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“We’ve Turned Ourselves Into Temporary Residents” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “We’ve Turned Ourselves into Temporary Residents

A few days ago, the United Nations General Assembly passed a (yet another) resolution denying Jewish ties to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Instead of referring to it by its Jewish name, Temple Mount, after the Temple that King Solomon built there 3,000 years ago, as well as by its Muslim name al-Haram al-Sharif, it will now refer to it only by the latter. I cannot blame the world for doing so. When we turn ourselves into temporary residents, shun our historic task and obligation to the world, we cannot complain that the world wants to evict the seditious tenants.

We keep looking for better diplomatic ways to explain Israel’s position, to show that we’re valuable to the world and that we have a historic right to live here. We don’t understand that the world does not see things the way we do. It does not care about history, and it does not care about the “startup nation” we have built here. It sees us as a belligerent, invasive nation that has taken what doesn’t belong to it by exploiting the world’s remorse over the Holocaust.

We are arrogant and patronizing to think that the world owes us something. The world doesn’t think so, and the fact that we are not even asking why, but keep “explaining” to the nations our position, which they are clearly reluctant to hear, illustrates what conceit can do to a nation’s sense of judgment.

The thing we are getting absolutely wrong is our obligation to the world. We were placed here to build “a national home for the Jewish people,” just as the Balfour Declaration says. Regrettably, instead of building our home together, we are fighting one another. We’ve come to a point where we care more about destroying each other than about defeating the enemy. If we are not doing what we are meant to do here, then we have no reason for being here. This is how the world sees it, and the sooner we realize it, the better.

The current UN resolution focuses on Jerusalem and the West Bank. But more UN resolutions are on the way, and they will obviate our right to sovereignty on any part of the country that was not given to us in the 1947 UN Partition Resolution. Not long after, the UN will declare that Jews are an alien entity in Palestine, and that Palestine is where Israel used to be.

As long as we are here, we can reverse the trend, but we haven’t got much time. The only way to change the world’s view about Jewish presence in the Middle-East is if the Jews begin to act as they are expected. We were sent here to rebuild our nation, to reestablish our union, which formed a remarkable nation out of complete, and often hostile strangers who had decided to unite under the motto, “as one man with one heart.” This is our legacy, and only if we are true to it will the nations welcome us here, including the Arabs.

If we wish to work on our unity, then we have every right to declare that this is our goal in being here and that we will not allow anyone to interfere with our efforts. Not only will the world respect this declaration, it will support it.

Here are two examples of how two notorious antisemites relate to Jews when Jews set an example that the world wants to see and follow. Ukraine born Vasily Shulgin was a senior member of the Duma, the Russian Parliament, before the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. He was also an avid antisemite. In his book What We Don’t Like About Them…, he complains that “Jews in the 20th century have become very smart, effective, and vigorous at exploiting other people’s ideas. However,” he protests, “this is not an occupation for ‘teachers and prophets,’ not the role of ‘guides of the blind,’ not the role of ‘carriers of the lame.’” In another essay, Shulgin becomes almost poetic as he describes where the Jews can lead humanity if they rise to the challenge: “Let them … rise to the height to which they apparently climbed [in antiquity] … and immediately, all nations will rush to them. They will rush not by virtue of compulsion … but by free will, joyful in spirit, grateful and loving, including the Russians!”

A more terse example comes from none other than Henry Ford, who, when not building cars, dedicated much of his time to writing damning essays about Jews. In his infamous composition, The International Jew — The World’s Foremost Problem, Ford writes, “Modern reformers, who are constructing model social systems on paper, would do well to look into the social system under which the early Jews were organized.”

Ford’s grandson, by the way, made it a point to build one of the company’s plants in Israel as a token of support for the Jewish state. Symbolically, that plant is now closed. Unless we begin to work on our unity and strive to set the required example, the fate of our country will resemble the fate of Ford’s plant, and Israel’s Jews, who have turned themselves into temporary residents, will be evicted.

“Overcoming Conflicts In Relationships – A Solution That Really Works (And No One Wants)” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Overcoming Conflicts in Relationships – A Solution that Really Works (and no one wants)

Every relationship goes through conflicts. They are unpleasant, but inescapable. Overcoming conflict is necessary to deepen and strengthen a relationship. You can trust that a relationship will last only if it has overcome several conflicts. The problem is that because conflicts are unpleasant and often frightening, we try to avoid them. If we know how to accept them and elevate our connection to a higher level by overcoming them, we will not fear them and will be able to resolve almost any conflict.

Conflicts stem from conflicting interests. This is obvious. When I want one thing and my partner wants something else, I get angry. This is true in any relationship—with people, with pets, and even with machines (think of the curses you throw at your car if it doesn’t start on a cold morning).

When it comes to partners, the solution is simple, yet very hard to do: Kiss each other on the lips. Exactly at the moment of anger, do the opposite.

On a deeper level, we need to understand that every person has different desires, different thoughts, and a different approach to life. A relationship is the merging of two or more different people into one whole. In a good relationship, the differences between them help each partner develop qualities and perspectives that they would not develop were it not for the relationship. In a negative relationship, power struggles stifle the growth of the partners, the oppressed and oppressor become stagnant and entrenched in their views, and the love between them dissolves.

A good relationship requires work. The negative relationship is the natural one. To build a positive one, I must accept that the other perspective has merit, too, even though it isn’t my perspective. If I accept it, which requires some experience in “fighting,” I will find that the other perspective provides me with ideas and perspectives that I could not develop on my own.

It follows that kissing your partner precisely when you’re angry does not mean that you are no longer angry, but that you appreciate and care for your partner even though you are angry, and that your anger does not drive away your love. It is an affirmation of the strength of your connection.

King Solomon, who was said to be the wisest of men, said of this approach, “Hate stirs strife, and love will cover all crimes” (Prov. 10:12). In other words, keep the hate, but cover it with love; make love more important than your temporary anger.

The benefits you will reap are enormous. When we handle conflicts in this way, we not only change ourselves, we change our partner, too. Without saying a word, without preaching or admonishing, but simply by our own example, we pave the way to a healthy relationship.

“Instead Of Shooting DARTs At Asteroids, We Should Aim For Our Hearts” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Instead of Shooting DARTs at Asteroids, We Should Aim for Our Hearts

A student told me about a story he had read in The New York Times. According to the story, NASA launched a spacecraft with a mission to smash into an asteroid to see if it could “nudge it into a different trajectory.” The experiment, called “Double Asteroid Redirection Test, or DART,” seeks to test the ability to divert asteroids that might pose a risk of colliding with Earth. Nature has too many ways to cause such disasters, and such experiments only distract us from where the real solution lies—in human society.

It is not as though the idea of an asteroid hitting the Earth is absurd. It’s happened before and it can happen again. The problem is that instead of dealing with what we really need to fix in our lives, we turn our thoughts to imaginary future dangers whose chance of materializing is miniscule, while the real perils come from the people around us, and these are the ones we need to fix. Instead of sending darts into space, we should aim at our hearts.

All the real problems that plague our lives are our own doing. Accelerated inflation, pollution of water, air, and land, wars and terrorism, poverty, depression, substance addiction, social division—not one of these problems is natural, all are major crises, and all are manmade.

We need to stop looking to outer space in search of threats, and start looking at each other asking how we can learn to live together. We need to start asking real and painful questions: Why do I hate my neighbor? I cannot sustain myself; I am dependent on others to provide what I cannot provide for myself, but at the same time, I cannot stand others. Why is this so? Why am I like this?

Of course, not everyone feels these questions so poignantly, but to some degree they exist in all of us and poison our relationships. If we cannot admit this to ourselves, we should take a look at the statistics and see how many people are escaping reality through drugs or countless other forms of addiction. We should look at the growing number of violent incidents, the intensifying hostility between countries that are economically interdependent, and the growing political divisions within countries and societies.

Human society is falling apart, and this is a far greater danger than a shooting star. If we solve our social problems, we will be able to solve all other problems. But if society falls apart, we will not solve anything, ever. Therefore, our first priority should be to overcome social rifts and alienation of all kinds.

Until we reverse our attitude toward each other from alienation to connection, from indifference to mutual responsibility, preoccupation with any other “threat” is a distraction that will only postpone the correction we really need to make. This, in turn, will make the correction slower and more painful.

“Neither Diplomacy Nor Military Will Convince Iran Off Nuke” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Neither Diplomacy Nor Military Will Convince Iran Off Nuke

It has been clear from the get go, but after the latest round of talks, everyone understands that Iran has no intention to stall its nuclear arms program. Even before the talks began, Iran’s former head of the nuclear program, Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, admitted to his country’s efforts to build nuclear weapons. According to Reuters, “Iran abandoned any compromises it had made in talks to revive its 2015 nuclear deal with major powers, pocketed those made by others, and demanded more during indirect U.S.-Iran talks.”

It is written, “If one comes to kill you, kill him first” (Midrash Rabbah, Bamidbar 21:4, and elsewhere). Currently, it appears that Israel will have no choice but to land a preemptive strike to intercept Iran’s plan to destroy it. However, a permanent solution to Iran’s aggression lies not in severing its nuclear power, but in uniting our own ranks.

Regrettably, diplomacy does not work. No one is naive enough to believe that diplomats can solve anything. At best, diplomacy can maintain a facade of communication, something to maintain contact, but no one believes that there is any solution other than a military one.

Even threatening Iran with retaliating with a nuclear weapon in case it strikes with one will not deter it. Considering Iran’s treatment of its own people, it would have no problem losing half of its population for the pleasure of eradicating Israel.

And if we think that economic sanctions will derail Iran’s progress toward a bomb, we should think again. If anything, it will invigorate it and give it an excuse to attack Israel, which will be portrayed as the force behind Iran’s economic woes.

Therefore, as hard as it may be, I think we will have no choice but to “denuke” Iran on our own. If we let it launch a nuclear attack against us, it will not help us to know that we were right all along in assuming their foul intent. It is better to be alive and criticized than justified posthumously.

At the same time, a military solution can only help for so long. If all we rely on is our strength, we are in deep trouble. Currently, it seems like this is the case.

A lasting solution can be found only in our unity. If we unite, it will solve not only our problems with Iran, but with the rest of the world, as well.

Moreover, as I have explained in countless articles and several books (links to two of them below), Israel’s unity will “neutralize” the world’s hatred toward it. We may think of Iran as the aggressor and of ourselves as the potential victim, but the world sees it very differently. Look at the recent resolutions of the UN General Assembly, voting almost unanimously against Israel’s right to sovereignty. When it comes to Israel, the world sides with Iran, and we must ask ourselves why this is so.

The divided society in Israel is sending negative messages to the world. Not only do the nations ridicule us, they also blame us for being the aggressor in the region. Israel is accepted only when it is united. When we are divided, no one appreciates us, and everyone accuses us of their own troubles.

We are always at the center of attention, even, and especially when we do not want to be. We are the only country in the world that is a permanent, mandatory item on the agenda of several UN committees. Because we are so conspicuous, even if against our will, when we are hateful toward each other, this is the example we give to the world. As a result, the world hates us for inciting war and division.

But because we are always “on stage,” we are in a unique position to be a positive influence in the world by setting an exemplary society that others will want to emulate. If we rise above our differences and establish a society based on solidarity and mutual responsibility, this is the example we will give to the world, and the world will reciprocate it with appreciation.

This is why the only lasting, and in the end, possible solution to our problems with Iran, as well as with all other countries, is to work out the problem of our own division. If we do, our problems with the world will dissolve by themselves.

Further reading on the topics of Israel, Jews, and antisemitism: Like a Bundle of Reeds: Why unity and mutual guarantee are today’s call of the hour, and The Jewish Choice: Unity or Anti-Semitism, Historical facts on anti-Semitism as a reflection of Jewish social discord

Two Systems Of Balance

546.02In the process of integral studies, people change, they become a little closer to connection with each other. Imbued with the fact that nature is integral and we are a cancerous tumor in it, they already understand that there is no use holding on to the past and that it is impossible to manage today with the old methods they were taught; therefore, everything in the world is falling apart.

Why do we have such discord in the family, at work, between countries, and even in nature itself? Because we do not know how to behave correctly inside what is called society and nature.

The most comfortable state that a person can have is being in balance with the surrounding nature. That is, there are two systems here: one system is me, within me, which must be in balance; and around me, there is the second system, nature, which itself is in balance.

I induce destabilization in it, and therefore it turns out that it gives me negative feedback and presses on me. As a result, my entire internal system (health, psyche, etc.) goes beyond the norm.

In addition, we affect nature negatively; climate, pressure drops, and everything else depend on us. We do not even know what we are affecting. There are a lot of parameters in nature that are unknown to us. Most importantly, because of evolution we ourselves change and reach a state in which we do not want anything. This is the problem. To solve it, we need to get in balance with nature.
From Kab TV’s “Through Time”

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The Concept Of Stones From A Spiritual Point Of View

963.1Question: In the book Prophets the word “stone” is often used. It can be taken in different interpretations.What are they?

Answer: In principle, a stone (Even) from the word “Avana” means understanding, awareness, comprehension. Therefore, in each case, it means the main comprehension of some event.

If it is said that an altar is built of stones, then here it is necessary to realize what a sacrifice is. The bottom line is that a person takes his egoism, builds a special property from it above which he rises, and he sacrifices all his egoistic desires—transforms them into the property of bestowal. This is the sacrifice.

When it is said that the body is buried and the grave is covered with stones, something quite different is meant. The body, as it dies, becomes like the dust of the earth. This means that our desires, with which we worked for bestowal, are finished with now, and therefore we no longer use them.

This is called the deceased, i.e., Izdahechut Ha-Partzuf (weakening of the Partzuf). When there is some Partzuf, a spiritual action, a person stops working with it. He no longer needs to use this desire for bestowal, for love, for communication with others, and therefore it is believed that it seems to die off. Then a new one arises in its place.

A stone placed on a grave symbolizes the fact that a person pays tribute to the past understanding what came of it, and the next stage begins.

In the primary sources, the expression “casting stones” is still found. Naturally, this is not a physical act. “Stone” (from the word “Avana” – understanding, awareness) means that one conquers the other or himself and casts away his previous understandings with new concepts.

In fact, it is enlightening and ascent. The point is that past understandings no longer need any realization and instead a new stage arises.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 9/27/21

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“Why Are So Many People Dying Taking Photographs And Selfies?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Why are so many people dying taking photographs and selfies?

They mostly fail to realize the risk in what they are doing at the time of the photograph or selfie.

Showing ourselves off to others in risky situations gives us very powerful feelings of being special and standing out among the crowd.

The fact that such deaths continue rising is testimony to the fact that the human ego constantly grows, and blinds more and more of us from considering the consequences of our actions.

When taking a risky photograph or selfie, we consider the triumph of the human ego: “Look at me! Look where I am!” The strength of this ego boost often outweighs the risk involved in making the photograph or selfie. We think about the virality of the photo, all the eyeballs, likes and shares that it will get—and it clouds the risk in the current moment. We end up paying for that moment with our life.

Such situations should lead us to the conclusion that we need seek a remedy for our overblown egoism. We correct our egoism by rising above it. Unfortunately, the method for rising above the ego is mostly unknown, so people have no such thoughts, and also fail to acquire any such abilities. As a result, suffering accumulates more and more in humanity.

Rising above the human ego means learning how to control it. We cannot and should not try to run away from or diminish the ego, but rather learn how to relate properly to it: to take it by the reins and guide it in a way that lets us release it slowly and in proportions that, at the very least, do not cause harm to ourselves or to others, and in addition, to benefit others. By doing so, we will reach the realization that the ego comes to help us rise above it. However, we require a method that guides this elevation, otherwise we will continue falling victim to the ego’s impulses.

Based on “News with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman” on October 11, 2021. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.

To Build An Altar

509Question: What does it mean to build an altar?

Answer: To build an altar means to make a desire subordinate only to the quality of Bina, the quality of heaven, the quality of the Creator, by using your lowest desire Malchut, stones (“stone,” from the word “Havana”). I build an altar out of it.

That is, I want all my egoistic desires to participate in the process of raising the quality of bestowal, raising the Creator.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 9/27/21

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The Beginning Of The “Human” Level

571.04Question: It would be wrong to treat a person only as a protein body. Why are we originally created so that there are two levels in us: “animal in man” and “man in man”?

Answer: The fact is that we have been developing for many thousands of years. But this development in us is, in general, primitive. See what the media is filled with today.

We do not know how to raise children. I do not see that a good world has been prepared for them. Why can’t we do this? We are, after all, human!

But we are worse than animals. Animals try to equip themselves and their offspring as much as possible. We deliberately create an uncomfortable, inconvenient, unsafe world for our offspring, and we generally don’t know what will happen tomorrow. We, parents, are preparing bad conditions for the next generation. Is this rational?

Question: But you say that in man everything is inherent in nature, he is completely controlled by it. So does nature push us to take such unreasonable actions?

Answer: Quite right. Nature pushes a person to unreasonable actions in order to bring him to the understanding that he needs to do something with himself, with the environment, and with the nature that dominates him and leads him to self-destruction.

This is where the “human” level begins in a person. When he realizes that his nature is evil, that he is ruled by evil forces, he will begin to ask the questions: “Why? What for? Why is everything arranged this way? What is the meaning of my existence? After all, it is useless, imperfect. I personally would not design it that way for my son or grandson.”

This suffering and awareness accumulates in us from generation to generation and leads us to the understanding that we need to understand this life, we need to do something with it. People start to engage in terrorism, using drugs, getting divorced, and breaking up families, they are unable to create anything. But all this is accumulating suffering that will ultimately lead to the need to find a true solution.
From KabTV’s “Close-Up. Centaurs” 1/15/10

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