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“Texas Synagogue Siege: Still Something To Pray For” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Texas Synagogue Siege: Still Something to Pray For

Explosions and gunfire were heard before the 10-hour hostage ordeal at Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville, Texas ended. Four hostages were released unharmed in yet another attack by a gunman on an American synagogue, which is happening with greater frequency in recent years. Although the standoff ended safely, this time, with the FBI Hostage Rescue Team freeing the rabbi and his congregants, the Jewish people will need to activate special forces from their unity and solidarity to be safe in their places of worship and everywhere else.

Unfortunately, the threat will not stop and fears will only increase. The trend of Jew-hatred has not changed for centuries, it is only getting stronger, especially in America. Every antisemitic incident, small or large, should remind us that there is an eternal reason for this phenomenon that needs to be investigated.

“Prayers answered,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted after law enforcement stormed the synagogue to free the hostages of a gunman who had disrupted a service to demand the release of a convicted terrorist. The incident is a powerful reminder that Jews cannot even feel safe in their places of worship. Although the motives were different, the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in October 2018 and Poway Synagogue in California in April 2019 were both struck by deadly attacks while Jewish congregations were praying.

Since then, Jewish institutions have tightened security measures, but this does not seem to be enough. In coordination with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Jewish Federations of North America announced a $54 million plan to install secure doors and surveillance cameras and hire security personnel at Jewish organizations, schools and synagogues.

Unfortunately, the threat will not stop and fears will only increase. The trend of Jew-hatred has not changed for centuries, it is only getting stronger, especially in America. Every antisemitic incident, small or large, should remind us that there is an eternal reason for this phenomenon that needs to be investigated.

Antisemitism is a strong and deep feeling of hatred towards Jews, a natural and burning feeling that cannot be dimmed in any way. Our attackers see in us, the Jews, the causes of all human suffering, and it is rooted in nature.

All of humanity is connected in one network, in an integral natural system within which the people of Israel are the innermost part; it is a small nation that reflects within it all of humanity. Rav Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam), wrote in his Introduction to the Book of Zohar: “Bear in mind that in everything there is internality and externality. In the world in general, Israel, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, are considered the internality of the world.”

That internal force can be activated in the Jewish people through our connection. It is what the nations of the world subconsciously want from us and it is what dwells deep within as the core reason behind every expression of antisemitism.

Rav Abraham Isaac Kook also emphasizes the importance of our role in his writings Orot (Lights): “Israel is the essence of all existence, and you have no movement in the world, in all nations, which you will not find in Israel.”

When we are divided and in conflict with each other, with every Jew praying his or her own prayer, we ourselves awaken the spirits of hatred against us. Conversely, when we connect with each other, we awaken a positive force that spreads in a unique and hidden way in the integral system of nature so that we neutralize hatred and bring peace and tranquility to the world.

This time “our prayers were answered.” In order to prevent the next catastrophe, we must multiply the connection of good and friendly relations so that a common desire and prayer will crystallize between us, the Jews of the whole world. As it is written, “The genuine movement of the Israeli soul at its grandest is expressed only by its sacred, eternal force, which flows within its spirit.” Rav Kook, (Letters of the RAAIAH 3)

Against The Current

546.02If we knew how much we lose because we do not have the will to bestow, we would yearn for it egoistically and would search for where to buy the will to bestow in order to profit from it and succeed in life. Therefore, the fulfillment that can be reached through bestowal is concealed from us. Otherwise, we would be chasing it egoistically like a thief who runs ahead of everyone and shouts: “Catch the thief!” In this case, the egoistic desire would never leave us but would run with us to spiritual pleasures.

However, since spiritual pleasures are opposite of corporeal ones, they do not seem attractive to our egoism and this prevents us from reaching them. It turns out that we have to work against our will as if swimming against the current.

The current along which we are trying to swim is the will to bestow, and it does not allow us to move forward with our egoistic intentions. What should we do? We should ask for help from the Creator because from Him comes both the will to receive and the will to bestow. He is the source of both of them.

Therefore, we ask Him to let us feel the great importance of the will to bestow to such an extent that gradually we will stop feeling the will to receive as an obstacle.

And even vice versa, after we make a restriction on our egoism, psychologically ceasing to perceive reception as something good, we begin to turn reception into bestowal.

It turns out that the more I receive, but in order to bestow, the more I gain. After all, I begin to perform actions of bestowal like the Creator.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/12/22, “The Most Important Is the Prayer”

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Nothing Will Work Without Annulment

530Question: How can we annul ourselves before the ten if we are part of it?

Answer: So, annul, each one in relation to the others; without this, nothing will happen. You can, of course, continue to be a part of our large international group, but nothing will happen.

All in all, you must realize that there is no spiritual correction except by replacing our animal egoism with a spiritual property, which is the property of bestowal, connection, and love.

Question: Should every desire that appears in us be reduced to zero?

Answer: There is no need to bring anything to zero. We cannot do anything with desires, they are our essence. We just need to understand that desires lead us to correction, to similarity with the Creator, to merging with Him, to revealing Him, and we must use them in that manner.
From the International Convention “Rising Above Ourselves” 1/7/22, “Annulling before the Friends” Lesson 2

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“What Einstein Knew And Jews Refuse To Acknowledge” (Times of Israel)

Michael Laitman, On The Times of Israel: “What Einstein Knew and Jews Refuse to Acknowledge

“We have no other means of self-defense than our solidarity,” wrote physicist Albert Einstein in a letter to a NY Jewish philanthropist in June 1939, to express gratitude for his help to Jewish refugees who had managed to escape from the Nazis shortly before the outbreak of World War II. Today, as then, Jewish solidarity is the only way to combat antisemitism, but we seem not to have learned the lessons of the past, as division and internal strife prevail.

In Einstein’s thank you letter, recently released, the scientist addresses American businessman Fred Behr and shares with him his deep concern about the rise of Nazi rule in Europe and the impending danger to the Jews: “The power of resistance which has enabled the Jewish people to survive for thousands of years has been based to a large extent on traditions of mutual helpfulness. In these years of affliction our readiness to help one another is being put to an especially severe test.”

Much like antisemitism led to establish the State of Israel, today we are witnessing a sharp rise in antisemitic sentiment, both directly against Jews and disguised as delegitimization of Israel, in many countries—but especially in the United States and Europe. It is now imperative that we embrace the values of unity and mutual responsibility to guarantee our survival.

But today, these values have become less important in the eyes of most Jews, currently we are like a collection of separate groups—left versus right, religious versus secular, Ashkenazi versus Sephardic, to name just a few divisions—engaged in a constant struggle against each other.

Thus, in order to return to our united roots and re-establish ourselves as a united Jewish people, we must place our original values of unity and solidarity at the center of our common discourse. What would motivate us to reunite as a single nation? Why is this even important? It is so because the alternative is extinction. Only a tightly knit model can guarantee our survival. As our sages put it, “All of Israel are each other’s guarantors [responsible for one another], meaning that when all are together, they see only good.” (A Broadcasting Voice). And as it is written in Shem MiShmuel, “When they [Israel] are as one man with one heart, they are as a fortified wall against the forces of evil.”

Solidarity and unity are the most important Jewish values, originally instituted by our Patriarch Abraham and his group some 3,800 years ago. Guided by these principles, this group became the “people of Israel” and learned to live harmoniously as one cohesive nation.

By following the principles of mutual responsibility and cohesion, we can strengthen bonds that transcend people, groups, factions, ages, and genders, and aim to unite all people, without exception, across all differences.

Moreover, by realizing such a vision, we will serve as a model for a perfect society of fulfilled and successful people who share the most important values of life—love and connectedness. As a result, the world will absorb the unifying atmosphere we project, and antisemitism in all its forms will subside.

“Anti-Work Movement Should Be Pro-Purpose” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Anti-Work Movement Should Be Pro-Purpose

Over the past year, the anti-work movement, which began in 2013, has been gaining traction. Last year, it grew from 700,000 people to 1.6 million. However, its slogan, “Unemployment for all, not just the rich!” will not create a better world or happier people.

To create a world where people are happy, we need to rethink the value of work in our society. To be happy, we need a purpose in life. Work may be a means to an end, but it should not be the end itself. If we focus on purpose and not on jobs or careers as the determining factors in our sense of self-worth, our lives will be more balanced, much happier, and we, our families, our communities, and the environment will benefit.

Until a few years ago, the predominant element in determining a person’s social status was one’s job. You were worth as much as your job title was worth. In recent years, there has been a shift. People are growing out of the illusion that a job title will make you happy, even if that job pays extremely well.

Money helps, but only to a point. Beyond the provision of our needs and securing our future to a reasonable degree, we should invest our time and efforts in creating value in our lives rather than wealth. Any additional time or effort to create more wealth will not increase our happiness. In fact, it will often diminish it.

We create value by being with people we love, and doing things we love. These two may well be connected to our job, but in that case, the job is not the focal point but the fact that we enjoy what we do and the people around us.

Even if our job is not our life’s dream, we need to establish such relationships at work that will make it worthwhile to keep working. If I have negative feelings toward my workplace, I will hate being there. Therefore, it is vital that coworkers not only get to know each other, but that they develop mutual consideration and concern for one another. If all I think about is when I can go home (or switch off my laptop if I’m working from home), then I will suffer while I work. However, if I think about how all of us, workers, can achieve our common goal, then my work will have a purpose, and that purpose will not be personal but social. In that case, people will be focused on each other and not on their hours and personal duties, and they will feel content and satisfied at work.

This is very different from how we think of work today, but it is where the world is going. We already know that everything is connected. Our computers are connected around the world, even our phones are connected around the world. Our food, too, comes from all over the world, as do our clothes, cars, and even the bugs that sicken us.

Everything is connected. If we act as if we are living in a vacuum, we are imposing on ourselves a bogus disconnection and sever ourselves from life. That cannot make us happy. To be happy, we need to be connected in a positive way, where we support each other rather than the current prevailing mindset of stepping on each other’s toes.

It is an educational process that we have already started. Since we are reluctant to change our self-centered mindset, nature has imposed collective thinking on us using the coronavirus. If we take the process into our own hands, we will not need compulsory “lessons” from nature.

Besides making us happier and calmer, a balanced world of work, where we work as much as we need and dedicate the rest of our time to socializing and self-development, will benefit the world around us. Currently, we are overproducing everything in order to outdo our competitors and present good reports to companies’ shareholders. If we created only what we really needed, we would not deplete our world’s finite resources, we would not pollute the air, water, and soil, and we would not endanger our future and that of our children.

Education may sound like a frightening word, but it is basically about changing our preferences. As the anti-work movement shows, our values and preferences are already changing, but there is no reason why they should change through pain. If we teach ourselves about our mutual dependence and how we can help each other be happy, we will choose it voluntarily because it will be choosing a better life, and I believe we all want a better life.

How Do We Acquire Spiritual Properties?

945Rabash. Article 21 (1986) “Concerning Above Reason”: And as was said, the same can be obtained by adhesion of friends—new qualities by which they will be qualified to achieve Dvekut with the Creator. 

I do not have properties with which I can come to the revelation of the Creator and merge with Him. These properties are in my friends. I am Malchut, which must absorb the properties of the first nine Sefirot. And this can be achieved only if Malchut reduces itself, that is, limits itself in its egoism and gives itself over to serving the connection with the first nine Sefirot. This is the work of Malchut. Therefore, we have no other way to come to creating the vessel that can reveal the Creator except from incorporation with friends to incorporation with the Creator.

And all this can be said while he sees the merits of the friends. At that time, it is relevant to say that he should learn from their actions. But when he sees that he is better qualified than they are, there is nothing he can receive from the friends. 

And he cannot come closer to the Creator naturally. He will not have those properties with which he can approach the Creator. That is, I cannot reveal the Creator in my properties, but only if I annul myself before my friends and absorb their properties into myself. And it is so for everyone.
From the International Convention “Rising Above Ourselves” 1/8/22, “Adhering to the Friends” Lesson 3

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“Joint Statement On Preventing Nuclear War And Avoiding Arms Races Is Empty Words” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Joint Statement on Preventing Nuclear War and Avoiding Arms Races Is Empty Words

On January 3, the US, China, Russia, the UK, and France signed a statement that they will “consider the avoidance of war between Nuclear-Weapon States and the reduction of strategic risks as our foremost responsibilities.” The powers agreed that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” Additionally, they concurred that “nuclear use would have far-reaching consequences,” hence they “affirm that nuclear weapons—for as long as they continue to exist—should serve defensive purposes, deter aggression, and prevent war.” This statement is nothing but empty words, made for the regular folks, but even they will probably ignore it.

There is no substance behind the words. The only reason the leaders signed the declaration is to stay in power, keep robbing and stealing, and call it “leadership.”

But if they listened to me, they wouldn’t be rushing up that Olympus in any country. As I said when Biden took office, I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes today, and look at what is happening in America.

In truth, we cannot blame the leaders for being that way. They were elected by the people, and this is what the people want to hear, so this is what the leaders are selling them. These leaders are ruthless because if they weren’t, they wouldn’t be able to climb to the top of this mountain and become leaders.

If we want sincere intentions from our leaders, a sincere desire to end conflicts, we must change ourselves. Things will get better when we understand that in a time when everyone is connected and dependent on each other, we cannot expect people to change unless we all change.

We will change when we agree to re-educate ourselves, to “reprogram” ourselves from the violent and careless mode we are in today into a mode where we are considerate of each other because we know that otherwise none of us will survive. It’s clear that we don’t care about each other. However, if we understand that our lives depend on being considerate, since otherwise the all-out war will wipe us all out, then we will agree to act as if we care, and this behavior will change us.

The sooner we come to this realization, the less we will have to suffer in our present miserable state. Until then, leaders will continue to sign meaningless papers with empty pledges that no one believes or intends to keep.

Everything Is Determined By Unity

938.04There is a special power in the adhesion of friends. Since views and thoughts pass from one to the other through the adhesion between them, each is mingled with the power of the other, and by that each person in the group has the power of the entire society (Rabash, Article No. 14, (1988) “The Need for Love of Friends”).

The need for love of friends is explained by the fact that if I do not connect with them, and a good, correct connection is called love, then I have nowhere to receive my spiritual Kli (vessel).

Naturally I will not be able to reveal the Creator and the upper world, and I will remain in my lonely, disconnected state, and will feel only my personal inner egoism, that is, our world.

There is a special power (a special exceptional result) in the adhesion of friends. Indeed, due to their merging, views and thoughts pass from one to the other, i.e., unite in them.

Therefore when everyone wants to be united with his friends, the streams of upper light pass through them, which unite in them. And everyone, except for his little egoism, receives influence from everyone else and already consists of the qualities and thoughts of the whole group.

Each of them and all of them together have a mutual, united, combined Kli, a vessel, in which the Creator then reveals Himself.

Each is mingled with the power of the other, and by that each person in the group has the power of the entire society. That is, our advancement is based and depends only on our unity. Not from anything else!

You may know perfectly well what is written in books, you may be a great Kabbalah scholar-theorist, but you will never become a practitioner if you do not have a group, if you do not unite with everyone. This is stated in the article “The Arvut – Mutual Guarantee” and other articles by Baal HaSulam and Rabash.

You cannot do anything. We are created as egoists, separated from each other. If we rise above our individual egoism, then in each of us we create such conditions that we can reveal the upper world.

Our advancement is based and depends only on our connection. We reveal the upper world within it, meaning we reveal the Creator. And the magnitude of the connection forms a spiritual Kli, our common soul.

Everything is determined only by our connection. This is the most important thing, and I would say the only one. But on the other hand, the main and determining factor is the magnitude, power, and strength of our connection.
From the International Convention “Rising Above Ourselves” 1/8/22, “Adhering to the Friends” Lesson 3

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A Gathering Of Disciples Is Higher Than A Great Sage

938.02It is important even for a great sage to nullify himself toward his disciples. He has, of course, a million times more wisdom than they do, but he does not have the properties of mutual connection and bestowal, which they cultivate among themselves because there are many of them, and he is one. Therefore, he is ready to lower himself toward them.

That is why a Kabbalistic group in its spiritual value is higher than any single Kabbalist, higher than any sage, because the property of mutual bestowal is manifested in it.

The most important thing we need is the maximum nullification of ourselves toward the group, before its internal setting, in internal connection, and thus bring ourselves closer to the property of bestowal, the property of the Creator. The Creator is in the center of the group, and as far as I can approach this center and begin to feel it, to this extent I can reveal the Creator.

A group is a collection of small, but goal-oriented people. They still cannot do anything spiritually and do not understand where they are, but they have gathered together. Therefore, their assembly is higher in spiritual construction than a great Kabbalist who is alone.

After all, they build the Creator within themselves, that is, their state is more promising, and therefore the Creator is more concerned with them.
From the International Convention “Rising Above Ourselves” 1/8/22, “Adhering to the Friends” Lesson 3

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