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My new article on Linkedin “Being an “Objective” Jew in the Biden Administration”
While many Jewish media outlets hail the proliferation of Jews in the Biden administration, I don’t see this as something to be proud of. For American Jewry, it is no reason for optimism, and from Israel’s perspective, this is not good news.
American Jewry has worked very hard to get to where it is. Currently, it holds key positions not only in the new administration. It has been holding key positions in both Democratic and Republican administrations for many years now, though not as conspicuously as in this one. American Jewry holds key positions not only in politics, but also in business, high tech, traditional media and social media, including of course the big tech companies currently under fire by Republicans for their purportedly biased treatment of Donald Trump and his supporters. American Jews are prominent in culture, entertainment, science, academia, finance, and in the justice system. Indeed, they are at their zenith.
And as always with the Jews, after the zenith comes the nadir. Antisemitism has been rising all over the world at least since the turn of the century, and the US is not trailing behind the rest of the nations. The heydays of Jews were the 80s of the 90s of the previous century, but those days are gone and they will not return. From here on, it’ll be a long and painful downward slide.
As for the State of Israel, the presence of so many Jews promises nothing. If anything, it portends troubles. When a Jew is at the helm, it usually spells trouble for Israel. Even if a Jew is pro Israel, he or she will be hesitant to show it for fear of being accused of dual loyalty. Worse yet, Jews in key political positions tend to promote anti-Israel policies and decisions in order to prove their “objectivity” with regard to Israel.
Moreover, it is a sad truth that most American Jews are hostile toward the State of Israel. Over the years, the chasm between American Jewry, the State of Israel, and the Israelis, has deepened on many levels. Israelis and American Jews disagree on key issues such as Mid-East politics, religion, and even on the definition of Jewishness and Judaism. For this reason, placing a Jew in a key political position is most likely bad news for Israel. When there are more than a dozen Jews in such positions, as is the case with the incoming administration, the bad news is dozen-fold.
We do not have our own forces: neither positive nor negative, neither the right line nor the left. We receive everything from above, and we must therefore constantly keep in touch with the upper force. Everything that I have comes from it, and I must keep to the middle line, that is, keep my devotion to it.
This means that I attribute everything to the upper force, I receive both forces of the left and the right from it, as well as all the knowledge and advice that allow me to combine these two forces so that they intertwine in me and begin to form a person, Adam, out of me.
We receive the egoistic forces and the intention to bestow from the Creator as well as a technique that allows us to dress one on top of the other and build out of us the likeness of the Creator called man, Adam.
The main thing for this is to nullify ourselves in order to receive forces and intentions from the higher source, from the Creator, and by combining the material (the desire to enjoy) with the form of the material (the intention to bestow), shape from this power of reception and power of bestowal the middle line, reception for the sake of bestowal, man, Adam.
We will have the force of reception within us, which the Creator created us with and gradually adds more and more. And we need to give this material the form of bestowal, which we also receive from the Creator.
The correct work is to ask the Creator for both forces, the force of reception and the force of bestowal, and to accelerate time, which is called sanctifying it. And then we will advance in the middle line, correcting ourselves and turning to the Creator even before He turns to us.
By correctly combining the two opposite forces, the forces of bestowal and reception, not allowing one to outweigh the other, but creating their optimal combination in the middle line, we mold ourselves in the form of bestowal. And according to this accepted image, we get closer and closer to the Creator with our inner properties, we identify ourselves with Him and are included in Him, we come to embrace and unity, boundless merging.
And all this is due to the devotion of the soul because we do not feel that we have even a bit of ourselves, nothing, free from the authority of the Creator. We want to be in His complete power because this is the truth. But it is hidden from us, and we strive to reveal it.
At each level that we attain, we discover that the Creator rules over us. As a result of our own efforts, it is revealed that the Creator fills us without leaving any degree of freedom. All this is the result of the devotion of the soul to the extent I am called human.
In order to establish the correct relationship with the Creator, which is called the devotion of the soul, we must first do the same exercises in the ten toward the friends.
The Creator created this laboratory for us so that we can practically feel it and realize it, through receiving support and critical assessment from others as to how we are progressing in achieving the devotion of the soul. Seeing what I lack to be devoted to the upper ten, I can understand what I lack to be devoted to the Creator.
There are different stages of devotion, which will become the rungs of the spiritual ladder. The understanding of the Creator occurs in the measure of the devotion of the soul that we manage to achieve in relation to Him.
If we strive for the devotion of the soul, then it correctly attunes us to the Creator and sets the exact direction like the North Star or a compass needle always pointing to the north where we should always move and check ourselves against.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/18/21, “Devotion”
From My Facebook Page Michael Laitman 1/24/21
Joe Biden hasn’t even been inaugurated but we already hear that he wants to resume the nuclear agreement with Iran. The New York Times wrote as early as November 17 that Biden “has promised to move quickly to rejoin the nuclear deal with Iran,” and The Times of Israel wrote on January 16 that according to a report, “Officials in the incoming Biden administration have already begun holding quiet talks with Iran on a return to the 2015 nuclear deal.”
For four years, Donald Trump did his very best to stymie Iran’s nuclear plans to build an atom bomb. His success was very limited, but it did slightly hinder their progress. Now Biden wants to return to the 2015 agreement that Obama signed. This means that the Iranians will return to full speed development, if they haven’t already got a bomb, and the monitoring of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will be as “efficient” as it was before Trump scolded them for their inaction and withdrew from the agreement. Now, the new administration will let the fox guard the henhouse once again.
I’m not optimistic about this because I don’t see that Iran has any interest in making peace or even lowering the flames with Israel. In fact, their struggle is not with Israel as such, but with the rest of the Arab world. Israel, in this case, is just a means to an end, and the aggressive extremism serves the Ayatollahs very well. They have no other country against which to show off their devotion to Islam so they use the Arab-Israeli conflict as a pretext to show off their orthodoxy.
They also don’t care about their own people—whether they suffer from the sanctions or even from bombs, as long as they can maintain their prominence and clout in the Arab world. So, because their hatred for Israel is not the issue, but the internal struggle in the Arab world, there is really nothing that Israel can do to mitigate the conflict. All it can do is protect itself militarily.
We’ll see what happens in the future, but for the time being, this is yet another issue that doesn’t look promising as we begin the new year with a new administration.
From My Facebook Page Michael Laitman 24/1/21
In November 2014, I spent a few days in LA to shoot several interesting TV shows. Some of the shoots took place in the studio of Jewish Life TV, where I was interviewed for a new series. A more unusual shoot was a meeting with students from UCLA, whose inquisitiveness I found refreshing, especially the young Muslim student who kept asking about the essence of the wisdom of Kabbalah. However, the most memorable event on that tour was the meeting with Larry King (RIP).
Considering his professional record of interviewing the most high profile personalities in America and the world over for decades, I expected to find at least some measure of conceit and impatience. But when we met, I was delighted to find a warm-hearted, attentive host who asked poignant questions and listened carefully to my answers. It was a joy to speak with him.
The longer the shoot continued, the warmer Larry became. Even though we talked about painful topics such as the growing antisemitism in the US, and even though I told him it would grow worse because of our internal division, he did not scoff or jeer at my prediction. He was inquisitive and genuinely sought answers to the problems that already plagued the US.
The thing that struck me most was that when I told him that the only solution to antisemitism was unity of the Jews among themselves, he did not seem surprised. Perhaps it was his life’s experience, perhaps his sensitivity to people’s hearts, being such a veteran interviewer, or perhaps it was his search for remedies to his own pains, but the idea of unity of the Jews as the solution to our problems seemed to resonate with him.
In the break between the two parts of the show, he said, half to himself, half to his crew: “Wonderful guest!” When the show was over, we talked some more and the embrace he gave me as we parted felt warm and genuine.
May you rest in peace, Larry King, may Jews find unity and peace among themselves, and may the whole world find unity and peace in our troubled times.
“Love will cover all crimes” is not just a beautiful phrase, but a means to achieve love for the Creator. We received a broken soul, and this breakage is revealed until the very end of correction throughout the entire spiritual ascent. Each time we must strive for unity, for devoted connection, right up to love.
Therefore, we will constantly reveal the left and right lines against each other, and climb the steps of hatred and love. The Creator broke the vessel precisely in order to give us the opportunity to ascend the steps of unity higher and higher.
The group must comply with the condition: “Love will cover all crimes,” that is, to reveal sins, hatred, to correct all kinds of gaps between us, and to heal them with love. Love is such an interconnection in which no one feels himself, but only everyone together.
In this way we build the stages of ever more powerful connection, until in them, as a result of our efforts, the quality of oneness, which is called the Creator, begins to unfold. There is no other way to approach the Creator.
We work in the ten, try to connect and reveal the unwillingness, hatred, and rejection, we quarrel, but rise above the strife to embrace each other again. And in this way we hasten the path.
This law applies not only in the ten, but also in everyday life between people, countries, between children and adults, in family relations. If we want to come to connection, we must also identify gaps, separation, and contradictions.
But in everything you need to see the future goal, that is, to understand why we do it. For any tiny change in our lives, we must always move from darkness to light, from night to day, and the same happens in our relationship with the Creator.
Participation in the ten is necessary in order to reveal the connections between us: hatred and love, ever stronger and deeper, and in the contrast of darkness and light to reveal the Creator as the advantage of light from darkness.
It’s like a small voice that we can’t hear. We are still in a sea of sounds, but we do not distinguish them. We need to reach such sensitivity to begin to hear them, to recognize that the Creator is between us, sometimes hiding, sometimes revealing, in different forms. And this is only possible if we build connections between the friends in the ten, to show all the nuances of the contrast between the shattering and the connection.
Moreover, this does not require external manifestations, an explosion of hatred and emotions. All this should be inside, expressed in the subtlety of sensations. We must become more and more sensitive because we want to reveal the Creator hidden between us.
The Creator is hiding because we do not have enough precise and subtle tools capable of capturing Him. The deeper we penetrate into all the subtleties of the transition from shattering to connection, feel all the difference between them, on these edges we will begin to feel the Creator.
A master of his craft is one who is sensitive to the smallest details, who has sharpened his sensitivity. Nothing is noticeable to the outside eye, but for the specialist, every little detail becomes essential and shows him what is happening.
We lack precisely such sensitivity. The Creator is still between us, but we don’t have the right feelings. Our desire to enjoy is very rough and is at the lowest degree of the sensations of this world. We also need to learn to subtly feel everything that happens in a friend. Having set myself up for such a relationship with my friends, I begin to reveal my relationship with the Creator in them.
Our relations with each other are like strings that sound in tune, now in a minor key, now in a major, that is, in distance and connection, in all sorts of states. This is how the Creator speaks to us because it is He who has shattered and separated us, and He also helps us to connect.
So, we feel Him playing on our strings, on the connecting threads that run between us, playing on our relationships. This is how we reveal Him and find out what He wants to say to us, and we also play our own melody to Him, a hymn of unity, love, and desire. And so we are more and more attuned to the revelation of the Creator in creation.
From our approach and distances, from all possible states, three lines and connections, as spiritual Sefirot, we learn the language of the Creator better and better, understand what He says to us, and how to respond to Him. All our connection with the Creator is through our connection with each other. Therefore, one who is not in a ten does not have the opportunity to reveal the Creator; this is the condition of the last generation.
In our time, the general Kli is being corrected, and therefore we are called the last generation. We need to correct ten by ten and start putting them together. But first of all, you need to tune each string like a violin or guitar so that they are in tune with each other and all together in tune with the Creator.
This is already spiritual work in the ten to connect with the Creator, to give Him a place to open up between us and play on us. And we could play Him a song of gratitude, a hymn of His glory.
From the Daily Kabbalah Lesson, 1/16/21
For the first time in my life, I feel that I am able to disengage from my own interest and act for the sake of others, that is, to separate from my “I” and do what the Creator wants and what is needed for humanity.
Such readiness in a person is the beginning of spiritual conception. I move from the power of egoistic desire that paints this world for me, to the altruistic desire, and feel myself in the world of the Creator, in the power of the group. And this is not forced enslavement, but my desire to hand myself over in order to free myself from the shackles of my egoism.
I am not yet able to perform an action of bestowal upon my neighbor, but I already feel that such a possibility really exists. That is, I am getting out from under the power of egoism to the power of the Creator.
I move under the power of bestowal, as if from one room to another. The first room was governed by egoism, which the Creator had appointed to control me. I was a slave of egoism, obligated to fulfill all its demands.
And now, I move into another room where the desire of bestowal reigns, and I feel this transition. And this is called a spiritual conception. Gradually, in place of egoism, the desire of bestowal enters me and changes my thoughts, desires, intentions, and actions.
Sometimes this desire for bestowal disappears and then comes back. And I want to pull it by force toward me for it not to leave me. And sometimes I start playing with it, weighing which will outweigh, the desire to enjoy or the desire to bestow, and study this transition from one power to another.
Thus, I begin to enter more and more deeply into the state of the spiritual embryo. This continues for nine months of pregnancy until a person is born into the spiritual world.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/11/21, “Ibur (Conception) and Preparation to Birth”
The distance between the desired and the actual states contains our entire life. This is true to say about both corporeal and spiritual life. For any situation there is an actual state and the state we would like to be in. And the difference between these two states is called our life.
This perfection is the only state that exists, but we need to discover it. And on the way to this perfection, we will have to discover many different states: those that we feel at the moment as well as those that we want to reach.
When we approach the desired state, all the states that we have experienced before will seem like a dream. All this was not real but only seemed to us in our egoism, created by the Creator. We looked at everything through our egoism: at ourselves, at the world, and therefore, we perceived our state as flawed.
The Creator arranged this illusion for us, but He explains through the Kabbalists that our state is in fact perfect and has never been different because it is under the full control of the Creator. We are simply in a dream, in an illusion, in concealment. There is something that conceals the perfect state from us and causes this split into desired and actual.
On one hand, you need to be aware of your actual state. After all, this is what I feel now, as they say: “A judge has only what his eyes see.” But on the other hand, we need to build a desirable state over this reality—the way we imagine the world under the control of the upper perfect force, that is, what the world should actually be.
By the difference between these two states, we can estimate where we are relative to the truth, at what state relative to the final one. This way we will constantly move toward the Creator, toward the state of the unchanging upper light that fills the entire universe.
The closer we get to the Creator, the greater the distance between the actual state and the desired state may seem because we have a better idea of what perfection should be in relation to our current state.
Our state seems to us more and more egoistic, harmful, evil, and flawed, and the desired state more and more perfect. The difference between the desired and the actual increases until it grows from zero to plus infinity and minus infinity.
In order to imagine a perfect state of connection with the Creator, we need to annul our egoism. And we need to ask Him for this state, because the Creator created this difference on purpose so that when we despair from our egoism, we begin to turn to Him and look for connection with Him. Without His help, we cannot get out of this state.
You need to dream about this desirable state because man is where his thoughts are. Therefore, it is worth thinking more about perfection, about good, realizing that the state we are experiencing now is a deception deliberately prepared by the Creator so that we would want to get out of this world of lies, darkness, and concealment.
All the work is to make an effort to get out of concealment and get closer to the light. It may seem that such exercises are self-deception because I feel the world as it is now. This is my reality, my life. Why do I need any fantasies?
But we always make plans for the future, and without such plans, nothing can be achieved. And if each time we build the desired state over the actual one, it means that we are guided by faith in the sages: we try to imagine the states they have achieved and achieve them too.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/20/21, “The Work Between the Desirable and the Existing State”
Answer: The feeling of spiritual ascent is a feeling of the unity of creation, a feeling that we all exist in a field of one unique connection, in mutual love, and this field is called the Creator.
Man clearly feels that he is inside the Creator. Almost everyone, without exception, is in this state. We do not get out of it. But there are people who feel it, and there are those from whom it is concealed. The task of each one of us and of everyone together is to fully reveal the Creator, our existence in Him.
Question: How does a person determine that what he feels at a certain moment is the Creator? Who is the Creator at that specific moment?
Answer: The attribute of love and bestowal that begins to shine on a person, passes through him, envelops him, and overcomes him by its good illumination. This is the first encounter with the Creator.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah” 12/9/18
Question: Why was The Book of Zohar needed? After all, there is the Torah, the first part of which is written by Moses. It is considered fundamental.
Answer: What is in the Torah? We do not understand anything about it. And if you open The Zohar, it says that it is a Kabbalistic commentary on the Torah.
What does a Kabbalistic commentary mean? Moses wrote a really fundamental book, but it is encrypted. There is a single but very deep code in it. It is written in the so-called language of branches.
Kabbalah explains what it is and helps us understand what exactly is implied in the book of Moses. After all, the Torah is perceived by everyone as a purely artistic creation that tells about the history of some ancient tribe. It is written in a narrative language.
And Kabbalah teaches us to see the upper roots through this—the forces that cause corresponding actions in our world, to rise to the level of these forces, to understand the system that governs our world, and to be included in this system so that we can actively manage our world through it and correct ourselves and the whole world.
From KabTV’s “The Power of The Book of Zohar” #3