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It’s a joy to see that most people are against vaccinations—they don’t believe anyone, all the organizations have shown that they are corrupt and care only about themselves. This revelation of egoism’s evil is very valuable—it is the beginning of the end of our society, which people will destroy on their own in its egoistic form.
There aren’t, and won’t be, any more breakthroughs. The time of great discoveries is past. The next breakthrough will happen only through a change in man himself—in his work with himself, changing his egoistic self to an altruistic one. This change will entail all the discoveries of the new time. Otherwise we will face stagnation…
From Twitter, 12/24/20
Michael Laitman, On The Times of Israel: “On Jewish Unity and Antisemitism – Israel’s Golden Era”
Following their liberation from slavery in Babylon after King Cyrus had sent them free with “silver and gold, with goods and cattle, together with a freewill offering for the house of God which is in Jerusalem” (Ezra 1:4), the expats, or more accurately, two of the twelve tribes of Israel, returned to the land of Israel and to Jerusalem and built the Second Temple. The history of our people is strewn with agony. But the period between the Cyrus Declaration, in 539 BCE, and the beginning of the Hasmonean revolt, in 166 BCE, was relatively a quiet one and marked by a great achievement: being a role model of unity for the nations, even if briefly.
It isn’t that there were no squabbles among the Jews at that time. Since we were called upon to rebuild the Temple, there was much to argue about. But one way or the other, the Temple was built and quiet was restored. In fact, some of those years might even be regarded as the people of Israel’s golden era.
In terms of material life, not much is known about the lives of the people of Israel in the land of Israel during the third and fourth centuries BCE. In his book A History of the Jews, renowned historian Paul Johnson writes about that peaceful time in our history, when there was nothing to report: “The years 400-200 BC are the lost centuries of Jewish history. There were no great events or calamities they chose to record. Perhaps they were happy,” he concludes.
However, on the social and spiritual levels, much was happening. Three times a year the Jews would march up to Jerusalem to celebrate the festivals of pilgrimage: Passover, Shavuot (Feast of Weeks), and Sukkot. During each pilgrimage, the sight was spectacular. The pilgrimages were intended primarily for gathering and uniting the hearts of the members of the nation. In his book The Antiquities of the Jews, Flavius Josephus writes that the pilgrims would make “acquaintance … maintained by conversing together and by seeing and talking with one another, and so renewing the recollections of this union.”
Once they entered Jerusalem, the pilgrims were greeted with open arms. The townsfolk let them into their homes and treated them as family, and there was always room for everyone.
The Mishnah relishes this rare camaraderie: “All the craftsmen in Jerusalem would stand before them and ask about their well-being: ‘Our brothers, men of so and so place, have you come in peace?’ and the flute would play before them until they arrived at Temple Mount.” Additionally, every material need of every person who came to Jerusalem was met in full. “One did not say to one’s friend, ‘I could not find an oven on which to roast offerings in Jerusalem’ … or ‘I could not find a bed to sleep in, in Jerusalem,’” writes the book Avot de Rabbi Natan.
Even better, the unity and warmth among the Hebrews projected outward and became a role-model for the neighboring nations. The philosopher Philo of Alexandria portrayed the pilgrimage as a festival: “Thousands of people from thousands of cities—some by land and some by sea, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south—would come each festival to the Temple as if to a common shelter, a safe haven protected from the storms of life. …With hearts filled with good hopes, they would take this vital vacation with sanctity and with glory to God. Also, they made friendships with people they had not met before, and in the merging of the hearts … they would find the ultimate proof of unity.”
Philo was not the only one who admired what he saw. Those festivals of bonding served as a way for Israel to be—for the first time since they were given that vocation—“a light unto nations.” The book Sifrey Devarim details how gentiles would “go up to Jerusalem and see Israel … and say, ‘It is becoming to cling only to this nation.’”
Some three centuries later, The Book of Zohar (Aharei Mot) described succinctly and clearly the process that Israel went through: “‘Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to also sit together.’ These are the friends as they sit together and are not separated from each other. At first, they seem like people at war, wishing to kill one another … then they return to being in brotherly love. …And you, the friends who are here, as you were in fondness and love before, henceforth you will also not part from one another … and by your merit, there will be peace in the world.” Indeed, being “a light unto nations” could not have been more evident than at that time.
In fact, the renown of the Jews at that time went so far that it initiated the proliferation of their law outside of Israel. By the mid-240s BCE, the rumor of Israel’s wisdom had reached far and wide. Ptolemy II, king of Egypt, had a passion for books. This led him to aspire to possess all the books in the world, especially those containing wisdom. According to Flavius, Ptolemy told Demetrius, his librarian, that he “had been informed that there were many books of laws among the Jews worthy of inquiring, and worthy of the king’s library.” Not only did Ptolemy not have these books, but even if he did, he would not be able to read them since they were “written in characters and in a dialect of their own [Hebrew], [which] will cause no small pains to get them translated into the Greek tongue,” which Ptolemy spoke.
But Ptolemy did not give up. He wrote to the High Priest in Jerusalem, Eleazar, and asked that he would send him men who could translate the Jewish books to Greek. Seventy men were sent down to Egypt following Ptolemy’s request. But the king did not send them off to work right away. First, he wanted to learn their wisdom and absorb whatever knowledge he could from them. Therefore, “he asked every one of them a philosophical question,” which were “rather political questions and answers, tending to the good … government of mankind,” writes Flavius. For twelve straight days, the Hebrew sages sat before the king of Egypt and taught him governance according to their laws. Along with Ptolemy sat his philosopher, Menedemus, who was in awe at how “such a force of beauty was discovered in these men’s words.” This, indeed, was Israel’s heyday.
Finally, “When they had explained all the problems that had been proposed by the king about every point, he was well-pleased with their answers.” Ptolemy said that “He had gained very great advantages by their coming, for that he had received this profit from them, that he had learned how he ought to rule his subjects.”
Once Ptolemy was satisfied with the answers they had given him, he sent them off to an isolated location where they had peace and quiet and could focus on the translation. When they completed their task, writes Flavius, they handed over to the king the complete translation of the Pentateuch. Ptolemy was “delighted with hearing the Laws read to him, and was astonished at the deep meaning and wisdom of the legislator.”
Historian Paul Johnson, whom we mentioned earlier, wrote about the Jews in antiquity that “At a very early stage in their collective existence they believed they had detected a divine scheme for the human race, of which their own society was to be a pilot.” Perhaps during the third century BCE, our forefathers succeeded in that task. However, as we know from history, our brotherhood did not last, and less than a century after those wondrous events took place, Israel were engulfed in a bloody civil war. This will be the topic of the next essay.
(Article No. 6 in a series – previous article)
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
If I still remember that a descent comes from the Creator, then this is not yet a descent. A real fall is complete disconnection when I have no connection with the Creator, no thoughts, no desires. There is only one option left: to contact the ten.
We are in a state called the “corporeal world” for this, so we can fall within it and start from scratch, from the material level, from separation from spirituality. But nevertheless, we are left some kind of an end of the thread, a rope is dropped even when we are in our world. And this is why in our world we are in the system of Bnei Baruch, in connection with the world group, with the ten, with the lessons.
Even if I completely fall out and break away from spirituality, I still have a material connection with the spiritual system: with the ten, with the lesson. As long as I feel this material connection with the ten and hold on to it until the Creator throws me out completely, despite my lack of desire, hatred, and rejection, I am still considered to be in a fall from the spiritual, that is, in a spiritual state, and I can begin to rise from it.
Therefore it is said: “A thousand times the righteous falls and rises.” You need to get used to the descents and not panic. The Creator always gives the medicine along with the blow. If someone in the group was in descent, then there will definitely be those who did not fall and can help. And besides, there are Gabai and Shaatz—people who are responsible for taking care of the connection in the group in any state and raising it quickly. It all depends on the correct organization of the group.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/16/20, “Close to the Creator During a Descent”
Michael Laitman, On Quora: “What is morality?“
Morality is a clear realization of the principle, “Love your friend as yourself,” i.e., a state of absolute positive connection above the ego, where we perceive and sense a completely different reality to the one we feel in our inborn ego. Until we realize the principle of “Love your friend as yourself,” what we define as morality in our world changes the more we develop.
We live in a system of forces, and do not determine the egoistic qualities in each individual. Therefore, we cannot order or define our relations.
Our morals are thus based on the conditions we live in, and they are the outcome of human evolution. They arise from the human ego, which makes us think that how we live our lives is somehow incorrect, that we need to live differently, and by conducting ourselves a certain way, we will all live better lives. In other words, the human ego determines our morals with its control over us.
Based on the talk “Communication Skills: Moral Principles and Social Norms,” October 9, 2020. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman. Watch the full talk here » [54:02]
Question: What do you think about this Quatrain?
Answer: It’s romance.
Question: Our viewers and readers write that they relate this verse to you. The beginning of the verse I can understand “But whilst our globe, sirs, seeks in vain the path of happiness to gain.” Well, it really seeks in vain. However, are you not offended when they say “Honor the madman”?
Answer: No, of course not. Would a sane person do what I do, go against nature? Really! Against the normal, healthy nature of egoism that is in each and every person, with which everyone agrees, and I try to direct them against themselves.
Question: Are you going against corporeal logic?
Answer: Against nature, not against logic. Logic is something abstract. We are talking about nature, the law of nature, which is in us, in our bones, it is simply instilled within us. And I say, “No, we have to go in a different way.” How can we go in a different way?
Comment: And then “Gay dreams, to please the human race.”
My Response: This, of course, is a dream, a fantasy, a fiction. This is certainly something very abstract and almost unbelievable, this thing we fantasize about, talk about, and dream about.
Question: Is the fact that we can connect into one organism, one humanity, one family, as Baal HaSulam writes like a “gay dream”?
Answer: Of course.
Question: Are you convinced that this will happen?
Answer: Without a doubt! This is initially inherent in nature, and only later was there a special egoistic counter made in it, which controls us. Practically all of nature within itself, except for this superficial egoistic addition, is absolutely altruistic. It cannot be different, because it is one, interconnected, and all its parts, organs, and systems work in absolute homeostasis, in absolute unity.
Question: When you say that, I absolutely agree with you. Why does a person agree when you speak?
Answer: Because it is logical: all nature is one, it acts with one force, according to one formula, for one movement forward.
Question: Then why when I go a few meters away or after a while I hear something else, I forget all this, it is erased from my memory?
Answer: You go back to yourself. When you go back to yourself, you forget what was said. This is not yet yours, does not yet live in you as a law within your individual system. Therefore, you go back to your system.
Question: How did this conviction grow in you?
Answer: It takes time. Only time. 20 to 30 years.
Comment: Can you give advice to the person who really wants to come to this connection?
My Response: Only through the group where everyone wants it and supports each other, because everyone supports themselves through the others.
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 10/1/20
Question: What do you think? Will people continue to split into different groups according to their political and religious reasons up to the point that the one block will fight against another? Will even members of the same family be set against each other? Do you see this in the future?
Answer: We can already see it now. There are such examples and there are many of them. But I think it will gradually recede because the blows, which we are already beginning to feel and that are associated with the last stage of our development, will lead us to unite despite our differences. They teach us and push us toward unity even if we are in preliminary hatred of each other.
Question: Nationalism is different from racism, but is the root still the same?
Answer: Yes, the root is the same. It emanates from the shattering of the common system called Adam into different parts. Our goal is to connect these parts.
We do not have to particularly understand what these parts are, how different they are, how they should be connected. This is all useless and will bring us nothing. By studying our differences, we will get nothing.
We need to bring ourselves to the necessity to rise above our differences, in spite of them, and then we will achieve proper existence.
From KabTV’s “Communication Skills” 10/14/20
Question: There are different types of distances between people. There is an intimate zone with a distance of 15 to 45 centimeters into which only the closest ones, for example, children and parents are allowed to enter.
The personal zone from 45 to 120 centimeters is used in everyday communication with familiar people.
The social zone is from 120 centimeters to 4 meters. We communicate at work and with strangers within this distance.
The public area, with a distance of more than 4 meters, is used in lectures and meetings, etc. Is it permissible in the educational process to violate the intimate zone by, for example, sitting closer at a workshop or hugging when singing songs, etc.?
Answer: It depends on what the workshop is about and its purpose. If people learn integral interaction and rapprochement with each other, then gradually, to the extent that they receive theoretical material, they must also implement it in practice. Therefore, of course, practical exercises are implemented.
When we sit closer to each other, we can talk about more intimate processes we are going through. We can join hands, dance, eat together, and use all kinds of human communication.
Comment: Let’s say, as an instructor, I understand that this should not be done right away, but only after two or three months of training. Nevertheless, we must still take into account the individual characteristics of each person. Anyways, there are those people who move faster and there are those who find it more difficult.
My Response: You should know your students because after several lessons you can already see with whom you can continue rapprochement, with whom not, who needs more explanation, and who should be given some examples.
Question: Is it necessary to include public opinion or still wait until the person wants to?
Answer: Not public opinion but the opinion of the group. It is necessary.
The group, with its common opinion, will influence everyone and, as a result, everyone will gradually, more or less, come to some common denominator, common state, or common opinion. This is the nature of a group when people work together, study, and communicate.
We must raise the importance of the goal to which we are moving and this importance will affect every person.
From KabTV’s”Communication Skills” 10/30/20
Baal HaSulam, The Writings of the Last Generation: Ethics cannot rely solely on education and public opinion, because public opinion necessitates only what is in the public’s favor. Hence, if one comes and proves that morality is harmful to the public and vulgarity is more beneficial, they will immediately discard morality and choose vulgarity, as Hitler testifies.
Question: It turns out that Baal HaSulam denies any education in the material plane and says that this will inevitably lead to Nazism. Hence, there must be some kind of higher ideal. But we see in religions that God, as the highest ideal, has not worked. So what can work?
Answer: Nature! They put God in an incomprehensible place, associating Him with some kind of priest. In general, they made of Him some kind of figure with all the attributes in all kinds of guises. For different people, for each group, it is different.
And if you destroy all these gods, idols, what will remain? Nothing! Only complete emptiness in which only the power of love is at work. Its disclosure to humanity is the manifestation of the Creator. This is what we should worship.
From KabTV’s “Communication Skills” 9/10/20
Answer: The basic principle of spiritual development is to tie everything unexceptionally to the Creator, because “there is none else besides Him,” and everything in us was created and is managed by Him.
We have direct contact only with the Creator, and this connection affects us. But in order to connect to Him we need to unite in the ten, and then from the ten we will be able to act with Him mutually and interactively.
Question: How can we measure the spiritual growth of the group?
Answer: The spiritual growth of the group is measured according to the level of mutual guarantee, mutual connection, and mutual support between the friends, and the level of their loyalty to each other. You need to understand that in the spiritual world you are one unique whole. This is how you scrutinize yourselves.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah” 11/25/18