The 15th Of Av —A Step From Hatred To Love

935There comes Tu B’Av (the 15th of Av)—the day of love. It is known that the 9th of Av is a day of sorrow, destruction, catastrophe, a day in which all evil is revealed. And six days later comes Tu B’Av, a completely opposite day when we celebrate the day of joy, the day of love.

All this joy is built on the sorrow of the 9th of Av. Those people who discovered and felt the 9th of Av as destruction will now be able to reveal the day of the 15th of Av as a day of joy and love, connection.

We want to build good, kind relations between us, but we are not able to do this, and two times our hopes are crushed (the destruction of two Temples). First, the hope of living in friendship collapses, which is called a Temple at the level of Mochin de Neshama, and then we even make an attempt to come to love, which also collapses, a Temple at the level of Mochin de Haya.

We fail twice; we build a connection and it collapses, and we build again—and again destruction. But each new construction takes place on the ruins of the previous destruction, and therefore, after these two ruins, for the third time, we manage to build a Temple of love, unity, solidarity, and connection.

We go through the stages of construction and destruction, revealing all the shattering of the 9th of Av and against it, by making efforts, we will be able to reveal the connection and love, the revelation of the upper force between us of the 15th of Av.

It seems, how can one come from destruction to construction and love? But the fact is that both of these states come from one root. We are not talking about a building, but about building inside the heart. At the moment when we feel a shattering in our heart, hatred and rejection, breakage on breakage, and really do not want to be in this state anymore, the turnover from hatred to love happens very quickly.

To do this, you just need to understand that all the destruction is happening between us, we are destroying the Temple by not wanting to get closer to each other. And then comes the realization of evil, that our egoism is the cause of everything and it is necessary to break it in order to rise above it from hatred to love. This is called a “return to the answer,” and it can happen instantly. That is why the day of sorrow is so quickly replaced by the day of love.

First of all, we need to feel that we are really in destruction, in hatred, which causes all the troubles in our life, all the misfortunes. And so we come to the need to achieve love.

The 9th of Av symbolizes the destruction of the First and Second Temples, and the 15th of Av (Tu B’Av) represents the Third Temple and is therefore called the day of love. Love, the strongest connection, is the result of all our corrections. And we need to understand that it is not about the building, we don’t need to build it out of stone. This is a Temple that must be built in our heart.
From KabTV’s “The Peace” 7/20/21

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“Good Times Of Trouble”

Dr. Michael LaitmanFrom My Facebook Page Michael Laitman 25/7/21

Today’s troubles may not seem as bad as the ones that humanity had suffered in the past. Rarely are scores of people killed, there is no pestilence that is threatening to decimate half the population of Europe, no tyrant has conquered half the world, at least not yet, and starvation isn’t threatening the to claim billions of lives. There are certainly many of the problems I just pointed out, and many more, but nothing as colossal as we’ve seen throughout the chronicles of humanity.

Nevertheless, the problems are very serious. They are serious because we may not be perishing in droves as before, but our tolerance is also not nearly that of our ancestors. We are sensitive, and therefore suffer and hurt much more from much less pain. This may sound like a flaw, but in truth, the pain is not pointless; it stirs us into action. If we need fewer afflictions in order to move, it is better for all of us. If such levels of pain weren’t enough for us, we’d be seeing levels of anguish similar to the atrocities that our medieval ancestors had endured.

These relatively mild crises are transforming us. Bit by bit, they are engendering a new humanity, where people feel connected and mutually dependent. In this humanity, it will be a given that an infection anywhere is an infection everywhere. People will know that this motto pertains not only to viruses, but to anything that pains humanity. Look at the floods that have inundated towns and villages all over the world, the raging forest fires around the world, the social tensions that seem very similar in multiple countries, and of course, the virus. We truly have become a global village, and nothing proves it more unequivocally than our troubles.

Yet, we can turn this bane into a boon. Closeness is troubling and crippling only when there is hatred among people. When brotherhood and friendship rules among them, closeness is welcome and advantageous. Our closeness is a fact. We cannot disconnect from the rest of the world. Therefore, the only option we have is to turn our foul connections into positive ones. Unity is the cure for all our ills and agonies, and we will decide whether to cure ourselves or keep on suffering.

Photo Caption:
Residents are silhouetted as they watch the Blue Ridge Fire burning in Yorba Linda, California, U.S. October 26, 2020. REUTERS/Ringo Chiu/File Photo


Great Help Of The Creator

962.1Question: You said that there is no holiness either in stones or in trees. That is, there is no holiness in the erected Temple either, but there is holiness in a man?

Answer: Holiness is not a temple, not some physical place or structure, but something that we create from our senses. This is a sensory structure that we constantly support between ourselves.

Comment: You also said that there is no need to cry on the 9th of Av, because Jewish dates symbolize spiritual actions.

My Response: The 9th of Av exists so that we understand that this is the day of the revelation of the evil created by the Creator. He said: “I created evil, egoism between you, and you must rise above it. It is thanks to the constantly growing egoism that by rising above it, you will reach Me.”

Therefore, we need to understand that the revelation of evil between us, which personifies the 9th of Av, is the Creator’s great help for our ascent.

Question: Is it like the disclosure of a disease, when a man realizes that he needs to see a doctor?

Answer: Yes, it is a prerequisite for recovery.

We must strive not for the revelation of evil, but for the revelation of good. And then, if necessary, on the way we will reveal the evil that exists between us—mutual alienation, hatred, and rejection from each other, and we will be able to get over them. But only by positively striving for connection with each other. As it is written, “Love covers all crimes.”
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States”

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The Inner Meaning Of The Meal

506.5There are different types of meals: festive, Shabbat, new moon meal, etc. Each of them symbolizes a certain type of receiving light, abundance.

There is a very strict order in conducting a Kabbalistic meal. The most important thing in it is the internal work, the correct intention, because the meal represents receiving the upper abundance from the Creator by the created being.

When we consume food while giving thanks to the Creator and welcome other participants of the meal, which symbolize the ascent above our personal egoism and getting closer to each other, then we practically fulfill the inner meaning of the meal.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 7/9/21

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Make Evil Disappear From The Face Of The Earth

962.8Question: What will help the restoration of the Temple?

Answer: I know only one thing: if the majority of Jews, even not all of them and not completely, aspired to connect and realize that this is the only salvation for them and for humanity, then all mankind would also follow them in this connection; the world would begin to rise spiritually and physically in all respects, and evil would disappear from the face of the Earth between people and around them.

Question: How can we come to such an sensory, heartfelt connection between us?

Answer: Only from the shattering. We are trying to bring people to connect by explaining as much as they can understand. And what they do not understand, they will feel from misfortunes that will still have to manifest between them.

Question: The Second Temple was destroyed because of unfounded hatred between people. This is a very serious condition, which is not easy to come to. Did the Jews feel it for the first time at Mount Sinai after spending many years in Egypt?

Answer: No. They started to feel mutual hatred while in Egypt: accusations, murders. And even earlier, it was revealed between the sons of Jacob: Joseph and his brothers.

Question: So there must be hatred first and then love is revealed?

Answer: Absolutely! Otherwise, you do not know what needs to be corrected. Without the revelation of hatred in all its forms, there can be no correction and no reaching connection up to love.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States”

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“Why Societies Change” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Why Societies Change

In an essay titled “Critique of Marxism in Light of the New Reality, and a Solution to the Question Regarding the Unification of All the Factions of the Nation,” published in June 1940, while the world was engulfed in the flames of World War II, the great kabbalist and global thinker Baal HaSulam offered this explanation as to why societies change. “The duration of every political phase,” he wrote, “is just the time it takes to unveil its shortcomings and evil. While discovering its faults, it makes way for a new phase, liberated from those flaws. Thus, those impairments, which appear in a situation and destroy it, are the very forces of human evolution, as they raise humanity to a more corrected state.”

In the wisdom of Kabbalah, the process that Baal HaSulam described is called “recognition of evil.” In this process, the faults of one state gradually manifest until they galvanize individuals and nations to change their lives, governments, or whatever it is that has become intolerable in their lives. These days, humanity is going through such a stage on a global scale. The flaws of human society, in all its forms of governance, are manifesting more and more openly, and people are growing increasingly disillusioned with the existing systems.

I don’t think that we are already at the point where matters have become intolerable, but we are moving in that direction.

For now, it seems as though people are still willing to endure the flaws of the existing social and political systems, but hardly anyone still believes that there is any system that is genuinely good for people, since there are no leaders who genuinely have the benefit of the citizens in mind. In other words, people are realizing that no regime can be a good regime as long as the people at the top are not good people.

But governors emerge from the people. If the people aren’t kind to one another, can we expect kindness from the leaders? Governors are simply those who excel in exploiting the system to their benefit; they use it as a level to lift them above the rest of the people. Consequently, in a society of selfish people, the governors are the most selfish; this is why they were able to climb to the top of the heap. Why should we even expect them to have our benefit in mind?

Therefore, to make the forces of human evolution raise humanity to a more corrected state, as Baal HaSulam put it, we must correct the people. If we establish a society of considerate people, its leaders will be the most considerate. If we establish a society that esteems mutual social responsibility, its leaders will be those who best promote mutual responsibility. So, before we complain about our leaders, we should look in the mirror. We may not like what we see, but we will know it is the truth, we will know if we have come to sufficient recognition of evil, and if we are willing to build for ourselves a society whose merits create meritorious leaders.

“A Lesson From Ben & Jerry’s Old And Foul Flavor” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin A Lesson from Ben & Jerry’s Old and Foul Flavor

A few days ago, on July 19, the multinational consumer goods company Unilever, which is also the parent company of Ben & Jerry’s, announced that “it is inconsistent with [their] values for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).” Although officially, Ben & Jerry’s belongs to Unilever, in truth, the company maintains its own policy when it comes to political issues. According to an essay in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Cohen and Greenfield, the progressive Jews who founded the Vermont based company, “attempted to achieve [political autonomy] by negotiating the creation of an independent and robust board for the post-acquisition subsidiary.” Indeed, to date, Ben & Jerry’s Independent Board of Directors has complete freedom when it comes to political statements, even when these affect the company’s commercial activity, as in this case.

Moreover, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA), “The board’s chairwoman, Anuradha Mittal, was furious with Unilever’s response, telling NBC that Unilever was ‘trying to destroy the soul of the company. We want this company to be led by values and not be dictated by the parent company.’” Mittal was not mad at Unilever for banning a part of Israel. On the contrary, according to The Jerusalem Post, “Ben & Jerry’s Independent Board of Directors wanted to boycott Israel in its entirety, but was stopped from doing so by the ice-cream maker’s CEO and the British-based parent company Unilever.”

In other words, Ben & Jerry’s old and foul flavor is “hatred of the Jewish state.” They don’t think that Israel has a right to exist, and they cloak their agenda with a mantle of “social justice.” But this is not about justice; it is a reflection of the objection of many Jews, particularly in the US, to the existence of a Jewish state.

In my view, there are two levels to relate to the company’s declaration. The first level is the superficial one: The contract with Ben & Jerry’s has no item that specifies restrictions of sales in particular parts of the country, for whatever reason. Therefore, this demand is a breach of contract, and the State of Israel should respond resolutely by banning the sales of Ben & Jerry’s products throughout Israel. Instead of the franchise to manufacture and distribute the ice-cream in Israel, the Israeli licensee will sell its own ice-cream or sign a contract with another multinational company. In short, if they go political against Israel, Israel should go political against them.

But the deeper level is the more important one. The fact that two Jews are leading a campaign against Israel is actually natural; it’s a reflection of their aversion from their duty to the world. It will not help them. German Jews held the same views before Hitler came to power, but it didn’t help them whatsoever once the Nazis came to power. Now, too, the anti-Israel agenda will not help American Jews; the local antisemites will deal with them the same as the Nazis did under Hitler.

There is nothing that Jews will not give to the nations of the world in return for some sympathy. They will give up their identity, tradition, history, sovereignty, anything to get the world to like them. But all those “gifts” that the Jews are willing to bestow upon the world increase the division within the Jewish people and intensify the world’s hatred toward us. If we could rise above our differences and unite for just one day, we would see that this is what the world actually wants from us: our own unity, and not any other gifts.

Moreover, if we united, the world would understand why the Jews need their own country: to create a place where they can unite above their rifts and set an example of love that covers all the crimes, as King Solomon wrote (Proverbs 10:12). The reason that some Jews don’t want a sovereign State of Israel to exist, even if it were established in a completely undisputed territory, is that subconsciously, they don’t want the onus of being a role model nation, a trailblazing enterprise that unites people of all cultures, ethnicities, and faiths under an umbrella ideology of unity above all else. This was the ideology that forged the peoplehood of our ancestors, this is the reason why “Love your neighbor as yourself” is the motto that encompasses the whole of the Torah, and this is the onus of the Jews: to set an example by implementing this most sublime creed in existence, the system of uniting complete strangers “as one man with one heart.” Those Jews who deny Israel’s right to exist are trying to avoid endowing the world with this most precious gift.

For more on this topic, refer to the book The Jewish Choice: Unity or Anti-Semitism, Historical facts on anti-Semitism as a reflection of Jewish social discord.

“Why The World Laughs When Jews Cry” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Why the World Laughs When Jews Cry

A student from Israel asked me why it feels like whenever someone says something bad about Israel, the whole world joins in chorus. My answer was simple and concise: We are misbehaving toward the world, and this is why the world feels this way about us.

I would like to elaborate on that. We, Jews, must set an example of good relationships among everyone, but first and foremost among ourselves. We need to display bonding, peace, and friendship. The people of Israel are supposed to be responsible for one another. If we do this, the world will respect us. Because we’re not doing it, it treats us with contempt.

Currently, the relationships among the different factions in the Israeli society are horrible, nothing less. Also, we cannot separate what is happening within the Israeli society from how the world treats us, since we are part of the world; we were made of “representatives” from all the nations. Our ancestors came from all the nations of the world and assembled an ideological group that believed in King Solomon’s motto (Prov. 10:12), “Hate stirs strife, and love will cover all crimes.” Those early representatives of humanity formed a nation that realized a sublime idea that to this day seems eccentric: peace among all the nations.

Those ancestors fought hard to maintain their unity above the differences and hatred that erupted on occasion; they tried to remain true to their duty to be “a light unto nations,” to set an example of unity. They even coined the motto that virtually every religion and belief system has adopted in one form or another: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Indeed, is there anything higher than that? Although eventually we collapsed into hatred and were dispersed throughout the world, the legacy of unity and the duty of the Jews remain entrenched in humanity’s subconscious.

Just as nations are proud or ashamed of their athletes, who are competing these days in the Olympic Games, and just as people feel connected to great leaders, explorers, novelists, composers, scientists, and other renowned people from their nation, even if they lived many centuries ago, they also feel connected to their representatives among the ancient people of unity, the Jewish people, though on a more subliminal level. This is why when Jews succeed in their duty to unite the “delegates” of the nations, namely the Jews themselves, into a cohesive nation, they get the world’s applause. At the same time, when they fail and fall into disputes and division, they draw the world’s ire toward them.

This onus of the Jews is why the world’s attention will always be given to the Jewish people, why the Jews will always be judged by a stricter standard than the rest of the people, and why humanity pins every misfortune that befalls the world on the Jews. In his book Orot HaKodesh [Lights of Sanctity], Rav Kook, a great spiritual leader and the first Chief Rabbi in the Jewish settlement in Israel, wrote about the duty of the Jews toward the world: “Since we [Jews] 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.”

I hope and pray for our unity, for our sake, but most of all, for the sake of the world.

For more information about the ideas in this post, please read Like a Bundle of Reeds: Why unity and mutual guarantee are today’s call of the hour.

“What Is Courage?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: What is courage?

Courage means to stand up in spite of the world—even if the world is laughing at you, even if the world does not believe you, and even if the world does not want what you want to give it—and explain to the world with love, patience and high spirits what benefits the world, what brings peace to the world and what benefits humanity’s salvation today. Even though we cannot achieve such a state quickly, and it will be tough to explain it, and even though the response we receive will be a lack of acceptance, censure, a lack of understanding, and rejection—nevertheless we are obligated to bring the knowledge about the general law of nature to the world.

This is not faith, and it does not relate to any of the faiths, whether it be Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Confucianism or Buddhism. This relates to the general law of the universe, which is what the world is based on and the world will need to accept it. This general law of nature states that we are obligated to treat every person according to the principle, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Nature urges us to do so. We thus need to explain it to the world time and again through as many means and formats as possible.

In essence, treating everyone positively and spreading the wisdom about the need to positively connect is the greatest courage that humanity has. During such a process, we do not turn our mind and our pride against others, but on the contrary, we feel that we serve humanity, that we are beneath everyone, and that we need everyone, and wish the best for them.

That is true courage, and that is how we first and foremost defy our ego and make ourselves servants of the world. Only those who have overcome the ego can be real heroes.

Based on a Q&A with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman on September 9, 2006. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.