Listen to an Audio Version of the Blog
Listen to an Audio Version of the Blog
Question: Is there a difference between love for one’s neighbor and love for the Creator?
Answer: In our correction, there is a difference, as it is said: “From love for the created beings to the love for the Creator.” There cannot be one without the other. First, we must regenerate the love for our neighbor.
And then we achieve love for the Creator. We reveal that He is among us. If I start to relate to others with a sense of giving and responsibility for their condition, then a state of love comes. That is, love for one’s neighbor is the cause, and love for the Creator is the effect.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States, Day of Love-Tu Be-Av” 05/29/2021
Comment: I arrived in Israel now and realized more than ever that Israel is on the verge of civil war, that within this society are all the contradictions combined: both socio-economic and political because the left and right really hate each other, also religious and ethnic problems.
It seems that within one country there are five or six different countries and five or six different groups of people who do not hear and do not understand each other.
My Response: Yes. This is why if we solve these problems here in Israel, we will thereby act to solve these problems all over the world.
Question: Obviously, this is possible. It simply amazes me when at night I watch the lessons broadcast from your center and I see representatives of different nations, different ethnic groups, and different religious denominations on the screen! When students from other countries, Muslims, Buddhists, Catholics, and Protestants listen to the lessons, I understand that, in principle, this is possible. You are constantly talking about this, constantly stirring up society.
But what should happen in practice? What do we need to do so that people in Israel would start hearing and seeing each other?
Answer: I do not know if I have an answer. I can give some formal answer, but whether it is actually effective, sustainable, and has the right to exist and be implemented, I do not know. I am trying to act according to the Kabbalistic sources, as far as I understand them. I do not see any Kabbalists in Israel or in the world who are trying to solve this problem.
I think that nevertheless, we must aim to reach the state when, first of all, we ourselves, our small society—not so small since there are many thousands of people in it—come to a very serious interaction, a recognition of the need to unite, an understanding that the entire world is behind us, and it has no idea toward what it is advancing and what is ahead of it. We just need to continue our efforts to unite, and most importantly, to disseminate.
From KabTV’s “Talks. Leonid Macaron and Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman” 5/21/21
My new article on Linkedin “A New Level of Pressure”
Operation Guardian of the Walls may seem like yet another round in a seemingly endless campaign between the Israelis and the Palestinians, but it isn’t. By all indications, it marks the onset of a new level of pressure on Israel and Jews the world over, one that will impel us all to reflect more intently on the reason for our being here in Israel, and the existence of our nation altogether.
Antisemitism is no longer exclusive to Republicans or Democrats, to Europe, or to the US. It is omnipresent, and Jews the world over are beginning to feel that there is no escape from it. This is the positive thing about it: It is clearly a pervasive, natural phenomenon that we cannot dodge. From day to day, humanity is being divided in a way we’ve never seen before: Jews on one side, and everyone else on the other. Those on the Jewish side are feeling mounting pressure from the world’s intensifying hatred, while everyone else is being prompted to hate the Jews.
In a sense, it is reminiscent of Abraham’s situation when he started talking about the need to unite and rise above the ego in his homeland of Babylon and found himself at odds with almost everyone, including the king, and even his own father, Terah, who supported pushing his “unruly” son into the furnace.
It is not an indiscriminate pressure. The nations are pressing Israel and Jews to change their behavior. The demand itself is correct, but without understanding the nature of the change, the Jews experience it as arbitrary hatred rather than as a demand for a specific correction. If this continues, it will explode with an attempt on the part of the world to inflict on the Jews a final annihilation. In fact, the only reason that this has not yet happened is that our vocation requires our presence in order to carry it out. But if we shun it for not much longer, nothing will help us, just as from a certain point, nothing helped European Jewry in the 1940s.
As the world grows increasingly belligerent, people feel that the origin of the aggression is the Jews. Even if the Jews don’t feel it, this is what the nations feel, and they say it very openly. Denying it won’t help since this is what they feel, and reason never defeats emotion. They will buy into any pretext, and there will be no way to convince them otherwise, since they will be right: We are the cause of their misfortunes.
The ancient onus on the people of Israel to bring unity to the world, to set an example of implementing “Love your neighbor as yourself,” has never been revoked since it was given. As then, so now, the people of Israel are the focal point of humanity. We were, and we are the purveyors of the faiths, ideologies, and ideas that drive the evolution of humanity, and we cannot opt out. But the only thing that the world needs now is unity, solidarity. It’s got plenty of everything else, but zero care and mutual responsibility. Our nation, which was established on the basis of mutual responsibility and love of others, and from which entire nations drew their social ideals and morals, must revive its commitment to its task, establish internal unity, and become the example that everyone expects it to become.
We must understand that our conflict with the Arabs is not really with the Arabs; it is with all of humanity. This is why the whole world sides with Hamas, a designated, officially proclaimed terrorist organization. The fact that humanity is on the side of the terrorists indicates that the one thing that is worse in the world’s eyes than terrorists, the one thing that does more harm than a genocidal organization that uses children as human shields, is the Jewish people.
Even if they cannot articulate it, their demand from us is unity. If we unite, they will lift us on their shoulders as in the prophecy of Isaiah (49:22), since they, too, will be able to rise above their conflicts and establish world peace. If we do not unite, the world will unite against us.
For more on this topic, refer to the 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 Conflict Isn’t Territorial, It’s Spiritual”
We think our struggle with the Palestinians is over territory, but it isn’t. It is a purely spiritual conflict, and not with the Palestinians, but with ourselves. Since the Jewish people has abandoned its cause, it lost its legitimacy to exist as a nation. Until we restore our unity, we will be pariahs in the eyes of the world, which will tolerate our presence only as long as it hopes that at some point, we will return from oblivion, restore our solidarity, the essence of our nation, and be the example that everyone expects us to be. If we wake up in time, the world will unite around us. If we overstay its patience, it will unite against us.
Any attempt to attribute a historical aspect to the conflict misses the point and distracts us from our task. Instead of trying to prove that we were here first, which is like the chicken and egg argument, we should accomplish what we were made to accomplish, and this will end all the arguments and conflicts since everyone will support us.
To accomplish our task, we must remember that the Jewish nation is unlike any other nation. It began as an eclectic cluster held together by the idea that unity and solidarity are the keys to a solid society. The early members of the nation left their homelands and countryfolk to join a group whose members they did not know, and who often came from rivaling clans and tribes, yet subscribed to Abraham’s ideology that solidarity should be the backbone of society.
Our ancestors struggled quite a bit among themselves, rising and falling according to the level of their unity. Nevertheless, by the time of the Second Temple, the word of the innovative society had gotten far and wide, and people from all the nations came to see the miracle. Greeks scholars came, learned from the prophets, and returned home to develop the Greek philosophy. Ptolemy II, king of Egypt, summoned seventy sages from Jerusalem to translate the Five Books of Moses into Greek, thereby creating the first translation of the Bible. But before he let them translate, he sat with them and learned from them. According to Flavius Josephus, after two weeks of extensive learning he said “he had learned how he ought to rule his subjects.”
The renowned philosopher Philo of Alexandria wrote that Jewish pilgrims, who gathered in Jerusalem three times a year, “made friendships with people they had not met before, and in the merging of the hearts … they would find the ultimate proof of unity.” Likewise, the book Sifrey Devarim writes that gentiles would “go up to Jerusalem and see Israel … and say, ‘It is becoming to cling only to this nation.’”
Eventually, we fell from unity and invaders started flooding the land. First came the Hellenists, the Jewish converts who adopted the Greek culture and abandoned unity. Then came the Seleucids, who destroyed the Temple once. The Maccabees defeated them, rebuilt the Temple, but not the unity, and so the Romans came and ousted us from here entirely.
We didn’t lose the land because we were weak; we lost it because we were divided. When we are divided, the world stops loving us, stops seeing us as an example they want to follow, and does not want us around. Following the crushing of the Bar Kokhba revolt in 135 AD, The Roman emperor Hadrian wanted to do away once and for all with the pugnacious Jewish people. To achieve this, he not only dispersed the remaining Jews in Judea around the Roman Empire, he changed the name Judea into Syria Palaestina (lit. Palestinian Syria).
To this day, the world sees this stretch of land as Palestine, and not as Israel, since we have not lived up to the name Israel, which entails mutual responsibility and love of others. If we want the land of Israel to become Israel once more, we first have to become the spiritual people of Israel: united “as one man with one heart.” Only under this condition will our struggles be through and we will find peace among ourselves and with the nations.
My new article on Linkedin “What Antisemites Want From Us”
Mass demonstrations with ferocious hostility against Jews and Israel’s right to defend itself are increasingly common around the world as new crowds join the latest global antisemitic campaign fueled by biased media coverage. The establishment of international committees to investigate war crimes on the latest Israeli military operation accompanies renewed existential threats from Iran for the annihilation of the Jewish state. In short, there is a global consensus that Jews are the main problem in the world.
Let’s be clear. This is not about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, religious fanaticism between Judaism and Islam, intensifying clashes of opinion between right-wingers and leftists, or between Democrats and Republicans. The problem is not focused on the limited area of the Land of Israel either, because the phenomenon of hatred existed long before the establishment of the State and would continue even if we were to emigrate from it to other parts of the world. We are dealing here with a natural phenomenon—antisemitism, a law of nature.
However, this is not just a narrow hatred toward Jews that I speak of, but a broader hatred. Even without Jews on the planet, there would be hatred between each person and others, a vibrant and fermenting hatred between all streams of humanity. The root of the problem is the human ego that is at the core of human society, an ego that grows and begins to consume itself. And the only way to curb it is to correct it.
It just so happens that Jews have a unique method of connecting and being saved from the clutches of the formidable ego that exists in the human race. And this salvation is not just for the Jews alone, but for all without exception.
Because worldwide, we are all connected in a global, integral communication network, every small shift affects the rest of the systems, moving all the networks. Israel is a major hub in the grid of power relations in this globalized system. If its members would repair the bonds between them and transcend the natural egoism, the connecting force Jews would create between them would radiate “light into the nations.” This is the spiritual ideology that the Jewish people were founded upon.
The history of the Jews began in ancient Babylon about 3,800 years ago. Our ancestor Abraham gathered around him representatives from a collection of clans which have today evolved to constitute the whole of humanity. Meanwhile, over the years, Abraham’s adherents have become the people of Israel—a group that worked to discover the power of unity in nature; a team that, for better or worse, has been chosen to implement the terms of mutual guarantee between people according to the rule, “love your neighbor as yourself.”
From the point of view of nature, the change that will take place within the hearts of the people of Israel is the transformation that will spread throughout the world. Because our egoism or self-centered vision constantly grows and neutralizes the sense of danger that hovers over our Jewish heads, even while pressure from the world in the form of antisemitism increases, this notion of our Jewish responsibility to unite and be the role model for humanity to follow is still far from our understanding.
We are hard-hearted and stubborn people. Even while poisoned arrows are fired at us we are unable to believe what is happening and the magnitude of the problem. At the last minute, the “smart Jew” within us always tries to rise up and claim that the situation needs to be studied, digested, and understood, its cause and effect analyzed. A good calculation is made if we think it will pay off. On one level, Jews hear, but by the time that the message truly permeates and becomes real to us, I fear that it may be too late. Hopefully, this current crisis of antisemitic hatred and hostility will be the exception to what has been the rule and we will finally come to recognize the truth that the only chance that we have to ensure our good future instead of being beaten is through our connection.
Question: In the newspaper The Nation, Baal HaSulam writes that the land of Israel is the property of the twelve tribes, and the people themselves are called Jews since they are the descendants of the two remaining tribes. The other ten tribes have disappeared.
If the land of Israel has already been given to us and after two thousand years we have returned here, then surely, in order to correspond to the spiritual root, all the twelve tribes must live on it, right?
Answer: These twelve tribes will soon be revealed. So far, only two and a half tribes live in this territory, and the rest have somehow dispersed all over the earth. We cannot see them, we cannot identify them. We are not allowed to feel the entire nation because we cannot use our interaction correctly.
Comment: You once explained that the twelve tribes are the structure of our desire “Yod-Hey-Vav-Hey.”
My Response: Every desire consists of four phases. Therefore, the desire “Israel” also includes four phases, each of which consists of three lines. Four times three equals twelve tribes. As a result, there were twelve tribes in our world.
Question: When these tribes entered the land of Israel after wandering in the desert for 40 years, all twelve tribes were clearly dispersed in a certain way. What does this mean in the internal work?
Answer: They were told in what way they should disperse, so that each of the twelve parts would correspond to its place on earth. After all, the earth has its own certain potential. Each tribe, that is, the human desire, must correspond to the desire of the animalistic, vegetative, and inanimate world.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 5/21/21
Answer: In our world, we almost do not feel good forces. Only in a very limited way between friends, relatives, parents, and children. Or we feel them in the instincts of nature, which imposes good relations on us because otherwise there would be no life and procreation. And at the other levels of nature, we do not see these forces because we do not bring them into our world.
Question: This means that there is a positive and negative force, which are balanced, for example, at an inanimate level, and therefore the Earth, this clot of matter, can exist.
But there was a period when these forces were not in balance, and there was a constant struggle between them. The same is happening with humanity. And as a consequence of this, constant wars are waged where the forces of good and evil are constantly at war with each other. What will happen when they come to balance?
Answer: The forces of good and evil will come to equilibrium only when a person intervenes in their ratio, opposition, and balances all the forces of nature. Then nature will act for the good of all who fill it.
Question: We can say that our desire for the Creator, meaning for the property of bestowal, has not yet fully formed, and as a result wars and conflicts arise?
Answer: Yes. It is the relationship between us that determines all the states of nature at all its levels and our relationship to the Creator.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 5/21/21
The Book of Zohar, VaYetze, Item 15: For this reason, everything that extends from the sun downwards is not by faith and by holiness. It is written, “What profit does man have in all his work, which he does under the sun,” since below this degree, one must not extend and adhere, for then the light will become vanity and striving after wind once more.
“To rise above the sun” means to be in the quality of bestowal, i.e., not to depend on the light that fills your egoistic desires.
Evel, the quality of bestowal, emerges from the mouth of the spiritual Partzuf, from the state called “the mouth of our soul,” from the outward address of the soul. When you rise above the sun, you generate this quality called the light of the sun within yourself.
So do not wait for some miracle to happen.
Question: And what does the phrase: “It is written: What profit does man have in all his work, which he does under the sun” mean?
Answer: There is no benefit.
Comment: Engels said that labor created man himself.
Answer: Man—yes. But this is not the work Engels spoke of. Here we mean work on becoming like the Creator, like the light of the sun that creates a void in us, making us want it to fill us, and at the same time we ourselves would be its source.
The truth is, this work is very simple. It comes down to one single rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” We must wish to achieve this with all our egoistic qualities and understanding. If we can do this exactly according to the Kabbalistic instructions, then we will truly become eternal, perfect, and beautiful.
From KabTV’s “The Power of The Book of Zohar” #13
What will a person come to? He won’t need expensive cruises anymore or to travel all over the world?
Answer: This will go away.
Question: Exclusive, beautiful clothes, couturier?
Answer: It will also go away. No one needs it!
Answer: No one needs them! They’re useless these pieces of glass.
Question: And this is how it will all fall? To what state?
Answer: Until a person has no taste for all this at all. And he will think: “And what is the value of this life? Is there any value in it? Is there something I should gain, some results to finish it with?” And so on. And then the realization of evil will begin.
Question: Do you think that this is a fall to the end, to the bottom?
Answer: I hope so. According to Kabbalah, this is a descent to the bottom. There may be some more spikes. But I think it will all be over very quickly.
Question: And the bottom, is this the question about the meaning of life?
Answer: Yes, it extinguishes everything else, this question about the meaning of life. What do I care about diamonds, what do I care about houses? We will see these billionaires in the future, what they will do with their billions and everything else.
You can close your eyes and make a pink mist around you, as if you were in the previous life and so on, as it was before, or imagine something else. But in principle, when everything happens on Earth, as it does now, it affects even these billionaires through the air, and they also lose the desire for all sorts of jewelry and a life of luxury.
Even on a separate island with all the conditions, there will be not the same environment, not the same air, the wrong atmosphere—neither airy, nor moral, nor sensual, none. A person will have nothing to be proud of in relation to others: “Look who I am, what I am!”
And others look at him: “What do you have? What?!” “Look, here I have a house!” “So what, you’re going to tear yourself apart into 200 people and live in this house?”
“Here, I’m going somewhere!” And where to rush to? I live within myself, I feel satisfied with myself, nothing is needed! Now marijuana will enter the whole world, the world will be engaged in smoke to calm down, and that’s it. Why is all this necessary?
All this will be done perfectly.
Question: But is this also the period before the fall?
Answer: This is a period to calm down from one through the other and eventually come to a normal worldview.
Question: So what will they find the meaning of life in? What will they understand?
Answer: They will understand that the meaning of life is to experience an upper force, eternal and perfect. When we feel it, we become like it—all.
The upper force is kindness, it is the eternal good that fills the whole world. Eternal! And I have to reach its sensation and lose myself in this eternal good. I don’t disappear, I just become similar to it.
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 11/19/20