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Breaking Israel News: “The Purim Story Actually Explains The Solution For Social Division And Anti-Semitism”

The largest portal Breaking Israel News published my new article “The Purim Story Actually Explains the Solution for Social Division and Anti-Semitism

“The city of Shushan was perplexed.” (Esther 3:15)

The well-known verse from the Book of Esther in the Purim story couldn’t be more appropriate to describe today’s atmosphere of intensifying social division and polarization.

Reaching solutions and finding harmony in today’s left vs. right tug-of-war becomes all the more complicated as each side holds sterner to their own position and turns down any opportunity to open up to the other. As society becomes more polarized, Nazi, fascist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic tendencies reawaken, coupled with fears of nuclear weapons and war.

On the bright side, however, states of perplexity and disorientation can motivate us to reevaluate our life’s leading values. The growing left vs. right rift is an outcome of developing according to our base instincts, where we each seek comfort, security and reassurance as part of our closest families and tribes. The uncertainty and anxiety pervading modern society could just be the step we need in order to revise the way we’re going about our lives. Maybe we can use the mounting pressure to prod us into seeking common points of agreement and cooperation, and start rebuilding our lives on a new consensual basis?

The Purim story describes the near-genocide of the Jewish people.

The Times Of Israel: “9 Facts About Purim That Will Let You Tackle The Holiday’s Core Message”

The Times of Israel published my new article “9 Facts about Purim That Will Let You Tackle the Holiday’s Core Message

1. The Meaning of Purim

Purim is known as an exhilarating and joyous celebration that erupts in festivities after the salvation of the Jewish people from their near demise.

But what is the main message and meaning of Purim?

It is that even the greatest good, represented by Mordechai, is weak and incompetent when confronted by the greatest evil, represented by Haman, and that evil can only be overcome by unification.

Mordechai’s appeals for King Ahasuerus’ mercy on the Jews to Queen Esther lead to her famous statement that she cannot help them if they are dispersed and disunited. Then, Mordechai goes on a mission to pass on this call for unity to the Jewish people, and when they eventually unite, Esther gets Ahasuerus to take mercy on them.

2. The Meaning of the Purim Costumes

The costumes that people customarily wear to Purim parties signify the concealment of the forces that enact the Purim story within us.

3. The Meaning of King Ahasuerus

King Ahasuerus represents God.

4. The Meaning of Queen Esther

Queen Esther signifies a desire that has been corrected to connect with God. That is the reason why she emerges after King Ahasuerus divorces Queen Vashti for corrupting her ways. Her name, which is “Ester” in Hebrew, stems from the Hebrew word for concealment, “Hastara,” since her identity as a Jew is hidden.

5. The Meaning of the Megillah and the Purim Miracle

The identification of Esther as a Jew remains hidden until she needs to make moves to redeem the Jews from their threat of destruction. Thus, “Megillah,” the Hebrew word for “scroll” or “book,” as in “The Book of Esther” (“Megillat Ester”), comes from “Gilui,” i.e. the Hebrew word for “revelation.” The story in the Book of Esther is thus thought of as a concealed miracle, to signify the miracle of the revelation of God’s power acting via concealment.

6. The Meaning of Mordechai and Haman

Mordechai signifies the attribute of mercy: selflessness, compassion, generosity, altruism and plain goodness. This is notably expressed in a key moment of the Purim story, when Mordechai warns King Ahasuerus, through Esther, about a plot to assassinate the king. Mordechai neither gains nor requests any compensation nor honor for his efforts.

Since Mordechai is purely benevolent, he has no will to rule or control. Although the people would be better off and happier under Mordechai, he doesn’t have the same drive as the power-hungry, evil Haman.

In order to motivate Mordechai to make moves to become ruler, King Ahasuerus needs to institute a great threat not just to Mordechai, but to his people, the Jews.

That’s where Haman comes in. Haman signifies the complete opposite of mercy: an unrelenting will to rule, control and satisfy his own selfish desires, completely inconsiderate of others.

7. The Core Message of the Purim Story

Haman raised the claim to King Ahasuerus that the Jews should be killed because they were not keeping his laws, i.e. they were disunited. “There is a certain people, scattered and dispersed.” This was an accurate claim because the laws by which the Jews became a nation at the foot of Mount Sinai were laws of unity. Therefore, being “scattered and dispersed” means that they failed to uphold the laws that made them a nation to begin with. While separated, the Jews were deemed unnecessary, which is why Haman has a case in his efforts to eradicate them.

The Jews, on one hand, feared for their life. On the other hand, they couldn’t understand what they did to deserve such a harsh verdict. Mordechai then gathered the Jews, reuniting them, and voiding Haman’s claim void that they were scattered and dispersed. Thus, by uniting, they no longer breached the king’s law, and the verdict against them was reversed.

As with all the Torah’s stories, the figures and the interplay between them represent attributes and powers playing out in our thoughts, desires, attitudes and relationships. They are just as present today as they were thousands of years ago. Moreover, the more we develop, the more these powers intensify. The ruthless will to rule and control surfaces in some people more than others, to the point of entirely consuming some, making them do anything possible to rise to all kinds of positions of power.

Therefore, the core message of the Purim story is that our unity is our salvation, and our neglect for our unity endangers, harms and can even potentially annihilate us.

8. The Meaning of the Custom to Get Excessively Drunk on Purim

After our salvation through our unity, the joy erupts, and it is a commandment to drink until we cannot tell right from wrong. This is because our unity spreads unity, until every person and nation willfully makes the right “click” to each other. By this, we become a “light unto nations,” a beacon of the light of unification for the whole of humanity.

By uniting, we would not need to watch our backs all the time like we do now. Also, we would not distrust or suspect any one of any devious or underhanded intentions, since we would be as a single person. Intoxication signifies the blurring of lines between Haman and Mordechai, since when united, the tension between these tendencies becomes released in euphoric joy.

9. The Meaning of Haman’s Pockets

Haman’s pockets signify the correction of Haman’s self-aimed desires to control and rule when all people unite. Their sweet insides symbolize the joy of uniting in selfless desires. It is also why we give gifts to each other and to the poor—to express our upgraded bond.

Purim is more than a festive holiday. It is a lesson in what is most important in life, that we should always concentrate on how we can improve our connection to each other, to unite above our differences, and that if we don’t do so, there are plenty of evil Hamans ready to take advantage of our disunity, waiting for the opportunity to build themselves on our downfall. Using this lesson, we can set up reminders so that we never forget our need to unite, and rise to the challenge to progress from strength to strength in an ever-increasing unification above all the forces that surface to distract us from that.

I wish everyone a happy and united Purim!


Laitman_020The holiday of Purim is the happiest holiday, the best time for great mercies. Purim symbolizes our whole spiritual work.

All holidays are related to the correction of the shattered soul of Adam HaRishon, the first man, but only Purim signifies the completion of this process, the very last action, called Gmar Tikkun, the end of correction.

Then we remember all our egoistic desire to receive pleasure in its entire tremendous scope and understand that we cannot withstand it in any way. We are very weak. Even the righteous Mordechai sits on a rock in front of the king’s gate, a poor old man no one considers, while Haman rules the entire kingdom as the king’s right hand.

The Creator purposely crowns egoism to rule, as it is written, “I created the evil inclination.” And Pharaoh (egoism) is the king of the world in various roles and characters. Only when a person feels his very existence is threatened does he wake up. Who helps him wake up? Haman does by telling him, “Let’s destroy this root that could awaken, the desire to bestow or intention in order to bestow, at its basis. Why should we keep it? I’m the king!”

When we reach that height of the will to receive that wants to control everything with the intention in order to receive, then we will discover that the desire to receive is unchangeable matter, but the intention to receive is incorrect and we can control the desire to receive with the intention to bestow. Although the intention to bestow is against nature, very weak, against our consciousness, understanding, and nature itself, and in addition, the king, i.e., the Creator, doesn’t support it, nevertheless it’s still there. How is it possible to fight this? The intention to bestow is too weak, too tenuous, and delicate to stand up to Ahasuerus who supports Haman with the power of evil.

But there is a part of the desire to receive that is called “the Jews” (Yehudi) because this part possesses the potential force of unity. If a severe threat looms over them, they will unite. Even though this unity is forced upon them, elicited by the fear of destruction, it nonetheless draws to them the Light that reforms, the upper force. The upper force is awakened in King Ahasuerus who initially supported Haman, but after the Jews’ unity, he fully and happily supports Mordechai.

It all depends on that group, which is called in its potential, “the Jews” (the Hebrew word for “Jew” [Yehudi] comes from the word for “united” [yihudi]). Then, when they unite, first coercively then later willingly, they then have great strength first to control King Ahasuerus, and later they destroy Haman’s power, the whole evil inclination that could have easily destroyed them.

This was all done by their uniting and attracting a great force, which helped them unite even more, then by acting through the power of unity they subdued the power of separation, the power of Haman.

They do that in every degree and state because this is the correction, but in Purim it plays out as a miracle. Purim is about a very huge will to receive, in its 32 parts, which are impossible to correct directly. That is why it is considered a miracle, because we can correct 288 parts of the will to receive gradually over 125 degrees, but the stony heart joins all those corrections, but it doesn’t appear. Only in the final action does the stony heart surface and become corrected through 288 parts, and the 32 parts also enter the correction all at once. Then, the Light of the end of correction comes.

In Purim, we can see the entire process of correction: the exile, the liberation in all of its forms. That is why Purim begins with the reading of the chapter “Remember what Amalek did to you.” Intention for own benefit, called the evil inclination or Amalek, accompanies us the entire time, and it is precisely because of Amalek that we come to the Creator.

If not for this evil inclination, we never would have awakened to unity, would never have revealed our separation from the Creator, and would not have achieved similarity of form with Him. It is impossible to achieve adhesion without the help of this evil force that is working in the left line.

That is why we must remember what Amalek did to us. In every state, the Creator sends us help against Him, and this is a great help. We just need to know how to relate to these forces of nature correctly.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/27/18, Writing of Rabash, Article 21

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Jewish Boston: “How The Purim Story Is Happening Right Now“

Jewish Boston published my new article “How the Purim Story Is Happening Right Now“:

Purim has one of the most suspenseful stories ever written. From the panic, doubt and fear in the face of utter destruction to the elation, euphoria and high spirits after everything works out for the best, the story and meaning of Purim encompasses one of the greatest ever resolution of opposites.

Purim’s plot has many places that escalate toward its climax. If we neglect the importance of these places, we will skip its main idea, and remain with nothing more than an impressive narrative. One such place, for instance, is when Queen Esther relays to Mordechai: “You want me to go to the king and beg for your lives? Don’t just sit there at the king’s gate; go, gather the Jews!”

Mordechai is the story’s representative of good. The catch of the story is that, as much as Mordechai wants to bring good, he’s powerless to do so by himself. In order to do so, he needs to gather the Jews. By gathering the Jews, Mordechai invalidates the claim of Haman, the story’s representative of bad, which is to eradicate the Jews. “There is a certain people, scattered and dispersed,” Haman says to King Ahasuerus, contending that the Jews were failing to uphold the king’s laws, which discredited their existence in the king’s eyes.

At this point, a question arises: Why did Haman connect the Jews’ dispersion to their disobeying the king’s laws? Cunning and intelligent as he was, Haman understood that the law by which the Jewish nation emerged is a law of unity. The Jews became ratified as a nation when they agreed to unite “as one man with one heart.” Their dispersion meant their disunity, which meant that they failed to live up to what established them as a nation to begin with. That is what Haman emphasized to King Ahasuerus.

While dispersed, Queen Esther could be of no service to the Jews because they were breaching the king’s law. When they united, however, they re-established themselves as a nation, exactly as King Ahasuerus commanded, making Haman’s claim fall short.

The significance of this Purim message penetrates sharply into our current era. “Hamanism,” or anti-Semitism, is rampant today, comparable to how it was in the Purim story’s setting of Shushan. Likewise, we Jews are in the same loop of brushing off the brunt of what a sudden rise in anti-Semitism worldwide could lead to.

The disastrous events in the middle of last century clearly exemplify what an escalation of Jewish hatred coupled with Jewish denial of that hatred and failure to do anything about it could lead to. Purim, however, provides us with the opposite, happy-ending example: where the Jewish people understand their role and purpose, and take responsibility to realize the king’s law, uniting above their differences and thereby securing their survival and bringing about great joy and happiness.

We Jews hold the keys to both scenarios: the choice to unite, which brings about the elated state Purim symbolizes, or the choice to remain disunited, which has devastating consequences.

What is this unity we need to reach? It does not mean that we need to physically gather in Israel or anywhere else. Uniting means that we mentally and emotionally support each other in seeking that common point of agreement, “as one man with one heart,” to be there for each other above any seeming differences between us. Moreover, uniting also means that by our efforts to find our common unifying point, we will become conduits of unity to the rest of humanity, as is written, to become “a light unto nations.” In other words, our dispersion and disunity spreads dispersion and disunity, and our unification spreads unification. Unity is an unfulfilled expectation that humanity currently has toward the Jews. Neither non-Jews nor Jews can pinpoint nor verbalize this feeling, but it lurks behind all anti-Semitic sentiment.

“In such a generation, all the destructors among the nations of the world raise their heads and wish primarily to destroy and to kill the people of Israel, as it is written (Yevamot 63), ‘No calamity comes to the world but for Israel.’ This means … that they cause poverty, ruin, robbery, killing, and destruction in the whole world.

“And through our many faults … the judgment struck the very best of us, as our sages said (Baba Kama 60), ‘And it starts with the righteous first.’ And of all the glory Israel had in the countries of Poland and Lithuania, etc., there remains but the relics in our holy land. Now it is upon us, relics, to correct that dreadful wrong. Each of us remainders should take upon himself, heart and soul, to henceforth intensify the internality of the Torah [i.e. focusing on the unifying essence of what the Torah instructs, to ‘love your friend as yourself’], and give it its rightful place, according to its merit over the externality of the Torah [i.e. where unity is not the main goal, but intellectual progress or performing physical actions with no intention to unite].

“And then, each and every one of us will be rewarded with intensifying his own internality, meaning the Israel within us, which is the needs of the soul over our own externality, which is the nations of the world within us, that is, the needs of the body. That force will come to the whole of Israel, until the nations of the world within us recognize and acknowledge the merit of the great sages of Israel…”
—Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam), “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” item 71

The Purim story, in addition to being an epic tale, symbolizes what life can be like when we unite. Also, as it is in the Purim story, so it is today: the Jews hold the key. We were given the law “Love your friend as yourself” before any other nation, and likewise today, we need to implement this law among each other in order for it to be able to spread to humanity as a whole. Until we do, anti-Semitism will continue rising in order to corner us into making that fateful decision. It is my hope that the anti-Semitic atmosphere will not have to grow to the likes of what we experienced in the middle of last century in order for us to wake up to our role. We have the wisdom and tools today to realize it much sooner and reach the perfection that Purim stands for even on this very day if we wanted to.

My Facebook Page: “9 Facts About Purim”

Dr. Michael LaitmanFrom My Facebook Page Michael Laitman 3/1/18

Fact #8

The Meaning of the Custom to Get Excessively Drunk on Purim

After our salvation through our unity, the joy erupts, and it is a commandment to drink until we cannot tell right from wrong. This is because our unity spreads unity, until every person and nation willfully makes the right “click” to each other. By this, we become a “light unto nations,” a beacon of the light of unification for the whole of humanity.

By uniting, we would not need to watch our backs all the time like we do now. Also, we would not distrust or suspect any one of any devious or underhanded intentions, since we would be as a single person. Intoxication signifies the blurring of lines between Haman and Mordechai, since when united, the tension between these tendencies becomes released in euphoric joy.

My Thoughts On Twitter, 3/1/18

Dr Michael Laitman Twitter

My latest in @BINAlerts The #Purim Story Actually Explains the Solution for Social Division and #Antisemitism #social #division
Purim is as significant for Jews today as it was for the Jews in the story itself, and important for the society at large.

How the Purim Story Is Happening Right Now
Purim has one of the most suspenseful stories ever written.
@JewishBoston #Purim

9 Facts about Purim That Will Let You Tackle the Holiday’s Core Message
Queen Esther signifies a desire that has been corrected to connect with God.
#Purim #Esther

From Twitter, 3/1/18

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My Facebook Page: “Breaking Israel News Purim Post”

Dr. Michael LaitmanFrom My Facebook Page Michael Laitman 3/1/18

Purim is as significant for Jews today as it was for the Jews in the story itself. Also, it holds immense importance for society at large. A major aspect that needs to be understood about the meaning of Purim in order for us to understand its modern relevance is in relation to Haman: Who or what is Haman in our present times? That is, who or what is behind society’s increasing estrangement and polarization?

The immediate response according to our primal instincts is to personify the blame, that a President, or a group of politicians, financiers, executives or other conspiratorial schemers are behind our woes. However, beyond the face-value finger pointing, what is really behind all the social division is the divisive mindset that Haman represents: the desire to seek money, honor, control and/or power in spite of everyone and everything. This divisive mindset shuts us off from each other, separating us, harming us and masking the damage we do to each other.

Today’s tumultuous social atmosphere is a calling for us to seek our common voice as a humanity that shares common values and purpose. If we use this calling to connect a little above our primal instincts, then we can create a much more peaceful and friendly society for us all.

Whenever the Jewish people were at risk of ruin, it was our unity that saved us. We can use the Purim story as an eternal reminder that our unity can get us out of the worst situations, and that by uniting, we set a constructive and positive example for the rest of humanity.

Read my article on Breaking Israel News

Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 3/1/18

Preparation for the Lesson

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Writings of Rabash, Vol. 1, Article 11 

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Talmud Eser Sefirot, Part 15, Item 200 

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Lesson on the Topic: “Purim”

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