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Moreover, you can attain Him in one form, me in another, someone else in yet another, and so on. Each one in his own way. But, in principle, all the names of the Creator, in their gradual attainment by man, lead him to one single form where in the end all sensations of the Creator become abstract. You can give it such epithets as love, complete bestowal, upper, perfect. But in general, He does not have a name.
Question: So, people who came out of Egypt, wandered through the desert and recorded all the relationships that manifested between them, the whole range of their feelings and emotions—each record is a certain sensation of the Creator?
Answer: They recorded them like researchers. Realizing among themselves certain relationships in which the Creator was revealed, they wrote: “Such and such relationships equal such and such manifestations of the Creator. Such and such relationships equal such and such manifestations of the Creator.” And so on. This is the whole Torah.
Therefore, it is said that the entire Torah is the names of the Creator.
Question: There is an exact number of the names of the Creator: 72. What does it mean?
Answer: 72 (Ayin, Bet) is the manifestation of the Creator in the form of the light of Hochma, AB.
Comment: But there are a lot of different names in the Torah.
My Response: Each is a different gradation. There are main steps that you follow to reach the full revelation of the Creator and there are small, personal degrees.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual states. He and His name are one” 5/25/21
My new article on Linkedin “A Chance to Move toward Connection”
I was not in favor of changing the government, but once it happened, we have to see it as an opportunity to review the current situation and begin to advance toward connection. Connection can happen only when all the parties involved want to connect. There are two steps for creating connection: 1. The parties must want to connect, and 2. They must do what needs to be done in order to connect.
The first step is actually the hardest. It requires reviewing where we are, realizing how disconnected we are, and deciding that the hatred spewing from every faction of the nation toward every rival faction is unacceptable. In other words, we have to shift from blaming others for our woes to admitting that our own hatred does not contribute to mending the situation. If everyone participates in this process, this, in itself, will begin to change things for the better. However, it will lead us to a very difficult conclusion: We cannot implement step 2. We are simply unable to connect to the other side, the one we think is responsible for all our problems. We cannot stop hating.
Yet, our sense of helplessness is exactly what we need; this is the beginning of step 2. At this point, we realize that we cannot overcome our hatred because it is rooted in our psyche; it is our very nature, as it is written, “The inclination of a man’s heart is evil from his youth” (Gen. 8:21). We realize that this is not some Biblical adage; it is a fact of life; it is who we are!
The beauty about this process is that at that moment of crisis, when we feel as though we aren’t doing anything to connect nor can we do anything about it because our hatred is stronger than us, this is all that is required—to want connection to happen and to realize that we cannot make it happen. When all of us, or at least enough of us, want it badly enough, it will happen seemingly by itself; our hearts will open toward each other and a new feeling will come in.
We think that we determine reality through actions, but we actually determine it through our desires. When we want others’ harm, we create an abysmal world. When we want others’ joy, we engender a beautiful world. When we hate but want to love, we change ourselves from enemies to lovers, and the world around us changes with us.
Therefore, all we need is to plant in our minds and hearts the importance of developing good connections, friendship, solidarity, or any other positive emotion you can think of, and develop it throughout society, covering all factions of the country. When it becomes important enough for us to feel these feelings, we will want to truly feel them. And when we truly want it, it will happen.
Question: We know from Kabbalistic sources that “Earth” (Hebrew: Eretz) comes from the word “Ratzon” (desire). And “Israel” means Yashar Kel (Straight to the Creator). Thus, the land of Israel is the desire for the quality of bestowal, the equivalence with the Creator.
What is the connection of this desire to the coarse matter that we see in our world as a result of such a high quality?
Answer: We observe the correlation between the spiritual and the material also in our world. Many Kabbalistic sources describe that all spiritual forces distributed in the spiritual world have their material expression on Earth, in space, around the Earth. And we can see them all.
Much has been said about the land of Israel. If we observe the laws of the spiritual world, the laws of bestowal, love, connection, and proper interaction among ourselves, then we feel the blessings of living in the material land of Israel.
And on the contrary, if we do not observe them, then this Earth, as it is said, will vomit us out, we will not be able to exist on it, and we will still be forced to leave it after a long torment.
We seem to have received this land 70 years ago, but we cannot say that we really have it. We simply occupied it and did not adapt to it because we did not observe in material form the spiritual laws of bestowal, love, connection, and benevolent attitude toward each other.
Question: But why does the Earth itself, this coarse substance consisting of atoms and molecules, correspond to the desire to become like the Creator, the quality of bestowal?
Answer: Because spiritual forces operate on all levels of nature: inanimate, vegetative, animate, and human. And the Earth feels it.
The Earth is not coarse matter. We exist on it, we feed from it. This is our grace, our mother, as they say. Without it, man cannot exist.
Until we put ourselves in order, in love for each other, in connection with each other and with the whole world, with humanity and the universe, we will not achieve good conditions in this world and on this Earth.
Question: We know that the Earth is made up of atoms, the atoms are combined into molecules. The Earth has a core, a mantle, a crust. And what are the elements of the desire to give, to become like the Creator?
Answer: It consists of desire and intention. That’s it. Nothing else. In the desire itself, there are five levels: zero, one, two, three, and four. And according to them, there are five kinds of intentions. It is simple. The main thing is that all your desires are to be for the benefit of others.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 5/21/21
My new article on Linkedin “Israel and the People of Israel, Where to?”
On May 10, 2021, Operation Guardian of the Walls began. For twelve straight days, rockets traumatized Israeli citizens. As the Arab-Israeli conflict was reignited, an uprising of Israeli Arabs planted fear in the hearts of Israeli Jews, antisemitism around the world intensified, and the hostility of the international community toward the State of Israel exploded. Yet, while the State of Israel, and the Jewish people as a whole, are facing a perfect storm, large portions of the nation are oblivious to the existential danger. To understand how we’ve come to the predicament that we are in, we must look back not only at our own history, but also at the history of humanity and how the two entwine.
Behind all the vicissitudes and upheavals in the annals of humanity stands one and only engine: egoism. Over the eons, it evolved and morphed and grew into a crazed, insatiable ruler that is governing our governors, defining our social connections, and derailing humanity into a chasm. At the end of the day, we have no other problem other than our own egoism. If we solve this, then we have solved most other problems.
There have been several tipping points in the evolution of human egoism. The first such point came roughly 3,800 years ago in the Fertile Crescent at the time when the Babylonian Empire was at its peak. Over a relatively short period of time, the social calm and easy living that characterized the lives of the people who resided between the two great rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates, had become tainted with ill-will and belligerence.
The disintegration of society prompted one man to ask why it was happening, and that man became one of the most significant individuals in the history of humankind: Abraham. When Abraham looked into why people were growing hostile toward each other, he realized that it stemmed from increasing self-absorption. To combat this disorder, he began to circulate the idea that people must nurture unity and solidarity to remedy their growing egoism. This is why to this day, Abraham symbolizes the attributes of mercy and kindness.
The Babylonian authorities were not keen on Abraham’s ideas. Eventually, they expelled the revolutionary rebel, who believed in love of others, along with those who adopted his ideas. As Abraham went westward, toward Canaan, his entourage grew as more and more people realized the benefit in choosing mutual responsibility and love of others over individuality and mutual hostility.
Abraham’s group endured countless tests to their commitment to each other and (mainly) to the idea of unity over hatred. Each test made them stronger and more united, until finally, after centuries of struggling for unity, their bond had become so strong that the group of foreigners had become a new nation in the world, unique in every sense, comprised of people who were unrelated physically, yet cemented together by the idea of unity itself.
Even after they engendered nationhood, the Israeli people kept alternating between internal division and complete solidarity. It is no coincidence that this nation, which experienced firsthand countless variations of connection and disconnection, gave to the world two of the most altruistic notions ever conceived: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Lev. 19:18), and “That which you hate, do not do unto others” (Masechet Shabbat, 31a). Indeed, the Jews, who learned that “The inclination of a man’s heart is evil from his youth” (Gen. 8:21), also learned that the solution to hatred is not war, but to love others as ourselves.
Moreover, the ancient Jews learned that it is impossible to erase the evil inclination, that in fact, if we did not have it, we would have no incentive to forge unity. Therefore, King Solomon, the wisest of all men, succinctly concluded, “Hate stirs strife, but love will cover all crimes” (Prov. 10:12).
The great achievements of the Jews did not go unnoticed. During the period of the Second Temple, pundits and laypeople alike came to Jerusalem to learn from the Hebrews. Greek philosophers learned from the prophets, Ptolemy II King of Egypt summoned seventy sages to His capital Alexandria, where they taught him how to rule and translated their book (the Pentateuch) to Greek, and regular folk came to Jerusalem to witness “the ultimate proof of unity,” as philosopher Philo of Alexandria described it.
But our nation did not maintain its height. From the zenith of being a role model, a light unto nations, we plunged to the nadir of mutual hatred that generated two bloody civil wars. In the height of the first one, the Seleucid Empire destroyed the Temple and conquered Jerusalem, but was ultimately driven out by the Maccabees. In the second one, our hatred for each other sapped our strength and resilience, and the Romans conquered the land, destroyed the Temple, and exiled the nation.
Since then, we have been in exile. We have contributed to humanity countless technological innovations, revolutionary ideologies, illustrious artists, novelists, performers, and thinkers, yet the world has not forgiven our betrayal of our vocation: to be a role model of unity, a light unto nations. Henry Ford, while vilifying modern Judaism, added an advice to his readers: “Modern reformers, who are constructing model social systems on paper, would do well to look into the social system under which the early Jews were organized.”
It is time we reroute. Here in Israel, and all over the world, Jews must reconnect with their legacy: love will cover all crimes, and unity transcends all divisions. The world is telling us through hatred that it does not want what we are giving it. It clearly does not thank us for our innovations, for our cultural contributions, for our financial wizardry or our political ingenuity.
If we want to win the world’s favor, we must give it what it wants and be once more the people of Israel: united above all divisions. In these fateful days to our people, we must remember how we came to be, what we were meant to achieve, and what we are destined to give to the world. Subsequently, we must make good on our oath to unite “as one man with one heart,” and become once more the nation that chooses mutual responsibility and love of others over individuality and mutual hostility.
My new article on Linkedin “The Change Israel Needs”
After four exhausting election campaigns in two years, Israel is on its way to swearing in a new government, the “government of change.” While the coming days are likely to be critical for this fragile connection, the trend of change is clear.
The people of Israel need visible miracles. By nature we are unable to exist together, not on this small piece of land in the Middle East, not if we were a country located in Europe, nor in isolation in the North Pole. We are a self-centered and stiff-necked people. Internal tensions in Israeli society have reached a boiling point in the past month and the situation is getting out of control.
I do not believe that the new government is capable of mending the rifts and bringing the State of Israel to a safe shore. It is headed by a collection of politicians who are all pulling in their own direction and are not willing to compromise in favor of a real unity of the people. They are willing to give up their egos and connect for now, but like a pack of wolves who set themselves the goal of devouring the doe, immediately after the hunt everyone will return to their own plot, disinclined to put aside their individual interests in favor of unity within Israeli society.
All the political upheaval currently taking place in Israel is an opportunity to change the perspective on the future of the nation. We have been given these circumstances to understand what kind of world we live in, who we are, the people of Israel, and what our role is on Earth.
The Jewish people have one particular value through which they will either rise or fall, and nothing will change it. That is the value of “love your neighbor as yourself.” As long as we strive for a cordial connection, for mutual guarantee, for increasing unity, then the wheels of society move forward to a good and benevolent destination. In an attempt to unite among ourselves, we evoke tremendous connecting power, a supreme force of love and bestowal that will cover all the differences regardless of how deep they are. Without it we would never succeed.
The connection between us does not depend on any government. Politics should not define who we are and more importantly what glues us together. From this period onward the focus is on connection within the people, a connection that must emanate from the grassroots level, from the people themselves.
And there is no need to hide or blur the separation and division. We must acknowledge that we are infected with egoism and ask ourselves even before the ego overcomes and rises over us in various forms: Why are we trapped in an endless cycle of crises? Why do we fail to rise above the societal fissures? Where has the feeling of shame gone?
Do we know how the whole world looks at us? For now the world is taking advantage of our Jewish skills and innovation, but at the same time hating us from the bottom of their hearts, laughing at us in the corridors of the international arena, and sharpening the arrows that will be hurled at us soon because they look at us divided and weak. In such precarious conditions, the more serious problem we need to address is our lack of vision for the future.
But this situation can be taken as an opportunity to reconnect to the method of connection inherited from our sages. Even a simple thought or effort to get closer to each other in our hearts and understanding that we have no other alternative to survive but to connect, will lead us to a meaningful development. We are given a golden opportunity to realize we are facing times of substantial transformation, but if we want that change to be a positive one, we should start within us, with a warmer relationship of mutual support between us.
Michael Laitman, On Quora: “What is love in one sentence?“
To love means to fulfill the other, to live according to the desires of the other.
Based on the talk “Communication Skills: Love Is a Law of Life” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman and Michael Sanilevich on October 23, 2020.
Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
My Response: Yes. This is what we are creating. We are building a group that must cross this distance—a practically endless sea—although it is called Yam Suf, that is, final sea between us and the Creator. It is finite because it is beyond egoism.
The group itself is a ship. No ship is needed except for the group. The group is this ship on which its travelers sail to the cherished goal. The ship is simply their joint efforts to stay together, join hands, and make themselves a vessel or a ship in which they can together cross the egoistic sea.
Question: And there will be no leaking? There will be no holes in the ship?
Answer: They will have to patch them all up along the way.
Question: That is, they will appear one way or another?
Answer: Of course, necessarily so. This is the essence of crossing this final sea. That is, as more egoism becomes manifest between them, the greater the connection they must build between themselves.
Question: This is so In Kabbalah. But why doesn’t it happen in the world? Charismatic leaders come with exciting ideas, start gathering people around them as if building a vessel, and still everything goes down the drain.
Answer: Because in the end everything is about money.
Comment: You didn’t even say: everything is about the ego.
My Response: No, it is even worse. Much lower. Only money.
Question: You think that all these leaders who ignite sparks, all they see is money?
Answer: Of course! They cannot think any other way.
Comment: There is a well-known fact in history: revolutionaries come, there is a romantic period when people gather around them, the struggle for ideals begins, and then it all turns to bloodshed and death.
My Response: And then all this is quietly taken over by serious people, not romantics, to make good money and gain power from it.
Question: But how do romantics sell themselves? What is happening in them?
Answer: They have no brains. They run purely on passion.
Question: And is there such a spirit to make humanity happy? Do you understand such a spirit— bringing people happiness?
Answer: These are romantics. You will not bring people any happiness. Because people do not need your romantic happiness. The masses will happily follow not the romantic but the pragmatist.
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 4/8/21
Question: If I do not cultivate an altruistic intention, if I do not unite within myself, do I enter a state of war? With whom should I unite: to unite my desires within myself or to unite with other people?
Answer: You must unite with the whole nation so that no other impulses arise in you, either on the level of the Greeks or even more so on the level of the Romans. Because “Greeks” and “Romans” are two egoistic qualities that clearly arise in a person.
Question: Why is it not enough just to fight and correct your inner desires? Why should I also connect with some other people I see around me?
Answer: The goal of the development of humanity is that everyone develops individually as high as possible relative to others, and at the same time that he connects from this individuality with the rest in the bonds of love, mutual assistance, and connection.
Question: If I am engaged in my own correction, is it not enough for me to just sit and correct my desires?
Answer: To correct how? What will your correction consist of? That you will be bound to others of your own kind above your own egoism, which alienates you from them.
Question: So if I don’t do it or don’t do it enough, then another mechanism is activated and the external desires of the “Greeks” and “Romans” are manifested and start the war?
Answer: Yes, to help you overcome your laziness and still join the fight.
Question: How does this mechanism work when an external force suddenly turns on and an external war begins?
Answer: Very simply. Imagine an air conditioner or an electric stove where you set a certain temperature level and the thermostat automatically turns on. In our case, this automaton is called the “central force of nature,” which develops us, and at each moment we must reach certain contacts with each other.
Humanity develops on inanimate, vegetative, and animate levels in such a way that it creates mutual contacts between themselves: industrial, commercial, and so on. This is the material development of our civilization.
But for the development of a sensorial, internal connection, in friendship up to love, as it is said: “love your neighbor as yourself,” here it is already necessary to have a clear participation of the people themselves in mutual assistance to each other, so that they can really rise from the level of mutual hatred to the level of love. It’s very difficult.
Then an additional mechanism of nature is activated here that shows people how much they immerse in suffering if they are not engaged in creating good connections.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 5/14/21
Question: A person constantly experiences some kind of influence from the inanimate, vegetative, animate, and human levels of nature. Is there a difference at what level the interference occurs?
Answer: For us, the most important thing is the human level because this is the environment in which we constantly communicate and find it difficult to properly interact with each other.
Of course, we also have problems with the surrounding nature—inanimate, plant and animal. But every person in their personal life has very little contact with this. We hear about the ecology, earthquakes, and other problems of nature, but in principle, this is not what worries us every day.
Question: So, the most important thing is the animal level, meaning our body, its health?
Answer: Naturally, we are concerned about our health. But we are also slowly coping with this, as much as possible. There is no special freedom of will, it all depends on the level of medicine of the society in which we live.
Our main problem basically comes down to how we interact with each other correctly in the family, at work, at home, on the street, on the road, anywhere. In other words, this is a public relations problem.
In addition, the problems of a person with himself are important: who controls his life, what he lives for, whether he is accountable to someone. They need to be solved.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 2/4/19