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Today, as we read the third chapter from my new book, The Jewish Choice: Unity or Anti-Semitism, which describes how the Jewish people were allured to Hellenism 2,000 years ago, which led to horrific fallouts, the rise and fall of the Hasmonean Kingdom, the rule of Judea under the Romans, and the Great Revolt and the self-inflicted genocide of the Jewish people under Roman rule, an overriding principle to the book became clear.
It is that what we read are not merely historical events. Although the book is rich with historical facts showing how Jewish social discord has brought about much ruin upon the Jewish people throughout history, professing that unity is the salvation of the Jews, more important than the history itself is the book’s atmosphere.
It is an atmosphere that constantly follows us. The characters in the stories change, but the essence remains the same: if the Jews choose to unite, they succeed, and if they let the divisive forces disband them, they experience terrible consequences.
What we read are not merely events that took place around 2,000 years ago, which have since disappeared, and which we now learn as some distant history that is irrelevant to us today.
Rather, the struggle of two forces—for and against unity—is constant.
Until today, we live in a shattered and divided world as a result of this struggle. It is quite amazing how everything in our world has been, is and will be organized between these two forces, all the way to our future and final corrected state.
Therefore, when reading The Jewish Choice: Unity or Anti-Semitism, even though it is abundant with a variety of historical sources and examples, it is worthwhile to think of it not as a history lesson, but as relationships, attitudes and interactions that we can see unfolding before our very eyes in today’s world.
From My Facebook Page Michael Laitman 1/5/20
Standing together in a march of solidarity is an admirable act, but if the Jewish people want to solve anti-Semitism at its root, they need to also sit down and learn together. Learning in groups has been part and parcel of what made us Jewish to begin with. It dates all the way back to when we learned how to unite according to the commandment, “love your neighbor as yourself,” under Abraham’s guidance some 3,800 years ago. Marches, on the other hand, have never been a Jewish activity.
Therefore, while we are in solidarity with the Jewish people of New York City today, we should still recognize that unifying in order to “say no to hate and no to fear,” as mentioned in the march’s promotion, is far from the kind of unity that made us a Jewish people to begin with. The essence of our unity is not reactionary to hatred that rises against us, but that we positively connect with a common intention to equalize ourselves with the laws of nature. This is why we received the name, “the people of Israel” under Abraham’s guidance: “Israel” stemming from the words, “straight to the upper force” (“Yashar Kel”), i.e., a common intention to love and bestow as is the quality of the upper force.
Therefore, I hope that we will realize the immense potential we hold: to learn our important role in the world, and not wait for more acts of hatred and fear to momentarily unite us, but that we will take our future into our own hands, implement the method made for uniting us, and become a positive unifying example to the world. We would then have a very good reason to be proud. By doing so, we would uproot anti-Semitism from its root, and witness a complete inversion of the sentiment surrounding us into one of support, encouragement and appreciation.
As fear still ripples throughout the Jewish communities of #Monsey, #Brooklyn and #JerseyCity following the recent string of anti-Semitic attacks, today’s Solidarity March in NYC, organized by the @UJAfedNY aims to counter the negative sensation, and bring Jews together.
#JewishandProud #StandTogether #NoHateNoFear
The people of #Israel are any person who feels the obligation to unite, in order to correct the EGO-nature of the world. After all, Isra-el (Yashar-el) means yearning to be similar to the Creator. Abraham picked these people from all of the Babylon and taught them the principles of unity – how to love others as oneself.
While we are in solidarity with the Jewish people of #NYC today, we should recognize that unifying against hatred and fear is far from the kind of unity that originally made us Jews.
#JewishandProud #StandTogether #NoHateNoFear
The essence of our unity is not reactionary to hatred, but to positively connect with a common intention to equalize with the laws of nature.
From Twitter, 1/5/20
The Times of Israel published my new article “How Russian Immigration Reshaped Israel”
The contribution of Russian immigrants to Israel is considered to be a key factor in the country’s success in multiple levels and areas. These days, as Israel commemorates 30 years since the beginning of the massive aliyah (inmigration) wave from the former Soviet Union in the 1990s, we are able to assess that its influence will continue to resound for generations to come.
However, despite decades of experience with the absorption of new immigrants, we have yet to realize that it is precisely by rising above the differences between us that we will be able to strengthen Israel’s social fabric.
The Largest Immigration Wave
Three decades ago, Israel became home to about 30% of Soviet Jewry, close to a million people, changing the face of the country for good. My family and I were not part of this wave. We arrived in the small precursor wave of the 1970s, before the massive influx, which didn’t change the difficulties of absorption and integration into the country. When we arrived, all that I had with me was a small tent and a few basic utensils I thought we might need. I had next to no idea what would I find in this desert land.
I arrived neither destitute nor abandoned since I had my diplomas in hand and a profession as a scientist and researcher. I had my family and was economically established. Despite my advantages, moving from one country to another is always accompanied by feelings of insecurity, since you never know what you could encounter. Until you step into the experience of the land of Israel you really have no idea about its true character.
After a short period of time, I was accepted into the Israel Air Force. Since the crews were under daily pressure to be alert for any operation at any given moment, our commitment to work together, no matter what the challenges, always prevailed over our differences. There was no place for degrading anyone. Therefore, on a personal level, I had no experience of the bitter treatment that many immigrants have complained about since.
However, I fully understand the source of the disparaging treatment many immigrants describe. Trouble integrating into Israeli life is not unique to the Russian immigration wave. It has always been this way. It was the common experience of every immigration wave that arrived, whether from Morocco or Yemen, to undergo some sort of discrimination. Depictions of immigrant treatment even found their way into skits, which until today have become part and parcel of the Israeli humor lexicon.
I remember that the janitor in the building where we lived was a doctor from Moscow, and the street was cleaned by an engineer from St. Petersburg. These were the people who made aliyah in this Russian wave: doctors, engineers, technicians and nurses. These were the people who made this immigration wave so successful. They catapulted the nation forward in sports, culture, medicine, academia and many other fields. They brought an ambitious spirit that pushed for achievement. Notwithstanding their contributions, they were not spared from surges of cynicism and contempt.
Learning to Live Together
The Israeli mentality is one of contempt toward everything and everyone. The scorn is not directed specifically against the Russians or any other group. It is deeply ingrained in our Jewish DNA. In fact, we are even contemptuous of the upper force. It is a permanent phenomenon and not a passing phase, and it cumulates and passes from one generation to the next.
The ego that separates us is an open social wound. It reveals itself with every wave of immigration. The good news is that it also reveals the only place that needs mending: our relations.
Sooner or later we will have to learn positive relations above and beyond our differences. Such an achievement will secure our lives in a prosperous and balanced nation where all the newcomers, regardless of their origin and background, will be respected and appreciated for their contribution to society.
New Life #1121 – Fairy Tales, Wars, and Heroes
Dr. Michael Laitman in conversation with Oren Levi and Tal Mandelbaum ben Moshe
Every person is obligated to be a hero in the war between the good force of nature that connects, and the evil and divisive force found in human egoism. Unlike the still, vegetative, and animate levels of nature, humans want to define what is right and wrong or good and bad. While the rest of nature is in a battle for survival, humanity can only grow supernaturally, through a force of goodness not found in our world. In order to win and discover the new world, today’s hero must organize his or her inner forces correctly and relate to his surroundings with consciousness and concern. The future of the world depends on this. Global integrity can only be achieved when everyone is connected into one group.
From KabTV’s “New Life #1121 – Fairy Tales, Wars, and Heroes,” 6/11/20
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