New Life #457 – Anti-Semitism: There Is Nothing More Natural
Dr. Michael Laitman in conversation with Oren Levi and Yael Leshed-Harel
The news reports the number of attacks on Jews throughout the world is growing. Anti-Semitism is on the rise.
Recently an outrageous incident happened in Auckland, when on the way from kindergarten, a child wearing a yarmulke was struck on his head by a jeering youth.
More and more French Jews are immigrating to Israel. The British newspaper The Guardian reports that the situation today is the worst since the second world war. All surveys and studies testify to the worsening situation.
Question: It is difficult for us to accept the fact that this is not the primitive outcome of desperate people on the periphery of society, but ordinary people in Western society. All of this, to our great surprise, is again raising fears that seem to be forgotten with the Holocaust.
It is very difficult to get used to this, we don’t understand how this could be. Still, we need to understand what is happening. What are the roots of this phenomenon, the next wave of which we are experiencing?
Answer: First of all, it must be said that the Jews who were born in Israel are not able of understanding what anti-Semitism is.
A few weeks ago in an Israeli-American convention in Washington, I had a discussion with a very famous Israeli who often appears on television. He sat next to me and wanted to prove to everyone that there was no anti-Semitism in the world, that for Jews it only seems to exist. In other words, he himself doesn’t feel the phenomenon that is apparently so very clear.
This is a very typical example of Israelis who have lived their lives as “first class” citizens of their country. They are simply incapable of understanding the anti-Semitism that exists outside of Israel.
On the other hand, I lived abroad for almost thirty years. It is were I was born, went to kindergarten, school, and university, I worked there. In other words, I went through all these stages and constantly felt this phenomenon myself. My entire life there passed on a background of anti-Semitism on a personal and social level where you realize you are a “second class citizen.” Everyone is above you and you must internalize that this is your place. All possibilities of advanced professional studies are impossible for you; your potential is low from the start. And everywhere you need to build a special system of relationships with others.
All of this was very clear, and this is what shaped the person through general social pressure, so the question whether anti-Semitism exists doesn’t even arise in you. You simply live within it and know how to behave in accordance with reality.
These were the years that passed in the “shadow” of the Second World War, meaning, a period that was good enough for Jews in the world.
But in recent years, anti-Semitism has returned, and everyone is justifying and supporting it again. Anti-Semitism has become international and global; it is coming to be expressed in the accepted fanaticism of billions of people. It is impossible that this phenomenon is directed by a specific strength. No, this is a historical phenomenon that has always existed.
Everything began with Abraham who built his group according to a desire to live in love and unity, not in competition. This was an aspiration to rise above the natural human egoism, to live above it, with bestowal and love of others. In this way the group of Abraham became detached from Ancient Babylon and established itself in contrast to Babylon, meaning in contrast to the whole world. At its foundation, in its heart, this group was contrary to humanity from the start.
After all, the whole world lived according to its own egoism, and developed on the basis of competition and narrowness. Narcissism pushed everyone toward development.
On the other hand, Abraham taught his students in a completely different way. As one of the main ideologies in Babylon, he spread his call everywhere, and explained the way to get out of the crisis that had erupted in that period.
And this crisis was caused by hatred, a sharp rise in egoism. People suddenly realized that they could no longer stand each other and were ready to devour one another, even though they lived as one family in the past. They didn’t know what to do with this unexpected conflict.
And so, after studying the subject, Abraham understood that the reason for the crisis was the eruption of the ego.
There were two solutions to this situation, two ways to organize life:
-Either people would move away from one another and separate, like couples who divorce.
-Or they would rise above the ego.
According to Abraham, we must understand that the ego has grown in us so that we would overcome it. Despite our narcissism, we need to achieve love, mutual understanding, and unity among us.
Only a handful of people heard him, a few tens of thousands, according to Maimonides. They felt that this was so, but they didn’t understand how to implement the right solution. Abraham explained to them what was happening and its essence. Nature, according to his words, ultimately encourages people to unite in spite of the egoism. It separates between us, and nature would push us from the outside until we are obligated to connect.
However, in that period there were still two possibilities. People could disperse all over the globe, and in this way they could appease the mutual hatred that was caused by the ego, or they could unite above the egoism and be like brothers.
Every person chose what was closest to his heart. And there were people who understood that Abraham was right, that it was preferable not to scatter in all directions but to work with the ego. “This is a destructive force, and it is up to us to treat it—to rise above it and connect with one another in a good way, with love. That is how we will organize life.”
In addition, Abraham explained to them that this is not just about coexisting in a good way, but it is the goal of creation. After thousands of years everyone would reach the same thing because this is a natural tendency leading everyone to balance, to unity, to reciprocity, to equivalence of form.
The people who understood that this was the truth joined Abraham. They already had a basis for this internally, an appropriate form of development.
But until then, Abraham had himself supported the egoistic force; he sold statues of idols and served his people as a religious priest. He was a wise person, and his father Terah was the highest ideologue of Babylon next to King Nimrod.
But suddenly the son stood up against the father and against the king, and left the country with his group for the land of Canaan. That is how the Jewish people was created.
So basically we are not a people in the ordinary sense of the word. We have been the group of Abraham until this very day. Nothing has changed: “Jews” are not a nation; rather, this is an ideology, a worldview, a perception of life and reality. And the main thing is that this is work on the attainment of the goal of this reality. It is from here that the name “Israel” is derived, meaning “straight to a higher power” (Yashar-El).
Since then, hatred by the Babylonians, from whom they separated, has existed. This is a natural hatred latent in the nature of every person. After all, the ego, as mentioned, hates the altruism, love, mutuality, and unity that characterizes the group called Israel, in its original form.
But on the other hand, this group was open to others, and anyone could join.
Over the course of hundreds of years, the Babylonians who belonged to the camp of Nimrod grew to encompass present humanity. In his writings, Josephus Flavius described how different tribes left Babylon, eventually to include the entire world.
Moreover, hatred of the group of Abraham didn’t leave them. After all, the people who followed Abraham left to explore the mysteries of life and learned to use the two forces: the natural force of the ego and the anti-egoistic, altruistic force, that they discovered in the world.
Thanks to this, a person penetrates more deeply into nature, learns its secrets, knows how to investigate it, and with this finds the approach to all of reality, to the entire universe. He becomes wiser, more successful, he has a deeper understanding. In particular, on the physical level he also knows how to manage, how to build the foundations of the nation, to take care of the royal treasury in the nations in which they are living, how to achieve success in science, to receive Nobel Prizes….
To the degree that the group of Abraham wasn’t satisfied with expansion on the egoistic plane and entered into the depths of nature using the two forces facing each other, to that degree it developed internally, in soul and in intellect.
As a result of this, from that time on, the Jews were such a success and contributed so much to the development of the world that it is difficult to find a comparison to that small group that has gone in such complex pathways of history. From them came the Torah, the foundation of humanity, which still uses its inherent laws. The record of the “Jewish legacy” could go on for a long time, but in general, all of this is based upon one primary factor.
I repeat, the Jews are not a nation in the ordinary sense of the word. From an ethnic aspect, we come from various tribes, clans, and ethnic groups that populated ancient Babylon. Some representatives of the Babylonians once went with Abraham, for whom it didn’t matter from where his students came. He only wanted to spread love above all differences, and he accepted everyone in the framework of this unity. The word “Jews” (Yehudah) is derived from this, meaning “Union” (Yichud). Abraham formed a group from his students, which, through consolidation, sought to solve all the problems of this world and discover the upper force that governs us, the “world to come.”
Question: In spite of the anti-Semitism, the Jews, in fact, have attained extraordinary achievements. They are 27% of the Nobel Prize laureates in Physics and 31% of the Nobel Prize laureates in medicine. They receive half of the Pulitzer prizes. 37% of the directors who have been granted Oscar awards are Jews. Not to mention the high tech startup companies and the Internet. If everything is so good and beautiful, why are the descendants of the Babylonians unwilling to admit the truth of Abraham?
Answer: It is because humanity doesn’t need any of this at all. People don’t appreciate us because we are so smart. They don’t pay attention to all of these prizes. They say that we are bringing them trouble.
In the beginning, the Babylonians hated the group of Abraham not because of the spiritual potential and not because of the discovery of the secrets of nature. That didn’t bother people. They knew that Abraham had pitched his “tent”; in other words, he opened a training center and began to teach everyone. But when his organization became more impressive, Nimrod saw it as a threat to his rule.
Question: What is the essence of this hatred?
Answer: It was still “in diapers” then, still in its beginning. And after that, when the group distanced itself from everyone, the nations of the world felt its alien presence. And they began to hate it, since the ego is the opposite of bestowal.
This is a never-ending hatred that exists until today. It is latent in the foundation of nature, where two opposing forces are found: reception and bestowal. This is the basis of the universe; we are contrary to all the nations, their opposite. This polarity is expressed in their hatred toward us.
From KabTV’s “New Life #457 – Anti-Semitism: There Is Nothing More Natural,” 11/25/14
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