New Life #739 – Does Choice Exist Or Is Everything In The Hands Of Heaven?

New Life #739 – Does Choice Exist Or Is Everything In The Hands Of Heaven?
Dr. Michael Laitman in conversation with Oren Levi and Yael Leshed-Harel

Where does freedom of choice exist in our lives, from what do we try to be freed, and what will bring us to attain true freedom?


The first profession in which I specialized was bio-cybernetics. According to bio-cybernetics, a human is a biological system that lacks choice with data it is born with and data absorbed from the environment in the course of life. A human thinks that he chooses and decides, just like a small child feels that he chooses when his mother leaves the room. But this is due to a lack of knowledge of the natural system, divinity. So according to the Torah, there are no punishments but correction in the direction of life.

We are like components of a system, completely operated. But there is a particular action in our lives that is considered to be a free choice. Whoever carries it out becomes a free person. When we investigate nature, we see that everything in it is linked, except for humans who are individualists with the tendency to separate. Nature requires us to be linked with each other, in good connection, but basically everyone runs away to his own corner. It is specifically the contrast between human nature and the nature of the overall system that makes it possible for us to choose to emulate nature at the peak of our development and climb to a new level of existence, the speaking level.

A person who reaches this level is a free person; he includes two opposing forces, egoism and altruism, and the link between these two forces is within him. The ability to choose is developed in a person when he hears about this possibility. From that moment on, it is up to him to choose an appropriate environment for development. Through choosing an environment for spiritual development, the person begins to learn about his nature and the nature of the world. A person who realizes the choice of an environment is a free person because in the right environment he becomes free of his egoistic nature. When we realize freedom of choice, we attain a good and secure life, and endless possibilities will be open to us.
From KabTV’s “New Life #739 – Does Choice Exist Or Is Everything In The Hands Of Heaven?” 6/28/16

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St. Petersburg Convention “The Round World,” Lesson 3 Materials

The Work between the friends in the Ten

One of Israel who truly wishes to be awarded with the light of life, has to agree to plant himself in Knesset Israel (The assembly of Israel) with all his heart, all his senses and all of his physical and spiritual strength.
-Rav Kook, “Whisper to Me the Secret of the HaVaYaH

And a certain man found him, and behold, he was wandering in the field. And the man asked him, saying: “What seekest thou?”[…], meaning,”How can I help you?” “And he said: ‘I seek my brethren.’” By being together with my brothers, that is, by being in a group where there is love of friends, I will be able to mount the trail that leads to the house of God.

This trail is called “a path of bestowal,” and this way is against our nature. To be able to achieve it, there is no other way but love of friends, by which everyone can
Writings of Rabash, Shlavey HaSulam, (Rungs of the Ladder), 1984, “Love of Friends,” Article No 3

A good way to serve the Creator and the right way to repent is to unite our hearts with the Love of Friends, to see the friend’s advantage in the service and the knowledge of the Creator, and not to notice his deficiencies. The principle of repentance is to connect each with the other in love and One Heart, and to serve the Creator together… Meaning that we must connect with each other and lock our hearts together… and be as One Bundle, to serve the Creator with a whole heart.
Maor VaShemesh (Light and the Sun), “The Secrets of Rosh Hashanah

We must remember that the society was established on the basis of love of others, so each member would receive from the group the love of others and hatred of himself. And seeing that his friend is straining to annul his self and to love others would cause everyone to be integrated in their friends’ intentions. Thus, if the society is made of ten members, for example, each will have ten forces practicing self-annulment, hatred of self, and love of others.
-The Writings of Rabash, Vol 1, “Concerning Love of Friends”

Those who agreed among them to unite into a group understood that there isn’t such a great distance between them in the sense that they recognize the necessity to work in love of others. Therefore, each of them will be able to make concessions in favor of the others, and they can unite around that.
Rabash The Social Writings, “Make for Yourself a Rav and Buy Yourself a Friend – 2”

And it is known that the Shechinah dwells in each Ten, which is a complete degree. And a complete degree is made up of a head, arms, legs and heels… and when each one sees himself as “nothing” in the holy society, he is considered to be the heel in the society, and they are in the state of Rosh (head) and Guf (body) and the upper parts. And when each one thinks of himself this way, their actions open the gates of abundance and all goodness in the world. But most importantly is that righteous who is able to grip the state that is more “nothing” than the others, and through him the abundance flows.
Maor VaShemesh (Light and the Sun), “Parashat Ekev

The main reason why a person needs to buy a friend and work in love of others is that by that he can be rewarded with the love of the Creator. But the friends should primarily speak together about the greatness of the Creator because according to the greatness of the Creator that one assumes, to that extent he naturally annuls himself before the Creator… Thus, the friends’ discussions of the greatness of the Creator awaken a desire and craving to annul before the Creator because he begins to feel longing and desire to bond with the Creator… And this is what a person needs to receive from the friends.
-The Writings of Rabash, Vol 1, “What to Look for in the Assembly of Friends”

According to what is written, “In the multitude of people is the King’s glory,” it follows that the greater the number of the collective, the more effective is the power of the collective. In other words, they produce a stronger atmosphere of greatness and importance of the Creator. At that time, each person’s body feels that he regards anything that he wishes to do for holiness—meaning to bestow upon the Creator—as a great fortune, that he has been privileged with being among people who have been rewarded with serving the King. At that time, every little thing he does fills him with joy and pleasure that now he has something with which to serve the King. Thus, he can walk all day in the world of gladness and joy.
-The Writings of Rabash, Vol 1, “The Agenda of the Assembly – 2”

St. Petersburg Convention “The Round World,” Lesson 2 Materials

How do I Work in the Group in Achishena
From Personal Work to My Work with the Group Through the Positive Force that Pulls Forward

1. Although everyone has “his own source,” the forces are revealed openly only through the environment one is in… Thus, Rabbi Yosi Ben Kisma correctly assumed that if he were to leave the good environment he had chosen and fall into a harmful environment, in a city where there is no Torah, not only would his former concepts be compromised, but all the other forces hidden in his source, which he had not yet revealed in action, would remain concealed. This is because they would not be subject to the right environment that would be able to activate them.
Writings of Baal HaSulam, “The Freedom”

Our sages said, “Make for yourself a rav and buy yourself a friend.” This means that one can make a new environment for oneself. This environment will help him obtain the greatness of his rav through love of friends who appreciate the rav. Through the friends’ discussing the greatness of the rav, each of them receives the sensation of his greatness. Thus, bestowal upon one’s rav will become reception and sufficient motivation to an extent that will bring one to engage in Torah and Mitzvot Lishma.

They said about that, “The Torah is acquired by forty-eight virtues, by serving friends and by meticulousness of sages.” This is so because besides serving the rav, one needs the meticulousness with friends, as well, the friends’ influence, so they will affect him the obtainment of his rav’s greatness. This is so because obtaining the greatness depends entirely on the environment, and a single person cannot do a thing about it whatsoever.
-Baal HaSulam, “A Speech for the Completion of The Zohar”

2. One must disclose the love in his heart towards the friends, since by revealing it he evokes his friends’ hearts toward the friends so they, too, would feel that each of them is practicing love of friends. The benefit from that is that in this manner, one gains strength to practice love of friends more forcefully, since every person’s force of love is integrated in each other’s.
The Writings of Rabash, Vol 1, “Concerning the Love of Friends”

3. Therefore, each one must think how he can bring about a good mood to the other… It therefore follows that each one should try to bring into the society a spirit of life and hopefulness, and infuse energy into the society. Thus, each of the friends will be able to tell himself, “Now I am starting a clean slate in the work.” In other words, before he came to the society he was disappointed with the progress in the work of God, but now the society has filled him with life and hopefulness.

Thus, through society he obtained confidence and the strength to overcome because now he feels that he can achieve wholeness. And all his thoughts—that he was facing a high mountain that couldn’t be conquered, and that these are truly formidable obstructions—now he feels that they are nothing. And he received it all from the power of the society because each and everyone tried to instill a spirit of encouragement and the presence of a new atmosphere in the society.
-The Writings of Rabash, Vol 1, “What to Look for in the Assembly of Friends”

4. If he sees that the friends are at a higher degree than his own, he sees within reason how he is in utter lowliness compared to the friends, that all the friends keep the schedule of arriving at the seminary, and take greater interest in all that is happening among the friends, to help anyone in any way they can, and immediately implement every advice for the work from the teachers in actual fact, etc., it certainly affects him and gives him strength to overcome his laziness, both when he needs to wake up before dawn and when he is awakened. Also, during the lesson, his body is more interested in the lessons, since otherwise he will lag behind his friends.
The Writings of Rabash, Vol 1, “Concerning Above Reason”

5. And in the matter of love, it is through “Buy yourself a friend.” In other words, through actions, one buys one’s friend’s heart. And even if he sees that his friend’s heart is like a stone, it is no excuse. If he feels that he is suitable for being his friend in the work, then he must buy him through deeds.

Each gift […] that he gives to his friend is like a bullet that makes a hollow in the stone. And although the first bullet only scratches the stone, when the second bullet hits the same place, it already makes a notch, and the third one makes a dent.

And through the bullets that he shoots repeatedly, the dent becomes a hollow in his friend’s heart of stone, where all the presents gather. And each gift becomes a spark of love until all the sparks of love accumulate in the hollow of the stony heart and become a flame.

The difference between a spark and a flame is that where there is love, there is open disclosure, meaning a disclosure to all the peoples that the fire of love is burning in him. And the fire of love burns all the transgressions one meets along the way.
-Rabash, “Letter No. 40”

6. I shall advise you to evoke within you fear of the coolness of the love between us. And although the intellect denies this depiction, think for yourself—if there is a tactic by which to increase love and one does not increase, that too is considered a flaw.

It is like a person who gives a great gift to his friend. The love that appears in his heart during the act is unlike the love that remains in the heart after the fact. Rather, it gradually wanes each day until the blessing of the love can be entirely forgotten. Thus, the receiver of the gift must find a tactic every day to make it new in his eyes each day.

This is all our work—to display love between us, each and every day, just as upon receiving, meaning to increase and multiply the intellect with many additions to the core, until the additional blessings of now will be touching our senses like the essential gift at first. This requires great tactics, set up for the time of need.
-Baal HaSulam, “Letter 2”

7. Everything that one feels that he is lacking and asks fulfillment for, he should not say that he is an exception or deserves more than what the collective has. Rather, “I dwell among my own people,” meaning I am asking for the entire collective because I wish to come to a state where I will have no care for myself whatsoever, but only for the Creator to have contentment… Therefore, he prays for the collective. This means that if there are a few people in the collective who can reach the goal of Dvekut with the Creator, and this will bring the Creator more contentment than if he himself were rewarded with nearing the Creator, he excludes himself. Instead, he wishes for the Creator to help them because this will bring more contentment above than from his own work. For this reason, he prays for the collective, that the Creator will help the entire collective and will give them that feeling—that they receive satisfaction from being able to bestow upon the Creator, to bring Him contentment.
The Writings of Rabash, Vol 1, “A Prayer of Many”

Convention In St. Petersburg, Day Two – 07.30.16

Convention in St. Petersburg, “Ascents and Descents on the Path of Achishena,” Lesson 4

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Convention in St. Petersburg, “Three Lines on the Path of Achishena,” Lesson 5

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Convention in St. Petersburg, “‘Arvut‘ as a Convenant that Holds the Work in ‘Hastening’,” Lesson 6

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St. Petersburg Convention “The Round World,” Lesson 1 Materials


What is the Optimal Hastening Toward the Goal of Creation?

The Path of Torah and the Path of Suffering

What are the Conditions to Advance in Achishena (hastening) Versus Beito (in due time)
Actualizing Achishna in the Group
Time requires Advancement in Achishna for the General Correction of the World

1. There are two authorities here acting in the conduct of development: The one is the authority of Heaven, which is sure to turn anything harmful and evil to good and useful, but that will be in due time, in its own way, in a floundering manner and after a long time. And then there is the authority of the earth. And when the evolving object is a living being, it suffers horrendous torments while under the “press of development,” a press that carves its way ruthlessly.

The authority of the earth, however, is comprised of people who have taken the laws of development under their own government and can free themselves entirely from the chains of time, and who greatly accelerate time, the completion of the ripeness and correction of the object, which is the end of its development.
-Baal HaSulam, “Peace in the World”

2. There are two forces that contradict each other, an upper force and a lower force. The upper force is, as it is written, “Every one that is called by My Name, and whom I have created for My glory.” This means that the whole world was created only for the glory of the Creator. The lower force is the will to receive that argues that everything was created for it, both corporeal and spiritual things, all is for self-love.

The will to receive argues that it deserves this world and the next world. Of course, the Creator is the winner, but this is called the path of pain. It is called a long way. But there is a short way, called the path of Torah. It should be everyone’s intention—to shorten time.

This is called Achishena – I will hasten it. Otherwise it will be Beito – in its time, as our sages said, “rewarded—I will hasten it; not rewarded—in its time,” “that I place upon you a king such as Haman, and he will force you to reform.”
– Baal HaSulam. Shamati 50, “Two States”

3. The Creator Himself puts one’s hand on the good fate by giving him a life of pleasure and contentment within the corporeal life that is filled with torment and pain, and devoid of any content… And one’s choice refers only to the strengthening… to strengthen in the good way by all sorts of means and tactics. Also, one should do whatever his hand finds the strength to do until he completes the work of purification.
-Baal HaSulam, Introduction to Talmud Eser Sefirot, Item 4

4. One cannot raise oneself above one’s circle. Hence, one must suck from one’s environment. And one has no other counsel, except through much work and Torah. Therefore, if one chooses for oneself a good environment, one saves time and efforts, since one is drawn according to one’s environment.
-Baal HaSulam, Shamati 225: “Raising Oneself

5. But the most important is the labor, meaning to crave how to labor in His work, since the ordinary work does not count at all, only the bits that are more than the ordinary, which is called “labor.”… Similarly, out of every service, the Creator draws out only the bits beyond the ordinary, and they will be the letters and the Kelim (vessels) in which to receive the light of His face.
-Baal HaSulam, “Letter No. 38″

6. By which substance can one be brought to acquire a new quality that he must bestow, and that reception for self is faulty? This is against nature!

Thus, there is but one counsel: Several individuals must come together with the desire to abandon self-love, but without the sufficient force and appreciation for bestowal[…] Now, if these individuals annul before one another, since each of them has at least potential love of the Creator, though they cannot actually keep it, then by each joining the society and annulling oneself before it, they become one body.

For example, if there are ten people in that body, it has ten times more power than a single person does. However, there is a condition: When they gather, each of them should think that he has now come for the purpose of annulling self-love. It means that he will not consider how to satisfy his will to receive now, but will think as much as possible only of the love of others. This is the only way to acquire the desire and the need to acquire a new quality, called “the will to bestow.” And from love of friends one can reach love of the Creator, meaning wanting to give contentment to the Creator.
-Rabash, The Writings of Rabash Vol 1, “Love of Friends”

7. It is impossible to keep the Torah and Mitzvot without the Arvut, namely, when everyone becomes responsible for his friend, since the essence of keeping the Torah is in Behinat Haratzon (the will) in unity. Hence all who desire to accept upon themselves the Torah and Mitzvot … must be included in the assembly of Israel as one big collective … and thus they are able to be included in the upper will, which is the purpose of Unity.
-Likutei Halachot, “Laws of Arvut”

8. One who desires to serve the Creator in Truth, must include himself with all creation and unite himself with all the souls, be incorporated in them and they in him. Meaning, that one should not have anything remaining in him except what is necessary for him to connect with the Shechinah. To reach this, we must come closer to each other and be connected with many people… since according to the number of people who serve the Creator, the more light of the Shechinah will be revealed to them. For this one must include himself with all people and all creation, and raise everything to its root, as if for the correction of the Shechinah.
-A Banner over the Camp of Ephraim, “Parashat BeShalach”