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The Jerusalem Post published my new article “Exodus – The Secret Of Our Nationhood“
This Passover let us give a final blow to separation and to egoism; let us strive to connect with one another at the heart.
THE PASSOVER seder plate – this Passover let us give a final blow to separation and egoism..
Each Passover, we focus our attention on the historic struggle between Moses and Pharaoh, and the enslavement of the Hebrews. Yet, the story of our people in Egypt is more than a collective memory; it is an accurate depiction of our current situation.
The Exodus is the culmination of a process that actually began when a Babylonian pundit named Abraham discovered the reason for humanity’s woes and tried to tell the world about it. Maimonides’ Mishneh Torah narrates that Abraham was an inquisitive young man whose father, Terah, owned an idol shop in downtown Ur, a bustling city in ancient Babylon.
Selling idols and amulets was good business, but Abraham was displeased. He noticed that his townspeople were growing increasingly unhappy. Night after night, Abraham pondered the enigma of the Babylonians’ woes until he discovered a profound truth: Humans are devoid of kindness. According to the book Pirkei de Rabbi Eliezer (Chapter 24), Abraham observed the builders of the Tower of Babylon and saw them quarreling. He tried to persuade them to stop fighting and cooperate, but they only mocked him. Eventually, they fought each other to the death, and the tower was never completed.
The distraught Abraham began to tell his countryfolk to leave their egos and hatred aside and focus on connection and brotherhood. He suggested they would rise above their hateful egos and unite.
Abraham began to garner followers until Nimrod, king of Babylon, grew unhappy about Abraham’s increasing popularity and expelled him and his entourage from Babylon.
Wandering toward what was to become the Land of Israel, Abraham and his wife, Sarah, spoke to anyone who cared to listen. After some time, Abraham’s company numbered tens of thousands of disciples and followers.
Maimonides writes that Abraham indoctrinated his son Isaac into the notion of connection above hatred, Isaac taught Jacob the exact same tenet, and after a few generations, a unique assembly of people was created. They were not yet a nation, but they had a unique form of unity.
Their “glue” was the idea that hatred can be triumphed over only by deepening unity and mutual love.
Abraham’s people had no biological affinity, yet their solidarity grew stronger by the day thanks to their efforts to unite.
The exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt was the final stage in the forging of the Israeli nation. When they came out of Egypt, they stood before Mount Sinai, whose name derives from the Hebrew word “sinah” (hatred). Moses, who united the Israelites in Egypt, scaled the mountain to bring back the Torah – the code of unity – while the people of Israel prepared themselves to receive it by committing to unite “as one man with one heart.” With this commitment, they passed their test. They were declared not only a nation, but one tasked with being a role model of unity, “a light unto nations.”
The formation of the Israeli nation seems to narrate the unlikely forging of a nation from complete strangers.
In truth, however, this story depicts the battle we all face between our innate hatred of others and the need for connection.
Pharaoh, the evil inclination, has turned our 21st century world into a contemporary Egypt, where egoism is king and narcissism is the trend. Our polluted and war-stricken world, polarized society, ubiquitous depression and sickening trends such as live broadcasts of suicide on Facebook, indicate that Pharaoh is the king of our planet, and our world is Egypt.
As we have our inner Pharaoh, we also have our inner Moses, but he cannot succeed alone. Without directing all of our forces and desires toward connection, we will remain in Egypt, slaves to our egos, and the world will continue to go from bad to worse.
Currently, we are so divided that if we had to recommit to being “as one man with one heart” and thereby become a nation, we would unanimously decline. We are willful slaves to our egos. The book Yaarot Devash writes that the word “Jew” (Yehudi) comes from the word “united” (yihudi).
As long as we remain apart, we are not Jews, just as we were not Jews before we united and agreed to strive to love our neighbors as ourselves.
This Passover let us give a final blow to separation and to egoism; let us strive to connect with one another at the heart. In trying times such as ours, our unity is vital. It will restore our peoplehood, make us “a light unto nations,” an example of solidarity and cohesion, and free us from the scourge of narcissism and the rest of our social ills.
Happy and kosher Passover, dear people of Israel.
To be in Egypt means to be ruled by Pharaoh, the representative of the ego culture. (full clip: https://youtu.be/QlnkBJQsapk ) #Passover2017
The #Passover terms are really about cleaning our hearts, from our cruelty and our ego. (full clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLmkEMaFZIk&t=3s )
Who is to blame for the situation in Syria? #SyriaStrikes (full clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KitZdLbhxU4 )
From Twitter, 4/7/17
Question from Facebook: If a person gave his kidney to his child, is it selfishness? Does he think about himself? If so, I wish there were more self-sacrificing egoists like this in the world…
Answer: If we are talking about a father and a son and there is no other way to cure the son, then the father will certainly give up his kidney.
From Kabbalah’s point of view, this is not considered to be an altruistic act, because all actions that are on the level of the material world are egoistic. No matter how wonderful they may seem, they do not go beyond our world and have no relation to the spiritual quality of bestowal.
And within our world, of course, they can be divided into different levels.
Question: If we talk about this world, do you have a feeling that, let’s say, such-and-such person is kind, he did a good thing, and so on?
Answer: I do not see it. After all, if we talk about the general structure of the universe, then any action is evaluated only as it approaches the goal of the creation. And therefore, good or bad actions in our world and in the upper world are viewed differently.
It is a completely different system in the upper world; all actions are evaluated differently. Perhaps in our world some action would look very cruel, but in the spiritual world, it has its own beautiful continuation. And vice versa.
Question: What do you think, as a Kabbalist, is a good deed?
Answer: Only that which draws humanity to its good end.
Question: Even if it happens through sufferings?
Answer: It is not suffering if it brings us closer to the goal. And if not, then we are being pushed by sufferings.
From KabTV’s “News with Michael Laitman” 3/1/17
In the News (The New York Times): “Alone with his psychiatrist, the patient confided that his newborn had serious health problems, his distraught wife was screaming at him and he had started drinking again. With his life and second marriage falling apart, the man said he needed help.
“But the psychiatrist, Dr. Donald Levin, stopped him and said: ‘Hold it. I’m not your therapist. I could adjust your medications, but I don’t think that’s appropriate.’
“Like many of the nation’s 48,000 psychiatrists, Dr. Levin, in large part because of changes in how much insurance will pay, no longer provides talk therapy, the form of psychiatry popularized by Sigmund Freud that dominated the profession for decades. Instead, he prescribes medication, usually after a brief consultation with each patient. So Dr. Levin sent the man away with a referral to a less costly therapist and a personal crisis unexplored and unresolved.
“Medicine is rapidly changing in the United States from a cottage industry to one dominated by large hospital groups and corporations, but the new efficiencies can be accompanied by a telling loss of intimacy between doctors and patients. And no specialty has suffered this loss more profoundly than psychiatry. …”
My Comment: Everything develops under the influence of economists because they are considered the ones who humanity needs, but their calculations are too simplistic. They will begin to mix drugs that invoke happiness with water or anything else and everyone will walk around with a happy smile on their face and will not think about anything else.
It will seem that everything is fine: We will become friendlier; give our seat on public transportation to each other and put an end to wars. Everything will be great!
Why don’t we behave this way? Simply because there is an upper force that does not allow us to do so! It does not allow us to do so even now. It is against this and will not allow us to fall asleep. The Creator keeps tripping us by not allowing us to be happy.
Question: Where is He pushing and driving us?
Answer: To happiness by a stick. Happiness is a state in which we resemble Him, which means that we become totally different from our current nature. We love each other, unite and become friendly with each other by giving everything to others. Eventually, the upper Light, its filling, will gradually appear in us according to our egoistic actions.
Question: And what if we do that under the influence of medications?
Answer: The medicine will not work and neither will you. This isn’t the whole problem, so we will not be able to feel anything. The difference is that you have to want it yourself. You would do it by yourself if you could by taking a pill, and the problem could have been solved long ago.
It is about a very complicated system that has to descend unto us from above.
I hope that we will still be able to draw it toward us to a certain extent, so that it will fall on us and begin to format people similarly to it, to oblige them to be compatible with each other. Then we will begin to feel to what extent a new feeling can emerge out of the mutual compatibility between us, a new, perfect, eternal infinite world that keeps awakening us and pulling us upward.
We have to act like little children with wide-open eyes and not like tired old men who peck with their noses just as all of humanity does today: they exist and that is it. I look at people and see that they all live as if they are half-asleep, without choice. In spirituality there is a totally different incentive to life and we will show that to people. This is actually the difference between antidepressants and the Creator, our own yearning forward, as you are burning with enthusiasm, not when chemistry is pushing you.
From KabTV’s “News with Michael Laitman” 12/28/16
Answer: Since we are all connected, in this respect we have no freewill. Each one of us is a part of an immense general closed system; therefore, our movements are strictly limited and stipulated without exception. We can only change them from plus to minus, from minus to plus, like in a binary system in a computer, nothing more.
We are initially included in a single system and are completely interdependent, as small gears in a single system. Therefore, the soul of one person cannot manifest itself in different states, it is connected to all other souls.
From the beginning of the system to its end, everything is predetermined: when we are born, when we die, how we are positioned with others. The only thing that we can do is to guide the system more rapidly toward complete correction in a good way, through ourselves and through others.
Question: Does that mean that the Creator makes decisions based on circumstances?
Answer: The Creator doesn’t make any decisions at all. We are in a given system of rigid laws of the upper world from the start. It exists and functions within itself, so it doesn’t require any unique higher power.
We raise a desire (MAN) and receive a response (MAD) from the system accordingly. This means that we exist in relation to an ideal system and everything depends on the signals that we send to it. In the same manner that we influence it, we receive a response.
This general system is called the Creator. It doesn’t make any decisions because it is absolute. Making decisions is something that happens with people. We activate the system when we introduce ourselves into the system as a constituent unit, and we receive a response from it according to the manner in which we connect with it.
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 1/1/17
My Response: You are talking like a child playing who is being dragged to bed, but he resists and screams that he isn’t done playing. Humanity has already begun to understand that all of this is nothing more than toys.
Therefore, if life is not full of eternal meaning and amounts to the existence of the beastly body in the material world, then it is meaningless.
This can be seen in the attitude of the present generation to life. They take drugs and don’t need anything. They are tired; they don’t want to work, and they don’t want to study. Maybe they still want to make money…but what kind of a goal is that? We ultimately see that humanity is “marching” toward degeneration.
The wisdom of Kabbalah explains this as a delay in our spiritual development. We, like overripe berries, are beginning to slowly rot. That is the state of modern humanity.
So we don’t need to think about living forever in the beastly body, but about how to achieve a real life that is eternal, infinite, perfect, and spiritual.
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 1/1/17
Question: The nature of men and women is very different physically and psychologically and their spiritual roots are also different. Can these differences exist in the context of spiritual work and unification in a group of ten men in contrast to a group of ten women?
Answer: In spiritual work there are no differences between groups of men and women. The only condition is that their tens work separately, otherwise attraction to the opposite sex and so forth can be mixed with Kabbalah. It is impossible to do this in any other way. Men and women should each be in their own group while studying at events, workshops, and everything.
Question: How can we bring about the unity of the whole world if we separate men from women ourselves? Has the time come in which all of us, men and women, unite in our spiritual work?
Answer: When we stop feeling the ego and stop relating to our physical bodies, then the difference between men and women will disappear. Then the sexual attraction to women will not interfere with our attainment of the upper world because only that will attract us then.
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 10/30/16
Answer: The upper Light is energy that spreads and fills the whole volume of creation and we also use it. At the moment we contain only the energy that each one can grab for himself.
Question: Why don’t I feel the upper Light?
Answer: Because you don’t connect with anyone in a system that can serve as a sensor of the upper Light. This sensor is the group of ten.
Question: Can’t I attain it by myself, independently, if I want to be happy mentally and spiritually?
Answer: Absolutely not since you don’t have the right prerequisites for that. How can you be spiritually happy if you are a loner and an egoist?
The term “spiritual happiness” refers to ascending above yourself, above your corporeal state. To exit yourself means to enter others.
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 10/30/16
New Life #838 – Anti-Semitism And Anti-Israelism
Dr. Michael Laitman in conversation with Oren Levi and Yael Leshed-Harel
The state of the Israeli nation depends on the connection between us. This stems from the way the nation was founded in the days of Abraham—it was a group of different people who connected around the spiritual idea that Abraham revealed.
Being Light unto the nations of the world means setting an example of how the nation of Israel lives in connection and love above all the differences.
From KabTV’s “New Life #838 – Anti Semitism And Anti Israelism,” 3/14/17
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