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My new article on Linkedin “Is America Slipping Off a Cliff?”
A survey published on September 23 by the reputable Pew Research Center determined that “President Joe Biden’s job approval rating has fallen sharply in the past two months. Fewer than half of U.S. adults now approve of the way Biden is handling his job as president.” America will keep tilting to the left and to the right, but in the end, I believe it is simply too big and too focused on itself to fall.
“Since spring, public confidence in Biden has declined across several issues,” writes the research. “Compared with March, fewer adults say Biden cares about people like them, and fewer describe him as standing up for his beliefs, honest, a good role model and mentally sharp.”
I had no doubt as to whether Biden would be good for America. Nevertheless, I don’t think his term marks the end of America, as some pundits believe.
At the end of the day, America is very capitalistic. It uses democracy only as a motto for election campaigns, but when it’s all over, all that is left is the pursuit of power and wealth.
There has also been a lot of talk about the end of the American empire. That, too, I believe, is misunderstood. America doesn’t really care about any country other than itself. The only reason it attempts to meddle in other countries’ politics is in order to secure itself. If it thought it could secure itself in a different way, it would not bother dealing with foreign affairs. In other words, it has no interest in being an empire in the first place, so the whole conversation about it is off target.
Despite the seclusion, I think that the global decline in all aspects of life will not pass up on America. Examine any area of human engagement and you will find that it is in decline. The cataclysmic events we have seen happening over the past two years or so—the fires, storms, the virus, politics, foreign affairs—indicate that we need to change our thinking.
We have to start thinking how we want to see our world and all of our global society. Then, we have to plan how to fix it and start taking baby-steps to implement the plan. At the moment, we are inflicting so much harm on ourselves and on the world that without changing course, it will be very hard to rebuild after the destruction.
For guidance, we need to look at what is happening in nature. After all, we, too, are animals. Just as there is a dynamic balance in nature, there should be a dynamic balance in human society. Our current lack of it projects on all parts of nature and manifests in worsening climatic events, outbreaks of plagues, and pollution of ground, water, and air.
Ideologies are a thing of the past. If we haven’t given up on them yet, it is time we did. The current kings are money and power, but they, too, will have to make way to balance. We simply have no choice; it is either this or destruction.
Since the world is irreversibly connected, eventually—despite some countries’ wish to isolate themselves, as does America—we will all have to take the entire world into consideration. Focusing on the success of one country cannot lead anywhere good when everything is tied together.
Mountain climbers tie themselves together to help each other avoid falling to their death if one of them slips. Humanity is doing the opposite: We’re already all tied together, yet we’re trying to make everyone else slip, as if this will not drag us down with them.
Therefore, we have no choice but to start seeing humanity as one nation, and the world as one country. Eventually, we will even have to learn to care for one another and truly feel like a global family. But not just yet. Now, at the very least, we must begin to think of ourselves as a single nation in a single country, and conduct ourselves accordingly.
My descent is a big gain for the group because I am now presenting the left line, the desire to enjoy, which first revealed within me after the shattering. And if I join with this desire to the group, to the direction that everyone is going, I will add fuel to them, the material of desire.
And the light that they will receive from above on this material will give everyone the opportunity to advance. After all, all our advancement is on two legs. And now I am using the left line with my newly grown egoism, which the Creator revealed to me. And the group helps me and adds the right line to this. So everyone brings his egoistic desire to the group and the group helps him balance this desire, and we go forward as if on two legs.
Therefore, we should not be ashamed and upset because new egoism is revealed in us. Baal HaSulam wrote: “I am glad that sinners are revealed,” egoistic thoughts and desires, because this is the basis for further advancement.
From the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/30/21, “Baal HaSulam. Shamati, 10. What is “Hurry, My Beloved,” in the Work?”
My new article on Linkedin “What Schools Are Not Teaching (And Should)”
Societies have failed their exams on education. From the beginning to the end through all the school years, our children are sentenced to tiring days confined within classroom walls. It is clear that today’s educational system is far from perfect, but can we afford to just wait for a miraculous change to happen? We need to start asking what the changes are that we would like to see. How should schools be designed so that our children will enjoy their time spent learning and they will actually learn things that enable them to realize their full potential as human beings?
Similar to the way many layers of various minerals were deposited to create the Grand Canyon, so children are treated at school. They are all assembled as a big block, filled layer by layer, like in a production line, without regarding how the place should be built to be adapted to the particular physiological and emotional needs of a child who is growing and developing. Unfortunately, any typical school is a place steeped with violence, ruthless competition and anger, where many students suffer from boycotts, bullying, and other serious phenomena. Nationwide, 42.1% of U.S. students ages 12-18 experienced bullying in the classroom according to federal statistics.
The variety of problems we see in society begin in schools. The contempt, condescension and bad relations so common on social networks, in the workplace, on the roads, as well as in the media, in politics, any and everywhere, are all side effects of what happens in schools. A person, a human being, a humane member of society, is not built there as is evident in the end result. We pay the price throughout life as individuals and as a society.
In order to design something completely different we need to start by drawing a picture of the life we would like our children to live in adulthood. In a world that is becoming more and more connected, the most important thing for success is to know how to build positive relations with others. A person who knows how to make mutual social connections and who could organize good connections between people around him or herself, such a person would succeed in anything and everything: in business, in the workplace, in relationships and in the family. Therefore, the main occupation of the schools should be to build a person with the ability to connect with each and every one.
How do we do that? About a third of school time should be devoted to methods such as circle discussions, conversations, workshops, contact exercises, friendly games, watching meaningful movies, theater simulations, role-playing games and all sorts of means aimed at developing a person’s ability to feel others and communicate well. The goal is to build a deep bond between the children, to make them feel like a cohesive group where everyone feels for everyone and supports each other.
The topics that should be studied in such a framework are from the field of human relationships and the psychology of social relationships between children and parents, boys and girls, etc., so that everyone will understand how others are constituted and see what they can take from it for fulfillment. It goes without saying that we will first need to prepare an infrastructure of teachers who will be experts in leading such processes and detailed curricula.
Another third of the time should be devoted to study tours, field trips, outside of school. The goal is to get to know life itself, the city, the country, the world; to see how different facilities work like banks, factories, courts, hospitals, high-tech companies, automobile repair shops, agricultural greenhouses or chip manufacturing laboratories. They need to see everything with their own eyes, understand how things work, talk to professionals who will explain the working methods, the technologies they use, the laws on which they are based.
Children should be prepared for each tour in advance and followed up with a summary where each child will present his or her impressions of the tour to their classmates, and everyone will absorb the impressions of everyone else. Such tours will inspire children to understand why it is necessary to learn about all sorts of professions that seemed unnecessary in the first place. Another beneficial option is arranging for the youth to be integrated in various workplaces each week so students will be able to find out which profession they are interested in. This will naturally increase their desire to learn and polish their abilities and skills.
The remaining third of the time should be devoted to imparting knowledge in all kinds of elementary subjects such as mathematics, English and science. Here, too, the learning must be conducted in a group format where everyone supports and helps each other to understand things. This would be really meaningful learning, not just a hollow slogan about education.
Thus, school will become an open and fun place, a university of life. And unlike the knowledge retained for a short period of time as currently happens, children will absorb information and experiences deep inside them, and most importantly: wherever they go later in life, they will want to build this kind of relationships around them.
Looking ahead, later in the 21st century the most sought-after profession will be experts in building social connections. Computers and robots will perform most jobs in the future, and what we will be left with is mainly to take care of developing integral relationships between people. This is how the human race will progress by adapting to the system of nature in which everything is connected and interdependent. In such a state of mutual cooperation our life and the life of the future generation will be the best it can be.
My new article on Linkedin “There Is No Shortage of Energy; There Is Shortage of Normalcy”
Despite increased production of energy from renewable sources, and despite the slowdown in car manufacturing, oil prices are skyrocketing. Even though fewer power plants still burn coal, coal prices are skyrocketing, as well. Natural gas prices, too, are going through the roof, and energy demand seems to outpace supply in every country and in every form of energy. Have Earth’s energy sources dwindled so drastically in a matter of months? The answer is a resounding “No!” There is no shortage of energy; there is a serious shortage of normalcy in human relations. I hope the current crisis will put some sense into humanity’s insane consumption.
The energy crunch indicates that we are over consuming. We are producing too much, throwing the excess production to the trash, polluting the ground, the air, and the water, and then we are complaining that we do not have enough. It is about as sane as killing one’s parents and then pleading for the court’s mercy because I’ve recently been orphaned.
It is time we reconsider everything we produce—how we divide production, profits, and goods, which services are necessary and which are redundant, and most importantly, how we treat one another. The goal of this process should be clear to everyone: survival.
There is no ulterior motive, no attempt to dominate or deprive anyone of power or wealth. It is simply that reality is forcing us to take all of humanity and the entire planet into consideration. If we don’t, our entire civilization will collapse like a deck of cards.
Since we still do not understand it and insist on running things the way we have always been running them—through power games—I anticipate a very cold and gloomy winter for the northern hemisphere. The energy crunch will leave many in dark and cold houses; there will be no gas for cars, and renewable energy will not replace traditional sources since there will be little sun during the winter. I hope that at least, it will make us rethink our values. If it doesn’t, next summer will be even worse than the awful summer that just ended.
I know that many people are counting on the promise of renewable energy to solve the energy problems of humanity. I think they are mistaken. There is plenty of energy, far more than we really need. We could cut emissions by at least half tomorrow. But the more we have, the hungrier we become, so our thirst for energy will never be satiated, and we will never stop exploiting the planet or each other until we reeducate ourselves and start being humane toward each other.
We have been behaving like spoiled brats whose parents buy them whatever they want. Now, our parents have run out of money and our childhood is over. It is time for us to mature and conduct ourselves like responsible adults, caring for all of humanity the way a mother cares for her entire family. If we think like a family, we will achieve normalcy.
My new article on Linkedin “What Trump’s Comeback Would Mean to Israel”
If U.S. presidential elections were held today, former president Donald Trump would return to the White House, according to a recent Rasmussen Reports survey. If such a forecast were to become a reality, we might assume that Israel would recover a friend. However, this actualization would entirely depend on Jews themselves.
The poor handling of the illegal immigration crisis and the messy U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan are some of the factors attributed to American’s disapproval of President Joe Biden. 58% of likely U.S. voters disapprove the President’s job performance, while just 40% evaluate it positively, based on the new poll. The survey also predicts a Trump victory in 2024 if he runs for president against Joe Biden or Kamala Harris.
The recent failed push from the Progressive Aisle within the Democratic party to halt U.S. assistance to Israel to help fund the critical Iron Dome defense system was a clear warning of the antisemitic interest to wipe Israel off the map. Moreover, we cannot and must not ignore the rise of antisemitism and anti-Israeli sentiment in America which is evident in social media, in politics, and at schools and universities.
Back in 2005, when I was visiting the United States, I tried to warn of just such a scenario. I lectured at one of the universities and argued with Jews who filled the hall about the fact that America had a bad future, and that antisemitism would raise its head to a height that would not fall short of Germany’s hatred on the eve of World War II. They refused to heed my warnings. “Your predictions cannot be. We have strong organizations. We are admired by everyone.” They looked at me with total incredulity.
Nine years later, in 2014, I went back and again tried to speak to their hearts. The hatred towards Jews was already brewing, it could be felt, but I perceived the same indifference in them. To this day, most Jews are still ardent supporters of President Biden, not grasping the array of forces hostile to Israel that stand behind him. At least half of the country, with remarkable support from American Jews, chose a Democratic Administration. That’s what they chose, that’s what they got.
The root of the problem is that Jews are not clever. We keep asking ourselves why there are so many blows against us? We do not realize that we bring this upon ourselves by being such short-sighted people. We love our haters and despise our friends, throwing them away and distancing ourselves from them. So it is no wonder we find ourselves in states of constant turbulence and unpleasant situations.
Why is it that American Jews did not support Trump’s reelection? Who was better for Israel than him? Do we really think that the Left will guarantee our existence for the future? It does not guarantee anything; to the contrary, we are digging our own grave.
The Torah speaks of Jewish stubbornness when it refers to the people of Israel as a, “stiff-necked people” (Exodus 32:9.) Our growing ego rules us with a strong hand and an outstretched arm.
It’s a paradox: we can be wise people, with a sharp mind, experts in science, economics, in every field we touch on, except one: spiritual corrections. When it comes to correcting the evil instinct—to convert it into a good instinct, willingly for the good of others—we fall into a deep numbness of the senses.
The ego makes us ignore that the world is a reflection of what happens in the relationships between ourselves. If we are united, we are perceived as a positive force in the world, and when the opposite is perceived, our apparent weakness causes predicaments to befall us.
Foremost Kabbalist, Rav Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam) writes in his wonderful article “Introduction to the Book of Zohar,” that when we Jews are connected to each other above egoism, we radiate from the power of connection to all humanity. Whereas, when we are immersed in self-love and allow the evil instinct to prevail and separate us to the point of rejection and hatred, the result is the unleashing of negative forces upon us, the empowering of them to act against us.
The antisemitism that manifests both from the Right and from the Left, is the reflection of the hatred that exists between the factions of the people of Israel. What is happening between us permeates the whole world.
Therefore, we have but one goal: connection above all differences. Because only by uniting above all egoistic disagreements is it possible to evoke a higher power, a solid foundation on which the people of Israel are able to exist and sustain the world.
It is the Supreme force, the power of love that brings about the correction of egoism and balances hostility. And if we Jews will overcome our disputes it will resonate strongly to the world and finally neutralize the hatred as well. Therefore, the choice of Jews should be: become as one, close to one another above any personal consideration. By this, we will determine our fate and the right leader for Israel, America, and the entire world will appear accordingly.
Question: The Sukkot holiday was described in the Torah 3,000 years ago, and it was celebrated from the sixth to the eighth century. Why?
Answer: Kabbalistic holidays have nothing to do with calendar dates and any incidents in our world. While studying Kabbalah, we study the upper roots. Whether they descended into our world or not, does not matter. The Kabbalist feels and sees all this.
Question: There is a custom in Sukkot to take the Torah and spin with it. What does it mean?
Answer: This means that the surrounding light, the so-called Ohr Makif, from the surrounding, gradually becomes the inner light of the soul. The soul is slowly being corrected within the seven days of Sukkot.
Therefore, spinning with the Torah is a tradition, that means nothing; it is just that in our world we want to mark special states of the soul in this way.
Question: On the last day of Sukkot, it is customary to read the final part of the Torah and start a new chapter. What does it mean that a certain chapter is read every week?
Answer: The Torah is given in order to correct the soul, so during the year by reading a portion from the Torah, each time we correct our soul, and the light gradually enters it. On the last day of Sukkot, we finish the annual reading of the Torah and immediately begin to read again. The year of the Torah begins with the last day of Sukkot, not with the New Year, but with Simchat Torah.
Question: What is the essence of this celebration?
Answer: The essence of the Sukkot holiday is to give the opportunity to the huge upper light that surrounds us, which we call the Creator, to enter the corrected soul, as we are corrected by connection, by being under one common roof in a hut. The upper light enters into us, corrects, and fills us.
Sukkot is a really big celebration.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 10/7/19
To achieve a connection, it does not matter whether we are physically in the same room or at a great distance from each other. In spirituality it is not the physical distance that is considered but the desire. If the desires are directed to the same goal, it means that we are together, next to each other.
We may be at opposite ends of the universe, but this entire material universe with all its stars and galaxies is just one tiny point inside the infinite spiritual world.
After all, infinity does not mean the absence of an end, but that the end is exactly where the desire is fully realized.
From the International Kabbalah Convention 9/25/21, “Entering Impregnation – Revealing a New World”, Lesson 1
Question: What does this mean for you?
Answer: For me this means that in my life I use a vehicle that leads me to death, which in itself, the very source, the very paradigm, is death. We must get off it.
Question: What is it? Is this the ego that I ride all the time?
Answer: I jump in my life trying to achieve some goals, maybe they are noble, lofty, and great for me, and gradually I discover that the horse is dead.
Question: Then what does it mean to you to ride a live horse?
Answer: Riding a live horse is when both me and the horse feel we are moving toward the goal. And this goal is life. And when I discover that the means with which I am jumping (egoism) is dead, it kills everything around and as a result, also itself, then I have to get off it.
Question: You said jumping to the goal. For what purpose?
Answer: Whatever I want to achieve in life, it doesn’t matter what, I must make sure that selfishness does not lead me to it but in an absolutely opposite direction. And if I am convinced of this, then I am already riding on a live horse.
Question: Immediately? Automatically?
Answer: Not automatically, you have to reveal what it is, that is, transfer to a horse not facing its tail, but head to head.
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 8/5/21
The decent people of the world still need to understand what true decency is and what the true benefit of the world is—exclusively altruistic actions, directed toward humanity’s unification as a single organization and system.
This is how we exist under the laws of nature. We currently do not follow these laws, which is the reason for our suffering.
If we would understand that the laws of nature are altruistic, and that we are moved by our inner ego and need to thus rise above it and unite with the general nature, by doing so, we would organize our worldwide unification into a single humanity and a new civilization.
We would then create a force that counteracts the current egoistic rule over the world, and there would remain no way out for them, i.e. they would have no one left over which to rule. They would also have to change and gradually accept people into the government who take care of humanity’s benefit. This is how we can reach an altruistic form of governance that would govern the world purely for its benefit.
Based on a Q&A with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman on September 9, 2006. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.