year, we will be seated once again around the Seder table.

According to the Jewish calendar, Passover is actually the beginning of the year. Officially, the year begins on Rosh Hashanah, but the Jewish calendar also has a deeper, hidden level, which describes our internal, spiritual development.

The Jewish nation is a special one. It was formed not by biological kinship or geographical proximity, but by adherence to an idea—the idea of unity! We became a nation only when we agreed to live “as one man with one heart,” and we were given the task to be “a light unto nations” when we pledged to love our neighbors as ourselves. And Passover is where it all began.

Until Moses was born, the people of Israel were very happy in Egypt. They were prosperous and wealthy, and enjoyed life’s amenities of “pots of meat” and “bread to the full” (Exodus, 16:3). But material contentment can only take us so far. It is human nature that once we have what we want we begin to want something else, something higher. At that point we begin to seek delight in human connection.

That moment of beginning is the birth of Moses—an aspiration for brotherhood and connection. It has existed all along, maturing in the house of Pharaoh and enjoying the material pleasures life has to offer until it had its fill.

At that moment begins the exile in Egypt. Pharaoh, our egoism, cannot surrender to such “lofty” ideas as brotherhood, connection, and mutual responsibility. It loathes and despises them.

And yet, the more the children of Israel developed as individuals and as a society, the more they felt that unity was the next step, a must happen scenario. The children of Israel went through a process similar to the one happening today, where we are realizing that our happiness, health, and general well-being depend on the quality of our social relations. Pharaoh did not want to torture the children of Israel; he simply wanted them to continue to cater to him, namely the ego, rather than to follow Moses, meaning aim for brotherhood and mutual care. And when they wouldn’t go along, he became the vicious king we know from the story.

Our forefathers insisted on their unity and eventually won. They united at the foot of Mt. Sinai and received the law, whose essence the Holy SHLAH expresses by these few words: “Love is the commandment on which the entire Torah stands: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” The children of Israel carefully cleared themselves of hametz [leaven], the self-centeredness within them, and passed over from egoism to brotherhood until they became a nation bound together and united by the vision of love of others.

Today, as we are waking up from the American Dream to the reality that we cannot base our societies on competition and isolation, we are beginning to feel more and more like the children of Israel in exile. Until now Egypt was quite fun, but now it is becoming hostile and feels more and more like exile.

Now is the time to rekindle our brotherhood and love of others and pass over once again. It is the beginning of a new year, a new era in our society. It is time to shift to a new paradigm of relationships.

The “Me, me, me” culture has exhausted itself because we are simply not happy being confined to our separate shells. In order to be happy, we, the descendants of the children of Israel, must move like our forefathers from egoism to brotherhood and mutual responsibility.

Imagine the life we will have when we care for one another. No one will have to struggle through life’s trials because everyone will help out. And likewise, we will enjoy helping others. And as each of us chips in for our neighbors, our ties will strengthen and create a bond that will build a society based on friendship, warmth, and unity. “Love your neighbor as yourself” will stop being a cliché, and will become what it was always meant to be—our reality.

Recently there have been numerous references in the press to the disunity of the Jewish community. It is a good sign. It shows that we are beginning to see fragmentation and alienation as the root of our problems. We will always have diversity, but rather than fear it, we should embrace it! The more diverse we are, the more our brotherhood will grow, as long as we value unity above all else.

And there is another bonus. As we unite above our differences we will present a model of a prosperous community that thrives because of its diversity, rather than despite it. This is something that the world needs desperately today. We can offer it. We had it when we came out of Egypt, and we can reignite it now and share it with the world. In this we can become “a light unto nations,” a beacon of hope for the world.

This Passover, let us pass over from alienation to brotherhood, from indifference to mutual responsibility. In short, let us all come out of Egypt, together.
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Why Don’t We Eat Chametz (Leavened Food) On Passover

laitman_961Question: Why don’t we eat Chametz on Pesach (Passover)?

Answer: Because Chametz symbolizes the connection between flour and water. Flour symbolizes the attribute of the egoistic desire and water symbolizes the attribute of the altruistic desire.

Therefore, on Passover we are at final stage of the domination of the ego and we begin to feel that egoism controls us in everything since we lack the attribute of Hassadim, the attribute of Hesed, the attribute of the water, which is what the Matzah symbolizes.

Matzah is the connection between flour and water. They are mixed for a very precise period of time, for 18 minutes, so that the flour will not begin to rise. If they are mixed too long, we have to constantly knead the dough without stopping…

This process symbolizes our work with egoism, the process in which we have to keep working with it, giving it new forms over and over again, moving to altruism. And then it is possible.

But in principle, it is impossible to work with the Chametz for more than 18 minutes, which means that the connection has to be minimal, just as it appears in our egoism. What is altruism? That we want to show good intentions toward someone so the ego will benefit from it? The Matzah symbolizes the lack of water, the lack of Hassadim, the lack of Hesed, in our egoistic attitude, and so it is called the “bread of poverty,” which means the poverty of a wide heart, in the openness between people.

It is customary to eat Matzah on Passover eve because it is on this night that we reveal to what extent we don’t have the attribute of love and bestowal among us, the attribute of Bina, or the attribute of Hesed. We are ready for anything as long as we can exit this egoistic state, and so we eat Matzah on the night of our liberation from egoism.
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From KabTV’s “News with Michael Laitman” 4/13/16

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Purifying The Vessel Of The Soul

laitman_571_03Question: Are we responsible for all the sufferings that we encounter?

Answer: The Creator who created evil is responsible. It is written: “I have created the evil inclination; I have created the Torah as a spice.” If we change the evil to good, we will reach the level of the Creator. Everything in our world is arranged so that a person will dig and discover the problems in his nature, in the nature of his evil inclination, and will find a way to overcome these problems by properly using the method of correction.

If such questions come up, it means that a person is ready to start using this method, and then he gradually realizes why everything was created the way it is and not differently. Then it will be clear to him that the Creator is the special force of nature that includes all of creation, all of nature, all the upper levels, that are inaccessible to us now but which we will reveal.

When we correct the egoism the Creator intentionally created as cruel, immense, and universal, we become the managers of all of nature, both in our world and in all the other worlds. Humanity will ascend to the level of eternity and perfection even without having to die, we will simply ascend to the next level.

Humanity is at the level of development when the question about the meaning of life arises in most people. According to the wisdom of Kabbalah, this indicates that we have matured and reached the level at which we are ready to perceive and to adapt to the upper world.

Question: Why do we suffer if the thought of creation is for man to enjoy?

Answer: The reason is that we don’t correct ourselves. If we knew how to do it and started the process of correction, we would immediately feel better, climbing the levels of the ladder of goodness.

Comment: There is an interesting fable about this. A thirsty man stands by a stream of fresh water and tries to fill a dirty glass. The water seems tasteless, bitter, and he cannot drink it so he curses the dirty stream. This is how we often curse the Creator who sends us sufferings.

When a person finally realizes that the cause is not the water, but his glass, everything will change. He cleans and purifies the vessel and the taste of the water changes, then it becomes clear to him that the water in the glass was always pure, even while he suffered.

Answer: Yes, this is our life, but we will be able to enjoy life only if we can draw the right forces out of them.
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From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 2/16/16

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Be In Close Connection With The Creator

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Is there a difference between communication with the Creator through a text written by a Kabbalist and communication with Him through a situation that a person goes through?

Answer: Communication with the Creator may be through a situation. I remember once I had to attend a trial and it was very unpleasant and humiliating even though I didn’t really have an attitude about the situation. But it was specifically this situation that gave me a serious hold on the Creator.

Question: Is it possible to communicate with the Creator through pleasure?

Answer: This is very difficult.

Question: Does this mean it’s better through suffering or through a book?

Answer: It is not necessary to choose. You need to accept both the good and bad in the same way. As it is written, “A person must bless the bad just as he blesses the good” (Mishnah Berachot 9:5).

If a person is not directed this way, it isn’t good. He needs to prepare and correct himself. The uniqueness of the Creator is the prerequisite for looking at the world correctly: where does everything that exists and all that is stands before us or is felt within us come from? No matter what happens, everything that is felt and portrayed within me comes from the Creator.

Question: And what if I feel that the situation is bad?

Answer: It makes no difference how we feel the situation. The Creator portrays it so that through the bad we will connect with Him, and then the bad becomes good. It’s the only way. Love appears above all the evil.

Most importantly, you should not allow the picture of this world in any case to hide the spiritual world, the network, the upper force that manages us. We must not allow the various forces and circumstances of our world to conceal the Creator from us.

We must strengthen it with the help of friends, books, everything possible, and constantly hold on to a close connection with Him. We must monitor all of our thoughts, feelings, circumstances, and problems. And we must immediately join them to a greater yearning for the Creator. Don’t miss anything. It means that the Creator strongly wants you.
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From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 2/7/16

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Scandal Over The “Panama Papers”

laitman_263Question: Over eleven million confidential financial documents were leaked from a Panamanian legal firm. It turns out that through this firm businessmen, politicians, and billionaires evaded taxes. Among them were 72 past and present heads of government. Apparently six hundred Israeli companies and 850 Israelis were involved in these machinations. Do you think that they will be prosecuted?

Answer: I can’t imagine who would prosecute them! No matter what happens, the powerful people of this world, the bank managers and the heads of state, have closed major accounts that are officially registered under the names of their children and grandchildren, and nothing can be done about this. It is impossible to undermine them. They will put a few minor officials in their place who will be suddenly pushed aside and removed from their positions and they will take the money.

Comment: Still we have a president and a previous minister in Israel who are accused.

Answer: For the time being a full fusion of an oligarchy with the government in Israel has not occurred, in which one covers the other. And even if you are my political or economic adversary, we still have a private agreement that in these areas, I won’t interfere, and you won’t either. This hasn’t settled in Israel yet so within this country with lots of scandals this will gradually pass.

When I arrived in Israel 40 years ago, it wasn’t possible to consider giving someone a bribe. But in the past 40 years we have become like all the rest of the world. As a result, in part, it will lead the world to realize that we must get rid of our egoism, to rise above it. 60% or 70% of what we earn goes into a black case and disappears down some hole, which provides no benefit!

If all were revealed: how much humanity earns, how much is spent its benefit, and how much it causes harm, it would be found out that 90% are harmed!

Question: Does money have a spiritual root?

Answer: Money is a covering on desires. If I can work with my desire correctly, meaning that I use it for good deeds, then this desire is covered by a screen called “money” (Kesef), “yearning” (Kisuf). The “branch” of this characteristic in our world is money. Gold is a harmful metal, which symbolizes greed, a craving for profit, pure egoism. Gold is Malchut, (silver) money is Bina.

Question: Will this greed destroy humanity?

Answer: Eventually it will lead to the recognition of evil and humanity will need to get rid of it.

Question: Does this mean that the rulers of the world cannot be punished? Is there some kind of punishment for them?

Answer: There cannot be any punishment. We are working in a single egoistic system and the one in a high position, can do whatever he wants. Even if someone else were to stand in his place, it would be the same.

Question: Does this mean that there is no way out of this situation?

Answer: The only way out is through education, compulsory education for all executives.
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From KabTV’s “News with Michael Laitman” 4/4/16

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New Life #555 – Life In Perpetual War

New Life #555 – Life In Perpetual War
Dr. Michael Laitman in conversation with Oren Levi and Nitzah Mazoz

After so much suffering it’s time to ask why is this happening to us? After all, there is nothing accidental in nature.

Summary

After not finding secular and religious answers, we understand that the answers are found in the wisdom of Kabbalah.

Peace depends only on us; it doesn’t depend on any other factor. Only we can bring a positive force into the world.

Two forces operate in this world, positive and negative, give and take. The evil force constantly grows by itself. Adding the positive force hidden in nature requires work only the Jews can perform.

In ancient Babylon, our father Abraham discovered a method for doing this, the method of love, “Love covereth all transgressions” (Proverbs 10:12). Thousands gathered around him, and that is how the people of Israel were created, living according to: “What is hateful to you, don’t do to your friend” (Talmud Babyli Shabbat 31a), and “You shall love your friend as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18).

If we want to build the people of Israel in the land of Israel, it is up to us to return to this spiritual source. The systems that oppose Israel will stop only when we understand that the key to world happiness is in our hands, the positive force is in our hands. If we fight for connection between us, each one against his ego, we will be spared from external wars.

Like soldiers, we are strong, we are ready for self-sacrifice. The problem is that it is not clear to us what our destiny as a people is. If we fight with the inner enemy, with the negative force that separates us, the external enemy will disappear.

We see that today people are leaving the country; it is not clear to them what the point of their living here is, in this nation with all of its problems. It is up to us to reveal the positive force that is concealed in nature that will connect us. The wisdom of Kabbalah teaches us this method.
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From KabTV’s “New Life #555 – Life In Perpetual War,” 4/16/15

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Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 04.26.16

Preparation for the Lesson

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Writings of Rabash “Dargot HaSulam,” Article 506

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Writings of Rabash Dargot HaSulam,” Article 924

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Writings of Rabash Dargot HaSulam,” Article 926

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