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Question: You have often recounted how your teacher held meals. Their meals included onions, olive oil, bread, salt, pepper. Was this simple diet chosen on purpose so that the food didn’t interfere with the intention? Or was there some other reason?
Answer: It was at the very beginning of my journey. When I came to class in the evenings, I went into the kitchen to make myself a cup of coffee and saw simple plastic plates with slices of half-eaten bread and the remains of chopped, peppered onions sprinkled with olive oil. There were always a couple of empty beer bottles nearby.
It turned out that five to six students of my rav’s father Baal HaSulam, old people already more than 70 years old, gathered together for classes and every evening finished their day with a meal.
I don’t think they needed any other food; that was enough for them in the evenings. Such food represents a meal of gratitude to the Creator, gratitude to each other for the fact that they gathered, studied together, and comprehended the universe in their studies. It was with this gratitude to the Creator that they ended their day.
Question: Would you agree that if they had some kind of sophisticated diet, special, very tasty dishes, it would probably be harder to keep the intention of why you are doing this. Was that why such a simple food was specially chosen?
Answer: I don’t think it would be difficult for them. Such a modest meal is not arranged for this. You just don’t need more. This is no ordinary lunch or dinner. With such a symbolic meal, friends who have lived together for 50 to 60 years sat down at the table and ended their day in this way. By this joint union, they emphasized their spiritual exaltation.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 7/9/21
If we consider the biblical story of Adam and Eve from a spiritual point of view, then first the property of Adam is revealed in a person: he feels good, calm, he does not harm anyone. Then the egoistic property Eve is revealed, and then the property of the serpent.
When a person, feels his inner properties, feels the egoism in him, along with the property of bestowal and evaluates one against the other, he starts to feel vicious and as if hides it in himself under his clothes.
From KabTV’s “The Power of The Book of Zohar” #16
“I have been teaching for 20 years. I watched your clip where you say that school destroys the individuality of the child and that wrong things are being taught. I was trained to teach mathematics and I am teaching it. You say: ‘The problem is with teachers.’ Is there no problem with children?”
Answer: The matter, of course, is not in mathematics but in the general attitude of a person to person, a child to a teacher.
It is natural that children have complaints against their elders. They believe that everyone owes them and that they, as children, deserve special attention and treatment. And in fact it is so on one hand. On the other hand, we do not educate children.
Comment: But this teacher educates. She writes that she invests in them.
My Response: She put mathematics into them but not an attitude to people.
That is the problem. And this has nothing to do with mathematics or any other subject. This is the most important subject schools should teach. And it is not there. There are no such subjects in school, such lessons, such exams, nothing. There is discipline.
School does not transform a child into a person. It makes him a physicist, a mathematician, someone who knows how to tighten the screws, and so on.
Question: Is this why such an answer is so essential for her? It is humiliating the teacher in front of the whole class!
Answer: A student does not even feel this, or he feels like a hero, an open, straight forward person. It seems to him that he did absolutely right.
Comment: But she sat with him in the evenings preparing him for the Olympics.
My Response: It does not matter. She did all this because she is a teacher. She still did not bring up a person in him, and that is what she gets in return.
This is not her problem. It is the problem of all education and upbringing. We give children some kind of education, but we do not give upbringing. They leave school—every day after school and generally at the end of school—and they are beasts.
Comment: You said a terrible thing: “They are beasts.” And we are to blame for this?
My Response: Of course. If parents are always busy at work and children are at school or somewhere with each other doing who knows what and how, what do you expect?
Comment: They are mostly on their Smartphones.
My Response: And that is what they get from there.
This will continue until humanity comes to its senses and takes the whole matter into its own hands under the strictest control. Because a person cannot see and hear everything that is given to him. He must be brought up! And upbringing involves a very serious attitude to life. If this does not happen, then we see where everything is going. Even scientists now measure the existence of humanity in decades.
Question: What would you do in her place? Now she is faced with such a question: should she enter the completely silent class? The whole class was silent!
Answer: It is necessary to explain to everyone, to work on her mistakes and mistakes of all teachers, all students, in order to understand where this terrible flaw in education is.
Question: Do you think that teachers, the principal, and the students can sit down and talk about this? Can such a conversation happen?
Answer: I think it can. It depends on the class, of course.
Comment: In high school, for example.
My Response: It can.
Question: So the children are ready to have such a conversation with them?
Answer: If you do not speak, nothing will come of it. Then it will all be in vain. And, of course, it will be a pity for all her tears and efforts. I sympathize with her, I understand her, but she cannot relate to it the way she got used to during those decades of her work.
Question: You mean when she was respected as a teacher? When they would say “Thank you”?
Answer: Yes. She respected herself.
Question: Now a generation has grown up that says terrible things to your face. And we raised it?
Answer: Of course. We did.
Question: So we need to sit down together and talk. What would you say to children if you were a teacher?
Answer: Let’s understand our life, our relationships. Well, okay, we are already old people, but you are the next generation. What should you be like to make life kind, good, safe, reliable, and so on? And what should we do? How can we raise such people?
We need to talk about it, we need to think about it. Because our main goal is to raise a person, not a mathematician, a physicist, or anything else.
Comment: It will not be easy to soften them up.
Answer: No, there is no need to soften them up. They should realize at least somewhat that the world to which everything is heading is inhuman, cruel, and mechanical, a very unpleasant world, unsuitable for existence.
Question: And they will understand this if we talk to them?
Answer: I think so.
Question: Can these children change?
Answer: Yes, but not with one conversation.
Question: So the change will happen through a series of conversations?
Answer: Even if it is several years. What is the difference? We have to push it all the time.
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 10/5/20
Igor writes: “I am fifty-four years old, married with two children, and both my father and mother are alive. My father is eighty-four, my mother is eighty-two. I always took care of their health, but everything turned upside down. The doctors say that I have no more than six months left to live.
I found you too late. I watch your programs and I am not afraid. There is just one question—why so late? I spent so much time on needless worries and on work that no one needed. I have a big complaint against the Creator. I understand that one should not look back and regret anything, but I cannot help myself. I did not live my life right. I look at my children and I am afraid that they will repeat my mistakes. I just wanted to say thank you!”
My Response: I will tell you, Igor. Everything was correct. There were absolutely no mistakes in your life. You must accept all of it as a correct attitude to life, to the Creator on your part. You just have to calm down.
If you relate to the whole of nature, life, the universe, everything, and yourself as a manifestation of the Creator, then there is nothing you have to do, nothing to worry about. You should only think about how to agree as much as possible with what is happening to you. Then, through this attitude of complete agreement, you will begin to feel the Creator.
I am advising this to you and to everyone. Let go of the situation and do not worry. Stop the confusing complaints. None of that is needed. Everything happens as it should happen.
While it seems to us that we are running around, redoing things, and trying to get everything done in time, this is all nonsense! It does not change anything. We are always trying to do something, as it seems to us, while the Creator does His own thing. So, we end up being unhappy when things do not work out the way we want them to.
Let it all go and you will see that you have nothing to worry about, not in the present or in the past, and especially do not worry about the future. It is all in the hands of that very same upper force.
Comment: Can it possibly be that. I have to tell you, I was touched, because he is not writing about being afraid of death or afraid of anything. He is touched by the fact that he found us too late, in a manner of speaking, that he somehow lived his life.
My Response: This, too, is incorrect, and this, too, is the upper providence. So, nothing is too late, everything that is given to you is given correctly. Use the strength and the time that you have to the extent that you are now inspired by our idea, our path, and everything will be good.
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 6/24/21
We look at Jerusalem and see a beautiful city, streets, and houses. But if we could look at it from the inside as one looks at the reverse side of embroidery, we would see the knots and stitches, meaning, the hidden connections that exist between all parts of this beautiful picture.
Then we would understand that it is called to exist purely for the sake of the upper force, at the expense of our strong desire and request to be pressured to unite so that love would cover all crimes.
If we can connect with ties of love, unity, and fellowship, we will make Jerusalem the spiritual center for all of humanity. It will become a source of strength for all people and will spread the energy of unification and brotherhood throughout the earth.
The light of Jerusalem illuminates the whole world. It all depends on how much we want to see it. If we want to connect, through this yearning we will be able to reveal and witness the true Jerusalem. All we have to do is help each other remain aimed toward peace, perfection, and unification.
It is said that “Anyone who mourns for Jerusalem is rewarded with seeing its joy.” That is, anyone who regrets that Jerusalem was destroyed and cannot be restored, that it is unable to convey its power of unification and love, the union of corporeal and spiritual worlds, to people.
This is truly a great misfortune. Everything depends on the people, or rather, on the Jews living in the land of Israel, and especially on those living in Jerusalem, on their willingness to make efforts and their desire to ensure that all parts of this city become united and all hostility ends.
The Jews living in Jerusalem have been in constant strife for thousands of years until the present day. In addition, there are disputes between all other nations who inhabit Jerusalem, which tear this city to pieces.
However, everything depends on the people of Israel. If the Jews living in Jerusalem want to unite over all differences or traditions, then this city will again become the city of peace, a whole city as its name “Ir Shalem” (Yerushalayim) implies.
The unification of the people of Israel in the land of Israel, in Jerusalem, carries a special power due to which all nations will also want to unite around us, provided that we want it to happen. After all, it is impossible to give pleasure to the Creator if we are not united and do not strive to connect all the nations of the world to ourselves.
The people of Israel came out of ancient Babylon where the 70 nations of the world lived in order to unite among themselves. 3,500 years have passed since then, but we are still not ready for this unity between us as a result of which peace will reign on earth for all people. Everything depends on the unification of the people of Israel.
The problem is only in us, and therefore, it is not surprising that in our time, which Kabbalah calls the last generation, the time of final correction, all the nations of the world are beginning to put pressure on the nation of Israel to oblige them to unite. Once the center of unity is established in the land of Israel, in Jerusalem, we will be able to provide this point of unity for all nations to unite around us. So the whole world will come to peace and perfection.
The unification of the whole world on the human level is possible only around Israel and together with the people of Israel. Therefore, all eyes, all attention, is drawn to the land of Israel and to Jerusalem more and more. And it will not subside; on the contrary, it will grow more persistently and will oblige us to achieve unity among us and lead to world peace.
From KabTV’s “The Peace” 5/25/21
My new article on Linkedin “When We Don’t Correct, We Corrupt”
Toward the end of his “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” written shortly after the end of World War II, the great 20th century kabbalist and thinker, Rav Yehuda Ashlag, aka Baal HaSulam, wrote about his time: “In such a generation, all the destructors among the nations of the world raise their heads and wish primarily to destroy and to kill the children of Israel, as it is written (Yevamot 63), “No calamity comes to the world but for Israel.” This means, as it is written in the above Tikkunim [a part of The Book of Zohar], that [Israel] cause poverty, ruin, robbery, killing, and destructions in the whole world,” and this is why the nations of the world want “primarily to destroy and to kill the children of Israel.”
There is a reason why Baal HaSulam quotes the Talmud (Masechet Yevamot) saying that all calamities come because of Israel, and The Book of Zohar, which speaks about Israel causing “poverty, ruin, robbery, killing, and destructions in the whole world.” Since the inception of our nation, our sages and leaders have linked the state of the world with the state of our unity.
Rav Yehuda Alter, author of the book Sefat Emet, wrote that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were blessed “because the children of Israel were created in order to correct all of creation.” We’ve already seen what The Zohar thinks about the harm Israel cause when they are not corrected, namely disputed. However, when Israel are corrected, namely united, The Zohar views us with a completely different light. In the portion Aharei Mot, The Zohar writes, “‘Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to also sit together.’ These are the friends as they sit together and are not separated from each other. At first, they seem like people at war, wishing to kill one another … then they return to being in brotherly love. …And you, the friends who are here, as you were in fondness and love before, henceforth you will also not part from one another … and by your merit, there will be peace in the world.”
Rav Kook, a contemporary of Baal HaSulam and a great kabbalist and thinker in his own right, was quite poetic when he wrote about the role of Israel in bringing world peace through their unity. In the book Orot HaKodesh, he wrote, “Since we were ruined by unfounded hatred, and the world was ruined with us, we will be rebuilt by unfounded love, and the world will be rebuilt with us.”
These days, when we look at the unfolding climate cataclysm, at societies in the West disintegrating, when bellicose speeches are propagating war, we should think of the message of our sages. We may be alarmed by the ferocity of rabid antisemites, but if we are honest with ourselves, our sages carried a strikingly similar message to theirs: Israel is responsible for the bad and for the good in the world. When we don’t correct, we corrupt; when we don’t unite, we break apart, or as Rav Kook asserted, when we are divided, we divide the world; when we are united, we unite the world.
Some nations and some religions profess to be destined to conquer the world. No one but adherents of those faiths agrees with them. Israel believes in its duty to do Tikkun Olam, to correct the world, and the majority of the world agrees. As Sefat Emet writes, “Israel were created in order to correct all of creation.”
We are surprised at the fierceness of Jew-hatred, but we are blind to the fierceness of our hatred for each other. Our own hatred, so the greatest of our nation have always stated, is the cause of the world’s hatred toward us, and the cause of all hatreds anywhere. It is time we fight against antisemitism and hatred where they truly lie: among ourselves.
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My new article on BIZCATALYST “IMF: Covid Scars The Vulnerable The Most”
On the homepage of its website, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) writes that it is “an organization of 190 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world.”
In a report the IMF published recently, titled After-Effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic, the organization concludes that “The degree of expected scarring varies across countries, depending on the structure of economies… Emerging market and developing economies are expected to suffer more scarring than advanced economies.” As usual, the rich and powerful get away with everything, and the exploited weak bear the brunt. We don’t need an organization of 190 countries to know that this is the case, but to change it. When it does nothing to change it, it means that its purpose is not to change the situation but to perpetuate it, mask the ploy from the vulnerable, and if possible, collect a few compliments on its great service to society.
The pandemic is a blessing for the rich and powerful. They use organizations like the IMF as lip service, and I have zero expectations from them. When they act, it is only in order to gain even more wealth and power. When you bring them an idea, start with what benefit they will get out of it. If you don’t, don’t waste your time or theirs. Things won’t change until the poor raise an outcry that they can no longer survive. Then, things will get interesting. But the clash will be short-lived. In the end, nothing will change because the ego has not changed.
If the rich can get away from the crowd by hopping on a private jet to a resort in the Maldives, what incentive will they have to change anything?
It looks like things will change only when humanity is lying face down in the gutter. As long as heads of states can get away from it all, and get away with it, nothing will change. On the contrary, there will be “world peace” based on a global economy where people have equally nothing, and a global moral system that says, “Steal as much as you can, however you can, and wherever you can.”
You would think that there is no point in talking about the situation, but that is not the case. A change will come, but it will happen only when the lie is exposed to the whole world, and the world cannot ignore it. When this happens, humanity will not sit idly when more than 400,000 people are diagnosed with Covid every single day in India alone, and 4,000 people die there for lack of oxygen and basic medical treatment or adequate facilities. A few weeks ago, this disgrace was happening in Brazil, now it is happening in India, in a few weeks it will happen elsewhere, and we don’t care until it hits us in the face. It isn’t just “aid” organizations that are indifferent; it is all of us.
If we cared, they wouldn’t dare. They wouldn’t have the audacity to contort their faces in phony frowns of sympathy.
Sincerely, I have no hope that a change will come from suffering. People will continue to ache until they feel that death is better than living, but they will still not change. The only thing that will eventually change us is the realization that our only strength is in each other. Then, when people turn toward each other, they will realize that they cannot unite, that their hearts are frozen, and this is why they’re suffering. Only when people try to merge their hearts will they realize that their egoism is their enemy, the cause of their afflictions, and that all along, it has been fooling them into thinking that it is someone else’s fault.
When we try to form a bond, we will finally find the strength and gumption that we need in order to overcome our ordeals. The horrific future on our path will materialize only if we remain oblivious to the solution of unity, the only solution that can work.
Human suffering is not written in stone; it is written in our hearts of stone. If we turn our hearts toward each other, it will soften them, and this will soften our fate.
Nature isn’t cruel. No animal suffers as much as we do, unless we afflict it on them. The only thing that’s cruel in nature is human nature. If we change it, by reaching out to one another and forming a bond that is similar to the bonds among all parts of nature, nature will cease its lashing at us. Then, and only then, we will begin to heal, and start living for real.
My new article on Linkedin “We’re Our Own Cancer”
From the beginning of creation to this day, the universe has evolved as one system, whose elements are all intermingled and interdependent. Because everything began from one point, everything is connected, will always stay connected, and whatever happens in one place affects the entire system.
As the universe evolved, higher levels of existence manifested themselves one at a time. The substratum of everything is of course the mineral level. Then, as life appeared, new levels emerged—the vegetative, then the animate, and finally the human level. Each new level both transcends the previous levels and relies on them for its survival. Accordingly, each level is built to carefully maintain the dynamic balance that brings stability and growth to Earth, and to the entire universe. Over billions of years, this is how our beautiful universe evolved.
But then came the human level and thrashed the system.
We, the zenith of creation, were made without any sense of balance. We take as much as we can, wherever we can, and nothing satisfies us. We do not strive, like the rest of the levels of nature, to sustain ourselves, but to surpass, control, and ultimately destroy everyone else. The organism called “Nature,” it seems, has got cancer, and we are it.
Like cancer, we metastasize; we have spread all over the globe, and now we are aspiring to metastasize to nearby planets. Wherever we go, we bring with us the same spirit: Take everything until there’s nothing left, then move on. Like cancer, which dies with its host organism, we will die with planet Earth, unless we change while we still can.
Evidently, Earth is very sick. This summer has proven that to anyone who still doubted it, that nature is out of balance. It is also evident that man is the key element in driving nature to imbalance. Therefore, man, and only man, can restore it.
We may be devoid of the inherent sense of balance that all of creation possesses, but we are smart; we can learn anything. It is a matter of choice. If we choose to develop caring and consideration, we will offset the negative impact of our inherent sense of exploitation. To create balance, we must develop these qualities to the point where they match the level of our craving to surpass, control, and ultimately destroy. Since we are the only element that is out of balance, and therefore causes all of the unbalanced symptoms that Earth is showing, if we balance our self-centeredness with its opposite quality, we will calm all of nature, as they are all symptoms of the cancer called “humanity.”