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The Times of Israel published my new article “What Will Happen to Israel during the Coronavirus Pandemic?”
As the coronavirus spreads around the world, making entire populations feel small in its presence, conditions have been set by which humanity can undergo a major shift from its emphasis on the self-concern of individuals and nations, to an emphasis that is more balanced with nature—where we all consider humanity’s benefit.
And indeed, many nations’ citizens have exemplified tremendous mutual responsibility in aligning with the new conditions. In particular, China’s people have carried out their government’s regulations with great care and strictness, and they already show signs of recovery from the crisis.
Discipline and mutual responsibility of a country’s citizens in response to governmental lockdowns, travel restrictions and social distancing measures is indeed key to recovering from the pandemic. There are such countries that have a characteristic disciplinary quality, China being one of them, also Germany, where I expect those countries to recover sooner than others due to their diligence in maintaining their government’s guidelines.
Where is Israel in this process? Israel is a completely different animal.
Even in the face of a crisis that corners everybody, Israel—both at the governmental level, where its leaders show no motions toward exiting the political deadlock, and also on a societal level, where large segments of the population ignore health department guidelines to avoid large gatherings—demonstrates itself as the last nation in queue to overcome its differences and join its forces in the presence of a greater threat.
Israel’s reluctance to band together even during a global pandemic exemplifies what the Torah has written about the nation, that the people of Israel are a “stiff-necked people”[i] who follow the “stubbornness of their evil hearts.”[ii] In other words, the egoistic human nature residing in every person—which the Torah describes as “evil,” since it leads people to harm others in its emphasis on self-benefit over benefiting others—is distinguishably bigger in the people of Israel.
It is not that Israel is unorganized in its reaction to the pandemic. Due to Israel’s extensive experience and preparedness for war situations, its systems are always on guard to respond quickly to emergency situations. Thus, Israel’s rapid response to the coronavirus has nothing to do with its citizen’s level of mutual responsibility, but is merely due to Israel’s need to coordinate immediate responses to its neighboring countries’ war moves.
Also, in relation to restrictions imposed by the government, we still see certain segments of the population ignoring the guidelines and continuing to gather. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that by the end of April in Israel, the number of people infected by the coronavirus could reach 1 million, which would mean around 10,000 fatalities, if its residents fail to uphold the restrictions.
Therefore, in the near future, we can expect to see the outcome of countries’ populations that successfully apply efforts to protect themselves, and those that fail to do so. For the time being, Israel shows signs of setting itself up for a major spread of the virus. For instance, while Israel’s Ministry of Health sets guidelines, it is a pity that they are not enforced more assertively in order to better restrict the virus’ spread.
In short, we need to isolate ourselves from each other in order to stop the virus’ spread, for a short period of time, because it is indeed expanding in every direction.
I myself nearly never leave my room, and if I do, I make sure to maintain a two meter distance between myself and others, exactly as the Health Ministry guidelines stipulate. I do so because I witnessed first-hand the example of my teacher, Kabbalist Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag (the Rabash), seeing how he followed government regulations and recommendations in a very exacting manner. He accepted conditions set by the government as if they were laws of nature, because he had contact with the complete system of reality, and saw how all is controlled from a single force that passes down rules and recommendations for the public to follow through the world’s leaders and experts.
Therefore, for Rabash, it was not merely government officials that he was obeying, but the higher force of reality. Likewise, today, from above there are conditions set for us to socially distance ourselves for our own protection and because we endanger others if we fail to do so. As such, we would be wise to follow such guidelines.
If we manage to sustain the social distancing conditions, then, as I have written and spoken about extensively, we can make optimal use of our time in order to learn about nature’s interconnectedness and interdependence, about how we are inseparable parts of nature, and that in order to experience a harmonious response from nature instead of pandemics and other problems, we need only positively connect above our differences.
In other words, while nature has sent us to our respective rooms, we should ideally think about how we can create a new atmosphere in society, where we think about benefiting others over personal benefit. If we succeed in doing so, then we will experience a whole new kind of harmonious reality the likes of which we have never before seen or felt.
[i] “’I have seen these people,’ the Lord said to Moses, ‘and they are a stiff-necked people. Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation.’” (Exodus 32:9-10)
[ii] The Lord said to me, “Proclaim all these words in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem: ‘Listen to the terms of this covenant and follow them. From the time I brought your ancestors up from Egypt until today, I warned them again and again, saying, “Obey me.” But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubbornness of their evil hearts. So I brought on them all the curses of the covenant I had commanded them to follow but that they did not keep.’” (Jeremiah 11:6-7)
Now during the #coronavirus epidemic, the Creator wants to separate us with distance. “Don’t come near each other! More than two people cannot gather!” Until we realize how disunited we are. The need for heartfelt unity via good feelings must accumulate in us. That is how we will be cured.
You can grab on to the Creator only if you wish to support the friends. All worries and problems immediately disappear, on the condition that we support each other. By holding on to each other, we reveal the Creator in our unity.
We can hold on to the raft in the raging ocean of egoism only on the condition that every person will save others, instead of himself! We will then feel that the lifeline that connects us together—this is our Creator!
We are so fortunate: with the #coronavirus, the Creator pulls us to Him with an effective, gentle, and most educational method! As those who aspire to Him, Isra-El, and all humanity. Never before has there been such an open and targeted action by the Creator. We must only explain to everyone that this is a medicine!
After escaping the ego (Egypt), we build Arvut, a mutual guarantee around Mount Sinai (mountain of hatred). We feel our collective enormous ego as a mountain. The Creator is at the top of the mountain, and we’re at the base. And if we don’t unite, we’ll be “buried alive” in the ego.
To escape Egypt means to enter the ten (group), when I feel the friends and don’t feel myself. First, I discover how disconnected I am from the friends. This is Egypt—the wall between us that prevents me from feeling a friend. But we run away from this state, cross the Red Sea, and unite!
After my will to receive gets severed by the virus, and I cannot use it anymore, I can ask to be given the strength to bestow. The light as if pulls me out of the ego (Egypt). And now I can ask to receive the desire to bestow. With it, I will enter the Land of Israel—the intention for the Creator’s sake.
The #coronavirus didn’t take anything from us except useless garbage. This is how we complete the stages of escaping from the ego of this world. The virus helps us to rise above, come out of egoistic slavery, become closer to the Creator and reaching the goal—the revelation of the spiritual world. Which makes the virus medicine!
From Twitter, 3/28/20
Question: One of the problems of modern times is that children hate their parents. There are many such cases. Children leave their parents, neglect them. These poor parents die alone despite the fact that they have many children. This is happening all over the world. Why did this happen?
Answer: We are rising from the level of beastly egoism to the level of spiritual or human egoism. But being human already means a spiritual level that does not exist in our world.
Therefore, we are losing the beastly connection that we had between us when parents lived together with their children, they would bring a bride, bring a groom or go to the groom, etc. And everything was one household.
Question: Could they live in the same house?
Answer: Yes. Even in the same room. Everything was so simple. Now all of this is changing because egoism is changing in our world.
Question: In other words, egoism enabled us to do this?
Answer: Yes. This is beastly egoism. And now, it begins to grow. It begins to push us to the next level of development. And therefore, we no longer understand the beastly kind of existence. Our children certainly do not understand it.
They are in such a state that they do not understand why they need to be attached to their parents. Or, I think that parents should spend their whole life with me. Why did they give birth to me? As long as they live, they must think of me. Or, if they are not concerned about me, so be it. I just leave them.
Question: How can a child feel this way toward his parents?
Answer: But he does not feel.
Question: He does not feel any pain, anything at all?
Answer: He does not. Because he has outgrown his beastly egoism and does not feel any connection with his parents, does not feel that he must help them, support them, think about them, and so on. Do not imagine something that does not exist. You cannot bring this back.
Lately, this is all dying out and it does not exist any more. That is, if you help your children, then they need you. You can be close to them. If you stop helping them, they do not need you. This is how it happens.
Comment: The only thing that bothers me is that you are generalizing. There are also normal relationships.
My Response: I am talking about the tendency of nature. This is why I am generalizing.
Question: So, what is next?
Answer: In our generation, parents are still able to give something, to direct, to leave children their possessions, and so on. In the next generation, however, there will be a breaking.
There will be such a relationship between parents and children that if they have the same spiritual goals, they will be somehow connected through them. If not, people will forget about their parents altogether. And frankly, parents will also not think about their children.
Question: What will parents think about?
Answer: How to spend time quietly with their elderly friends.
Question: With dogs and cats?
Answer: Yes. All kinds of game clubs will open; say, clubs for playing dominos or something else.
Question: What is good about this?
Answer: Nothing. A person must simply understand how he should be connected with others today. This is a completely different system, not a system of beastly corporeal connections.
Question: Is this not a parent-child system?
Answer: This is a system when parents and children, each individually, reveal the common goal. Then this goal connects them together.
Question: What is this goal?
Answer: This goal is to attain the meaning of life. For parents, children, and grandchildren. It is always one. If they reveal it and attach themselves to it, then they feel the need to be connected with each other and to help each other in this.
Question: What common purpose of life are you talking about? If parents have one goal with the children?
Answer: Parents will then be able to push their children toward the correct goal. Then the connection between them will be both corporeal and spiritual—for the revelation of the Creator between them.
Question: What is the revelation of the Creator?
Answer: The revelation of the Creator is the revelation of mutual connection and love.
Question: Only between them?
Answer: To begin with.
Question: You mean in this cell: children and parents?
Question: Don’t they want to reveal this now?
Answer: They do not want to. Has anyone told them about this? Has anyone directed them toward this?
Question: Doesn’t their natural relationship suggest that someone has told them?
Answer: Of course not.
Comment: You are tough today.
My Response: I am not harsh. This is what is unfolding in the world. Am I harsh? You made the world this way.
Comment: But this truth you are now saying, I can imagine how many comments there will be.
My Response: I am for not hiding this truth. On the contrary, I suggest revealing it so that people can see what a low state they are in and what it leads to.
Question: What conclusion should a person draw after your harsh words: that there will be a breaking between parents and grandchildren and children, and that this is natural?
Answer: If they do not find a common goal, there will be nothing that connects them. Nothing at all.
Question: Are you calling on them to seek this common goal?
From KabTV’s “News with Michael Laitman,” 1/6/2020
Answer: When we try to unite between us in the center of the circle, phenomena of closeness and distancing, closeness and distancing, naturally appear in different attributes, qualities, and quantities.
The most important thing for us is to try to yearn and aspire for this. Actual attainment is less important. The yearning is more important. The Creator responds to our desire and what is important are our efforts and not the fact that we seemingly attain something.
When we make efforts, we must also ask Him, which means include Him in our actions, as a partner. By yearning for the center of the circle and at the same time also asking the Creator to be with me, to help me, to sharpen my senses, to push me toward the friends and the friends toward me, I constantly want to find the center of the circle together with the friends and with the Creator, and the Creator constantly evades us, and we constantly try to find Him.
This is what the search for the spiritual attribute that is not in us comes down to. But it is actually this way when ten egoists try to connect in one point that we reveal it. The spiritual attribute is created in this point between us and we reveal the Creator in it.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah” 1/12/20
Baal HaSulam, “The Arvut”: It is as they said, that the Creator went with the Torah to every nation and tongue and they would not receive it. In other words, they were immersed in the filth of self-love up to their necks, some in adultery, some in robbery and murder and so on, until it was impossible to even conceive, in those days, to even ask if they agreed to retire from self-love.
Question: The Torah was offered to everyone?
Answer: There is no such thing as “offering the Torah.” This is just an allegorical statement. Do we really think that the Creator came down from heaven holding the Torah in His hands?
The Creator is the law of nature. There are people who, through their development, are more prone to discover the global force of nature. They are attracted to globality, unity, integrality, and the general forces of nature. But there are those who do not care about it; they are addicted to something else.
People with a thirst for knowing this single system, single force, single law of nature, become Kabbalists. They are engaged in its attainment. And gradually it becomes a science of how to reveal the Creator.
Naturally, we cannot attain Him by using physical devices. Neither telescopes, nor microscopes, nor any other devices can reveal the upper force of nature because it is immaterial, not subject to our physical influences.
But we can attain it with our additional actions. If we rise above our egoistic nature and try to create anti-egoistic, altruistic forces in ourselves, then with their help, we will begin to feel the Creator in the world around us.
Question: There are several million homo sapiens on Earth, and out of them, a group of people that are more predisposed to His revelation stands out, which is done by nature itself, i.e., by the Creator, the higher mind? Natural selection occurs?
Answer: Yes. These people are involuntarily attracted to each other. They are interested in being in a circle of like-minded people where they constantly communicate, understand each other, and are passionate about attaining the upper force.
From KabTV’s “System analysis of the development of the people of Israel,” 7/15/19