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My new article on Linkedin “The International Holocaust Remembrance Day Does Not Serve Its Purpose”
The International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which occurs on January 27, is always a good opportunity for predictions and summaries regarding trends of antisemitism in the world, and this year is no exception. This year’s report, published by the Israeli Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, stresses the encouraging fact that no deadly attacks were perpetrated against Jews outside of Israel, though it was mostly because the attacks were thwarted before they were carried out, or were carried out but ended with injuries, some very serious, rather than fatalities. At the same time, the report stresses that Jewish life in Europe is being hampered by bans on kosher slaughtering and other Jewish customs. In essence, European countries are telling the Jews that they are unwanted there. In the US, the Jewish community is growing accustomed to an atmosphere that resembles that of Europe, and nine out of ten Jews are troubled by the growing antisemitism there. But perhaps most notably, online antisemitism has become ubiquitous, and conspiracy theories against Jews spread like brushfire whenever negative developments occur, and 2020 had plenty of those.
It is a very detailed report, covering more than 140 pages. But all those details cannot hide the fact that it is meaningless. It solves nothing, changes nothing, and serves nothing other than the people who wrote it. And since this report changes nothing, its writers can rest assured that next year, they’ll have a job compiling another such “alarming” report, which will be just as (in)effective.
For the past two millennia, since the ruin of the Second Temple, we have been blaming the world for our woes while we ourselves have done nothing to solve them. Instead, we count the times we were tortured, expelled, and exterminated. But for the past two millennia, documenting the nations’ cruelty toward us has done nothing to abate it.
Our forefathers were not like that. They did not blame the ruin of the First Temple on Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon, although he was the conqueror who destroyed it. Likewise, our forefathers did not blame the ruin of the Second Temple on Titus, the commander in chief of the Roman legion in Jerusalem. Instead, they blamed both devastations—the second of which was in many ways as horrific as the Holocaust—on themselves, and their own misconduct toward each other.
Even though our forefathers knew that Titus breached the walls of Jerusalem and exiled the people, they wrote that the Temple was ruined because of unfounded hatred, because we hated each other for no reason. Even some years afterwards, the great Rabbi Akiva, whose disciples wrote the Mishnah and The Book of Zohar, taught that “Love your neighbor as yourself” is the gist of the Torah. Nevertheless, since that time onward, we have been cultivating a narrative of victimhood, that it’s not our fault that we are tormented, expelled, and murdered. Why is the narrative different? Did Nebuchadnezzar and Titus not expel and murder us? They most certainly did, so why did our forefathers place the blame with us and not with them?
The fundamental difference between Jews today and Jews back then is that our forefathers, both leaders and regular folk, knew why they belonged to the Jewish people. They knew that being Jewish does not mean superficial observance of customs, but rather an oath, a commitment to be a role model nation. They knew that being Jewish means striving to love your neighbor as yourself, forging mutual responsibility within the nation, and setting an example of unity above divisions for the world to see. Back then, we had countless disputes, as we do today. But back then, we knew we had to keep our nation’s unity above the rifts, whereas today, we vilify each other for not admitting that we are right, and hunker down in our opinions.
Our forefathers knew that we had to project unity, and that if we did not, foreign rulers would come and punish us. We, on the other hand, do not give a second thought to unity, and when foreign rulers come and punish us, we blame each other for it, not realizing that by doing so, we only strengthen and embolden our oppressors.
Nothing has changed since the inception of our nation. We are still beaten when we beat each other, and succeed when we unite. Until we learn this lesson, organizations and offices will continue to publish pointless reports that no one cares about besides the people who make a living writing them. These reports will not prevent the next cataclysm, but our unity will. The choice, as always, is in our hands.
You can find more on the meaning of unity for the people of Israel in my books The Jewish Choice: Unity or Anti-Semitism: Historical facts on anti-Semitism as a reflection of Jewish social discord, and Like a Bundle of Reeds: Why Unity and Mutual Guarantee Are Today’s Call of the Hour.
My new article on Linkedin “The Flight of the Honeybee”
We may be oblivious, and we certainly are indifferent, but honeybees are disappearing at an alarming rate; their population is shrinking all over the world, and no one knows for certain why this is happening or how to stop it. This may not seem like a big deal or something that should concern us, since there are countless species whose populations are shrinking, and some of which are on the verge of extinction, so what is special about the bees? Bees may not have such good PR agents as the polar bear, for example, but their importance to humankind is far greater than probably any species on the planet. Bees, through their function as key pollinators, are responsible for the production of more than a third of the world’s food. Without bees there will be no pollination of numerous plants that feed humans and livestock. In other words, without bees there will be hunger on a scale we’ve never known.
We may not know why bees are disappearing, but we shouldn’t be surprised that this is happening. On every level of nature, we are tearing the threads that connect the ecosystem that is our planet. We are depleting natural resources, cutting off forests the size of entire countries every year, polluting the air and the water, and destroying the habitat of almost every creature on the planet. How can we expect that in such a state, one of the most vital links in Earth’s life cycles will not be broken? Each day, we are tearing more threads, and at the same time becoming more frightened by nature’s collapse. It seems as though there is no way to end our obtuseness, except, perhaps, when we are faced with empty store shelves, when we have money to buy food, but there is no food to buy. Maybe then we will wake up, but it will be too late for many of us.
If we want to rebuild the bee population and guarantee our own survival, we have to solve the cause of our mistreatment of nature, which is, surprisingly, our connections with each other, our human, social ties. We must establish a network with positive connections, so as to learn how to work with all of nature. That is, the correction must begin at home, with the closest people to us, and grow from there to the rest of the world. If we learn how to positively integrate ourselves into our society, we will also know how to positively integrate ourselves into the whole of nature.
In other words, the problem isn’t with our actions or with our minds. It is not that there is some fundamental knowledge that we don’t know. The problem is with our hearts, or more correctly, with the connections between our hearts. Our self-centered disposition breaks the ties between us, and as a result, between us and nature. When we do not feel nature, we feel no remorse abusing it, and no misgivings about demanding it to serve us while we do so.
Self-absorption and exploitation are therefore the biggest pollutants we are creating, and not CO2 emissions or anything of the kind. If we clean ourselves up from self-absorption and exploitation, nature will clean itself up from the rest of the pollutants we have created. These two narcissistic traits, which none possess but humans, are ours to correct. No one can do this for us, and no one will be able to perform any correction until we correct our egoistic nature. But the moment we correct it, all other corrections will be a breeze.
Bees feel each other and support each other. Likewise, we will have to learn the art of feeling one another. However, what the bees do instinctively, we will have to carry out consciously, and our reward will be that we will understand creation not on the instinctive level, but on the conscious level.
In fact, the whole purpose of our overblown egos is to compel us to exert to feel each other the way bees and other animals do. This will not only teach us the intricate network that we are currently destroying through our foul disposition, but it will also teach us how the “mind” that designed the network works. There is no other way to learn these secrets of creation besides building the connections through our own efforts by learning one step at a time which part goes where. In doing so, we will also understand why certain parts were put together, what they do individually, and how they function in the system. But in order to learn all that, the world had to be broken to the point where by correcting it, we would learn how it was built.
Now we’ve come to it. The world is broken to the core. Now is the time to start correcting through connecting, to focus not on the parts, but on how they work together. This is our way to mend society, revive nature, and heal the planet, including our much needed honeybee population.
True. Beautiful! Clear, brief.
Question: Can you comment on this?
Answer: No. I cannot. It is expressed so clearly and correctly.
Where will you find this? There is an opinion among people that it is possible.
Question: But man has no power to do it?
Answer: No, it is not in human nature.
Question: By nature, man is unable not to ask for anything in return?
Then it is possible to say that I love him—because I create my love for him. In general, what I basically feel for this person is that I hate him.
Question: That is, if I could simply, just like that, hate someone and then rise to love him?
Answer: Yes. Turn yourself inside-out. Then you can say that you love him. I love him. And the fact that this feeling arose in me from nowhere.
Comment: It is not easy.
My Response: Yes, but it is called love.
To love is to create an attitude toward another in yourself, an attitude of love toward the one you initially hated. Love can only be above hate! Otherwise it is not love.
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 12/10/20
Michael Laitman, On Quora: “What is your view on euthanasia? Should it be legalised or stay legalised?“
On one hand, it is very important that we die natural deaths.
On the other hand, if we find people living through intolerable and unavoidable suffering, then it is necessary to relieve those people from such pain.
Based on the talk “Communication Skills” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman and Michael Sanilevich, on October 9, 2020. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
Answer: On one hand, they are predetermined, but on the other hand, I can influence their implementation to the extent that I understand that they are predetermined.
Comment: It sounds like a rebus.
My Response: Because there are two types of freedom of will: from the side of nature and from the side of man. And if they understand each other—nature and man (or the Creator and man)—then their plans combine together and get realized.
To the extent that a person can make of himself what nature wants from him, he predetermines his ascent to that level.
Question: What does nature want from us?
Answer: It wants us to be good and kind. Good and kind so that everyone, everyone indeed, is happy with you. Not in our world. In our world we are surrounded by egoists and this cannot happen.
When I talk about humanity, about nature, I mean a completely different level of existence.
Question: When will they be happy with me? What is this goodness that is expected of me?
Answer: When you correct all the people and they become absolutely kind, perfect, and corrected. This is your responsibility. By this, you correct yourself. After all, you see yourself in people. You see the reflection of yourself. In this way, you correct the Creator.
Question: The Creator needs to be corrected?
Answer: Of course. We must make Him! He does not exist at all. You must make Him! And constantly try to make Him better and better. This is what the Torah says: “As though you have made Me.”
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 12/28/20
Answer: Yes! It depends on everyone. And in the most direct way.
That is, I create my own life, myself, my own world. I just need to learn how to do it. The science of Kabbalah is called the science of receiving, how to get what you want from life.
Question: What should I create?
Answer: Yourself. And accordingly, together with this, you create the world in which you exist.
To create yourself is to make yourself what you dream of, what we need to come to. So that you do not regret anything, and for everything you thank nature, the Creator, and people—everyone for everything!
I’m talking about lofty dreams—entering the level of eternity and perfection. This is prepared for everyone, but we must try to do it in the near future.
We can’t put it off. This is necessary in the coming year. So now we start working on it.
Question: Can I say, “Now I want to enter a state where I will be loving, giving, and existing in an eternal space”?
Answer: Yes. To this end, you should now begin to wonder how this is achieved.
And this thought of yours will make this goal. Man makes himself and the world.
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 12/28/20
Question: Do Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai and his disciples who wrote The Book of Zohar have anything to do with what Moses wrote?
Answer: The book that Moses wrote is called Torah, from the word “Ohr (light)” and from the word “Oraa (guidance, instruction).”
This book was a manual for the contemporaries of Moses. They used it for 1,500 years prior to the destruction of the Second Temple and their complete disconnection from the sensation of the spiritual world.
When this happened, it was discovered that the book of Moses, although it is the highest and most powerful in its effect, is removed from us. We cannot give rise to our correction through it and collect the parts of our broken soul into one single picture.
This book is too closed off. It could not be the guide for souls who fell from the level they were at after leaving Egypt to souls at the level of the destruction of the Second Temple.
Now they needed a different direction, a different instruction. And then, The Book of Zohar was written. It is said that this Book was written not for the generation that fell from the spiritual to our level, but for the one which after the expulsion will go through all the metamorphoses, all the suffering.
This Book is for our generation when the global nature of the world, the integral nature of souls, the absolute egoism of man, and the absolute rejection from each other are revealed when people do not want to create families and give birth to children. When the rejection of this world, the absolute indifference to everything is revealed and they plunge into drugs and into such depression that it will be the greatest disease in the world. When we reach such a dead-end in our development.
Man always thought hat he would come to something good and he suddenly finds himself completely drained of blood: nothing is left for him, his hands drop, he does not know what to do with himself and with the world.
Then The Book of Zohar will be revealed. It is suitable for those very souls. Not the Torah and not all the other books but The Book of Zohar in its power will be ready for those souls who, 2,000 years after its writing, will descend into our world, and it will become an instruction for them.
From KabTV’s “The Power of The Book of Zohar” #3
Answer: We all ask this question because in general these are our egoistic needs. But we do not ask this question when we look at a newborn. We know that it will take him at least 18 to 20 years to adapt himself to this world.
And here we are talking about moving from our world to the upper world and adapting to it. That is, we are talking about several years.
Today it is much easier and it does not happen in the same way that I went through in my time. I went through my stages individually. And today the world has become global. Since the late nineties of the 20th century the world has found itself interconnected.
Therefore, thanks to our mutual influence on each other, mutual assistance, and mutual dissemination, everything is accelerating.
Nowadays millions of people in the world are engaged in spiritual development within the framework of our organization and others. Kabbalah is open to everyone. People are finally beginning to understand what it means. Before that, they had a misconception about Kabbalah.
Today, by influencing each other with our thoughts and properties, we help each other. Therefore, the spiritual development of everyone takes much less time than tens of years, like it used to take before.
I see how people who now come to us, both young and old, literally in a short period of time enter into a sense of spirituality. From the very first lessons it is clear that a person already understands what is being talked about. It took me months and years, and nowadays, a year later a person is already different.
From KabTV’s “The Power of The Book of Zohar” #2
Answer: I demand from the Creator to feel Him as my source, as “There is none else besides Him,” and I constantly bring myself back to this.
The moment I come into contact with the Creator and say that it is He who expresses His feeling and His thought inside of me, I receive the feeling and the thought as my own. But the moment I understand this and register it on my account inside me, the connection with the Creator is immediately broken and the next moment comes along.
This is the reason that I have to do the same thing every single moment, and thus, gradually, return to the Creator in order to re-attain the state in which He is always my source in every way.
If I do it through the group, my efforts are a little different. They are related to the creation of a common vessel in which we want to reveal the Creator so that He will be revealed to us and we will really be able to attain His greatness.
But we reveal His greatness above our differences. To the extent that we feel distant from each other and that we have different conflicts and problems between us, we feel the Creator’s height and His ascent above these problems in His revelation.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah” 2/11/19