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Answer: The Purim holiday is special in that today in the world, as if in the theatre, the curtains rise and performance begins with music and entry of all the screen characters. Although the king and queen Esther are not yet visible, but the main characters, the villain and the righteous, are showing up already.
In the past years, the curtains were almost closed, and this year the world has reached the point when it is ready to start participating in this performance. It began with president Trump because with his coming to power America entered a new era.
Never before the American Jews were so totally divided among themselves, hating each other so much that even families break up and relatives don’t meet with each other. Exactly this event indicates that we are now at the beginning of Purim.
The Jews are divided, scattered among all others, and most importantly, they hate each other. Now they can be destroyed one at a time, and this is what Haman wants to do. And the king agrees with him, saying “Come on, start your work.” After all, when the situation worsens, maybe the Jews will finally understand that they are in a rather critical condition.
Haman begins preparation, builds gallows for the representative of the Jews, Mordechai. The Jews are under the threat of destruction. They are encouraged to safe themselves, but it is possible only through unity.
After all, by uniting, the Jews attract the upper Light, the special force that connects them and kills all their enemies this way. Of course, we mean not the physical annihilation, because it doesn’t solve anything, but the spiritual victory.
Therefore, especially this year we study the Purim holiday, “Megillat Esther” (“The Scroll of Esther”), because this is a production that is obviously played out today in our world.
We can take an active part in it and play it successfully, or we can make only a small rehearsal from it and wait for more difficult times. However, we better not.
How this will happen depends on us. It is better to extinguish this all today and fix it so that all the nations of the world are satisfied with our work and come to collective unity with each other. Then they will be blessed from above, and the world will come to its contentment.
From a TV Program “News with Rav Laitman” 3/8/2017
Nature has given us, men and women, a real gift from above – our differences. Due to these differences, by connecting correctly, we can not only live happily, but can also solve the “riddle number one,” for which this world was created….
It is very symbolic that we are celebrating two holidays simultaneously, Purim and March 8th [International Women’s Day], at the center of which stands a woman. Esther is indeed a wonderful image of a woman who discovers her nature deep within herself.
Modestly, without emphasizing herself, hiding her desires, is concerned not only about her husband, children, and home, but the entire world as well. She is the cause, the central axis, which through her desires drives the entire mechanism of creation, desires its perfection, and she herself becomes perfected.
Nature has endowed woman with the main property, the immense desire of all of creation. But to fulfill her desire, she needs a man. A real man, who as a representative of the Creator, is ready to fulfill the boundless desire of the woman.
The woman wants her man to become like the Creator, ascending to His level, becoming a provider, loving, possessing only one intention, not thinking of himself, but wanting to fulfill her desire, and in fact, the desire of the Creator. The woman supports a man in his true masculine work of overcoming his egoistic nature. The woman delicately but persistently inspires a man, pushes him toward growth and development, to accommodate her desires and the desires of the man, transforming these desires and making them harmonious, complementing each other.
Today, not always and not everyone can succeed in living according to our inherent natural characteristics. A woman controls a society, aiming her desires toward compensating for the deficiencies of men in all areas of human activity. A woman can always give a man useful advice because she has a much better intuition than he does.
However, regardless of external successes or failures, a woman deeply feels the need for true fulfillment. Her uncontrollable desire will necessarily be turned toward the source of this fulfillment and the wisdom of Kabbalah, which is the method for how to truly become happy herself, providing happiness to her man, children, relatives, and the whole world.
Answer: It seems that you are not implementing the wisdom of Kabbalah correctly. You should understand that the wisdom of Kabbalah teaches a person how to internally develop the vessels for feeling the upper world, which we are all in even now. In order to do so, you should practically interact in the study with your fellow students and take part in the special exercises.
When a person engages with the friends, he begins to develop the feeling of the attribute of bestowal, which exists outside of us, within himself. It is called the soul, and it enables a person to feel the Creator. Therefore, the most important thing is engaging in the practical study and the fulfilling the advice of the Kabbalists.
The taste of the Creator is the taste of the filling of the Light, the feeling of the attribute of bestowal.
If energy in the corporeal world is conveyed through me to others, I feel it as a negative feeling, and if energy generated by others enters me, I feel it as a positive feeling. These two currents—positive when I receive and negative when I give—are called egoistic reception.
There is another relation to these two currents. What comes from me to others is positive and what comes from others into me is negative. This state is called the attribute of bestowal. When a person creates this attribute inside himself, it is called his soul.
When a person connects with others with the inclination of the attribute of bestowal, which means through me to others by connecting to them, he begins to feel what we call the Creator in the currents that circulate between himself and others.
Practice and you will begin to feel it!
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 11/20/16
In my regular column in Haaretz, my new article: “A Farewell to US Politics“
We can still prevent a catastrophe of horrific magnitude from happening to US Jewry, but the choice lies squarely with the Jews.
On February 23, Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns of The New York Times wrote about “an incensed army of liberals demanding no less than total war against President Trump.” Then came the violent clashes during the March 4 pro Trump rallies and, on the same day, the video incitement of former Attorney General of the Obama Administration, Loretta Lynch, for “ordinary people” to fight (if need be) to the death against the Trump Administration. Even worse, her video was “posted on the Facebook page of Senate Democrats and touted as ‘words of inspiration.’”
We are witnessing the end of US politics. The codes of conduct that have dominated diplomacy until November 8, 2016 have been tossed out as soon as the results of the election came in. Now we can see who are the real “basket of deplorables.” In today’s America, liberal zealots detest, denigrate, beat up, and as we have just seen, have declared an all-out war on anyone who does not agree with them. When a former Attorney General says that it is justified to kill other people for their political views, this qualifies as Nazism. And those who support her declaration are, by definition, Nazis, too.
From Narcissism to Nazism
There is a very clear line leading from extreme self-absorption to any kind of extremism, including Nazism. Over the past several decades, the prevalence of narcissistic tendencies in people of all socio-economic levels has increased exponentially. There is a good reason why The New York Times raved about thee book The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement, stating that “The evidence Twenge and Campbell [authors] have compiled is compelling and appalling.” It was an eye-opener for many of us.
Looking after oneself is not narcissism. It is etched in our genes as a means to guarantee our survival. Yet, since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, we have gradually shifted away from survival mode and into self-indulgence. Our growing ability to secure our income has led us to engage in all kinds of entertainment and exploration of ourselves and the world. The problem is that over time, we have become so preoccupied with our own feelings that young people today can barely see anything beyond their own needs.
In the political arena, liberals, like the rest of us, have also grown increasingly narcissistic. The liberal mindset arose as a backlash against the fascism that took over much of Europe and eventually led to the outbreak of World War II. Its initial intention was good: to guarantee the freedom of thought of each person and prevent discrimination. But today, the noble ideas of pluralism have been distorted into a mindset of “My view is the only legitimate view, and if you think otherwise then you are a backward, fascist, bigoted, and a menace to society. Either be like me, or don’t be at all.” This extreme moralism is precisely the bedrock of Nazism.
It turns out that today’s worst enemies of liberalism are precisely the people who claim to speak on its behalf. If a 73-year-old woman divorces her husband of 22 years just because he voted for Trump and feels that by his vote he “betrayed” her, clearly, this cannot be defined as liberalism, and certainly not pluralism. This is despotism.
Where We Jews Fit in All of This
In the midst of all this perplexity, Jews play a very prominent role. On both sides of the political aisle, they are conspicuous, dominant, and active. When all hell breaks loose, they will become the first victims.
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. When things go wrong, it will make perfect sense to blame us for it. This is not a fictitious scenario; it has happened countless times in history, and there is no reason why it should not happen in America, as the rise in anti-Semitism already indicates.
But it is not too late to prevent a catastrophe on the magnitude of the Holocaust or the Spanish Inquisition from happening in the US, and the choice to avert disaster lies squarely with the Jews. We Jews are great connectors for a reason. This aptitude is our single most important quality, the root of our people hood, and 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 and pariahs who discovered in Abraham a teacher and a leader who taught them that the hatred they encountered in their original tribes should be covered with love. He taught them how to unite above their animosities and alienation, and “trained” them in strengthening their bonds.
The egos and the mutual hatred of our ancestors grew just as our egos are growing today. But instead of alienating themselves from society and dispersing, the Hebrews treated their growing egos in the same way a bodybuilder lifts incrementally heavier weights in order to strengthen his muscles. In this way, the ancient Hebrews became the ultimate “society-builders, ”fastening bonds so tight between them that they were able to commit to being “as one man with one heart.” At the moment they made this commitment, they also became the first, and only nation in history to have been built solely on the basis of love of others, rather than on geographical proximity or biological affinity. In this, to this day, the Jewish nation is unique.
When the Going Gets Tough…
As we can see, today biological affinities and geographical proximities have become meaningless. Nations are falling apart all over the world, and hatred is spewing both within and between countries. In such circumstances, the one and only type of connection that can fuse society back into a stable and cohesive structure is the method of connection that our ancestors used—connecting above hatred by using the ego as a “weight” to strengthen our “social muscles.”
When we first became a nation, we were immediately tasked with being “a light unto nations.” Throughout the ages, Jews have pondered the meaning of this task. Today, I think it is plainly clear that being “a light unto nations” means introducing this unique method of connection that unites people where all other methods fail.
The only pitfall in this design is that we ourselves have completely forgotten the meaning and purpose of connection. As I noted above, we can connect only when and where it suits our interests. But when we must connect in order to strengthen society, the whole of society, forget it. We are using the quality that we had developed for the purpose of offering it as a remedy for the world’s ills, to benefit ourselves at the expense of everyone else. People feel this in their guts even if they can’t articulate it. They feel that we Jews owe them something, that we are somehow to blame for all the wars. In other words, with their anti-Semitism, they are admitting that we can prevent the wars but we are not doing so. This puts the choice to do so squarely in our hands.
An Exercise in Unity
We need not teach the world the method that we ourselves have long forgotten. We must simply reach out and connect with our own brethren. I know how hard it is for people of opposing political views to reach out to one another and even try to connect. I know the mutual loathing that exists. But I also know that this challenge is our gym. The hatred we feel is the weight we have to toil to lift in order to strengthen our “muscles” of connection.
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).Likewise, 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 wisest of all men, King Solomon, who said, “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.”
But 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 take one small step 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, then 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. We have got to understand that anti-Semitism is the world’s way of telling us to unite. It will not come in more pleasant or explicit ways, but rather 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 onto humanity.
In the News (ScienceNews): “The world’s earliest alphabet, inscribed on stone slabs at several Egyptian sites, was an early form of Hebrew, a controversial new analysis concludes.
“Israelites living in Egypt transformed that civilization’s hieroglyphics into Hebrew 1.0 more than 3,800 years ago, at a time when the Old Testament describes Jews living in Egypt, says archaeologist and epigrapher Douglas Petrovich of Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Canada. Hebrew speakers seeking a way to communicate in writing with other Egyptian Jews simplified the pharaohs’ complex hieroglyphic writing system into 22 alphabetic letters, Petrovich proposed on November 17 at the annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research. …
“Petrovich says his big break came in January 2012. While conducting research at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, he came across the word ‘Hebrews’ in a text from 1874 B.C. that includes the earliest known alphabetic letter. According to the Old Testament, Israelites spent 434 years in Egypt, from 1876 B.C. to 1442 B.C. …
“Several biblical figures turn up in the translated inscriptions, including Joseph, who was sold into slavery by his half-brothers and then became a powerful political figure in Egypt, Joseph’s wife Asenath and Joseph’s son Manasseh, a leading figure in a turquoise-mining business that involved yearly trips to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. Moses, who led the Israelites out of Egypt, is also mentioned, Petrovich says. …
“A book by Petrovich detailing his analyses of the ancient inscriptions will be published within the next few months. Petrovich says the book definitively shows that only an early version of Hebrew can make sense of the Egyptian inscriptions.”
My Comment: According to the wisdom of Kabbalah, it has always been clear that Adam created this language almost 6,000 years ago, and before him there were no people who had deeper questions. Adam achieved language through his attainment of the upper world and its connection with our world.
Answer: A prayer in Kabbalah expresses the precise examination of one’s actions, thoughts, behavior, and their correction.
Question: What does it mean to ask something of the Creator?
Answer: A person doesn’t turn to the Creator, he turns to himself, to the force that is permanently inside him with which a person wants to be in contact. This is called an appeal to the Creator.
Question: What is the meaning of “there is none else besides Him?” Is there none else besides me or besides my power?
Answer: It means that there is no one besides the force that fills all of creation, including me. After all, I am a created being. Outside of me there is nothing. Even the cosmos is me. All of humanity is me because everything is inside me. We learn that from the perception of reality according to the wisdom of Kabbalah.
A person always turns to the force that sustains him internally and that fills the whole creation. Gradually a person begins to understand that there is a system. At the same time, a person should not think that he turns to his own egoism because that is pointless since egoism doesn’t rule the world.
The term “faith of the sages” exists in order to help a person advance. First, he has to instinctively believe in a mother and father who will always help him and never betray him, and when his youth is over and the father and mother no longer suffice, he has to believe in what the sages tell him—not the religious but the sages who have already attained spirituality. A person accepts their advice as assumptions, as an initial condition, which he will later discard when he attains them internally.
Baal HaSulam writes in The Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot that there is a Surrounding Light, which a person invokes and summons by his desire, if he reads the texts, a Light that changes him. Then a person attains it and begins to see it not as a Surrounding Light but as his Inner Light.
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 9/25/16
Answer: Kabbalah is the foundation. It was established before any of the religions. All the texts and all the books that we read like: Psalms, Ecclesiastes, and so forth, are Kabbalistic texts, they have nothing to do with religion. They were written by Kabbalists. They wrote about attaining the upper world and about the higher system by investigating it within themselves based on the connection between them and others. This is high, practical, internal psychological work.
I do not see a single book that can be seen as a basis for humanity besides the wisdom of Kabbalah. Kabbalah was the source of scientific knowledge for scientists, philosophers, alchemists and many others throughout human history. They derived all knowledge from Kabbalah. It is a science.
As long as this wisdom existed among the people of Israel, both the Greeks and the Romans drew knowledge from it and then disseminated it even in Europe. When the people of Israel descended from their spiritual level from “And you shall love your friend as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18) to the level of “mutual hatred,” the wisdom of Kabbalah was hidden from the people and remained only among a small group of people. Since people became disconnected from the perception of the upper world, they themselves began to imagine it within completely different frameworks and attributes. And from this arose religion, Judaism and from that, Christianity and Islam. So we have become disconnected from spirituality in a 2,000 year exile; we have to explain that Abraham and Moses were Kabbalists and that the Talmud is a Kabbalistic book.
We cannot and should not prove anything to people because everything will gradually be revealed to humanity. People will suddenly begin to understand that the Kabbalistic ideas are correct. Humanity has been divided into many different levels according to their yearning to discover the truth. There are people who want to study the various sciences, to be involved with the arts, to achieve self-realization, etc. And there are people who just want to live normally, and for this religion is necessary for them. But there are people who want to accurately attain the meaning of life; they are the ones who come to the wisdom of Kabbalah.
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 9/25/16
Preparation for the Lesson
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Lesson on Topic: “Preparation for the Convention,” Part 1
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Lesson on Topic: “Preparation for the Convention,” Part 2
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