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Question: In 2015 there were a record number of death sentences enforced: more than 1,600. Iran, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia are the leading nations in the number of executions; they carry out close to 90% of them. What is happening with us? Have we become less sensitive than before?
Answer: The world is advancing toward more brutal times, and soon even Europe will begin executions. The “Golden Age” has already passed, and we will see how everywhere in the world the death sentence will become a routine punishment.
The tolerance that existed for ten or twenty years has gone. The bourgeoisie that has come to power again seeks control through money and power, and is only concealed by what is called tolerance. What was no longer is.
There are no democratic elections, everywhere stands dictators who only reach agreements between themselves and decide who will replace whom. Everything is bought and sold for money, and if not, then for more money. Europe that could once declare that it was democratic and tolerant has long gone.
Question: What is your personal attitude toward the death penalty?
Answer: According to the wisdom of Kabbalah, a death sentence is permissible, but only enforced every ten years.
In the Talmud it is said that if a death sentence is decreed in a particular court more than once in seventy years, then it is considered cruel.
Let us hope that we can achieve times like these in which not only the need for capital punishment will be cancelled, but also other penalties, prisons in particular! Prison is a product of the ego. According to the Torah, prisons are unnecessary. They don’t correct a person; on the contrary, they harden him and direct him toward even greater sins. In the period of the Kabbalists in Israel, there were no prisons.
Question: Thinking about our present uncorrected situation in the world, would you introduce capital punishment into Israeli law?
Answer: In principle we are left with no choice. In ancient times, education and information preceded the behavior of people.
Today there is no education at all among the population; so talking about a need for the immediate cancellation of punishment is impossible. It could be that the laws that are in force now can rein in the population from performing violent actions and outbursts to some degree.
But in general it is up to us to think about this, so that we will reach a situation where there will not be any need for capital punishment.
From KabTV’s “News with Michael Laitman” 4/14/16
Comment: A group of scientists from Tel Aviv University examined the correspondence of the garrison force at the 600 BC Tel Arad fortress and concluded that the Bible was written several centuries earlier than has been believed until now.
As we all know, the Torah was written after the return from the exile in Babylon because there were not enough educated Jews who could write it. Now following this discovery scientists are re-examining when the Bible was written.
Answer: The first book about the wisdom of Kabbalah was written by Adam about 5,770 years ago. During the time between Adam and Abraham, there were several other writings by different Kabbalists. Abraham, as Rambam claims, wrote many Kabbalaistic books, but only one remained until our days, The Book of Creation. Abraham, who lived in ancient Babylon 3,500 years ago, gathered a group of people who became the nation of Israel with time. All the members of the group had to learn how to read and write. They spoke Hebrew because Hebrew and Aramaic were the languages spoken in ancient Babylon.
Abraham’s group was founded in order to attain the upper world in the connection between people. On this basis, they naturally understood the origin of the letters, the roots of the words, and felt the language of the branches, the upper attributes of the world, which have no names, called roots, and are named by their consequences in our world, which are called the branches.
Many books were written in the time between Abraham and Moses because all the Jews were highly educated from Abraham’s time onward. Since the exile in Egypt onward, the Jews left Egypt on a totally different level of consciousness and attainment because during their life in slavery they got to know their work in the ego. During the 40 years of wandering in the desert they began to write the Torah for all the nations.
It says that Moses taught his students along with his assistant Joshua. Moreover he taught all the people because the Levites engaged in the general education and teaching of the nation.
Question: How long did the writing of the Torah (Pentateuch) take?
Answer: The Torah was gradually created during the 40 years of wandering in the desert. Everything the nation of Israel underwent in practice took place internally in their spiritual roots, and they expressed this in the book called Moses’ Torah.
When they lived in the land of Israel after the building of the First Temple and then after the building of the Second Temple, they wrote all the other books including the “Prophets” (Naviim), the “Holy Scriptures” (Ketuvim), and the Mishna.
From the time the two temples were destroyed and before they were exiled, the Talmud was written, and all the other books were written while they were in exile.
The Torah says that there wasn’t a child from Dan to Beer Sheba who didn’t know the Jewish laws and who didn’t know how to read and write. They knew most of the books by heart because that was the ancient method of studying; students had to learn by heart what the teacher taught them.
Question: This means that there was never a break in literacy.
Answer: Since the time of Adam, in those circles where Kabbalists lived, there was almost universal literacy. Abraham eradicated illiteracy among the ancient Babylonians who joined him.
From KabTV’s “News with Michael Laitman” 4/14/16
Question: Is the war between men and women going on in order to eventually bring us to the complete mutual complement?
Answer: One can’t exist without another. Initially the Creator created a man and a woman, two forces, plus and minus, in order for us to complement each other. We can’t exist without each other. But we ourselves need to implement this mutual complement and all of life is concentrated on it.
If we didn’t have to build a connection between us, there would be no need to live on this planet. The meaning of life is to learn to connect in the perfect ideal form because by making up for each other we reach a perfect state, as it is said: “A man and a woman and Shechina between them.”
It means that the upper force is revealed between them, but only on the condition that this man and woman correctly unite with each other.
It is not about a particular man and woman, but about these concepts as a collective image that includes all male and all female qualities. When correctly connected to each other, they precisely, in this form, reveal the upper force, the upper complete and eternal life.
Through this it becomes apparent that we are facing the most tremendous central problem and that the whole world was created with it in order for us to solve it. And through this solution we will understand a solution for the whole of reality.
But most of the time we try to run away from this game because we don’t understand what to do with it. Everyone in his private life, in his family, tries to mask this conflict as if everything is in order. While inside the family relationship hides an abyss of problems.
We don’t even know what the ideal relationship between a man and woman is. We are so opposite to each other that a lifetime will not be enough to fulfill all requests of the opposite sex. And a man, in general, is not adapted to understand a woman and doesn’t want to meet her halfway. And here should come the correction.
Also a woman in her requests of a man can be so annoying and demanding, as she feels her dependency on him, that possibly this as well requires correction. Not in terms of distancing from him but in reconstructing her demand into a different form regarding the goal that she doesn’t yet have.
Question: Throughout all of history women try to reach some kind of balance in the relationship with men and therefore are fighting for their independence and equality. Does each side need to reach independence in order to connect with each other afterward?
Answer: In this way we grow apart from each other and run away from solving the problem. It is becoming fashionable to be unisex and to neglect the family. We don’t want to understand that through connection between us we can reach absolute eternal special life. Instead of it, we perceive this connection as a problem we need to run away from by all means. As a result, in the modern world we have a lot of single men and women. We meet whenever we feel like it, doesn’t matter when, how, and with whom. We seemingly lower the importance of the connection between men and women to sex, limiting it to only the satisfaction of sexual needs.
But this is totally wrong. After all, there needs to be a system of sensory, emotional relationships that turns us into one soul through mutual complementation. It means it has to be on the totally different level, not on the animate degree, which is based on bodily needs.
I don’t deny necessity of the sexual relationship—a normal human being can’t do without it. But we need to raise the connection between a man and woman to the level of souls so that the Shechina, the upper force, will dwell between them. We have to unite for this goal because only through the correct connection between us can we attain heavenly life.
Initially in the Garden of Eden, the man and woman were as one, the way the Creator created them. But then the Creator banished them from heaven by distancing them from each other and therefore they descended from the Garden of Eden to our world where each one exists separately.
Now if we correctly connect with each other in order to be with one heart, we will rise back to the Garden of Eden, to the state where we will feel our life as eternal and complete!
This is precisely the way to heaven. I don’t understand why people think that there are different methods to get there. Humanity is deeply mistaken thinking that it can reach heaven by performing religious traditions. We have to build correct relationships here on this planet, and precisely through them, as it is written in the Torah, we will return back to heaven.
What is the Garden of Eden? It is a man and a woman who again became one human being, living in one joint desire, inside which dwells the upper force, the Creator.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” 3/31/16
Question: There are scientists today who say that we exist unconsciously. Can we say that the difference between the spiritual world and the corporeal world is in existing consciously or unconsciously?
Answer: We automatically exist in a totally unconscious manner and don’t understand who we are at all. We don’t understand what we are and why we are living. All the organs and the cells in our body, everything that surrounds us, plays on us and we feel the moment we live in.
Therefore, we have no opportunity to change anything. There is no freewill whatsoever. Everything is predetermined and we are operated in different situations so that at a certain point in our development we will be disappointed with our existence as it is and recognize its worthlessness, pointlessness, and emptiness and will begin to yearn to find the meaning of life.
The meaning of our world is to enable us to ascend consciously above it to the next spiritual dimension.
Question: What does consciously mean? Different desires constantly arise in me and I run to fill them with pleasure. Will I have to make up these desires by myself in spirituality?
Answer: At some point, a person grows tired of chasing the fulfillment of his desires and doesn’t identify with them anymore. He realizes that these are the intentions of his desires and that he constantly has to fill them. Although he feels pleasure in that, he doesn’t want it to control him anymore; he wants to independent and not addicted to these pleasant feelings.
Then he begins to think: “How can I rise above this? Why do I constantly have to chase various pleasures? Why do I always sell myself to these pleasures? Is this enough for my life? Does this satisfy me? Should I think about whether I need all this for? These are fleeting pleasures that change every second so my whole life comes down to chasing pleasure and minimizing pain.”
Question: What is the alternative for that in the spiritual world?
Answer: In spirituality a person begins to attain the meaning of his existence and this attainment fills him with an inexplicable feeling, an indescribable feeling, of attaining harmony, the upper existence, the truth, the real goal, everything that does not exist in the corporeal world.
If a person feels bad in our world, he has to change it immediately to a good feeling, and thus over and over again, and this becomes the goal of his life. In the spiritual world a person who attains the meaning of everything that happens and what is beyond him, creates a feeling of wholeness harmony, balance and eternity within him.
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 2/21/16
New Life 553 – Holidays: Independence Day – The National Symbols
Dr. Michael Laitman in conversation with Oren Levi and Yael Leshed-Harel
Why is the Menorah (the seven branched candelabrum used in the Temple) the symbol of Israel? When will there be peace between us and our neighbors? And how is our independence as a nation expressed?
The seven branches of the Menorah symbolize wholeness. 7×7=49: 49 gates of impurity and on the other hand, 49 gates of purity. The wisdom of Kabbalah will help us illuminate like the Menorah. It teaches us how to build a connected egalitarian society.
The olive branches symbolize the aspiration for peace, but it will be attained only when we reach peace between us. When our relations shine like the Menorah, we will be rewarded with peace in the world as well. This will be the outcome.
The land of Zion and Jerusalem refers to the fact that we want to leave the hatred we feel and return to brotherly love, to the state of wholeness and beauty. Man’s inclination is evil from birth. A person naturally cares only about himself. We have to develop the good inclination in us.
A yearning Jewish soul refers to the fact that we were as one man in one heart in the past and we yearn for that. True independence means independence from the evil inclination, from the narrow egoism.
To be a free nation means free from the evil in us, from unfounded hatred. Even when I want to do something good, I suddenly discover that I operate only for my own sake. A person who lives in “being a free nation” sees everything in life through the point of connection.
If we connect in love, most of the problems will disappear from the world because it is the bad relations between us that are killing us. When we connect in love, the state of Israel will improve miraculously and everyone will want to follow our example.
It is customary to have barbecue parties during this holiday, so it is a good idea to include a connection workshop that will ignite a new spirit in us.
From KabTV’s “New Life 553 Holidays: Independence Day – The National Symbols,” 4/14/15
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Preparation for the Lesson
Topic of the Lesson: “Independence Day in Israel”
Writings of Baal HaSulam “A Speech for the Completion of The Zohar“
Writings of Baal HaSulam, “The Nation”