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The Times of Israel published my new article “Why Is Purim Important Today?”
The Purim holiday is especially relevant in today’s world. In the theater of our current reality, the curtain rises and the performance begins with entry of the full cast of characters, the heroes and villains, and the intricate plot unfolds. Just like the Purim story’s scenario in Shushan, the Jewish people today face special times when great forces of separation operate to tear us apart. The events described in The Scroll of Esther hint at the corrections we have to go through as a people to overcome the threats looming over us. Our own survival depends on the realization of these corrections.
Let’s look at the characters behind the costumes:
Haman is represented by the resurgence of Nazism, hatred from the left toward Jews and Israel, and extreme voices from both sides of the spectrum that call for our destruction.
Mordechai is the story’s representative of good. However, try as he might to be a positive force, he’s powerless to do so by himself. He needs to first gather and unite the far-flung Jews, and by doing so, Mordechai invalidates the decree of the wicked Haman, to eradicate all the Jews. “There is a certain people, scattered and dispersed,” Haman says to King Ahasuerus, contending that the Jews failed to uphold the king’s laws, which discredited their purpose for 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? Haman understood that the principle by which the Jewish nation came into being was unity. Such a state of unity was achieved through the correction of egoism—exploitation of others for our own sake—to a state of love and bestowal. Purim symbolizes the end of this process of correction.
The Jews became sanctioned as a nation when they agreed to unite “as one man with one heart.” Their dispersion was synonymous with their disunity, which meant that they failed to live up to what established them as a nation to begin with. This 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 reestablished themselves as a nation, exactly as King Ahasuerus commanded, making Haman’s claim fall short. For this reason, 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!”
Purim provides us with the 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. The opposite end was clearly exemplified by the tragic events in the middle of last century that revealed what an escalation of Jewish hatred coupled with Jewish denial of that hatred and failure to do anything about it could lead to.
What is the unity we Jews must reach now? It does not mean that we need to physically gather in Israel or anywhere else, just as the Jews in the Purim story didn’t need to leave the 127 provinces in which they lived to physically unite in Shushan.
Uniting means that we must mentally and emotionally support each other in seeking a common agreement to be there for each other, “as one man with one heart,” above any 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, the dispersion and disunity between our hearts spreads dispersion and disunity to the world, and its opposite is also true—our unification spreads unification. Unity is the unfulfilled expectation that humanity currently has of the Jews. While it is difficult for both non-Jews and Jews to pinpoint or verbalize this feeling, it lurks behind all anti-Semitic sentiment.
From the doubt and fear in the face of utter destruction to the elation and euphoria after everything works out in the end, the story and meaning of Purim encompasses one of the greatest ever resolution of opposites.
We Jews hold the keys to both possible outcomes: the choice to remain disunited, which has devastating consequences, or the choice to unite, which brings about the elated state Purim symbolizes.
Every time that we Jews were threatened with extermination, it was our commitment to unity that allowed us to prevail and survive. Today, Jews must remember this history and set a positive example for everyone. This is the very action that will bring our people and the whole world closer to peace, balance and boundless joy.
Happy Purim to all!
The transition is a short and difficult period because it requires you to leave the old place, those special conditions in which we are located, our properties, and move on to new qualities. That is, we are obliged to leave the previous, familiar and comprehensible conditions under which we have already established contact with each other and created a common Kli in a certain form. Suddenly, we find ourselves in some intermediate state, incomprehensible, unknown, unstable, and confusing, containing several new, changing conditions, until we reach a new stage.
This new state is also unfamiliar, incomprehensible, and takes time to stabilize. There are people who adapt easily to such changes, while others have great difficulty. But in any case, the transition period is not easy for anyone. Our basic level is the animate one. An animal dislikes change. It exists according to its nature. However, now the human level is changing in us, and such changes cause us to constantly experience new feelings, confusion, and unsolvable contradictions.
First of all, one needs to understand that the transition period belongs to the human level and that without these changes, it is impossible to become human. Although it is not easy, Kabbalists must go through them. During the transition, a person loses self-control and does not understand how and exactly what to control because internal parameters change and the perception changes accordingly.
And besides, a person has no understanding where the change is or what is right and wrong. There are conditions that are very difficult to overcome. The only solution in this situation is to focus more on the action than on the thoughts: to connect more strongly with the group, the friends. You will then find yourself in a new state. There is no doubt that the next new state requires us to have greater connection with the group.
In the material world, transitional periods last billions of years, but on a spiritual level such a transition takes a few years, accommodating a lot of huge changes. We are moving from one world to another and even not once, but several times. Let us hope that we will make this transition with understanding and that we will support each other because this is a transition to a spiritual level.1
The whole world should be perceived as a person’s own spiritual Kli. There are friends in this world who think the same way I do and strive for the same goal. This is my support, my properties that are in solidarity with me. But there are those who have not yet been corrected and I need to try to bring them closer to me, correct them, and include them in myself. I myself am the most flexible part that I can dispose of, and therefore, I can descend to others, absorb, embrace, lift, and give the correct form to our connection.
The whole world should be considered as my soul, which I attach to myself gradually, circle after circle: from the first circle, my “I,” then my friends, the world community of Bnei Baruch, and then the whole world.
The transition period is the time of the learning about one’s own soul, the Kli. The whole world is my soul and I need to gradually start to attach it, take care of it, and include it. This is not just the outside world with many different nations, the inanimate nature, plants, animals and other galaxies. Such a picture only appears in my imagination. In fact, all of reality is within me, and I include the whole world.
Every person must say: “The whole world was created for me,” and so I must constantly take care of correcting the world and fulfilling its needs. In essence, I see flaws not in others, but in myself, and I pray for my correction until this entire reality is included within me, and I will see it as the ten Sefirot of my spiritual Kli.2
By changing my properties, I see how the world changes. The world is a projection of my properties. It only seems to me that it exists outside of me, but in fact, it is only inside of me, as if there is a projector inside me that projects my properties outwardly in the form of a picture of the world. Therefore, by changing my properties, I can change the world by projecting a film that I see in front of me.3
The group is given to me so that I can form my inner world inside it, as if it is my external reality, and begin to manage both worlds. Looking at the external reality, I change myself from the inside, and when I look at my internal reality, I know what needs to change from the outside.
The outside world is given to me so that I can see my inner properties with greater resolution, with more details. We must be grateful for the opportunity to see the world outside ourselves because it gives us a very accurate, wide, deep and rich knowledge. If we looked at these properties within ourselves, we would not see anything.
We change the properties within ourselves and do not really understand how this affects everything. Only by changes in the external world can one judge the essence of his internal changes. By correcting relationships with friends, I correct my inner qualities. This happens until all the friends are in my heart and turn into ten Sefirot, given to me each time to tune myself to the perception of a higher spiritual reality.4
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/17/19, “Bnei Baruch as a State of Transition”
1 Minute 0:20
2 Minute 7:20
3 Minute 17:23
4 Minute 23:40
Question: How do I ask correctly if I realize that the request erases the feeling of the situation that I am in? Am I not avoiding what the Creator has sent me?
Answer: No. Often when you ask, you begin to realize your request is unnatural and weak and that you should be asking for something else, stating your request differently. It doesn’t matter.
You should understand that we exist inside a rigid system. You don’t just send off a letter somewhere and that is the end of it. You constantly work in this system; therefore, your appeal changes along the way, it is reformulated.
The system reacts in its own way. For example, as I start telling you something, my thinking changes. I start discovering other options for the questions, different answers, ways to express them, etc. This is the interaction with the system that I exist in, and I cannot exit this matrix.
From the Kabbalah lesson in Russian, 11/4/18
New Life #174 – Mutual Help And Benevolence
Dr. Michael Laitman in conversation with Oren Levi and Nitzah Mazoz
Consideration of others, concern for others, mutual help, and benevolence are what elevate us from the level of the beast to the level of the human. Laws will not help. When we feel like we belong in one family, there is no longer a need for laws. Different strengths and weaknesses are given to us to provide an opportunity to change the human heart and build kindness. Without support for the weak, the strong cannot gain self-esteem or self-respect. All of us are connected in an integral network, a three-dimensional puzzle. We must build a model of a perfected world through mutual healing and complementarity.
From KabTV’s “New Life #174 – Mutual Help And Benevolence,” 4/28/13
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