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The time requires closeness and unity, which are attained when the upper force comes closer, the only force of bestowal and unity among everyone. We want to unite in tens, in the group, to unite all the worlds as one whole, rolling up, like a carpet, the entire spiritual ladder leading to the world of Infinity.
From Twitter, 12/3/20
My new article on Linkedin “Dreaming Away Pandemic Nightmares”
Either awake or asleep, thoughts about the pandemic haunt all of humanity like no other event in the last century. Covid-19 nightmares around the world are one of the most recent subjects of study. Harvard University research confirmed that people worldwide are experiencing remarkable changes in the frequency and nature of their dreams as a result of the global health emergency. This further confirms that the virus impacts humanity as a single body, and therefore, it is high time that we start acting as such.
The repercussions from the coronavirus are not isolated incidents but global occurrences that affect the whole human race. Daytime fears and concerns about the pandemic remain trapped inside people’s minds at night while they sleep according to a Harvard Medical School study. The research evaluated thousands of responses to a global survey recounting similar bizarre dreams of swarms of killer bugs and other virus-related imagery, regardless of people’s location and occupation.
Dreams are constructed from a set of thoughts and desires that a person accumulates during the day. Even if he may not be aware of them, they remain below the surface in one’s subconscious. When a person puts his head on their pillow and falls asleep, he no longer has control over his thoughts and hidden desires. During sleep they are withdrawn from the individual’s memory and arise in the form of dreams.
When our emotions, ideas, sensations, and desires are free from limitations, free from the oppression of the outside world, and without physical boundaries, they connect and integrate into a dream, mixing up elements and experiences which many times manifest in an illogical and bizarre way. This process has given rise to all kinds of theories and speculation about their origin and interpretation. But dreams are nothing more than that, a psychosocial and physiological process. At the end of the day, what we are is flesh with an internal nervous system that awakens us all the time and does not let us rest even in our sleep when our brain is no longer working at full power.
Dreaming is an important mechanism that allows us to process images and get rid of them. Sometimes dreams are not simple, they can put us into unpleasant situations, stress, and fears. It is therefore advisable to read something soothing or even funny before bedtime. Reading Psalms can also help to channel the thoughts in a good direction. Sex can also ease stress and release the body from the tension it has accumulated during the day.
The stress of our daily life since the coronavirus outbreak has become a worldwide phenomena. According to the wisdom of Kabbalah, this period is a time when humanity completes its stage of individual development and moves on to a higher and new stage in which all individuals connect as one body, to be as one family, one soul. Therefore, it is only natural that even nightmares are now globally similar as the world itself has become global and round.
We have all become connected, we share common challenges and experiences. We go through the same pandemic and face the same crises while we are awake. Although everyone thinks about their personal life, about their family and work, these individual thoughts are now merged in the world’s collective consciousness so our experiences are increasingly similar. These new conditions present a remarkable opportunity to transform our nightmare into the dream of a more pleasant world and vivid reality.
My new article on Linkedin “The Russian Jewish Mind”
There is life before and after the appearance of social media for the majority of the world’s population. The younger generation does not even know any different reality, but little is known that behind Silicon Valley’s technological explosion are Jews, particularly those from the former Soviet Union. State of the art inventions and software have transformed the world, but the most important Jewish contribution to humanity is yet to be revealed.
Google, WhatsApp, and PayPal, co-founded by Sergei Brin, Jan Com, and Max Lebchin, are only some of many tech giants created by Jews who emigrated from the former Soviet Union to the USA. Other Jewish pioneers from Russian-speaking countries are also part of the fast-paced innovation and tech revolution in the United States, Israel, and Europe.
What is the secret of Jewish success? It began with the destruction of the Second Temple when the Jewish community living in the Land of Israel was forced to abandon it and went into exile in different places including Europe where they also suffered persecution and discrimination. Job opportunities for Jews who lived in Russia and Poland were restricted by the non-Jewish society largely through legislation. Since their work options were highly restricted they sat and studied.
A small number of them nevertheless managed to do business, settle, and give financial help to those who wanted to study. This is how life was arranged. The rich believed that they should have people who would sit and study for them. Although they paid them pennies, at least they prevented them from starving.
The tradition of studying from morning to night was well suited for Kabbalists throughout the centuries like Baal Shem Tov, father of the Hasidic movement, and his successors. The appreciation for knowledge has become a basic tenet among all Jews. The approach to learning, patience, dedication, and diligence are imprinted in the fabric of the Jewish people, and were reflected in the fields of technology and medicine as soon as the anti-Jewish occupation restrictions were removed and Jews were allowed to work like any other citizen. Prominent Jews and scientists in various fields emerged from the same geographical area, Russia and Poland. This began in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Jews again were oppressed, fled, and scattered everywhere according to the occupation they chose. I, who was born and raised in the former Soviet Union, can tell that long after work restrictions were removed, Jews adhered to Yiddish, the language they learned. School subjects, including geography, history, and math, were taught to my parents in Yiddish. Their childhood passed without a word in Russian.
Only later around 1935 did Stalin pass a law requiring the study of the Russian language only. Imagine what a revolution this was for children! Parents had to move on and learn all subjects in a language new to them, according to a different curriculum. But they succeeded. Thanks to the same approach to learning that flowed from their ancestors, they overcame obstacles and were admitted to universities.
By the way, the same urge and importance for higher education is typical of every place in the world where Jews live, but especially in Russia, because since then the custom of studying all day had become an integral part of their being. They realized that learning was their most valuable asset, something they had at hand that no one could take from them. They realized that it was their unique quality when they wandered from country to country, thrown from one place to another like they experienced in the Middle Ages.
And there was something else special about Jews from this region, not just knowledge, but a kind of willpower, an impulse that made them pioneers in every field. Revolutionary winds always blew around them. Whether as pioneers who preceded their time by hundreds of years when they opened the then closed and forbidden wisdom of Kabbalah and offered it to the world when it was needed, or during the Russian Revolution when they were Marxist, Socialist, Trotskyist, and Kropotkinist activists, or as pioneer immigrants to Israel were they established kibbutzim, similarly they are pioneers of technology anywhere in the world.
Every part on earth, as it is written in the wisdom of Kabbalah, has a special force that acts on those who live on it. It’s really interesting, I also feel it about myself coming from the same Eastern European region where everyone from there has an urge for change, progress, revolution, new technologies, or economics. Eastern Europe is a kind of space that does not allow a person to sit in peace.
But today the same special and distinct identity that Judaism developed in all the countries of the Diaspora is no longer in Jews. Other than purely technical breakthroughs, there is not much left of that human spirit that aspires to be at the top of the world. As long as we, Jews, were scattered among the nations of the world that pressed us against the wall, we had to be good and united in order to survive. But as soon as the pressure dropped we became the toughest, most stubborn, and disunited. We are made of a kind of special material from which stress and torture bring out fine things and unity, and relaxation degenerates, corrupts, and alienates us.
We see today, when there is almost no external pressure on us, how Israeli society is becoming a wild, quarreling lot. A nation where everyone thinks only of how to succeed materially and escape from here, where each cares for nothing but himself. Although this is a gross generalization, in general, we should see that this is our situation; it is contagious and will continue to deteriorate if we do not find the pioneering and revolutionary spirit of the Jewish nation within us. If we re-acquire the knowledge and wisdom found in the connection between us, in our unity, we can give the world something really good, the breakthrough of lasting peace, tranquility, and fulfillment, the light humanity so desperately needs.
We are moving from the love of creation to the love of the Creator. Love for the Creator is perfect love in the whole system, where the light and the vessel are revealed together, mutually supporting each other.
But we need to start with the love of creation, that is, to draw near each other in the tens until we no longer feel the difference between us, so that our desires and feelings merge into one common feeling. Everyone must complete the others in this. We are not talking about physical connection, which belongs to the animal level, but about a human one, that is, not on the physical, but on the sensory level.
This connection begins with unfounded hatred, which has no explanation other than it was created by the Creator. And from it we must come to brotherly love as one person with one heart.
Do not take the example of a world where there is struggle and everyone is merging their strength, like quarrelsome children. We must follow the advice of Kabbalists and see ourselves at the final stage of the correction process. We have passed through many cycles of life on this earth over thousands of years. And it is not by chance that we have now discovered the science of Kabbalah. In this world, nothing is random, everything is calculated from the system of the common soul.
Therefore, we must work together and achieve unity. If someone falls out, what should we do? Apparently this is his fate. But we will try to put together our system and come to a mutual connection based on equality and love. After all, love is the strongest bond possible.
“From the love of creatures to the love of the Creator,” because the Creator is a global system that is revealed to us. The Creator is a generalization, the sum of all souls and the reason for their creation, the source.
Love is a complete mutual connection in which each seeks only how to complete the others. This is the form of existence of the common soul.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/29/20, “Work with Faith Above Reason”
We build the Creator from the desires of our friends connected together, as it is written: “as though you have made Me.” After all, the upper force does not exist on its own but only within our Kli, our desire.
This is why treating the friends as a Kli, as an instrument for revealing the Creator and establishing Him, is the only correct form that allows one to direct oneself to the Creator. This is why it is written: “And from love of friends, one can reach love of the Creator.”
When I assemble all the friends together, I begin to feel the force that includes us all. This inclusive force is a very special, integral force, which is above all the details and is the basis of the entire creation. Creation appears outside of this force and begins to divide, split, and take a discrete form.
However, if we connect in order to reveal between us in the center of the group one single force, then with the same precision that we can connect, with the same resolution, we will discover the Creator as Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama, Haya, and Yechida. Yechida is already the highest degree of revealing the “One, Unique, and Unified.”
Therefore, it is a big mistake to wait for the Creator to be revealed. We do not need to wait, we need to build Him. This is the difference between religion and Kabbalah. We do not wait for the revelation of the Creator that was not built by us. Only according to our practical participation in connection do we create a place of revelation, we create the Creator.
If we sit with folded hands and wait for the Messiah to come, he will never come. The Messiah is the force that finally pulls us out of the feeling of separation to the feeling of complete adhesion. It pulls us out of the last drop of egoism, which is so small that it is not even visible to the eye but still does not allow us to reveal our unity.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/28/20, “Work with Faith Above Reason”
Michael Laitman, On Quora: “How do I love myself?“
Show people how to find happiness in their lives.
By focusing on the fulfillment of others, their happiness and fulfillment will become your own.
We cannot detach from society, so in order to make the best of our connection, we need to see our own happiness in helping and guiding others to achieve happiness.
By aiming to love others without regard for ourselves, we will come to understand that this is self-love.
Michael Laitman, On The Times of Israel: “On Jewish Unity and Anti-Semitism – The Rise and Fall of the First Temple”
(Article No. 4 in a series) In the previous article, we described Israel’s formation into a nation and how they were given the task to be “a light unto nations” by becoming a model of unity above differences. This article is the first to explore Israel’s attempts to maintain their unity after establishing nationhood, their failure to do so, and the consequences of that failure.
Once they became a nation by vowing to unite “as one man with one heart,” the people of Israel set out to Canaan. Along the way, they had many internal struggles, as well as struggles with external foes. Their growing egos kept challenging them in new ways and they had to find new tactics to overcome them. However, as it is written in The Book of Zohar (BeShalach, item 252), “Anyone who wages a war in the Torah is rewarded with increased peace in the end.” In other words, the wars that the people of Israel fought were over keeping the vow of complete unity.
Still, soon after Israel conquered Canaan and made it the Land of Israel, the disputes grew so fierce that the nation divided into two kingdoms: the Northern Kingdom (Israel) and the Southern Kingdom (Judea). The Northern Kingdom was weaker spiritually and its people quickly abandoned their commitment to unity. The Talmud (Yoma 9b) describes the leaders of the Kingdom of Israel’s malevolence toward each other very poignantly: “Rabbi Elazar said, ‘Those people, who eat and drink with one another, stab each other with the swords in their tongues.’ Thus, even though they were close to one another, they were filled with hatred for each other.” With such relationships, it did not take long for the Kingdom of Israel to dissolve into obscurity to this day.
Meanwhile, in Judea, our forefathers did not behave much better than their now vanished relatives. The 1st century Jewish-turned-Roman historian Titus Flavius Josephus details the misconduct of our forefathers. While the list of misdeeds is far too long for the scope of this article-series, it is important to realize how brutal was the hatred of the Judeans for their brethren. In The Antiquities of the Jews (Book IX, Chap. 5), Josephus offers some gruesome details on the foul manner with which the kings of Israel treated one another. When writing about the anointing of King Jehoram, who ruled merely seventy years after King Solomon, who taught that “Hate stirs strife, and love will cover all crimes” (Prov. 10:12), Josephus says that “As soon as [Jehoram] had taken the government upon him, he betook himself to the slaughter of his brethren and his father’s friends.”
King after king, the rulers of Judea murdered one another in an astonishing display of depravity. Josephus writes that King Manasseh “barbarously slew all the righteous men that were among the Hebrews. Nor would he spare the prophets, for he every day slew some of them, till Jerusalem was overflown with blood” (Book X, Chap. 3).
Clearly, this demeanor was not sustainable, and when the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II invaded the land of Israel, Judea was far too weak to defend against him. Although we are taught that Nebuchadnezzar conquered Judea and destroyed the First Temple, it is important to note that our sages and all the ancient texts do not attribute the fall of the Temple to Nebuchadnezzar, but to our own vices against each other.
Incidentally, this pattern of pointing the finger to our own sins as the cause of our misfortunes, rather than to external foes, was the predominant mindset in antiquity. This changed only in recent centuries, when our arrogance and self-righteousness grew to such levels that we could not see any fault in ourselves and blamed all our troubles on others, despite millennia of our own sages telling and writing otherwise.
The exile in the Babylonian captivity was short but eventful. We will cover the events that led to the threat of destruction and eventual liberation through the Cyrus Declaration in the next article, where once again, we will see that unity brings freedom and happiness, and separation brings misery to our people.
For much more on this topic, please see my latest publication, The Jewish Choice: Unity or Anti-Semitism: Historical facts on anti-Semitism as a reflection of Jewish social discord.
Michael Laitman, On Quora: “How can I become more spiritual?“
Kabbalist Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam) writes in his article “The Freedom” that our single means by which we can change our state is by choosing a suitable environment.
“There is freedom for the will to initially choose such an environment, such books, and such guides that impart to him good concepts. If one does not do that, but is willing to enter any environment that appears to him and read any book that falls into his hands, he is bound to fall into a bad environment or waste his time on worthless books, which are abundant and easier to come by. In consequence, he will be forced into foul concepts that make him sin and condemn. He will certainly be punished, not because of his evil thoughts or deeds, in which he has no choice, but because he did not choose to be in a good environment, for in that there is definitely a choice.
Therefore, he who strives to continually choose a better environment is worthy of praise and reward. But here, too, it is not because of his good thoughts and deeds, which come to him without his choice, but because of his effort to acquire a good environment, which brings him these good thoughts and deeds.”
If we continually choose a more powerful environmental influence that guides us to spirituality, then we become worthy of spiritual progress.
Choosing and strengthening a suitable environment for spiritual progress is primary to becoming more spiritual, and not performing what we usually consider as “good deeds.” This is because we are ultimately not in control of our behaviors. Rather, our environment determines how we think and behave, and so if we place ourselves into an environment that guides us spiritually, and increasingly strengthen our connection to that environment, then it moves us in such a direction and we become more spiritual.
Photo: World Kabbalah Convention at Ganei HaTa’arucha, Tel Aviv, Kabbalah.info.
Michael Laitman, On The Times of Israel: “All Eyes Will Turn to the Jews”
Over the past week, two antisemitic incidents caught the attention of Jewish media in the US. Algemeiner reported that in New Jersey, “the carcass of a dead pig was left on the doorstep of a rabbi’s home in the town of Lakewood,” and Tablet Magazine released an intriguing story about a closed Facebook group of liberal women who expel anyone who expresses any support or understanding for Israel. Tablet quoted a Korean American Jewish woman named Skylar Cutler who said, “What I saw and experienced in that group was Jew-hatred cloaked in the veil of social justice. I had to speak out.”
The vast majority of American Jews were delighted that Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election, and I have no doubt they cannot wait for him to take office. I, too, think it will be good for them, but for a different reason: They will have a very sobering experience. With Biden as president, they will have no one to blame. After all, they picked him themselves and did everything they could, and beyond, to get him elected. But the antisemitism that will come from the Left, from the liberals and progressives, will show them very clearly that antisemitism has nothing to do with the identity of the president.
The majority of American Jews espouse liberal and progressive values. When antisemitism hits them, as it did in that Facebook group, they will understand that they are not hated for supporting Israel or for being white and privileged, but for being Jewish. As that Korean American Jew said, it is “Jew-hatred cloaked in the veil of social justice.” When it comes to Jews, there is nothing progressive about the views of “Progressives,” and American Jewry is about to realize it, if it hasn’t already.
When the final outcome of the elections is declared, both sides will turn their anger to the Jews. The liberals and progressives already harbor deep anti-Jewish feelings, and conservatives, who aren’t inherently anti-Jewish, have been given far too many reasons in this campaign to come to the conclusion that all their troubles come from the Jews.
Currently, Left and Right cannot unite in America. But when both sides come to think that all their troubles come from the Jews, they’ll find the common grounds they need. Just as we saw fascists and Muslims demonstrating in concert against Israel in Europe, we will see Liberals and Progressives, White Supremacists and Black Americans finding new unity in their hatred for the Jews.
Then, when American Jews find that all this is eerily similar to what happened in Europe less than a century ago, it may well be too late.