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The Jerusalem Post published my new article “Can There Be Nazism In America?“
In the early 1950s, Ashlag wrote: “There is no hope that Nazism will perish with the victory of the allies, for tomorrow the Anglo-Saxons will adopt Nazism.” Could he be right?
After seventy incidents of bomb threats aimed at JCCs [Jewish Community Centers] throughout the US, two vandalized cemeteries (one in St. Louis and one in Philadelphia), a Texas school teacher who was fired for a “kill some Jews” tweet, and after swastikas and racial slurs were spray painted on cars, a building, and a school playground near Buffalo, and a CUNY administrator complained about having “too many Jews” on the staff, we can officially say that there is antisemitism in America. Finally, Jewish leaders feel confident enough to talk about a “worldwide pandemic” and not exclude the US from the picture.
The intensification of antisemitism is not coincidental. It is a result of a natural, mandatory process by which the more selfish a society becomes, the more it is prone to antisemitism. In the book, Like a Bundle of Reeds: Why Unity and Mutual Guarantee Are Today’s Call of the Hour, and on the Internet site, “Why Do People Hate Jews,” I show that regardless of upbringing, beyond a certain level of egoism, antisemitism must surface in the same way that only so much salt can dissolve in water before it begins to show.
Egoism vs. the Law of Unity
Maimonides, Midrash Rabah, and many other sources tell us that during the time of Abraham the Patriarch, Abraham would observe his countryfolk building the Tower of Babel. He noticed that the builders were growing increasingly self-centered and alienated from each other, which prompted him to search for an explanation. The book Pirkey de Rabbi Eliezer (Chapter 24) illustrates how the Babylonians “wanted to speak to one another but did not know each other’s language. What did they do? Each took up his sword and they fought each other to death. Indeed, half the world was slaughtered there, and from there they scattered all over the world.”
This hatred troubled Abraham and he wondered who or what was causing this change. According to Maimonides, Abraham “began to ponder day and night, how it was possible for this wheel to always turn without a driver” (Mishneh Torah, Chapter 1). In doing so, he discovered a unifying force that is the root of all of creation, and called that force “God.”
Abraham realized that in order to ensure a good life, people did not need to bow to this God or offer it semolina, as his countryfolk would do with their gods at the time. All you needed to do in order to be happy and resolve the hatred was to rise above it and unite. But when Abraham suggested that the Babylonians unite instead of fighting, their king, Nimrod, expelled him from his country.
As the exiled Abraham wandered toward Canaan, people “gathered around him and asked him about his words,” writes Maimonides. “He taught everyone … until thousands and tens of thousands assembled around him, and they are the people of the house of Abraham. He planted this tenet in their hearts, composed books about it, and taught his son, Isaac. And Isaac sat and taught and warned, and informed Jacob, and appointed him a teacher, to sit and teach… And Jacob our Father taught all his sons.”
Finally, a tribe that knew the law of unity was formed, as was the hatred for that law and those who espouse it.
A few centuries later, Moses wanted to do the same as Abraham. He aspired to unite his people, and faced Pharaoh’s fierce resistance. Like Abraham before him, Moses fled with his people, except this time they numbered in the millions and therefore needed an “upgrade” of Abraham’s method of connection.
The upgrade was the Torah—a set of laws that comes down to one and only principle, which Old Hillel described very simply: “That which you hate, do not do unto your neighbor; this is the whole of the Torah. The rest is commentary; go study” (Shabbat, 31a). Under Moses, the Hebrew tribes united and became a nation, but only after they committed to be “as one man with one heart.” The new nation got its name, Israel, from its vocation, to go Yashar-El (straight to God)—to achieve the same unity as the force that Abraham had discovered.
Immediately after becoming a nation, Israel was tasked with completing what Abraham intended to achieve when he first began to speak of unity above hatred—that the whole world would benefit from the method. “Moses wished to complete the correction of the world at that time. … However, he did not succeed because of the corruptions that occurred along the way,” wrote Ramchal in his commentary on the Torah. But once Israel achieved unity, they were tasked with passing it on, or as the Torah put it, with being “a light unto nations.”
When Egoism Spreads Ruin, the Jews Are Blamed for It
Following the formation of the Jewish nation, the Jews knew many ups and downs. When unity prevailed among us, we prospered. When egoism took over, we suffered. But when the egoism of our ancestors reached such levels that they could not tolerate each other, sina’at hinam (unfounded/baseless hatred) erupted among them and weakened their strength. Finally, the leader of the Roman legion in Judea, Tiberius Julius Alexander—himself a Jew whose own father had coated the Temple’s gates with gold—destroyed the Temple and exiled the Jews from the land of Israel. In the words of the Maharal of Prague: “The Temple was ruined because of unfounded hatred, because their hearts divided and they were unworthy of a Temple, which is the unification of Israel” (Netzah Israel).
The hatred that destroyed us then persists to this day. And yet, the seed of unity still lies within us and is still our only source of strength. Throughout the ages, our sages have stressed that unity is the key to our salvation. The book Maor VaShemesh writes, “The prime defense against calamity is love and unity. When there are love, unity, and friendship between each other in Israel, no calamity can come over them.” Likewise, The Book of Consciousness writes, “We are commanded at each generation to strengthen the unity among us so our enemies do not rule over us.”
Although the seed of unity exists within us, as long as we are disunited, we cannot be “a light unto nations” and we are not spreading unity to the world, as Abraham and Moses had intended. At the same time, humanity is growing increasingly egoistic. Our egoism today is so intense that even though we know that we are ruining our children’s future by polluting our planet, we simply do not care enough to stop. We understand that pluralism is important and liberalism is vital to society, but everyone is so narcissistic that we simply cannot listen to each other, much less unite above our differences. In such a state, the hatred toward Jews intensifies because we both hold the key to overcoming egoism, yet the egoism within us rejects that remedy, like King Nimrod before and Pharaoh after him. This is when the situation becomes dangerous for Jews.
At the heyday of the Spanish monarchy, for instance, when its pride and confidence were at their highest, the axe came down on the Jews. Despite their deep immersion in the Spanish society and remoteness from their own religion, the Jews were blamed for all of Spain’s troubles and were expelled, tortured, and killed by the Inquisition under the leadership of Torquemada, who—like Tiberius—was of Jewish descent. In the previous century, Germany was on the top of the world. But as it fell, it turned its anger at the Jews. When Adolf Hitler could not expel the Jews, because no one would have them, he simply exterminated them.
Teetering between Nazism and Unity
The Book of Zohar writes, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to also sit together. These are the friends as they sit together, and are not separated from each other. At first, they seem like people at war, wishing to kill one another. Then they return to being in brotherly love. …And you, the friends who are here, as you were in fondness and love before, henceforth you will also not part … And by your merit there will be peace in the world” (Aharei Mot).
Similar to The Zohar, its great commentator, Rav Yehuda Ashlag, wrote that “the Israeli nation had been constructed as a gateway by which the world can understand the pleasantness and tranquility in love of others.” Like Ashlag, the Rav Kook wrote, “In Israel is the secret to the unity of the world” (Orot Kodesh).
As much as we may hate the thought, we are the carriers of Abraham’s method of correction for the egoism that separates and destroys our world. If we do not implement among us this method of uniting above differences, the nations will blame us for their woes and punish us yet again. But if we do implement it among us, the whole world will come to learn how. The most notorious anti-Semite in American history, Henry Ford, recognized the role of the Jews toward society in his book, The International Jew—The World’s Foremost Problem: “Modern reformers, who are constructing model social systems, would do well to look into the social system under which the early Jews were organized.”
For decades, America has been on a path of growing egoism, alienation, and social isolation. Depression has been the primary cause of illness in the country for years now, and despair is growing rapidly. If a book titled The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement can reach the top of The New York Times bestseller list, and Millennials define their milieu as the “Me, Me, Me” culture, you know that the country is on the brink of implosion. And when the American society collapses, it could easily take on some form of Nazism or extreme fascism.
We think that Nazi Germany was a one-time event. But saying “Never again” will not prevent history from repeating itself. We are forgetting that it was not the Germans who invented the yellow badge, but the British, as early as 1218.
In the early 1950s, Rav Yehuda Ashlag wrote in The Writings of the Last Generation: “The world erroneously considers Nazism a particular offshoot of Germany. In truth … all the nations are equal in that; there is no hope at all that Nazism will perish with the victory of the allies, for tomorrow the Anglo-Saxons will adopt Nazism.”
If American Jews do not take their lives in their own hands and force themselves to unite above their mutual dislike, the Americans will force them to do so through bloodshed. There is no more time. The Jews must put aside all differences and unite because unity is the Jewish people’s sole salvation, and because when we unite, we are a light unto nations—giving the world what Abraham intended for humanity to have almost four millennia ago, and what the world so badly needs today.
Answer: No, this can happen only when all of humanity begins to ascend to the spiritual level, when we exit the framework of life in a body and lose the sensation that we are living in a corporeal world.
Question: Does that mean that a Kabbalist cannot relate to a certain woman as a friend and that they cannot have a common ten?
Answer: Never! There can never be a common ten. This will only divert them from the path, and it is better not to start that.
We will not be able to leap above our human desires for food, sex, family, wealth, respect, and knowledge. We can only use these desires, but we must not nullify the differences. What is more, sexual desires remain until the end because they relate to the connection between all of the created beings and the Creator.
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 12/4/16
What should I do about family members who are offended by my investing so much time in the wisdom of Kabbalah, about parents who scold me for being involved in something that is not clear what it is?
Answer: This is a problem. I experienced all of this myself. I had the same situations with regard to my parents. When I began to study the wisdom of Kabbalah, I closed a prosperous business and went to live near my teacher.
Understandably, the physical standard of living of my family declined and my parents were harmed by this a bit, but I had no other choice. For if it were not for the wisdom of Kabbalah, I would not have felt there was a reason to live in this world. This was my choice, and it is also up to you to make your choice.
Question: Is it impossible to travel to ski with friends once or twice?
Answer: Of course, if you have a desire for this, you can. But it is doubtful whether this would appear.
If we are seriously involved with the wisdom of Kabbalah, it completely holds a person’s attention and he is in it all his life.
And why else does he live in our world if we ask this question from the point of view of a real Kabbalist? Unfortunately, people do not know what they are living for.
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 12/11/16
Question: What should be the next step after democracy?
Answer: The next step is that instead of “democrats” chosen by the public from those who are better at giving out beautiful promises and smiles, more serious and responsible people will come to power. They will do what is truly needed by the public, country, and the world, instead of accommodating populism and self-advertising before the masses.
Responsibility was in deficit during the whole previous period of so-called “democratic” ruling. An example of that are leaders of European countries, who opened their borders for refugees to enter freely.
All these decisions were made without any prior analysis and consideration for the right priorities of values. European countries simply destroyed themselves this way.
Question: Democrats asserted that people are their top priority.
Answer: A “person” in democracy means the masses, but the masses are incapable of making the right decision. I heard from one candidate for prime minister that he needs two billion dollars to accomplish this. If he had the money, the rest is a matter of technique. They buy off the media: television, radio, and newspapers to advertise, and after the elections this money is made back and doubled.
This is how we choose rulers in our times—everything depends only on advertising since the public chooses according to a simple number of votes. Don’t you think that this system is flawed? Democracy is possible if the nation is educated and knows what they’re doing. There can be dissidence among them, but completely acknowledged one, rather than evoked by advertising that determines whom to allot the public’s sympathy.
Right now this whole democratic approach is subject to verification and will be amended. In the future people will elect those who are in contact with the upper force of nature, the Creator. No one will be able to rule the world except those in spiritual attainment. Who else can know how to govern this world, especially during our times, when it is becoming one system?
The society can elect democratically, but for that it needs to be corrected. For now personal freedom means being able to do whatever you fathom.
True democracy assumes an educated public who understand in what world , in what system of nature they exist, and what is required in order to advance correctly to a more loyal connection to the system of nature called the “Creator.”
Baal HaSulam writes in his article “The Last Generation”: “One should not be confused in regard to modern democracies since they use various gimmicks to trick the electors.
And until the masses smarten up and realize this lie, the majority will continue to elect according to what is ordered from above. And the main trick is that first the candidate is praised, his wisdom and righteousness are advertised, and the masses believe the lies and elect him. However, this lie never becomes the truth.”
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/29/17, Lesson on the Topic: “Mismah Arosa (Arosa Document)”
In the News (Hearst): “Social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace allow you to find and connect with just about anyone, from a coworker in a neighboring cube to the girl who played Emily in your high school production of ‘Our Town’ thirty years ago. Browsing these sites can make you feel connected to a larger community, but such easy, casual connection in an electronic environment can also have its downside. …
“According to Cornell University’s Steven Strogatz, social media sites can make it more difficult for us to distinguish between the meaningful relationships we foster in the real world, and the numerous casual relationships formed through social media. By focusing so much of our time and psychic energy on these less meaningful relationships, our most important connections, he fears, will weaken.”
Comment: According to current research, Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks do not actually represent the connection between people and are more like a greenhouse for different undesirable phenomena. They say that they even bring up terrorists.
Answer: The media are the means of mass division and of keeping people apart from each other. There is nothing more divisive and harmful for everyone than the media and especially when they are called channels of communication. What communication? Who are they connecting to whom?
Those who know how to speak nicely and to beg or actually to entice people against each other, thus bring up ratings in the media. They care about nothing other than the ratings!
Question: How do you see the media and connection that aim at a positive beneficial direction in life?
Answer: As long as they are not the way that they are today! In any way whatsoever!
Even those working in scientific media channels that belong to universities and research institutions are professional go-getters and all the more so in the other media whether printed or not. Everything is sold and bought; there is no ideology. Everything is aimed only at harming people.
Question: But still, on the whole isn’t the media created according to people’s demands?
Answer: No. It is the media that create the demands in society and it isn’t society that demands from it. Unfortunately, they educate society this way over several generations in a sequence, so we witness regression and it is already impossible to go on!
Question: Does this mean that you believe that society doesn’t demand something “off color” like rumors, gossip, etc.?
Answer: Society demands whatever you feed it with, and what you get people used to. Everything depends on what is on the Internet, and with such promiscuity, what future awaits our children and our grandchildren?!
I see what they engage in and I feel pity and am sad to see what is happening to them! There is nothing we can do about it. They are in such a society that we cannot expect anything good of them.
Question: You find the media more responsible than the governments that are in charge of the media?
Answer: Yes, because there is a very interesting connection between the media and the government. The government funds the different media channels, each of which receives money from someone and publicize his views. Consequently only a couple of major directions are formed: the right, the left, colorful, etc. and it is all only in order to make a greater profit. Unfortunately today’s journalists are the most corrupt people.
The media need to be totally detached from any other goal except developing society.
Journalists have to be educated so that they will become independent. They have to depend on nature’s law and be independent of the government and business.
From KabTV’s “News with Michael Laitman” 11/23/16
Answer: I don’t even want to talk about what is considered, because there are so many opinions and delusions in our world that it is impossible to list them. I am talking about what the science of Kabbalah tells us.
All the preconceptions of humanity are based on the fact that it decided to explain in its own way the great foundations of general nature, both material and spiritual, while it is comprehended purely by experiments, scientifically and provable by people.
You just need to conduct such experiments that will help you attain a soul and you will see all the mutual dependencies, connections, and divisions between its parts. In accordance with this, you would be able to describe everything that happens in the single desire that, on the one hand, is broken and, on the other hand, is interconnected in all its states. This is the subject that the wisdom of Kabbalah studies.
Question: So there is no greater myth than the myth about a person’s soul, because it is interesting to humanity and it’s difficult to attain?
Answer: That is why a lot of different speculations were created around it and charlatanism flourishes. So many different things are said about its location, in the heart or head, or it is even called the third eye. But our animalistic body is completely unrelated to the soul.
Comment: Some say that when body dies it becomes lighter by 25 grams and this is the soul.
My Response: Firstly, the body becomes much lighter than 25 grams. Secondly, if the soul leaves it, does it mean it has weight? How difficult it is for people to get rid of the prejudices of the material world!
The body is a desire, not a receptacle of a soul.
Moreover, we don’t even have the desire to acquire a soul, because the soul is a desire to give and we only have a desire to receive. The difference between them is in the intention, for whom do I use this desire: for myself or for others.
Comment: We don’t feel electromagnetic waves either, yet they exist.
My Response: You can detect the waves, but there is no way to detect the soul, because you yourself must create the device for its discovery. It is called the quality of bestowal or the intention to bestow.
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 11/6/16
Any garment should end with four tassels that symbolize four qualities of desire: Hochma, Bina, Zeir Anpin, and Malchut. The ends of the tassels necessarily must be tied in a knot, which means restriction.
This means that you to some extent restrict each of the desires and then you can use them, already directed at bestowal. You can’t do anything with an unrestricted desire. It must end somewhere, have a restriction, a screen, and a Reflected Light.
For example, a glass has its own shape. Similarly, the desire has its shape if you restrict it by the knots. The four tassels should be not only on garments, but also on the blanket that we use during the day’s sleep, because in this case, it is considered a garment. Therefore, it is necessary to tie knots on the four corners of the blanket.
According to the Torah, there are our basic internal property, then the soul, body, garment, and then the external world. A garment is the external desires, which can be gradually attracted and corrected so that they relate to you like your body. We study this in the writings of the Ari.
Spiritual laws work only for correction of the more internal and the more external desires, and are built on various restrictions, so that it would be possible to gradually work off all the desires and fill the corrected soul with the Upper Light.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 9/28/16
Preparation for the Lesson
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Preparation for the Convention in America, “There Is None Else Besides the Friends,” Part 1
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Preparation for the Convention in America, “Prayer,” Part 2
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