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Purim: An Opportunity to Change Our Lives For The Better
Happy Purim to all! Purim 2017
Purim: Shushan and Berlin—Differences and Similarities @haaretzcom
Purim: An Opportunity to Change Our Lives For The Better
Dillon Hosier @IACActionDillon
How Purim Can Help Us Navigate Today’s Political Reality http://dlvr.it/Nc4KBx
How Purim Can Help Us Navigate Today’s Political Reality
From Twitter, 3/12/17
Answer: I am very glad, but you, too, especially those who study the wisdom of Kabbalah, need to become very important to the world. The world needs each of us. We must try to be a conductor of the upper knowledge for the entire world because each of us already has received a certain yearning for that.
Let’s develop it and together attain the goal.
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 10/30/16
“Since there are virtually no longer any applicable macroeconomic tools remaining, it has become commonplace to talk of ‘structural reform.’ But on the question of what this means, too, there is no agreement. Meanwhile, half-witted leaders excite disaffected voters. It seems that the economy has escaped from the hands of those who should manage it, and now politics follows it.”
My Comment: The problem is that experts in economics and politics and their students don’t see the whole picture, which is the general evolution of society and humanity. When the world operated only according to a simple egoistic principle, economists and politicians managed because they generally operated by this principle.
But as soon as society reached a new level of development, which is above egoism, the economics and politics of the past ceased to work. People need to study the wisdom of Kabbalah, which tells us about the transitional process we are in today, in order to understand what is happening in our world.
Answer: Absolutely. This is the reason that our corporeal life passes the way that it does. Imagine what would happen if we didn’t feel life and death. How would we behave if death were concealed from us?
It is actually the fear of death, of “now I exist, and tomorrow I will be gone,” that gives us a compelling reason to develop our culture, life, and everything we do on the face of the earth. This is an enormous driving force.
If there were no death and people did not know that it existed, our lives would be different. The years would go by, and a person would not understand when life was over (no matter in which form). Imagine to what degree it would reframe our entire existence. There would be no culture since we created it because we want to be eternal.
In the spiritual world, on the other hand, you begin to feel that you exist in a perfect eternal state, and it is indeed eternal and perfect.
Question: Isn’t it boring?
Answer: On the contrary, enormous attainments are revealed to you! You don’t live fearing the end but in the pleasure of eternity.
Baal HaSulam tells us in the Introduction to The Book of Zohar:
“…now that we know for certain that the thought of Creation, to delight His creatures, necessarily created a measure of desire to receive from Him all the goodness and pleasantness that He had planned for them, that will to receive was clearly not included in His essence before He had created it in the souls…”
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 11/20/16
Question: Is it good to read The Book of Zohar in a group of ten before going to bed?
Answer: Try it, I believe this will strengthen you.
Question: I feel that the spiritual world is beginning to show its face to me after a month and a half when it was hidden from me. I think this is a result of internal changes on a micro-level. Everything is going according to plan, but the effort, the true inner yearning for the Creator, is what accelerates this internal plan.
I cannot forget what has already been revealed to me. I no longer need to try to be convinced about what you are telling everyone. I have already felt it. It seems to me now that there is only one thing that is essential: getting away from the “idols” that surround life and truly yearn for the Creator. Is that right?
Answer: It is absolutely right!
The Jerusalem Post published my new article “Why Loretta Lynch Is Inciting People To Lynch“
When the American democracy collapses, the Jews will take the heat, as they always have. But there is still time to evade the turmoil, and the choice to do so lies squarely with American Jewry.
On March 4, the day of the pro Trump rallies, Loretta Lynch called on people to fight (if need be) to the death against the legally and democratically elected President Donald Trump. In her words: “ordinary people … have bled, and yes, some of them died. …We have done this before. We can do this again.” In light of the “incensed army of liberals demanding no less than total war against President Trump,” as Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns referred to the liberal mobs in The New York Times, it is no surprise that Senate Democrats touted her rant as “words of inspiration.”
Narcissism and the “Basket of Deplorables”
We are living in a narcissistic era. This is why The New York Times raved about the book The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement, stating that “The evidence Twenge and Campbell [authors] have compiled is compelling and appalling.” Since the late 1970s, people have been talking about “a culture of narcissism,” created by our growing self-absorption and egoism. Liberalism, which spread throughout the Western world as a backlash against the fascism that took over much of Europe and eventually led to the outbreak of World War II, became imbued with a sense of entitlement. Since liberals regard themselves as the guardians of free speech, they consider anyone outside their camp as an enemy to free speech and label such people fascists, racists, and a menace to society. It turns out that by delegitimizing any other view but their own, liberals have themselves become Nazis. Under such circumstances, it is easy to see how a former attorney general might rationalize that encouraging civilians to kill other civilians for their political views constitutes a legitimate statement, and not an incitement to murder.
What we are witnessing today is the demise of US politics. The codes of conduct that dominated diplomacy until November 8, 2016 were tossed out as soon as the results of the election came in. Now we can see who are the real “basket of deplorables.”
Jews—the Great Connectors
When all hell breaks loose and the American democracy collapses, it will not be Loretta Lynch or any of her like-minded “progressives” who take the heat. It will be the Jews. Jews play a very prominent role on both sides of the political aisle; they are conspicuous, dominant, and active. When things go awry, they will become the first victims, as they always have throughout history whenever upheaval ensued. There is still time to prevent the impending catastrophe, and the choice to avert disaster lies squarely with American Jews, but they must not stall because time is running out.
We Jews are great connectors. We schmooze, mingle, and create connections that pave our way to the top where we cater to the interests of our cohorts. Yet, networking in order to gain political clout is not the reason why we have been given this unique aptitude. This skill emerges from the root of our peoplehood and is our raison d’être. This is precisely the quality that we must introduce into today’s fragmented and hateful world.
Midrash Rabbah, Maimonides, Pirkei de Rabbi Eliezer, and numerous other sources tell us that our nation began as a collection of outcasts who discovered in Abraham a teacher and a leader who taught them how to cover the hatred they encountered in their indigenous tribes with love. He taught them how to unite above their animosities and “trained” them in strengthening their bonds. Mishneh Torah (Chapter 1) describes how “thousands and tens of thousands assembled around Abraham, who planted this tenet [of unity above enmity] in their hearts.”
In this way, instead of turning their backs to one another and dispersing, “the people of the house of Abraham,” as Maimonides refers to the Hebrews, treated their egos in the same way an athlete treats his muscles. In order to grow stronger, he lifts incrementally heavier weights. Similarly, the ancient Hebrews treated their egos as “weights” they had to lift. The more their egos grew, the harder they had to work to strengthen their unity above their egos.
Eventually, our ancestors became the ultimate “society-builders,” fastening between them such tight bonds that they were able to commit to being “as one man with one heart.” And as soon as they made this commitment, they became the first and only nation in history to have been built solely on the basis of unity and love of others, rather than on geographical proximity or biological affinity.
An Exercise in Unity
In a world where nations are falling apart wherever we turn, and hatred is disintegrating countries from within and from without, only one type of connection can fuse society back into a stable and cohesive whole: the method of connection that our ancestors used—connecting above hatred by using the ego as a “weight” to strengthen our “social muscles.” Consequently, as soon as we became a nation we were tasked with being “a light unto nations.” Throughout the ages, Jews have pondered the meaning of this task. Today, I think it is evident that being “a light unto nations” means introducing this unique method of connection, which unites people where all other methods cannot.
There is, however, one snag: We ourselves have forgotten the meaning and purpose of connection. We connect only when and where it suits our selfish interests. We use the quality that our ancestors developed as a remedy for the world’s ills, to benefit ourselves at the expense of everyone else. People feel this even if they can’t articulate it. They feel that we Jews owe them something, that we are somehow to blame for their troubles. In other words, with their anti-Semitism, they are admitting that we have the key to their well-being, but we are not sharing it. This is why, as I said above, the choice to avert disaster lies squarely with us.
A Lesson Learned from Henry Ford
We need not teach the world the method that we ourselves have long forgotten. We must simply reach out, connect with our own brethren, and thereby serve as an example. This challenge is our “gym.” Our mutual hatred is the weight we have to toil to lift in order to strengthen our “muscles” of connection. This is the implementation of our task to be “a light unto nations.”
Rav Kook wrote that “The great rule about the war of views, when each view comes to contradict another, is that we need not contradict it, but rather build above it, and thereby ascend” (Letters of the Raiah). Similarly, the book Likutey Etzot (Assorted Counsels) writes, “The essence of peace is to connect two opposites. Hence, do not be alarmed if you see a person whose view is the complete opposite of yours and you think that you will never be able to make peace with him.” All we have to do in order to achieve peace is follow the advice of the wisest of all men, King Solomon: “Hate stirs strife, and love covers all crimes” (Prov 10:12).
The world awaits our example. Henry Ford, in one of the most anti-Semitic compositions ever written—The International Jew: The World’s Foremost Problem—wrote specifically that the world needs the example of the Jews. In his words: “Modern reformers, who are constructing model social systems, would do well to look into the social system under which the early Jews were organized.”
Yet, modern reformers will not be able to emulate that system unless we set the example for them. The Jews, who are so prominent on both sides of the political map in America, are in a unique position to change the course of American politics, American society, and the entire world. All we need in order to achieve this is to dare to move toward each other.
And the rest of the world can help us do just that. If the world understands the true task of the Jews and urges (or, God forbid, compels) us to do this, we will unite for sure. Precisely because we Jews have within us an innate sense that we are indebted to the world, we are also more attentive to criticism from the nations than any other nation. If the world tells the Jews: “Unite!” we will oblige. In fact, it is already telling us to do this. Anti-Semitism is the world’s way of telling us to unite. And we must hurry because the world will not “speak” to us in more pleasant or explicit ways, but in more aggressive ones.
Now that all other modes of closeness are collapsing and societies are disintegrating, only a method that lifts us over our hatred and unites us all above it can succeed. This method is our Jewish heritage and our duty is to bequeath this method to humanity.
New Life #311 – Stinginess and Generosity
Dr. Michael Laitman in conversation with Oren Levi and Yael Leshed-Harel
How does society relate to the attributes of stinginess and generosity, how do we build balanced connections between people with all their opposing attributes, and how do we educate our children to do this?
It is human nature to enjoy—a person goes closer to what is beneficial to him and distances himself from what is harmful. But each person has different definitions.
One person seems extravagant, another stingy, and a third generous. Each one acts according to his character, according to his rational nature. Every nation has its own definitions of extravagance and frugality.
A good partnership can be built only above our characters. Each side should see the other as a helper, as a provider of opportunities to transcend the ego. The complementing between a couple can only be reached if it comes from each one going above his or her nature. Each one adjusts him or herself to the other.
In general, all the world’s problems today stem from a lack of acceptance and connection between people. A parent doesn’t have to look at the character of his children, but to care for the children’s social ties. In a group that is educated through the integral approach, there is an emphasis on unity and connection between everyone.
When a phenomenon is revealed, the group can discuss what avarice is, what laziness is, what lack of consideration is. How can we be connected even though there are such characteristics? And if later a thought comes to you, “ What a miser! “, then stop yourself and think, “ If that were my child…..”
From KabTV’s “New Life #311 – Stinginess and Generosity ,” 3/4/14
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When you approach a city to wage war against it, you shall propose peace to it. And it will be, if it responds to you with peace, and it opens up to you, then it will be, [that] all the people found therein shall become tributary to you, and they shall serve you. (Torah, Devarim, Shoftim 20:10-11)
If you have desires which you can cover with an intention to bestow, then there is no need to fight them.
In general, one should not fight with the desires, but only with the intentions. This war ends if you turn them from the intention, “for my own sake” to the intention, “for the sake of others”. Everything depends on the influence of the environment and development of the individual.
Question: When I offer peace to a desire, does it mean that it is ready to accept the intention to bestow?
Answer: Yes. From a psychological point of view, we always need to start with this and not break ourselves. If it is possible to gently move to a different level of our inner work in understanding, in bestowal, in concern for external factors, then our victory is in this.
Everything depends on how you study, how you disseminate, how connected you are with friends. This is how you advance.
Our progress, for the most part, is not actualized through war. It is not necessary to constantly be in a state of stress. Of course, it is not to say that there may not be some battling, but it has to be controlled and appropriate. On one hand, never relent, because your responsibility is only to engage in correction. On the other hand, all intentions and desires that arise in you, need to be reframed with help from the Light, the upper force.
That is, you need to begin passing such Light, such thoughts and actions through them that would enable you, very gently but inevitably, form a connection with the Creator above them and to understand that they come from only one source, and you should only connect to that source through them. Only then all of them will become yours and will obey you. This is the challenge of our lives.
Comment: This is always very difficult because basically, you are changing your nature and it is somewhat of a forced process.
Answer: Everything depends on the intention of a person. Let us say, right now you need to take a 40 lbs package somewhere. It is not easy to do it, it is hard. But if you need to bring it to your beloved little grandchild, who needs it very much, then it becomes much easier, quickly you find the strength. Because everything depends on desire, goal, and intention.
Comment: However, the intention is given from above. That means it is necessary to ask for it.
Answer: Of course, but you have to demonstrate persistence in this.
Comment: The example with the grandchild is clear to me, but with the Creator it is more complicated.
Answer: Why is it more complicated? If everything in the world occurs only in order to turn you to Him, then there is nothing complicated. Imagine for yourself that you receive everything from Him and only in order to turn toward Him.
He is very jealous and will do everything in order to get you to pay attention to Him. It is a terrible jealousy, almost impossible to describe! In every minor detail! In whatever it is! And only when there is enough attention from you (no more and no less), then everything is well.
That being said, we are not talking about performing mechanical actions, such as making a blessing before a meal. We are talking about a person who changes his attitude and reveals the Creator thanks to His nudges.
Direction toward Him must not only be in every action, but in every breath, in every glance, in everything, so that every cell, every fiber, yearns toward its source.
From a TV program “Secrets of the Eternal Book,” 09/19/2016