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Faith above reason is a spiritual approach to the perception of reality simultaneously in two worlds. One always has to be in reason, in this world, or rather, on the level called “this world.” The world is not now appears; we will see a lot of changes in it.
After all, if we are working on the attainment of the level of faith, Bina, connection, bestowal, trying to imagine it, then each time we transfer the additions from the level of Bina to the level of Malchut, to the level of knowledge, to this world where we stand with both feet. Our knowledge and our sensations are expanding and being formed more and more correctly.
Therefore, one who expands faith above reason becomes smarter, understands and feels more, and approaches a common nature. He understands the inclusion of Bina into Malchut and the connection between them. This cannot be rushed, a person must go through these states on his own and feel everything so that it will be incorporated into his knowledge and sensations.
When we build one level over the other, we can compare and measure these states: the strength of faith, Bina, and the individual, egoistic power—knowledge. Then we will see that “God has made them one against the other.” We will begin to live in a new reality, simultaneously in two worlds.
What’s most important is to constantly, at every opportunity, update the level of faith above reason, that is, to treat oneself, friends, and the world as if they are all corrected. This should be a person’s inner state.1
I see this world in front of me, as it is written: “A judge has only what his eyes can see”—this is the stage of reason, Malchut. Beside that, I treat myself and the group as if we were all corrected, connected as one person with one heart, and in adhesion with the Creator. I imagine how we would behave in this state.
However, we realize that we are only trying to achieve this state and have not yet achieved it. And to the extent of our efforts, we awaken the Light that returns to the source. In the beginning, we force ourselves into doing it, but then we notice that we start to wish for it.
Our efforts bring us closer to the spiritual world, attract the Light to us, bring our friends closer, and the relationship becomes more cordial. The Creator becomes closer to us, as if hugging us. These feigned efforts bring us real progress, like with children who grow up thanks to playing. We attract the Light returning to the source that develops us.
The level of reason is constantly expanding, stabilizing, becoming more and more understandable. We begin to realize why the Creator created this world: so that from the level of reason we reach the level of faith. This is how we build our spiritual states through our own efforts, constructing our spiritual reality, the group, the Creator—everything that relates to the property of bestowal, the spiritual part of nature.2
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/15/18, Lesson on the Topic: “From Helplessness to Crying Out to the Creator
1 Minute 0:20
2 Minute 12:00
Question: In the Talmud (from the third century CE) it is said that, “All who condemn disqualify themselves with their own flaw” (Kiddushin 70a). It follows that all of the shortcomings that I see in the world are within me. What am I supposed to do with that?
Answer: Begin to correct yourself in the manner advised by the wisdom of Kabbalah. When you reach a state of completion and perfection, you will discover that the world is absolutely like that.
Question: Can knowledge about spirituality cause damage?
Answer: Kabbalistic knowledge cannot be harmful because the person receives it according to the thickness of the screen that he builds within himself, and the screen is anti-egoistic. You will be unable to do anything to harm others.
Question: How does the Creator, who only bestows, receive our pleasure?
Answer: He receives pleasure not from us fulfilling His need, like in our world when we fulfill someone we receive pleasure from it, but from the fact that we are contented by bringing Him contentment.
Question: If everyone around me is a reflection of what is within me, then what is to be found within us? Who really exists: is it you or I?
Answer: All of you exist within me, just as everyone else exists within each one of you. But what do I want? I want to be in a closer connection with the Creator by way of the communication between us.
Question: If the Creator is revealed to a person in a good state, is this false?
Answer: No. Most important is to not distance yourself from contact with the Creator, not to lose the connection with Him, no matter what situation you are in.
Question: What is the transition period or spiritual distance from Adam to the completion of correction?
Answer: This is the process of the development of matter that is in contact with ego. It is necessary to go through a period of the recognition of evil and its correction until there is a complete resemblance to the Creator and adhesion with Him. This cycle is called the “6,000 years of the existence of the world.”
Question: If a person has achieved a personal spiritual correction, will he continue to work in his profession?
Answer: Only if he will bring benefit to people in this way. In principle, he can no longer work in a place where people are harmed.
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 3/4/18
The Times of Israel published my new article “What Education for Unity Really Means“
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Israel’s Ministry of Education chose the theme of “unity” for the coming school year. “The State of Israel is suffering from division and polarization right now,” says Education Minister Naftali Bennett, “and the cure for this disease is unity and reconciliation through education.”
Indeed, social division is the primary problem in Israeli society. It radiates to all aspects of life and continues to escalate every year. It’s certainly a good thing that the problem lies on the table and elected officials realize it’s not going to solve itself.
I have not yet examined the programs that the Ministry of Education intends to teach in schools over the coming year, but I find it hard to believe that they are aimed at unity based on the laws of nature. More than that, I find it hard to believe that the Ministry has prepared a systematic plan to achieve such this unity.
Ideally, educators would teach about the unity between all parts of nature. The delicate balance and natural bonds that happen across all levels – still objects, plant life, and animal life. The connection between human beings should be introduced as a direct continuation of this – an integral part of the natural system.
Physics, for example, would teach us about the reciprocity between waves and particles that connect to form the different atoms that make up all of reality around us.
Chemistry would teach us how diverse chemical elements merge to form many kinds of materials.
Biology would show, among other things, how metabolism and genetic information transfer occur between cells, tissues and organs that connect to form the living organisms.
At every level, nature is based on different and opposite qualities that connect correctly to create balance, and allow for the evolution of more advanced life forms. Plus and minus, heat and cold, contraction and expansion, ebb and flow, male and female, and so on – life depends on connection between opposites. Polarization and unity are found throughout all of nature.
In both the still, vegetative, and animate worlds, we see mechanisms of connection that evolve over separation and conflict. At the human level, however, these connections evolve consciously.
If, for example, electrons, trees, and ants connect without a need for high awareness, then for us, humans, the awareness of our connection develops in two stages: first, we develop a heightened awareness of the natural “egoism” that separates, and then, we develop an awareness of the natural binding force that connects us above our egoistic differences.
This is the kind of unity that should be featured in the coming school year. A unity based on the unchanging laws of nature – not on weak ethics and morality.
Education is only a means to an end. The goal is to train the human mind and emotion to perceive the mechanism of connection in nature and mimic it consciously. This education will train us to experience a new quality of life. It is not surprising that in the past two decades or so, a slew of findings from various fields of research reveals that when we make positive connections in our social environments we become smarter, more creative, more productive, healthier, and happier.
The Times of Israel published my new article “The Legacy of Rav Kook to Jewish Unity“
In the shadow of the skyscrapers in the south of Tel Aviv, the fashionable neighborhood of Neve Tzedek, the first quarter of the city, is bustling with activities. On 21 Ahava Street, in the heart of this neighborhood with its glorious history, stood a small, modest corner house. Behind its ramshackle walls, an enchanted oasis had once served as a meeting place for the most renowned intellectuals and cultural personalities of the Jewish community in Eretz Israel.
S.Y. Agnon, Bialik, the writer Azar, Berl Katznelson, A.D. Gordon and Nahum Gutman were just some of the people who visited the place regularly. They were joined by other visitors such as Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld, the undisputed leader of the ultra-Orthodox community in the Old Yishuv (the pre-Zionist Jewish community) in Jerusalem, and many of the most prominent rabbis of the Jewish community in Eretz Israel in the 1920s.
Rav Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook (HaRaAYaH), the first Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi in pre-state Israel, was one of the most prominent personalities in the history of the Jewish people. A brilliant thinker with a poet’s spirit, but above all a great Kabbalist, Rav Kook devoted his life to translating the principles of Kabbalah — first and foremost the love of others—into the language and path that the young people could relate to in their quest for the identity that had crystallized in the country at the turn of the century. Notwithstanding his many writings, the image of Rav Kook remained a mystery.
Rav Kook’s expansive heart was a spiritual junction in which the world of Haskalah (enlightenment) and secular intellect intersected with the spiritual world, the Torah, and the Lithuanian Halakhah.
His warm and intense love for human beings melted the iron barriers and the contradictions between the different factions of the settlers. He saw the secular settlers who came to the Land of Israel and the Haredim as partners in a spiritual, united society that he wished to establish.
In the early years of the Zionist enterprise, it was the division and polarization of the Jewish community that tore his heart to shreds. He devoted his thoughts to one goal only: finding the right way to unify the nation, first and foremost the connection between the two poles, the secular and the religious.
Many derogatory remarks were leveled against him for his “affection” toward the “Zionists,” who were considered secular, as compiled in the book The Spiritual Revolution of Rav Kook. “They build the land,” Rav Kook often said. “And the Land of Israel is an opportunity for us to begin a period of spiritual and material prosperity. We only have to know how to implement it correctly.”
As a direct continuation of the great Kabbalists who worked before him, the Land of Israel was viewed by Rav Kook as a new spiritual step in which the people returning to Zion were required to realize their spiritual role. He believed that the Land of Israel was given to the people of Israel in order to form a spiritual exemplary society, a hotbed for the work in which one must cultivate the desire for inner transcendence, far beyond the territorial aspect.
For Rav Kook, the return to Israel after years of long exile symbolized the beginning of the return of the Jewish people to the realization of the spiritual idea upon which it was founded, a place for the observance of a spiritual life, out of unity that transcends the narrow egoistic existence.
Like Rav Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam), the most renowned Kabbalist of the 20th Century and friend of Rav Kook, both rabbis warned on many occasions that we should not settle solely for the technical existence of external customs and symbols. From the heights of his spiritual attainment, Rav Kook looked at the Israeli reality and determined that the return to the Land of Israel had indeed ended the period of external exile, but the internal exile was not yet over.
The internal division between the ranks of the people was perceived as the root of all troubles, and he therefore emphasized that the secret of the true strength of the Jewish people is in connection, and that unity and spirituality are equal. More than once, he argued that only when we unite in love of others over the egoistic nature that erodes us, can we rise to the spiritual level and live here in peace and tranquility.
As a man of action, Rav Kook was not satisfied with the flourishing of philosophical ideas and sophistication. In the fall of 1913, he headed a special delegation of ten rabbis to the famous “Masah HaMoshavot” (tour of the agricultural settlements.)
During the dangerous journey, the rabbis rode in a convoy of mule carts, in the train cars of the “Valley Train” (a train from Haifa to the Jordan River), and even on a boat, all in order to have an encounter between the members of the old Yishuv, the moshavim and the kibbutzim. One of the most famous stories that expresses Rav Kook’s worldview occurred in the dining room of Kibbutz Merhavia.
Upon their arrival, the rabbis were received coldly. Their entry into the dining room was accompanied by suspicious looks. One of the settlers rose to his feet and shouted, “Don’t waste your work and speeches. You will not influence anyone here.” Great confusion and astonishment prevailed. Rav Kook broke the tension and turned to him with a warm voice and said softly, “We did not come to influence, we came to be influenced.”
Unlike many of his colleagues, Rav Kook did not look at the pioneers with condescension or arrogance. He saw the pioneers of Merhavia as organic parts of one human fabric, working harmoniously and with significant inner effort to realize the purpose of creation.
“Love” was not an abstract concept in his eyes, but a practical and perfect expression of the sense of deep connection that exists among all “organs of the body” in their corrected state. He reiterated that the destiny of the people of Israel is to be a special organ whose role is to pave the way for the entire body, and to illuminate the ultimate goal for all humanity’s benefit. We must strive to realize this role and spread the principles of the wisdom of truth with all our strength, until the spiritual power inherent in it will emerge from power and be revealed in full bloom.
Eighty-three years have passed since the death of Rav Kook, and in the reality of our divided lives, his enormous absence is felt more than ever. It is precisely the crumbling Israeli society that lives in the Land of Israel that needs the conciliatory spirit of Rav Kook.
It is not surprising that most of Rav Kook’s writings begin with the word “Orot” (“lights”) and are named after the light. The Israeli light still emanates from the windows of his house, gleaming radiantly, full of purity, and inviting us to walk through the front gates and enter his former abode. It seems that the little house is still open and inviting, and its neighbors are part of that united body he saw in his mind that climbs up to the peak of spiritual consciousness.
New Life #65 – Spiritual Development And Money
Dr. Michael Laitman in conversation with Oren Levi and Nitzah Mazoz
What is the future resource that will provide us all our corporeal needs except for money? In the future, everyone’s basic needs will be provided for just like the Internet is freely accessible to everyone. Spiritual development and education will help humanity to evolve to a new system of mutual aid and love.
From KabTV’s “New Life #65 – Spiritual Development And Money,” 9/2/12
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Lesson on the Topic “Rosh HaShana“
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Talmud Eser Sefirot, Vol. 2, Part 7, Item 41
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Writings of Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar“
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