The Times of Israel published my new article “The Spiritual Root and Corporeal Branches of the Jews”
The wisdom of Kabbalah is a method that was established by Abraham around 3,800 years ago, which guides a process of positive connection among people toward their resemblance with the higher force of nature, one of love and bestowal.
Kabbalah teaches that by trying to resemble the force of love and bestowal through our efforts to connect, we attract it into our lives and it corrects us.
“Correction,” in the wisdom of Kabbalah, means reaching the perception of the uniqueness of the force of love and bestowal, and when we reach such perception, we see how no other force operates in the world.
Opposite the force of love and bestowal is the force of reception—the force acting in the created beings.
The force of reception, which is the nature of the created beings, provides us with the ability to differentiate between reception and its opposite force of love and bestowal, as through the opposite of a certain phenomenon, the existence of its opposite can be perceived.
By existing in an opposite receptive nature to the giving nature, we can connect by awakening the force of giving and love above the force of reception, and by doing so, reach balance with nature, a sensation of harmony, perfection and eternity.
According to the two opposite natures of giving and receiving, humanity divides into two general groups: one is a small group originating in those who studied with Abraham, which directed itself to connect and attain the force of love and bestowal. The other is much larger, holding beliefs in myriad corporeal forms, objects and images.
Abraham’s group received the name, “Israel” (“Yashar El” [“straight to God”]), from their orientation to attain the force of love and bestowal, and in later generations they received the name, “Jews,” from the word for “united” (“yihudi”). People with no such inclination received the name, “the nations of the world.”
According to the Jewish nation’s origin—a unification in a common tendency toward the force of love and bestowal—that same tendency should remain as their primary engagement. In other words, the nation of Israel has no need to conduct numerous physical actions, but need only focus on connecting “as one man with one heart.” That is Abraham’s method in a nutshell.
During its years of exile, the nation of Israel mingled with the nations of the world. Many descendants of Abraham’s group ended up functioning solely with the force of reception, detached from the force of love and bestowal. In the meantime, some of the nations of the world who felt attracted to unity joined the group of Israel.
Those from Israel who failed to unite above the increased egoistic desire that acted in them became idolaters, infusing corporeal forms, objects and actions with spiritual importance.
The two groups exist in a certain blend until today.
The change from being a unified nation that senses the higher force, to becoming detached from the sensation of unity and focusing solely on receiving, took place mainly during the ruin of the First and Second Temples, and intensified in the exile that followed them.
Many people from the Jewish nation started performing a number of actions, seeming signs of spiritual motions that exist separate from the human body and the material world. They thought that in such a way they would be able to somehow protect themselves in a common framework and not disperse.
My teacher, Rabash, called such actions “customs.” Customs have their place, until we will become ready enough to understand what is most important: the work of the heart, i.e., the inner work of unity with others in a common tendency toward the force of love and bestowal.
What we do with our hands, legs and mouths is in order to ultimately advance us to conduct internal actions upon our attitude to others: an inner shift from being concerned only about ourselves to being concerned about others, to a point where we love them.
Until today, humanity finds it difficult to absorb the idea that the Creator is a force. It is understandable, since our entire perception is based on corporeal senses.
Yet, according to the wisdom of Kabbalah, there is nothing holy in a tree or in a stone, nor in blood or flesh. Holiness can only be in the connection between us, differentiated from and above the egoistic force that separates us. Holiness exists in the balance between two fundamental forces at the foundation of nature: reception and bestowal, without canceling either quality or inclination.
That is why the principles of the wisdom of Kabbalah sound complicated and difficult to absorb, even though the main principle is easy to understand: that we need to reach positive connection among all people, a connection that includes each and every person equally. Moreover, in the heart of our connection, love becomes revealed, which is a positive force that covers all division, hatred and conflict, and by reaching such a state, we discover nothing less than perfection and eternity.