The Times of Israel published my new article “Jewish Innovation: Discarding Our ‘Dirty Laundry‘”:
Billions of people enjoy new technologies, while few are the innovators who command and develop the inventions that change the way we live. Consider for a moment the impact of one simple technological breakthrough in 1782 by Henry Sidgier with his innovative washing machine: For how many centuries had women slaved away on the banks of rivers beating laundry on rocks to provide families with clean clothes? Similarly, humanity still fails to recognize that it slaves just as hard as the laundress of a few centuries back, unaware that a labor-saving invention already exists that would change everything about the lifestyle we have developed over the past century.
Today, it is enough to throw a few dirty items into a machine, press one button and relax with a cup of coffee for clothes that are cleaner, faster, virtually without physical effort. Believe it or not, we don’t need to become master inventors ourselves to forever transform the way we interact with one another and run our world. The invention has already been designed and perfected. The question is whether we have despaired long enough from our outdated systems to finally come up with the innovation that can open the door to a new way of life.
Sadly, humanity is just now beginning to recognize the endless rat race it runs. Our innate egoistic inclination to build and develop has flourished over the past 70 years, and we have set up all kinds of complex systems to frame our lives. Today, we lack nothing materially and have everything in abundance, yet our lives feel increasingly bland. Surging rates of depression testify to more and more people’s unhappiness with their lives. An increasing amount of people are feeling depressed and bitter, anxious about security threats, troubled over their children’s education and future, as well as feeling that their lives lack a certain spice.
Our egoistic nature is growing, but instead of compelling us to connect correctly–with mutual respect and solidarity–and enjoy the fruits of harmonious relations, we trample on each other, seeking to benefit at the expense of others in order to fill ourselves with temporary pleasures. Common sense tells us that such behavior is unsustainable, but we’re unable to stop. Moreover, our broken relations coupled with our exponentially accelerating pace of development paves the way for ever more intense conflicts of egoism and wars of survival between us.
How many people in the world know all the details of a washing machine’s construction? Few. How many use one? Billions. In the same way that each of us didn’t have to invent the washing machine to enjoy its benefits, we also don’t need to mastermind an intricate system of ideal connections between each and every individual in the world in order to enjoy a transformation in our relations. We just need to recognize a brilliant invention when we see one and learn what buttons to push in order to use it to our benefit..
Jews are some of the greatest innovators in history, with more Nobel Prizes, honors and distinctions per capita than any other people, but without doubt their greatest invention is yet to be revealed in our generation. It is an innovation that has potential to fill humanity with happiness and save it from great suffering: the wisdom of Kabbalah, which was made specifically to be revealed and used in our era. However, strangely enough, even among Jews themselves, few are aware of the powerful tool we have at our fingertips.
What is it about the wisdom of Kabbalah that makes it the greatest invention of all time? It is that Kabbalah is a method that can connect people, even those most opposed each other. It can guide anyone who so desires to transcend their inborn egoism and live in ideal bliss. Also, to make the invention work for us, we do not have to be great experts or become saints. Just as most people operate washing machines without understanding how they work, the same applies to Kabbalah. Ultimately, this method works to bring us closer together, and by so doing, we draw a connective power inherent in nature, fill our world with warmth, happiness and confidence, and also alleviate suffering.
Becoming practitioners of this method means discarding our “dirty laundry”—the ego that seeks to enjoy at the expense of others—by shaping a well-oiled connection with others: building a strong bond that cleanses our hearts. The wisdom of Kabbalah is derived from the elementary structure of nature itself. Nature strives instinctively for balance, equality and perfection. Since we are part of nature, by aiming ourselves to be like nature, we then enter into its flow and act accordingly in our connections, with equality and mutual consideration. The only difference is that we have to make the conscious choice to use the method and create these positive connections among each other. I invite anyone who so desires to get started with a free introductory course.