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“With All Due Respect” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “With All Due Respect

With all due respect to others’ self-respect, we care about our own respect, and not much else. Disrespect toward others can lead to conflicts, violence, political paralysis (look at the Israeli political system), and even wars. Offending someone’s respect renounces and even invalidates someone’s being. To many people, this can be worse than death. It is an intolerable feeling.

Because we are inescapably connected, we must make our connections work for us, or our mutual hatred will destroy us. We must learn to make room for everyone, so they can make room for us. If we work this way, we will all win. If we don’t, we will all lose tragically.

However, there is a good reason why respect is so important to us. Respect means that I have value, that I am worthy. While people will go a long way to retain their respect, they will also avoid many misdeeds for exactly the same reason. The expression “I will not stoop to your level” means exactly that—that I will not dishonor myself the way you are dishonoring yourself. In other words, maintaining respect not only sends us on wars; it also makes us restrain ourselves and avoid doing harm. In this way, respect can make us correct ourselves, and through our correction, correct society.

There is another advantage to having respect. We cannot truly sympathize with others, except perhaps with those who are truly close to us like family or close friends. However, since we have self-respect, and we know that everyone has it, we can appreciate what others feel if they are hurt or humiliated. This ability to put ourselves in others’ shoes can prevent us from hurting other people’s feelings.

At the same time, it is precisely this point that I can press in order to check my limits in this world. I may, for example, tease people or offend them a little (or more than a little) in order to test my boundaries or test other people’s confidence and strength. If they are weak, I will “expand my territory”; if they are strong, I might consider retreating. Therefore, respect can prevent violence by relinquishing something emotional rather than risking physical injury.

The problem is that over time, we are growing so narcissistic that it is becoming difficult for us to relinquish our pride. People are becoming so sensitive that anything that someone says feels like stepping on someone else’s toes. As a result, we try to stay so polite, and politically correct, that we lose our ability to express our thoughts, even when we have no intention to offend anyone. The exaggerated sensitivity of our egos is paralyzing the world and infests our connections with suspicion. If we continue in this way, we will end up with a violent explosion; war is inevitable unless we escape from the grip of our egos.

The only way to escape from our egos is to consciously make room for others, and they for us. It has to be multilateral. Our egos will still strive to feel that they are kings of the world, but they will only be able to achieve this if they are all kings. Otherwise, it is doom for everyone. Either we are all on top of the world, or we all hit rock bottom.

Inevitably, we are becoming increasingly connected and dependent on each other. Even our growing egos, which strive to feel superior to others, have to feel others, above whom they can feel superior.

Therefore, because we are inescapably connected, we must make our connections work for us, or our mutual hatred will destroy us. We must learn to make room for everyone, so they can make room for us. If we work this way, we will all win. If we don’t, we will all lose tragically.

“How Long Will Money Make the World Go ’Round?” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “How Long Will Money Make the World Go ’Round?

Business Insider wrote that an Oxfam International report found that between March 18 and December 30, 2020, the wealth of the ten richest people in the world increased by $3.9 trillion. According to the report, this gain alone, which those ten people had made in less than ten months, “could pay for everyone to get vaccinated and stay out of poverty.” At the same time, the report estimates that “between 200 million to 500 million people may have fallen into poverty during 2020.” Does it really have to be this way?

How long will money make the world go ’round? Until all of us understand that kowtowing to the ego is not the solution. Matters will keep going from bad to worse until we change our way of life, our state of mind, our motivation.

The only substitute for the ego, and which will create a world where we enjoy living, is love. That word, which we so readily disparage, is the only word we have to describe the most powerful force in existence: the power of giving.

Indeed, we have built a world that exalts nothing but money and power. Money grants power, which enables acquiring more money, which grants even more power, so in the end, money makes the world go ’round. And behind the zeal for money stands the ego, the engine that drives civilization. We have crowned the ego, let it build our society in its image, and now we’re paying the price for fawning on it.

Joe Biden plans to increase taxes on the rich in order to balance the load on the people and finance some of the financial toll wrought by Covid-19, but I don’t think it will work, not in a society where the rich are the powerful. If he goes too far, they can simply move him out of the way.

How long will money make the world go ’round? Until all of us understand that kowtowing to the ego is not the solution. Matters will keep going from bad to worse until we change our way of life, our state of mind, our motivation.

The only substitute for the ego, and which will create a world where we enjoy living, is love. That word, which we so readily disparage, is the only word we have to describe the most powerful force in existence: the power of giving. We may sneer at these words, ridicule and belittle anyone who merely brings up the notion of love or giving, but we’d be wrong to do so. Nothing is more powerful than love.

Think about this: Would you be here were it not for your parents’ love for you? Would this world be here were it not for the trillions of species that continually create and nurture their offspring? Despite the myriad destructive forces around us, life continues and even evolves because the power of life, the power to give and cultivate life, is stronger than all of them combined.

Until the beginning of the 20th century, this was also the situation in human society. But since then, the destructive forces of egoism in humanity have intensified to the point that they now pose an existential risk not only to our species, but to the whole planet. Now, we, humanity, must make a conscious effort to raise the power of love and giving above the power of the ego—the desire to take for myself whatever I can, however I can, and as much as I can.

The ten billionaires may be eye-catching examples of egoism, but if any one of us were in their shoes, we’d be the same and act the same as they do. The plague is in all of us, so only all of us can heal it. If we set our minds on it collectively, we can shift the paradigm from taking to giving, and become “parents,” progenitors of a world that operates on a new kind of fuel.

In the new world, no one will sit still until everyone is safe and cared for. Just as the whole body has no rest and no peace of mind unless all of its organs are well, so we will feel about every person in the world, that all are parts of me, and I cannot be at peace if everyone is not at peace.

Today, moving toward that mindset is a must. We have become so interdependent that unless we take care of everyone, everyone will suffer. If we take on this mindset, we will blossom. If we eschew it, then we have sealed our fate.

“Holocaust Remembrance Looking Into The Future” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Holocaust Remembrance Looking Into the Future

The Holocaust left a strong mark on me from an early age. I was born in Belarus, in the same place where horrible atrocities were perpetrated by the Nazis against Jews. Particularly in Vitebsk, the city of my childhood, there was a ghetto and an extermination camp where many of my relatives were killed. Those experiences endured vividly in my family, I heard about them when I was little. I was raised and educated by those who were saved and were able to tell the stories of those who perished. So, the Shoah left an indelible mark in me since it was an integral part of my upbringing.

But to people who have not heard about those testimonies directly from the survivors, their relatives, or have not learned those recollections through history lessons, the Holocaust has no special meaning. In fact, the memory of this terrible chapter is fading or remains unknown. A survey conducted last year by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany revealed 63% of U.S. Millennials and Gen Z do not know that six million Jews were killed during the Holocaust.

When we commemorate a new Holocaust Memorial Day, we cannot pass judgment on them if its importance is fading away. Even in my multiple visits to Germany I found a common language with Germans of my generation who thought one way or another on this matter, but for the younger generation there was no point of conversation, no interest. And that situation is similar everywhere. The youth does not want to remember the Shoah or even talk about it. They feel no connection to it and want to continue their lives without looking back. That is understandable.

Decline is a natural part of our lives. What is not before our eyes begins to lose its value, and in order to preserve and perpetuate it, even to some extent; we must revive it and give it importance as if it were here and now. It is true that there are youth trips to concentration camps in Poland, heritage tours at Yad Vashem and various museums, but I do not think they manage to become engraved in the memory of the younger generation. Even the various ceremonies and events that are supposed to evoke emotional memory usually take the form of a theoretical and political discourse. This way no history can be preserved.

We are at a point in time when we need to think and decide what our approach is to the Holocaust, both its cause and consequences. This is a crucial step. I do not agree with the attitude that pushes us to sit back and regret our bitter fate, not even with the one that calls for us to be proud of having a strong and successful country and to rest on our laurels.

Our attitude should change. But do not expect anything to change, we must foster that change within and among ourselves in our approach to the issue of the Holocaust and hatred of Jews. How? First we must learn who the people of Israel are. Why are they called “Israel”? What is their purpose and mission? Why have they survived as a people for generations even though they have been persecuted endlessly? Why has humanity continuously pointed the finger of blame at them? The answers to these questions are the foundations of our nation, and without them we will not understand the incessant persecution of the Jews and we will certainly not cut off the abysmal animosity toward us.

Why is there hatred against Jews? Since the days of Abraham, through the love of the brethren that blossomed among them in the days of the Temple, a great spiritual desire is instilled in the Jews which draws them toward the goal of creation, toward unity and harmony that the world so desperately needs, but it has not been developed and implemented yet. As our sages expressed it, “When there are love, unity, and friendship between each other in Israel, no calamity can come upon them.” (Rabbi Kalman Kalonymus, Maor va Shemesh)

The peoples of the world subconsciously feel that the Jews do not share this special quality with them, this unique potential for development, this method of spiritual connection, and thus hatred of the Jews emanates from this feeling of frustration. Therefore, antisemitism is a global phenomenon that troubles every nation to a small or large extent. Hatred sometimes recedes, sometimes it erupts, but it is always there, latent, deeply rooted, as a law of nature.

The mighty forces of nature can be summed up in two root traits that have existed since the beginning of creation: the trait of bestowal or giving and against it the trait of reception. And the people of Israel carry within them the ability to connect these two opposite forces and bring them to balance, to mutual reconciliation, and to create a third force in between where the Creator, the supreme power of nature, reveals. When such a force is attained, first of all by the Jews, antisemitism will subside. As it is written in The Midrash (Tanchuma, Devarim [Deuteronomy]): “Israel will not be redeemed until they are all one bundle.” We shall never forget.

“White Work”

527.11Comment: The Torah says that everyone should write it on the walls of their heart. Your teacher, quoting from the Torah, writes: “And they made their lives bitter with hard labor in mortar and bricks” Mortar is Homer.

If I understand correctly, the Egyptians, that is, my inner egoistic qualities, explain to those qualities that want to exit Egypt that it is very hard work Ba Homer.

My Response: Yes. We should try to escape from it. The Egyptians forced people to make a mixture of straw and mortar, and then by burning this mixture, to form bricks from it. This is called Ba Homer uBe Levanim.

Levanim” in Hebrew means white. That is, the Egyptians were trying to convince the Israelis that they should see the egoistic work as “white.”

In principle, the entire work should have been to understand that it is impossible to do it because it is never-ending. There is only one way to treat it correctly: to search for the way out of it, to escape from Egyptian slavery.
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From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 3/26/21

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Studying Your “I”

235Question: I feel something, including myself. What is the “I” in which I feel myself?

Answer: “I” is what I feel in similarity to the field surrounding me. Everyone has this feeling: the smallest particle, an atom, a cat, a child, a man. Otherwise they would not be able to perceive the impact of the field and submit to it.

Question: But can I study only that which is outside of my “I”? Even if it is a part of me, I still have to treat this object as something external and then I can explore it?

Answer: Yes. This is a prerequisite. You must necessarily separate from yourself. Therefore, to truly study an object, there is a preliminary ascent to the next level so that you can break away from your previous “I.” And then you can attain it. Virtually, the entire science of Kabbalah is just the study of one’s “I.”

Question: Am I constantly changing, focusing, and then what I study is constantly expanding?

Answer: Yes. And then, at the last stage, it all comes together and integrates into one single whole.
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From KabTV’s “Meetings with Kabbalah” 1/3/19

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Printed Text, Audio, Or Video Media?

962.8Question: Is there any difference in how to read one book or another? For example, The Study of the Ten Sefirot or The Book of Zohar.

Answer: As in any science, there are certain rules and approaches here. Over the 30 years our organization has been operating, we have done a lot concerning this matter.

I published my first book in 1983, and I wrote it two years earlier. Today there are other media beside printed text, but it still remains the main one.

Therefore, you can listen to all my lectures and classes—and there are many, many thousands of them—in audio format or watch them in video format, that is, fully feeling that you are present at the lesson, in the classroom, and see how it all happens. We have been making these recordings for the last twenty years.

I was one of the first people in the country to get my own website: kabbalah.info.

Question: This concerns lessons. What about books? Is there a difference between receiving them through other media or to read a printed text?

Answer: Basically, we do not read my books. I teach only from primary sources, from the works of Baal HaSulam and Rabash. And books written around primary sources are for everyone else.

The primary sources that we study are intended for people who begin to study Kabbalah. They usher them very deeply into this science.

A person who begins to look over these books sees that Kabbalah invites him to get acquainted with the world we exist in but do not feel.

It exists outside of us, it influences us, and we influence it. We kind of breathe with it, work in unison. Everything I do is given from above. Even the movements that I am making with my hands now, as well as my thoughts, are controlled from above.

Having additionally built a certain attitude toward the upper world, I can also influence it, i.e., enter into a correct connection with it, feel what the upper system wants from me and how I can change my destiny.

Question: Let’s say a person reads a primary source or listens to it in audio format. There are musical inserts, pauses, etc. Which format will influence him the most?

Answer: It depends on the person. If he studies the right way, it doesn’t matter which format he uses. All this will lead him to a common concept. It is the same as when we look at a painting; its colors and composition all together affect us. We may not even be aware of how.
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From KabTV’s “Questions about Kabbalistic Books” 10/22/19

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What Is Consciousness?

281.01Question: Is it possible to separate such concepts as consciousness, mind, and intellect? Or are they all one?

Answer: Consciousness is possible only when we feel not only the information field, but also its source. To the extent that we feel this source, we form its images, and this is called our consciousness.

Consciousness can be high and can be ordinary, lower, instilled in us from childhood by upbringing, by the influence of the environment, etc. And the consciousness that we can develop in us is additional perceptions felt not only in our natural desire to receive, but also in the acquired intention to bestow.

And then we will begin to feel the information field. Almost everything that we explore and everything that we are interested in knowing depends on which field we are in because it forms the whole picture of the world in us. The picture of me and the world.

I feel you, I feel the world around me, everything that is. Where does this come from?

It is clear that it is inside me. It is clear that I am now talking practically with myself as if with a mirror. If I am interested in knowing what consciousness is, then first of all I must find out who am I dealing with and what is this field? What are its characteristics, its root causes of influence on me, what does it want from me, why did it create me like this with limited perception?

Why should I go through such stages of development in order to feel it more? Why are there also feelings besides consciousness? Why, when approaching or moving away from this field, do positive or negative feelings arise in me which, perhaps, interfere with my research?

If you tie the research of a scientist in the field of chemistry or physics to certain feelings—he loves this, he does not love that, this is pleasant to him, that is not—then can they interfere with him?

He must rise above his senses in order to examine all these phenomena objectively.

Consciousness is how I perceive myself under the influence of the surrounding field. Consciousness is an image of the field that influences me. Its desire, its intention, and its plans are everything that I’m trying to get from it, to find out what nature wants from me.

If I eventually somehow formalize all this in myself, I can call this my consciousness.

Question: Some researchers talk about the information field as the basis, while others talk about the field of consciousness. But if the information field exists objectively, then is it impossible to talk about consciousness without an object that perceives this information?

Answer: As a Kabbalist, I must say that nothing objective exists. Everything exists only relative to the person who perceives it. And what is outside of a person, we cannot even say. We have neither instruments nor abilities to exit ourselves and begin to perceive what is outside of us. This is not given to us.
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From KabTV’s “Meetings with Kabbalah” 1/3/19

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Build A Sensor For The Creator

963.8Question: We speak about wanting to attain what is written in the The Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah in our sensations. At the moment we feel very little. We understand very little and we are in a state which we don’t understand.

What is happening to us? How does the light operate on us and when will we understand that we have become a spiritual Partzuf? Will this come gradually or suddenly?

Answer: You need to unite and to be as one unique whole in order to become a spiritual Partzuf (a spiritual body).

This is the reason that you need to set apart a section of the group that is made of ten people, which will be your internal nucleus, and your ego will remain in the external part.

Whatever you can set apart of yourselves in order to give it to the ten, will connect you in the internal part and on the whole will be the group.

In the unity of the group you will begin to acquire the attribute of the one which is called the Creator and to feel Him. You will create the Creator by yourselves.

You will create Him out of your attributes of bestowal. You will begin to feel that what you have made is the Creator. Just as in our world we don’t feel what is happening but only our responses to something, it is the same here.

The Creator, Bore, is called “come and see,” “Bo–re” (in Hebrew).

Come means make, as it says, “you have made Me.” This is what the Creator says when He turns to those who have come near Him.

There is a force in creation called Atzmuto, which means by Himself, and in order to express Him inside us we need to build a sensor, to build our vessel, just like a radio receiver that will receive this wave and this will be the Creator inside us. Only inside us! He does not exist outside us! Outside us there is already Atzmuto, something that we don’t know what it is and have no right to speak about.

So our first goal is to make a group of ourselves, and what is felt between us is already the Creator. As for the egoistic part that is left, it will also begin to gradually connect to us until the Creator fills everything.

Question: To which part should we attribute the family, our work, and the whole external world?

Answer: We should attribute it to the beastly part that you have to care for. For example, you need to wash, feed, and put your body to sleep. You need to relate to it as to something foreign. You should also relate to your family, your work, and everything else in the same way.

You need to do all that, but the main thing is that you have another life on the spiritual side.
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From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah” 4/4/19

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See The Universe In Its Entirety

294.3Question: What, according to Kabbalah, is the goal that can seal a marriage between a man and a woman?

Answer: Universal harmony, which can be achieved if you know how to cope with your nature and with the world around us. We are not only at odds with each other but also with it. Given the disruption of the environment and everything that is happening around us, we are heading toward destruction.

We need to learn from nature the correct interconnection, the so-called homeostasis, when everything is balanced; all parts of nature are harmoniously connected between each other, and we are its integral part.

And we, on the contrary, have separated ourselves from nature, put ourselves above it saying that we can do whatever we want. As a result, we destroy ourselves and our environment. We are like a cancerous tumor devouring everything around us and ourselves.

Question: Are all these phenomena: unwillingness to marry, surrogacy, selling stem cells of an unborn baby, the result of the development of our unrestrained egoism?

Answer: Yes. And not only that. We need to completely rebuild ourselves. But this is possible only when the entire nature is revealed to man. Today we see only a small fragment of our world.

We do not see where we are coming from and where we are going, we do not see the overall nature, we do not know where events are coming from, what will happen in a minute. I do not see the forces that control me. I see that humanity is evolving. But how?

Thoughtlessly; it is unclear how. So I need to find out what nature requires of me. When I perceive the whole perspective, when I begin to understand all these forces, the whole program, then I will think reasonably.

Therefore, Kabbalah is called “the secret science” because it reveals the hidden part of the world to us. As soon as we begin to see it, we will do the right thing. The main thing is to see.
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From KabTV’s “Close-up” 8/11/09

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