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The Times of Israel published my new article “Beyond Statistics: A Way Out of the Wave of Violence Against Women in Israel”
Globally, almost 4 in 10 murders of women are committed by a male intimate partner, and Israel is no exception. In the last few days, crimes against women at the hands of their sentimental partners have shaken Israeli society, which is wondering how could it be that women are safer in the streets than in their homes? Without a deep scrutiny of the causes of such a phenomenon, people can just wait until the next victim is added to the list of domestic violence fatalities.
Recently, Esti, 70, was shot at her home in Talmei Eliahu, Southern Israel. The alleged killer, her husband, is an Israeli doctor who worked at John Hopkins and Sinai Baltimore hospitals in the US and volunteered in multiple international charities. Similarly, Maria, 29, was found lifeless in her home at Kiryat Bialik, in the northern part of the country. Michal, 32, a mother of an eight-month-old baby girl, was found stabbed in her home in Moshav Beit Zayit in Jerusalem.
What do all these cases have in common? It is that they were allegedly killed by their husbands. The list of the women murdered this week joins the names of Dianna, Susan, Lily, Zinav, Vivian and nine other women murdered since the beginning of this year. Additionally, 21 women were killed in 2018 and 14 killed two years ago. The list of victims gets longer every year. The reasons for the murders may vary, but at their root is one essential reason: egoism, the human desire to enjoy harming and humiliating others in order to feel superior. The more the ego grows, the greater the satisfaction to exploit and take advantage of others for personal gain.
Our egoistic nature has overblown to colossal proportions over the generations and continues growing at every moment. The ego doesn’t let us consider other people. It creates a barrier between our inner world and society, gradually paralyzing our healthy common sense and emotions. When the malicious ego bubbles inside an entire society, shutting us off from each other to deal with our own concerns and be left alone, it is only a matter of time before it will explode.
People with weak mental stability, or people influenced by violent content in the media or by domestic violence experienced during their upbringing, will be the first to tear down the thin veil that shrouds “sane society.” When the pervasive tension increases, when the spirit in society projects extremism and promotes polarization, when the discourse becomes aggressive and raging, the frustration felt by a person breaks an inner balance, explodes in an instant, and those closest to such a person commonly get the brunt of the blow. Therefore, we need to understand how murderers are not solely responsible for their crimes. They are largely the result of the violent atmosphere permeating the environment.
The world out there in the street, on television, and in social media molds our consciousness more than those with whom we share the same roof. The artificial and staged examples of relationships supplied by the media, fed to us by greedy executives who prioritize their own profit margins over society’s benefit, are opposite to natural relationships and the daily reality.
The defective content that aims to shock and get ratings undermines our opinions and, whether or not we pay attention to it, we act in our relationships as if we were momentary actors. When we find ourselves in stormy situations with people who live in the same home, although we are capable of honestly and directly expressing our inner truth, society’s influences are stronger, causing us to alter our natural behavior. Without a choice, we adopt and imitate the behaviors of characters we saw on the Internet, the TV or at the movies. This is the most evident sign that we have lost direction.
We cannot censure the content in the media or close this means of communication and thus solve the problem. Silencing our voices will only bring new distortions in the worst case, or will postpone the outbreak of the disease for one decade in the best of cases. As long as we fail to deal with the phenomenon of malicious egoism and not bring forth a fundamental change, we will degenerate into a situation where each person will do as he pleases, and society will suffer an irreparable crash.
Our education to be considerate of the other, to set clear moral limits and to overcome our egoistic nature should begin from a young age. Our duty should be to transmit to people in every possible way practical examples of how to be connected in a healthy and reciprocal way to the surrounding society: among family, friends and to the whole of society. We must teach ourselves and the coming generations how to change our attitude to reality and demonstrate how mutual consideration is the foundation for any healthy system of relations.
Education toward balanced relationships, meaning relations built above our self-interest with the intention of benefiting others, is the move that will calm the negative human impulses and balance our surging ego with its opposite positive force.
Education, however, is not intended to excuse a person from a heavy punishment. Rather, it is a significant step toward a healthy society. Let us start preparing ourselves for a life where we consider other people. The media can be a tool that helps us establish values calling for taking others into consideration. Influencers and decision makers should be called on to perform beneficial examples for society, and then instead of experiencing a dramatic increase in the number of murdered women, we will aspire to see headlines of supreme heroic stories that glorify examples of social contribution and benefit that lead us to a harmonious coexistence.
Rabash, Article No 6, 1984, “Love of Friends (2)” Everyone should think that he has come to the group to cancel his self love, that is, he should not think about how he can fulfill his desire, but as much as possible think only about love for his friends—because only through it he can acquire the desire and need for the new property—the desire to give.
And from love of friends, one can come to love of the Creator, to desire to give contentment to the Creator.
We must not forget that precisely this is what we should think about all the time and aim all our aspirations toward. No matter how much it is opposite to our nature, we still have to position ourselves this way.
I am aimed at rising above my self love for the love of friends because through such an attitude toward them I begin to perceive the Creator, the upper world, the property of bestowal, I rise above my nature. It is the exact condition, that lever, which can lift me.
At first, these are, in general, selfish desires: I want to rise, I want to find, I want. If I need to love another for this, then I am ready. Good. There is nothing to be done if it is necessary.
Then, when we work with this, I suddenly begin to feel that I do not need anything else. I do not even need myself. If there is such a property as bestowal, if there is such a state called the Creator, that is all, that is enough for me, I do not even need to exist.
A person feels the influence of the upper light so much that he does not even ask for himself; on the contrary, he is ready to completely annul himself, to not exist. This is how the next stage of our development begins.
To the extent of the similarity to the Creator—to give Him pleasure just as the Creator wants to give us pleasure—we gain the Creator’s quality, merge with Him, and rise to His level.
There are two stages here. We can acquire a new property, a desire to give, only by working with friends. And only then do we we gain the desire to give pleasure to the Creator, and thus rise to similarity with Him.
From the Convention In Moldova “Day One” 9/6/19, “Dissolving in the Friends,” Lesson 1
Baal HaSulam, “The Essence of the Wisdom of Kabbalah”:
The Actuality of the Wisdom of Kabbalah
Actual things are found even in the corporeal reality, set before our eyes, though we have neither perception nor image of their essence. Such are the electricity and the magnet, called “fluidum.”
Nevertheless, who can say that these names are not real, when we vividly and satisfactorily know their actions? We could not be more indifferent to the fact that we cannot conceive the essence of the subject itself, namely electricity itself.
Indeed, we do not understand what electricity is or the essence of any other physical phenomenon. We observe only their effects.
For example, we know how to work with electricity, with electromagnetism, we use them freely in our lives in everyday household activities. But we do not really know what it is. Yet, this does not bother us at all. We continue to exploit these natural phenomena completely unaware of their essence. And we understand that we do not know this.
Do we know what gravity is, even though everyone feels its impact on themselves? Try to jump, you will see what it is. We measure this force, learn how to overcome it. But what is this force? What is its essence? Where does it come from? We do not know. This is how it is with all natural phenomena.
Baal HaSulam writes that our knowledge about their manifestation satisfies us completely. We do not need anything else in order to use them.
The main thing for us is to use these phenomena. We do not attain their inner essence because nature created us this way. We attain only their effects in our sensations and nothing more.
Of course, we could decide that it would be good to find out where magnetism, electricity, gravity, and all other natural phenomena come from. But they are completely concealed from us. We are just the instruments in which these phenomena manifest, and their manifestations are what we feel.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah,” 9/15/19
Answer: On one hand, we all are egoists and are egotistically connected with each other, that is true. Yet, on the other hand, we must turn our negative connections into positive ones.
Then precisely from the negative and positive connections, which are opposite to each other, between them, we will feel the upper world and the Creator. That is why we need to keep all the negative and above them, try to create all the positive.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah,” 8/18/19
New Life #290 – Why Don’t People Understand Me?
Dr. Michael Laitman in conversation with Oren Levi and Nitzah Mazoz
We cannot feel someone else because everything we absorb is through ourselves. Everyone has a well-developed ego and doesn’t really care about others or what they feel. Each one of us lives within a balloon and wants what feels good to oneself. If the balloons connect, it is only for selfish interests. We don’t know or understand each other or ourselves. We hide and clash. Nevertheless, it is possible to create mutual understanding and connection between people with the help of the integral education method. A truly free, happy, and unlimited life can be found outside of the balloon, meaning outside of concern for only oneself.
From KabTV’s “New Life #290 – Why Don’t People Understand Me?” 1/19/14
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