According to recent research, slavery is the exploitation of a person who cannot leave because of threats of violence, coercion, or deception. People can be enslaved because of a debt and so forth.
Answer: Before the destruction of the Second Temple the slaves among the nation of Israel had many privileges. The landlord was required to take care of his slave, and the slave was obliged to work for the landlord according to his powers and his abilities. At the same time, the relationship between them was normal and mutual, just as they are today between an employer and an employee. A slave did not want to leave his landlord because the latter provided everything he needed, as it is written, “… give your slave your pillow.”
As for other nations, they had a completely different attitude toward slaves. They beat them, humiliated them, killed them, and did not treat them as human beings, not even as domestic animals, which were looked after, cherished, and fed.
Question: What is slavery from a Kabbalistic perspective?
Answer: According to the wisdom of Kabbalah, slavery is total obedience to your landlord, “This is what the landlord wants, so this is how I move.” A slave constantly looks to the landlord and carries out his will, and at the same time, totally suppresses his own desire. His efforts, his opinion, his desires, and his thoughts all are aimed at the landlord’s desire so as to continue the latter’s desire. A slave has no desire of his own, but only the desire of the landlord.
Question: Can we say that, in this world, we all are slaves to our egoistic nature?
Answer: Of course! We also can say that we are the Creator’s slaves, but unconsciously! This is because the Creator is the only force of nature that manages us, but He wants us to be independent. This is our problem: to be independent of Him and even above Him!
It is written, “My sons have defeated Me,” which means becoming free of slavery, becoming totally independent, and taking the leadership of the entire world from the Creator’s hands. This is His real desire, His dream. And we, unfortunately, do not want to think about something higher, more sublime, and thus we remain slaves and live as animals.
Therefore the Creator pushes us through suffering so that we will perceive and understand our absolutely poor, paltry, miserable, and limited state, and will want to rise from it.
I hope that as the sufferings grow, people will begin to perceive and understand that. There is no other way to influence people. Then, people will use what the Creator offers them: His knowledge, His method, His wisdom, the wisdom of Kabbalah.
If we begin to implement it, we will see how much we gain from becoming the masters and ceasing to be slaves. This is how we enter a completely different level of existence, a world of eternity, infinity, and perfection, a totally different entity, a different dimension. But this is for free people.
From KabTV’s “News with Michael Laitman” 2/6/16