Ynet: “Who Is Running ISIS?”

From my column in Ynet: “Who Is Running ISIS?”

Daesh [ISIS] stands at the head of the list of threatening phenomena at the conclusion of 2015. Who is really running the murderous terrorist organization, and what is the connection between the shaming on social networks of a former prime minister who was sentenced to prison and lecturers who were sent with ministers?

The rising world star of 2015 is undoubtedly Daesh—an organization that was crowned with the strongest and most sweeping brand name for this year, thanks to its widespread outbreak into the depth of international consciousness. Throughout the entire past year, hideous snuff films were posted on the social networks including: beheadings, rapes and murders of women, showcase attacks throughout the world, and stabbing and trampling attacks in the streets.

Daesh, the extremist terrorist organization, is indeed presenting the most brutal terrorist performance on the world stage, but if we take a deeper look, we will discover that we are also connected and we have a responsibility in this story (1).

Daesh is Here

The Book of Zohar indicates that we are all networked in a system of invisible connections. Imagine a network that closely links each one of us to every other person, a kind of network of thoughts and emotions that flow between us and dictate decisions and what we do in our lives.

Similar to a person, this network of connections is divided into two main parts: head and body. Each organ in this system has a defined role (2). The people of Israel serve as the “Rosh – head” (“Israel” = “Li-Rosh” – “I have a head”), and the world functions as the “body” (3).

When an ordinary person wakes up a bad thought, violence against another Jew, or even just an uncontrollable urge to “kill” or to “stab,” this thought within the “head of the system” necessarily transforms into a command in the “body of the system.”

It is not only extreme acts such as murder, stabbing, or severe violence toward others, even when I curse a driver who passes me wildly on the highway or I erupt at a clerk at the NII [government agency] or at the neighborhood children who are disturbing my rest, even then I am arousing evil.

The problem with thoughts is that they are immediately realized in the blink of an eye. Somewhere in another place, someone already goes to act out “my thought” in action against another person. As is written in The Book of Zohar (VaYehi): “Israel causes the rest of the peoples to lift their heads in the world.”

According to that perception, when a terrorist stabs a Jew in the streets of Israel—the root for this abominable deed is the direct result of those countless negative thoughts that pass through our minds and are also expressed in our negative attitudes toward each other (4).

The Hidden Connection Between the Relationships Between Us and the State of the World

These days we are dealing with increasing waves of global hatred toward the nation of Israel (5). Recognizing the fact that specifically here, in the system of relationships that we build between us in the nation of Israel, the fate of humanity is decided, and when hatred breaks out between us, it “awakens” hatred throughout the world through that hidden system of connections.
Were the enemy not so cruel, we would continue to fight and quarrel with each other.

Suddenly a terrorist murders hundreds of people in Paris. The enlightened world blames us as being responsible for the deed—an example is Sweden, which marches at the head of the haters camp, it is not ashamed to point an accusing finger at the nation of Israel as being responsible for world terror. A Daesh leader contending with many war fronts turns specifically to threaten the Jews and anti-Israeli organizations call from every stage possible to boycott us.

We must understand that things are decided for the good or for the bad on a more internal stratum. Bad thoughts and negative attitudes between us invite a hostile attitude and anti-Semitic actions toward us because “No calamity comes into the world except on account of Israel” (Yebamot 63a) (6).

Connection Is Our DNA

By virtue of our role as the “head of the system,” we must inject the power of connection, the power of vitality, into the rest of the peoples (7). This connection is our essence as the chosen people even from the days of our father Abraham who gathered us into a single nation from a jumble of foreign tribes in ancient Babylon (8).

In a sense, we must admit that Daesh are our “friends”—not because of the destruction and cruelty they bring into the world, but for the necessary uncovering that has been imposed upon us to change the basis of the relationships between us, and first and foremost, the thoughts that we scatter around the world (9). A change like this will lead us from brotherly hatred to love of Israel.

As strange as it all sounds, it is up to us to “thank” Daesh, because were it not for such a cruel enemy, we would continue to fight and quarrel with each other. Daesh grants us an opportunity to actualize our function as a people—to connect between us as one person with one heart and to restore the force of positive connection to the world. The beauty is that when we connect between us, the threat of Daesh will dissipate. This terrorist organization is “activated” by us like a puppet on strings; so when we unite—Daesh is afraid! (10).

The Real Enemy Is Us

The most important task before us is to unite against our real enemy – the separation, polarization, and division between us. We are guilty of making it possible for terrorism and all the evil in the world to run wild. The way to contend with the growing hatred is to apply the wisdom of connection—the wisdom of Kabbalah, by means of which we can elevate the value of unity above the growing egoism and self-concern (11).

The separation between us makes it possible for the ideology of Daesh to occupy the center of the world stage. It is an ideology that is based on the false unity of hatred. In contrast to it stands the ideology of unity of love for others, “And you shall love your friend as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18); only through its power can we neutralize every enemy from the evil power that nourishes
it and win the affection of the world (12).

So what will happen in 2016? It depends on our thoughts!


1.“The Holy One Blessed be He made Israel the heart of the whole world. And that is how Israel among all the nations of the world, as a heart among the organs. And just as the organs of the body cannot exist in the world for even a moment without the heart, so all the nations cannot exist in the world without Israel” (Zohar for the People, Parshat Pinhas, 152)

“There is an intermediary phase between the totality of the world and the Creator, and it is the Israeli soul, which is very exalted in its root, and it is really a part of the divine, and it is the intermediary that connects between the totality of the world and the Creator. And through it the abundance and vitality and the existence of all the worlds is drawn; and so everything depends on Israel” (“Likkutei Halachot”, Birchat HaReiach and Birchat Hodah”, Halacha 4).

“The peace of the worlds dwells within this nation” (Bereshit Rabba, Parshah 66).

“Israel brings its light to the world, as it is said (Isaiah 60:3), ‘And nations shall walk at thy light’” (Midrash Rabba, Shir HaShirim, Parshat 4, Paska 2).

2.“You have no organ found in a person that doesn’t have a person correspondent to it in the world. For just as the human body is divided into organs and all of them stand on different levels, each one correcting the other, and all of them are one body, it is the same with the world, all of these people in the world are all various organs, and stand on different levels. And when all are corrected, they will really be a single body” (Zohar for the People, Parshat Toldot, 3).

3.“The word “Ysar-El” (Israel) are the letters of “Li Rosh” (the head (mind) is mine). This means that he believes he has a mind of Kedusha (Sanctity)” (Rav Yehudah Ashlag, Baal HaSulam, the article, “Shamati” 143).

“Israel are the first and foremost receivers of all the abundance, and from them it is distributed to the whole world. And so Israel is called ‘Li Rosh’, meaning that they are the head phase, receiving the blessing first, and after that coming to the world” (“Be’er Mayim Chayim”, Parshat Trumah, Chapter 25).

“…a branch that extends from the internality is the people of Israel, which has been chosen as an operator of the general purpose and correction. It contains the preparation required for growing and developing until it moves the nations of the worlds, too, to achieve the common goal. The branch that extends from the externality is the nations of the world. They have not been imparted the qualities that make them worthy of receiving the development of the purpose one at a time. Rather, they are fit to receive the correction at once and to the fullest, according to their Higher Root” (Rav Yehudah Ashlag – Baal HaSulam, “A Handmaid that is Heir to Her Mistress”).

4.“…this is why the world was created filled with so many people, each with his own thoughts and opinions, and all are present in a single world. It is so deliberately, so that each and every one….is incorporated in all the alien notions and thoughts of the entire world.” (Rav Yehudah Ashlag – Baal HaSulam, Shamati 33).

“Rabbi Elazar ben Rabbi Shimon said, ‘Because the world is judged according to the majority, an individual is judged by the majority of his deeds. So if he performs one good deed, happy is he for tipping the scale for himself and the world to the side of merit; if he commits one transgression, woe to him for he has tipped the scale and for himself and the whole world to the side of guilt’” (Kiddushin 40b).

“The essence of the creation, choice, correction and destruction of the world, all of these depend upon Israel” (“Siach Yitzhak,” Part 2, Likkutim 1).

5.“How many troubles upon troubles there will be for Israel, and all the nations and their kings will testify against them together, and many evil decrees will be aroused. And all of them will come against them with one testimony, bringing troubles upon troubles, and the last will make the first forgotten” (Zohar for the People, Parshat Shemot, 96-98).

“It is a fact that Israel is hated by all the nations, whether for religious, racial, capitalist, communist, or for cosmopolitan reasons, etc. It is so because the hatred precedes all reasons, but each merely resolves its loathing according to its own psychology” (Rabbi Yehudah Ashlag – Baal HaSulam, The Writings of the Last Generation, Part One, Section Nine).

6.“Were Israel to store up good deeds before the Holy One, Blessed be He, no people in the world would stand against them. But Israel causes the rest of the nations to raise their heads in the world. Because if Israel were not sinners before the Holy One, Blessed be He, the rest of the nations would surrender to them” (Zohar for the People, Parshat VaYehi, 412-413).
“When Israel sins, God forbid, then the Other Side truly has power to overcome the power of Israel” (Likkutei Halachot, Hilchot Tisha B’Av and Fasts, Halacha 4).

7.“Kedusha (the Sacred) extends from Israel to the whole world” (Zohar for the People, Parshat Emor, 92).
“…the Israeli nation was to be a ‘transition.’ This means that to the extent that Israel cleanse themselves by keeping the Torah, so they pass their power on to the rest of the nations” (Rav Yehudah Ashlag – Baal HaSulam, “The Love for the Creator & Love for the Created Beings”).

8.“At the age of 40 Abraham became aware of his Creator…and he began to stand up and proclaimed with a loud voice to all of the people, and informed them that there is one God for the whole world that should be served. And he went and called and gathered people from city to city and from kingdom to kingdom…until thousands and myriads gathered to him, and they were the people of the House of Abraham. And he planted in their hearts this great principle, and he wrote books…and this increased among the children of Jacob and those who accompanied them, and a nation was made in the world which knew the Creator” (Maimonides, “Mishnah Torah”, Sefer HaMeda, Hilchot Avodah Zarah, Chapter 1).

“The secret of the unity of the world dwells in Israel” (Rabbi Abraham Isaac HaCohen Kook, “Ohrot HaKodesh 2” 415).

9.If it is impossible to blow a Shofar suitable for redemption, the enemies of Israel will come and trumpet for the redemption in our ears. They will trumpet and make noise in our ears and will not let us rest. Amalek, Hitler,may their names be erased, and so forth, awaken the redemption. This national scourge of the ‘Jewish problem’ there is a kind of redemption even in that, however one should not bless this Shofar” (Rabbi Abraham Isaac HaCohen Kook, “Ma’amrei HaRaiah”, Volume 11).

“This Zionism therefore sees the Jews – as separate people united against their will by a ‘common enemy’. But it will not see the Judaism – the single block which aspires to exist in its unity even without any external compulsion. This is the main deficiency, which is discovered in all of its ways and deeds” (Ahad Ha’am, “The Congress and its Creator”)
“We are a people. The enemy involuntarily consolidates us into a people, as it always has been in history” (Binyamin Ze’ev Herzl, “The Jewish Nation”).

“All of the global noise…primarily only comes for Israel. They are calling us now for a great and sacred role, fulfilling it willingly and consciously, building ourselves and the whole ruined world together with us” (Rabbi Abraham Isaac HaCohen Kook, “Igorot HaRaiah” 2, page 324).

10.“Every king or leader, although we see him rule for a long time, and it is in his hand to kill and to give life, enrich and impoverish, is nevertheless not a true king, because he does not himself have dominion or will because (Mareh Yehezkel Bamidbar Parshat Naso) ‘The heart of kings and princes is in the hands of the Creator’” (“Yismach Moshe”, Parshat Nitzavim).
“When there is love, unity and friendship between each other in Israel, there is no place for any calamity to fall upon them” (Meor VeShemesh, Parshat Nitzavim).

11.”The wisdom of truth teaches us about world unity, the side of equality that is to be found in all of existence to the highest, the image of the form that is created and how to go in the way of this light without an obstacle” (Rabbi Abraham Isaac HaCohen Kook, “Ohrot HaKodesh 2”, 393).

12.“Reduction of the bad qualities in Israel, which provides the vitality of the idolaters, gradually reduces the idolaters. And everything depends on Israel” (“Arvei Nahal”, Parshat Lech Lecha).
“When Israel are like one person with one heart, they are like a wall against the forces of evil” (Shem MiShmuel, Parshat VaYikahel).

“The children of Israel were made as a guarantee for correcting the whole world with the power of Torah because everything depends on the children of Israel. Just as they correct themselves, all of creation is drawn after them” (“Sphat Emet”, Sefer Shemot, Parshat Yitro).

“Building the world, which is presently collapsing at the feet of the terrible storms of swords filled with blood, requires building the Israeli nation. Building the nation and the discovery of its spirit is one thing, and it is entirely united with building the world, which is crumbling and waiting for the full power of unity and elevation. And all of this is found in the soul of the congregation of Israel” (Rav Abraham Isaac HaCohen Kook, “Ohrot”, 70, 16).

“And all the nations will acknowledge and recognize Israel’s merit over them, until the realization of the words, ‘And the people shall take them, and bring them to their place: and the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the Lord’ (Isaiah 14:2), and also “Thus says the Lord God, Behold, I will lift up my hand to the nations, and set up my standard to the peoples: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried on their shoulders” (Isaiah 49:22).” (Rav Yehudah Ashlag, Baal HaSulam, Introduction to the Book of Zohar, 69).
From Ynet article 12/30/15

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