Audio Version Of The Blog – 11/26/21

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The Enduring Cloth Of Connection

938.05We are building such a connection in the group that will serve as a boat carrying us toward the goal. This is why we need to see to it that we have the right connection. The speed of progress, that is, the power of our engine depends on our continuous work on our unity in order to establish the connection between us more correctly.

Kabbalists compare it to a loom in which horizontal and vertical threads are intertwined, each passing alternately from below, then from above, and they connect into a single piece of cloth. In the same way, we must combine our mutual efforts to connect, starting this work anew at every moment and advancing through this process.

The main thing is that this work should be general with common agreement and understanding, and everyone should do their part and complement others like the vertical and horizontal threads in a loom that adjust to each other, or like wine crushers, who together vigorously crush grapes with their feet in one vat.
From the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/16/21, Baal HaSulam, Shamati 59, “Concerning the Staff and the Serpent”

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The Staff In The Hand Of Moses

935The connection in the group is the hand of Moses holding the staff. If we want to move forward, then with our connection we create the image of Moses walking ahead of us. Moses is able to guide us because although he was born from a Jewish father and mother (Yehudi), striving for unity (Yehud), searching for the Creator, he grew up in the house of Pharaoh.

Although his point belongs to Bina, he was brought up in Malchut by the king of Egypt. Therefore, Moses has both of these qualities and when he grew up, he was able to lead those who wanted to leave Egypt and lead them out.

Everyone in the group is obliged to awaken the qualities of Moses, which are at the head of all other human qualities, and lead him to connection in the ten. With this connection we build a common image of Moses for all of us, pulling (Moshe) us out from here to the goal of creation, to the end of correction, to adhesion with the Creator. Otherwise, we will not be able to get out of our nature, out of Egypt.

In the staff, two forms of use must be distinguished. When the staff is thrown to the ground, it turns into a snake, and when it is picked up, it becomes a staff leading us to success. Everything depends on the person; there is no holiness in the staff itself. It simply symbolizes the attitude of a person to life, dedication to the group, and to the goal.

And therefore, if we raise the importance of the group and the goal, all the means that lead us to merge with the Creator above ourselves, our own animal egoism, turn into a staff. The staff itself does not exist. We must mold it inside us so that the form of our approach to the connection between us and the purpose of life will be called the staff.
From the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/16/21, Baal HaSulam, Shamati 59, “Concerning the Staff and the Serpent”

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Very Simply—About The Spiritual World

537People often ask me: “What is the spiritual world? How can we depict it?” It is very simple. This world is our inner sensation; it seems to us that something is happening outside.

But in fact, everything that happens from the vast universe with all the stars and up to what happens on the surface of the Earth in inanimate, vegetative, and animate nature, and with people, all this is depicted in my desire to enjoy. If I could disconnect my egoistic desire, I would not feel myself or the outside world.

This entire picture revealed inside my desire to receive in its original form, created by the Creator without my work and corrections but only due to the influence from above, is called “this world.” Of course, we feel changes all the time, but they are changes within our desire. This is why it seems to us that the world is moving. In fact, nothing is moving but our impression that changes inside the desire to receive because the desire changes.

This is not the case with the spiritual world. In the spiritual world, I am not only impressed by the upper influence, but I myself act at the same time. If this entire world is the result of the action of the upper force, then the spiritual world is the result of the interaction, the connection between my action and the action of the Creator. The more similar I am to the Creator, the more I reveal the spiritual world as the measure of my equivalence with the upper force.
From the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/16/21, Baal HaSulam, Shamati 59, “Concerning the Staff and the Serpent”

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“Hunger Games – The Real Story” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Hunger Games – the Real Story

“Pundits” and experts galore keep warning us that soon there will not be enough food to feed humanity, and not enough fresh water to drink. Remember peak oil, when a slew of “experts” warned us that soon we will run out of oil, that gas prices will skyrocket, and lines at the pumps will stretch for miles? Why is no one mentioning it now? It was never true. It was a useful story to tell the world in order to promote the interests of certain mega-powerful people and corporations, but once the “fact” became redundant, it went off the radar.

The same is true for food and water shortages: It is bogus, a manmade scarcity that is promoted to cater to the interests of those who run the world. Hunger on Earth is real, but the real story behind it is not one of scarcity, but one of cruelty and greed.

We trash nearly fifty percent of the food we make in order to keep food prices and profits as high as possible. Mull over this figure for a moment. If we trash half the food we make, and the majority of the world still has plenty to eat, it means that even today, at our current pace of food production, we can provide for a world population twice as big as today’s.

If we cut production by half but made sure everyone got their food, we could decrease pollution of air, water, and soil so drastically that it would exceed by far the highest hopes of climate change champions. Moreover, it wouldn’t require any efforts to achieve it. On the contrary, we would do less and achieve far more.

The same is true of hunger. We could easily provide everyone with enough food and plenty of fresh water. The problem is that in some places, food provision doesn’t pay as well, and where profits do not go through the roof, no one wants to come.

Moreover, hunger is good for politics: It allows bleeding-hearts and other do-gooders to visit afflicted areas with camera crews to document them “helping” the poor and dying. Hunger pays, except not for the hungry, but for the wealthy who create it and perpetuate it. Hunger creates more than PR. It is great for promoting agenda that empower the powerful and weaken the weak, and for controlling the politics of subordinate countries.

It hurts no one that the hungry and sick are agonizing and perishing. It hurts no one but the sick and the hungry, and they are powerless to change.

It is not that my words will change people’s behavior; the ill-will is rooted at the bottom of our hearts. But if such posts can open people’s eyes to see reality for what it is, there is hope that something will begin to change.

Right now, we cannot do more than know the truth. But for now, this is all we need in order to initiate the change. If enough people know how evil we have all become, and wholeheartedly repel our wickedness, they will start a snowball.

Awareness, we need to focus on awareness of our crooked, corrupt nature to the point that we detest it. Then, just as we stay away from anything that we abhor, we will run from our own selves. Instead of seeking to abuse all of creation, we will begin to ask why it was all created in the first place.

We needn’t occupy ourselves with what to eat, but with what to be! When questions about the purpose of life trouble us, we stop domineering and start listening. Instead of speaking, we begin to converse. This is when true growth begins.

Trying to force ourselves to change our behavior is hopeless. But raising ourselves above the level of material dominance will put order in our material world, as well, as we will busy ourselves learning about the meaning of life instead of trying to deny others life.

“Time For Some Sobriety” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Time for Some Sobriety

I received an email from a concerned mother who wrote the following, “Today, grownups, too, are insecure and fearful. How can we raise children to be confident? What can we rely on? Laws are broken, basic morals don’t exist, lies, pornography, and filth are everywhere, and everyone is angry and tormented by life.”

She is right, everything is corrupt today, morals do not exist, and pornography, filth, and lies are our daily reality. What she does not realize is that there have never been better times. We have always been corrupt; it is just much more overt today.

It may be frightening to watch, but the sobriety we must endure is an opportunity to break through the smog that has blinded us and clogged our hearts and minds. Now we can finally open ourselves to the true solution to all our problems.

Only when we feel we have no choice but to change will we agree to take the necessary steps. In the case of today’s societal depravity, the only solution is education toward consideration and mutual responsibility. It may seem impossible, but neither is persisting in the present situation, which is only getting worse, so we seem to have no other choice.

It must not be compulsory education, such as was practiced in Communist Russia. Education toward kindness and consideration must come from the realization that we have no other choice if we want a functioning society.

The first step in changing society for the better is the realization by a critical mass of people that the current situation cannot continue as it is. After that, people will become more attentive to a message of mutual consideration, kindness, and other ideas that require thinking positively about others.

Also, it is imperative that the process takes place on a social level and not on a personal level. One person alone cannot change one’s behavior for the better if the social environment is negative. But if an entire community decides to change, nothing will stop it.

There is no question that everyone will eventually realize that we need to change ourselves to improve the situation. The only question is how long it will take us to realize that we cannot help but work on ourselves. It may take a long time, with many hardships along the way, or it may be very quick if we realize that we cannot improve our lives unless we improve ourselves.

An educational process does not mean sitting in a class in front of a teacher or anything like that. “Education” means learning about human nature, about the interconnectedness of the world, and about how we all affect one another. As a result, we will realize that we should be careful not to harm one another because when we harm others, we harm ourselves. It is a learning process, but it should come alongside living our lives and changing as we go, gradually and mutually improving our relation toward others.

The first step toward a positive change, therefore, is awareness of our situation. The next step is to develop mutual consideration and finally mutual care for one another.

“Hanukkah Celebrates A Victory Of A Civil War; Can There Be Another Today?” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Hanukkah Celebrates a Victory of a Civil War; Can There Be Another Today?

Next week we will celebrate Hanukkah, the festival that celebrates the victory of the Jews over the Greeks. This is the story that we tell ourselves each year. It is not the truth. The truth is that the Greeks (actually, the Seleucid Empire) entered the war much later, when their allies, the Jewish Hellenists, were defeated by the Hasmoneans, who were fighting to keep the nation united. The Hellenists pleaded with their patron for help, but to no avail. The Hellenists lost, Jerusalem was liberated, and the Seleucid Empire left Judah in peace.

It is important to remember, however, that the rivals were both Jews and the war was mainly between them.

Just over two centuries later, Jerusalem was destroyed and the Jews were exiled from Judah. We like to tell ourselves that it was the Romans who destroyed the city and murdered the Jews, but again, that is not the case. The Romans killed many Jews, but not nearly as many and not nearly as savagely as the Jews killed each other. The war against the Romans was really another civil war, but it had disastrous consequences because the splintered nation had depleted its strength by fighting one another.

Today, people ask if a third civil war is possible in Israel. Most of them believe it cannot happen since we must have learned from our tragic past. I, for one, think we have not learned a thing. This is why I think another civil war in Israel is not unlikely.

We are more fractured today than at any time in history. We are divided between secular and religious, Left and Right, Ashkenazi and Sephardic, haves and have nots, and each election, we have dozens of parties vying for seats at the Knesset (Israeli parliament) to prove it.

In addition, we are surrounded by enemies who want to see the end of the Jewish state, and we are divided in our attitude toward them. For their part, our enemies are trying their best to divide us even more.

If this continues, it will not be long before we see the end of the Jewish state. Jews will happily immigrate from Israel and the Arabs will take over the country.

If we want to prevent another meltdown of a Jewish state, we need to start doing what we were meant to do in the first place: unite above our divisions.

We were not meant to love each other from the start. We could not. After all, our ancestors came from numerous tribes that were often sworn enemies, yet they formed a nation by embracing an ideology that hatred must not dictate our actions, that we must rise above it and forge bonds that are stronger than hate.

King Solomon, whose wisdom is celebrated to this day, said, “Hate stirs strife, and love will cover all crimes” (Prov. 10:12). This mode of work should have guided us in building the society in contemporary Israel, as well. Regrettably, we have allowed hate to take the driver’s seat. Is it any wonder that we are headed for an accident?

If we want Israel to exist, we must unite above all differences and declare that this is our calling – to be a beacon of unity for the world to see. Our only justification for being here, and our only source of strength, is our unity.

For more on the importance of Jewish unity, see my book The Jewish Choice: Unity or Anti-Semitism.

“Stone”—A Part Of Malchut

741.02Question: The Torah and other sources use the word “stone” very often: stones taken from the River Jordan, stones from which the altar is built, stones placed on graves. What is it about?

Answer: Stones are unchanging objects of nature. A stone is considered something that does not change, something that is unshakable.

From the perspective of Kabbalah, stones are parts of Malchut that a person works with; he either builds buildings with them, shoots them from a sling, and so on.

Comment: It is written in the Torah that the Creator threw stones at their enemies and thereby helped the Israelites. You explained it as a burdening of desires.

My Response: This is also true. However, a stone itself is something unshakable, a part of Malchut.

Stone (Even) comes from the word “Havana,” understanding. If we are talking about the part of Malchut ascending to Bina, then we are talking about understanding when we already realize which part it is.

But if we are talking about burdening, then by stone we mean addition of desires, addition of egoism.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 9/20/21

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Their Own Standard Of Living For Everyone

547.05Comment: The head and heart of a person who is seriously engaged in business are completely there. Practice shows that such people included in our community do not give themselves completely to the spiritual idea. They still have material interests and needs.

My Response: It’s just their job. There are solid businessmen in our community who have been devoted to the group for many, many years. I don’t see how they can leave their jobs. They will not live on a lower salary, they have a certain standard.

There are certain conditions for each person. Therefore, it is considered normal for him to maintain the level at which he lives.
In the Talmud there is a story about Rabbi Akiva and his rich friend. Usually the rich man moved in a palanquin, in front of which people ran, clearing the way for him.

And when he went bankrupt and started walking, it became a terrible state for him. Therefore, Rabbi Akiva specifically hired people to run ahead of him. But when Rabbi Akiva did not have the money to hire people, he himself ran ahead of his friend, clearing the way for him.

Of course, this example should be understood much more deeply. But, in principle, we can conclude from it that a person should be treated according to the level that he considers normal for himself.
From KabTV’s “Through Time”

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“How Can We Cross The Barrier Between This World And The Spiritual World?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: How can we cross the barrier between this world and the spiritual world?

To cross the barrier that separates our corporeal world from the spiritual world means to feel the reality within, and it is done by developing our desire for spirituality to a point where it is ready to resemble a certain portion of the spiritual world.

Our desire for spirituality, which is called the “point in the heart” in the wisdom of Kabbalah, emerges in our lives when we are ready to shift beyond corporeal fulfillment of food, sex, family, money, honor, control and knowledge, and embark on a spiritual path.

Such a desire becomes characterized by us questioning the meaning and purpose of our lives, when we feel an underlying dissatisfaction in our daily lives, and long for a certain “something else” that we cannot yet pinpoint.

Depending on the intensity of this sensation, we seek through various environments, such as books, teachers and groups, until we eventually come across the wisdom of Kabbalah. The wisdom of Kabbalah was created as a method specifically for answering our existential questions by guiding us to a clear perception and sensation to the purpose of our lives.

According to the wisdom of Kabbalah, the purpose of our lives is to attain the higher reality. The higher reality has several names, including the “spiritual world,” and it is characterized by a quality of bestowal, love and connection.

The more we apply ourselves to the method of Kabbalah, the more we develop our spiritual desire until it eventually gains the minimum “volume” necessary in order to resemble and enter the spiritual world. This minimum “volume” for crossing the barrier between our world into the spiritual world is called “the ten Sefirot.”

In the ten Sefirot, we start perceiving and sensing the higher reality. We feel how the quality of bestowal, love and connection, also called “the light,” enters and exits us, bringing about various sensations.

It starts with small changes in our perception as we start sensing and relating to the causal level of reality. We then start seeing our world amid a backdrop of a much vaster and more complete spiritual world.

By crossing the barrier into the spiritual world, while living in this world, we understand and feel the connection between the two worlds as causal and consequential levels of reality. These two levels of reality are called “root and branch” in the wisdom of Kabbalah.

During our application of the method of Kabbalah, we attract the light from the higher spiritual world to ourselves, and it repeatedly enters and exits our desire for spirituality, giving us the sensation of what is known in the method as “ascents and descents,” i.e. closeness and remoteness from the spiritual world. Before we cross the barrier between our world and the spiritual world, we feel these sensations in a relatively unclear way, similar to how a newborn baby experiences our world, yet without knowing clearly what is going on.

For instance, if the baby is in a room where the light is turned on and then turned off again, it does not know how to define that phenomenon as light turning on and off, but the baby nonetheless experiences the phenomenon. Likewise, as we apply the method of Kabbalah and enter the process of drawing the light from the spiritual world closer to ourselves, then that entrance and exit of the light provides us with a sensation of the spiritual world (as the light enters) and our world as its mere imprint (as the light exits).

In later stages of development, we start orienting ourselves in this light more optimally to the extent of our abilities, and we develop qualities that resemble the light more and more, entering into increasing balance and harmony with the spiritual world. Such a process continues until we eventually reach the completion of our soul, a state of eternity and perfection.

Based on “Ask the Kabbalist” episode 7 with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman and Joseph (Asaf) Ohayon. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.