The Times of Israel published my new article “How Kabbalah Explains Anti-Semitism”
The wisdom of Kabbalah explains that anti-Semitism first surfaced together with the emergence of the Jewish people around 4,000 years ago in ancient Babylon. Also, Kabbalah explains anti-Semitism as a natural phenomenon that ignites especially at times when the world needs more unification, subconsciously expecting unity to come from the Jews.
Understanding Kabbalah’s explanation of anti-Semitism means being aware of how the attainment of unity 4,000 years ago differentiates the Jewish people from other nations. It also means recognizing that the stature of a united people, which the Jews attained, remained with them throughout history.
Ancient Babylonian society experienced life-threatening division due to an outburst of the human ego, i.e. the desire to enjoy at the expense of others.
Seemingly out of nowhere, without warning, people simply started hating each other.
The story of the Tower of Babel describes how ancient Babylonian society experienced chaos when the human ego blinded people into prioritizing their self-interests over the interests of society. No one could consider other people’s needs, and society moved head on toward ruin.
Among the social turbulence, a Babylonian priest emerged—Abraham.
Abraham explained the cause of the social division and hatred that was spreading among the people of the time as being rooted in the growing human ego. He also promoted the fact that he had discovered a method for rising above the ego, uniting, and discovering the single force of nature through such unity.
Abraham called for people to rise above their conflicts, unite, and made his teachings available to whoever wanted to join in this process.
The Essence of Abraham’s Method: Love Will Cover All Transgressions
As I mentioned, the human ego is a desire to enjoy at the expense of others. It is embedded in every person from birth. This ego grows continually over the course of history and throughout our lives. However, the ego undergoes periods of exponential growth bursts, as well as periods of more stable growth.
The essence of Abraham’s method is the person’s elevation above the human ego in order to attain unity with other people and nature, thereby experiencing a harmonious life.
Moreover, by using Abraham’s method, we can rise above the ego in advance of the ego’s growth, in order to ensure a peaceful unified life, and not fall to the destructive patterns that come from a bigger ego dictating its demands, which causes increasing hatred and division.
The group that implemented Abraham’s method became known as “Jews” (“Yehudim”) from the word for “unity” (“yichud”). By uniting, they attracted the force of nature. (In Kabbalah, “God” [“Elokim”] and “nature” [“HaTeva”] have the same meaning. This is reflected in Gematria as the words for “God” and “nature” have the same numerical value.)
Abraham called that group, “Israel,” which translates to “Yashar Kel” (“straight to God”), i.e. a group aimed directly at the attainment, understanding and sensation of the upper force.
Many people who lived in ancient Babylon and followed Abraham dispersed around the world, and they received the name “the nation of Israel.” The nation of Israel is not a nation in the biological sense. It is a gathering of many people who lived in ancient Babylon, who experienced the confusion and division that existed during the period of the Tower of Babel, and who implemented Abraham’s method to unite above their divisions.
Also, what does it mean that Abraham’s group dispersed around the world?
It means that after attaining a degree of unity at the time, they experienced a further growth spurt of the ego that divided them 200 years later in what is known as “the ruin of the Temple.” They were expelled from Babylon after they stopped following Abraham’s method. They entered a state of unfounded hatred, and accordingly, dispersed around the world.
If the nation of Israel fails to sustain their unity above all problems, divisions, confusions and conflicts, then they fail to hold the condition that identifies them a nation.
Anti-Semitism: A Force that Holds the Jewish People Together
The nation of Israel has no natural unifying sensation as do other nations. Therefore, what can demarcate the nation of Israel while they’re detached from each other?
It is precisely the hatred toward us Jews from other nations.
If we would experience no such hatred, we would try to vanish in all directions until we would completely lose our identification as a Jewish nation. This inclination to lose our national identity happens to no other nation but our own.
Today, the twelve tribes of Israel have disappeared. Only two are left, which is about 20% of what once existed. The fact that the nation of Israel has sustained a degree of identification as a Jewish people, even that minimal extent of connection, has given us a certain spark of the sensation of the unifying force that we once attained—the force of nature that dwells between all parts of reality.
This tiny illumination has somewhat positioned the Jewish people in the world differently to other nations. For instance, it is the reason for the Jews’ disproportionate success compared to other nations.
How Kabbalah Explains the Cause and Solution to Anti-Semitism
The wisdom of Kabbalah explains the phenomenon of the role of Jews in the world, and how the cause and solution to anti-Semitism relates to the Jews’ success or failure in realizing their role.
As the world becomes increasingly integrated, humanity looks more and more like a single global organism experiencing two conflicting tendencies: increasing interdependence vs. increasing division and hatred.
While the world endures this growing rift and the need for positive connection rises dramatically, since the Jews once achieved unity above division by implementing Abraham’s method, the Jews are expected to once again bring unity to the world. Otherwise, a widespread threat of destruction grows all the more imminent.
Therefore, anti-Semitism, the hatred toward Jews, awakens in the nations of the world in order to express their need for unity and their dependence on the Jewish people to pioneer a process of global unity.
Hatred toward Jews thus becomes fiercer and more intense the more society experiences negative effects from its growing division. The nations of the world simply feel that the Jews somehow block their experience of a happier and better life.
However, neither the nations of the world nor the Jews know about this core reason for anti-Semitism that Kabbalah explains.
If you ask Jews today, they won’t tell you that they have a method of unifying humanity above its growing divisions at their fingertips.
Anti-Semites, too, will often only point out reasons for their hatred of Jews that don’t point directly to their core, e.g. that they’re not anti-Semitic but that the State of Israel is the problem, or that Jews hold too much influence in their nation’s governance, politics, finance, commerce and other fields, as well as many other reasons for Jew-hatred.
The wisdom of Kabbalah points to the core reason for anti-Semitism: the need for the Jewish people to unite for the sake of humanity’s unity, and their failure to do so when it’s required of them.
Over thousands of years, the wisdom of Kabbalah was concealed. Today, however, it has become revealed because today we have grown up into a global world, and we have all the conditions necessary in order to implement this method.
Therefore, the wisdom of Kabbalah surfaces widely today in order to explain where anti-Semitism originates, what its solution is, and how we can implement the solution to experience a more peaceful and harmonious world by uniting above our growing divisions.
It is my hope that, sooner rather than later, we will learn the ways of uniting above our divisions and realize what a wonderful world we truly live in when we’re freed from our egoistic impulses.