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Comment: You say that an important role in revealing the true nature of the universe should be performed by the Jewish people that Kabbalah calls “Israel,” which is not a nation, but a spiritual quality, a direction toward this goal.
Nevertheless, the egoism that has matured in the society of these people is holding back the emergence of a force capable of correcting something.
My Response: True, but still there is a silver lining. Proceeding precisely from this egoistic property, which Israel is saturated with, the people will still cry out that they can no longer bear their terrible egoism, and will try to escape from it, meaning from themselves.
Question: Must this breakthrough necessarily happen through suffering, new victims, and endless conflict with the external environment of Israel? Or is it possible to come to this in a more gentle way?
Answer: In general, both yes and no. The fact is that any change still goes through disagreement, some experiences, comprehension, rising above oneself, acceptance of something new. What was previously considered good becomes bad and the best is seen ahead. That is, the law of negation still works here.
From KabTV’s “Algorithms Instead of People” 8/4/21
My new article on Linkedin “There Is Really Only One Vaccine”
With the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) calling on countries to “halt on COVID-19 vaccine boosters until at least the end of September … as the gap between vaccinations in wealthy and poor countries widens,” you’d think that if poorer countries had high vaccination rates, the pandemic would be over. It wouldn’t. That is, we should still take the shots if we can, but we should also not expect them to eliminate the virus. There is really only one vaccine that can do this. Since the pandemic is a symptom, we should vaccinate ourselves against the pathogen, and not against the symptom. The pathogen for Covid-19, as well as for all our countless crises during this horrific summer, is our own nature. If we cure the wickedness in our own nature, we will heal the world, heal humanity, and heal ourselves.
When it comes to healing human nature, we need to look no further than ourselves—the Jewish people. Our ancestors conceived a method for correcting human nature and strove to spread it far and wide. This is why they aspired to make the people of Israel “a light unto nations.” When Abraham discovered that the division among his Babylonian countryfolk stemmed from their growing self-centeredness, “He began to call out to the whole world” that they should be merciful and kind, writes Maimonides in Mishneh Torah.
Even before Abraham, but certainly after him, writes Ramchal, our ancestors wanted to correct the entire world. “Noah was created to correct the world in the state that it was at that time … so [his contemporaries] would also receive correction from him,” writes Ramchal in his commentary on the Torah. Also, he continues, “Moses wished to complete the correction of the world at that time. …However, he did not succeed because of the corruptions that occurred along the way.”
Our sages throughout the ages declared that unity is the way to go. “Hate stirs strife, and love will cover all crimes” wrote King Solomon (Prov. 10:12). Rabbi Akiva stated that “Love your neighbor as yourself” is the great rule of the Torah. His disciple, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, wrote in The Book of Zohar (Portion Aharei Mot): “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.”
All of our spiritual leaders wrote likewise. In the 20th century, the great Rav Kook reiterated the linkage between Israel’s unity and the correction of the world. 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.”
It is already clear that great catastrophes are encroaching on humanity, but we have yet to recognize that they all have a single root: our own division. If we, the people of Israel, realize that our division has global consequences, perhaps we will be more attentive to the message of unity that our sages have been trying to communicate to us for centuries without success.
For elaboration about the connection between Israel’s unity and the world’s prosperity, please read Like a Bundle of Reeds: Why unity and mutual guarantee are today’s call of the hour.
Michael Laitman, On Quora: “What can we do to prepare humanity for impending crises?“
We need to upgrade our education so that we all learn that our problems and crises are a result of our imbalance with nature, since nature is altruistic and we are egoistic.
Until we change ourselves from egoistic to altruistic, and bring ourselves to balance with nature by doing so, then we will fail to resemble nature on its “human” or “speaking” level. After all, in all other levels—the still, vegetative and animate levels—we instinctively resemble nature. However, on the human level, we have freedom of choice.
It is by our own free choice, our personal efforts, that we achieve balance and adaptation with nature. We will then feel the eternity, perfection and harmony present in the altruistic sphere of nature outside of our narrow egoistic nature.
Otherwise we have no feeling of nature, but only its opposite. We feel the opposite side of nature in the negative phenomena we experience, on the ecological, physical and physiological level (disease), on the speaking level (depression, anxiety, suicide, drug abuse and divorce), and in the social sphere (terrorism, wars and violence).
The first step we must immediately take in order to avoid our collision with a global problem, an upshot of catastrophes—is to explain the reason for our misfortunes to humanity, which is solely in our attitude to each other.
Based on a Q&A with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman on September 9, 2006. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
My new article on Linkedin “Israel-Poland Relationship—We Should Focus Only on Correction”
A few days ago, the Polish parliament approved a Holocaust anti-restitution law “designed to end claims for property restitution and compensation for property confiscated by the country’s Communist regime in the 1940s and 1950s, including that of Holocaust survivors,” wrote Jeremy Sharon on The Jerusalem Post. Two days later, Israel recalled its envoy from Poland to protest the new law, and the US and Israel declared that they were coordinating their response to the anti-restitution law.
We needn’t be familiar with the details of the restitution arguments to know that antisemitism is widespread in Poland. It is also well-documented that Poles participated in killing Jews during World War II. At the same time, I think that focusing on the guilt of the Polish people and downgrading the level of the diplomatic relationship with Poland over this issue will not make Poland less antisemitic or help commemorate the Holocaust.
I think that if we want to do some real good to ourselves and to the world, we should focus on correcting the future, which means, first and foremost, correcting ourselves. This is the only step we can take that will yield good results. Everything else will have negative outcomes.
The people of Israel, whether they are aware of it or not, were once in possession of a method that changed human nature from the evil inclination that is in us from our youth, as the Torah writes (Gen. 8:21), into a nature of giving and bonding. This method enabled Abraham to unite the nomads who had gathered around him to hear his teachings about kindness and mercy. This method helped Moses turn the Israelites who had fled from Egypt into a nation after having committed to unite “as one man with one heart.” This method made us “a light unto nations” in the 3rd century BC, when Ptolemy II, king of Egypt, invited seventy sages from Jerusalem to translate their wisdom from Hebrew to Greek.
At the same time, the abandonment of this method had brought upon us Nebuchadnezzar, who destroyed the First Temple and exiled the people of Israel to Babylon. The abandonment of this method also brought upon us the Seleucid Empire, whose Hellenistic culture threatened to dissolve Jewish unity, and which inflicted upon us a bloody civil war.
In the end, the abandonment of this method of unity brought upon us Titus and his Roman Legion, which destroyed what was left of Jerusalem after we destroyed each other within the city walls. Had we not relinquished Abraham’s method of connection, which transfers self-centered individuals into caring human beings like Abraham himself, our chronicles would have been very different.
But we should not wallow in our sorrow; we should fortify our future. As then, so now, our strength lies in our unity. If we rise above our (intense) hatred for each other, no enemy will persecute us. If we seek to cover our hate with love, as King Solomon had suggested (Prov. 10:12), we will forge a solid union that will shine as a beacon of hope for all of humanity to see that foes really can become friends.
When our example brightens up the dimming light on humanity’s international relationships, the world will justify our presence in the land of Israel and will support us in every way it can. At that time, we will not need to fight for restitution; we will fight against our own egos, to raise unity over hatred, and the world will support our struggle to guarantee that we succeed.
The Holocaust claimed millions of our people, including most of the members of my family. If we want to do justice to their memory, to give their lives a lasting meaning, we must make the legacy of our people a living reality—a reality of union over division, love over hate, and be a living proof that people of different cultures, tongue, values, and goals can become one solid nation. We will be a proud and respected nation only when we prove that “Love your neighbor as yourself” is not an empty motto, but our everyday reality and our life’s purpose.
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.
Prophets, Joshua, 10:27: And it came to pass at the time of the going down of the sun, that Joshua commanded, and they took them down off the trees, and cast them into the cave wherein they had hidden themselves, and laid great stones on the mouth of the cave, unto this very day.
Question: Once the kings were strangled, Joshua commanded them to hang them on five trees and leave them there until evening. By sunset, they removed them, cast them into the cave in which they were hiding, and laid large stones at the entrance to the cave.
Why did they hang them on the trees after they had already killed them?
Answer: The tree is the Tree of Life, which represents the spiritual laws of nature. A person, at the moment some kind of a king, represents a certain egoism that is hung on a tree. This is its correction.
There is no question about any revenge or any other calculations. It only says that egoism, when it is corrected in this way, is attached to the general Tree of Life and enters into the system of correction. Therefore, all the “kings” (egoistic desires) are eventually corrected and connected to the general system in the correct form.
Laying stones at the entrance of the cave so that this will never happen again symbolizes the final correction. It is no longer possible to work with buried desires since they have already been corrected.
It is written that this burial was left “unto this very day,” which means, until the end of days. At the end of days, it will become clear that all this was only a correction.
Question: Still, what does “unto this very day” mean? Is it in order for us to see this?
Answer: In order for us to understand by what they are guided. These are not years or millennia, but degrees. On our degrees, we too should be guided by this.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 7/26/21
The Book of Zohar, Lech Lecha, Item 24: He weighed several times and saw that the whole world was planted and established from there. In other words, because he weighed many times and did not succeed in drawing light into there, by that, the force of the Din in her was disclosed, from the Masach that was made in Malchut after Tzimtzum Aleph. At that time he saw and recognized that the whole world was established from that Masach, meaning that Malchut, which is called “world,” was established in it.
This is about the appearance of Isaac (the force of judgment). Abraham is the property of mercy and love. You cannot advance with this property, you cannot build anything if there is no property of coarseness, strength, and limitation against it.
You cannot rise only with properties of bestowal and love. You need to have a force like an army. You cannot survive on mercy alone. It is good when it is paired with a good force. And if it is just kindness without force, then it destroys everything and causes a general mess.
Question: What is a screen?
Answer: The screen is the anti-egoistic force that appears in Abraham. It is called Isaac. Abraham must restore this force in him, develop egoism in him, and control it with the help of his quality of love.
Imagine there are as if two people in you, one is egoistic, the second is absolutely altruistic, all bestowal. And you are like an expert between them.
In order to rise above the egoistic force by kindness, you must correctly match both forces in yourself. Thanks to them, you are like on a swing, going up and up all the time.
Any advancement is based on shifting from left to right and from right to left, either step-by-step or as an anchor in the clock. So, here we are shown how the dynamics of human advancement toward the Creator is possible.
The screen is the property that connects the right and left lines, plus and minus, the property of giving and the property of receiving, Abraham and Isaac, so that they can work together, so that the property of mercy would not be destructive.
From KabTV’s “The Power of The Book of Zohar” #17
The mind is defined by the person’s sensation in the analysis of “truth and falsehood.” (Michael Laitman, “I Will Know the Creator from Within Myself,” a modification of Baal HaSulam’s “From My Flesh I Shall See God”)
The most important thing is to constantly analyze the states we go through from the point of view of truth and lies. Lies mean egoistic sensations and measurements and truth means altruistic ones that go beyond the interests of our body that we can feel and measure independent of ourselves in their true form.
Therefore, altruistic sensations are true and egoistic ones are purely subjective and by no means true. They depend on how people who believe that they are right are able to convince others.
This is the Creator’s part given from above. Our attempts to bestow from ourselves and to develop such properties in ourselves create the sensation of the Creator.
It has nothing to do with imagination and is exclusively determined by sensations. That is, spirituality is felt in desires and by no means in the mind.
This is very interesting, but in order to become a Kabbalist and, in general, a spiritual person, one does not need to be clever. This requires no reason, but only the development of feelings. But it takes a lot of intelligence to develop these feelings.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah” 6/23/19
Question: The Creator chose us and brought us to the group. But since I have only corporeal experience of connecting with other people, what is the difference between a connection in a corporeal society and a spiritual one?
Answer: You have a different goal in a spiritual society. You connect with each other by completely different principles, with a different goal, and you behave differently.
The support of your friends in the group is very important here. And since you want to achieve a certain goal, this support is completely different than in a regular civilian group. Here you must teach each other, unite with each other, inspire each other, make sure that people do not fall-out, and so on. That is, this is a serious, huge work.
Practically all spiritual work is carried out not between us and the Creator but between ourselves.
But this is a whole system. So, if you understand what is being done in a civilian group, here you will have to learn it all in a new way and try not to mix the two approaches.
From KabTV’s “Videoconference”
Question: A letter from Svetlana Alexandrova: “It is nice to listen to you, but you always rely on the Creator to solve everything, and on a combination of circumstances. Only some people have a wonderful life, and others do not. Who decides who and how I should live? This is unclear. It is very difficult to accept that some Creator is favorable to some but not to others. What should we do with this? Why does the Creator decide this way?”
Answer: It depends on the root of a person’s soul; it does not even depend on the Creator. The Creator does not choose whom to be friendly with and whom to punish, and whom, on the contrary, to elevate. There is no such thing. It all depends only on the state in which the total sum of souls is, how they interact with each other.
Here everyone has their own destiny. But this fate, in general, is predetermined, and no one here has any distortion, some kind of favor, a special state better or worst in relation to others. None of this exists. It all depends on the person himself.
Question: So, you are saying that every person, everyone, has their own root of the soul in the common soul? Is it on this string that he should rise to the common root?
Answer: This is not a string, but a path to climb a mountain on all fours, fall, rollback, and climb again.
This is all predetermined except for how a person will perceive this path of ascent.
The more we think and strive for connection and convince the Creator to help us, the faster we accelerate our development to a good state. We do not have anything else.
Question: Is that why you always rely on the Creator?
Answer: I trust in the Creator that we will force, oblige, and convince Him to help us create a normal human society out of us in good external conditions.
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 7/8/21