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Therefore, in order to reach spiritual attainment with faith above reason, we need this reason. The more I work above reason, against it, the more this increases my faith. There is no force in faith itself.
It turns out that we need opposite forces, the forces of evil. So, the Creator created the evil inclination and in addition to it the Torah, which is a means for correcting it. The Torah is the force that helps us rise above the evil force that is revealed in us each and every time. In this way we rise more and more above the evil in order to resemble the force of bestowal, the force of good.
Even though the force of bestowal is very small, by elevating it to the height of all evil, it becomes high, strong, and great.
Therefore, we need to appreciate disturbances and understand more and more the mechanism of this work, that is, understand we need bad states.
No wonder the symbol of medicine is a snake from whose venom we make medications. It is known that “Every medication is a poison, but not every poison is a medication.” Each medication in its basis is a poison that we use as medication.
But not every poison is a medication. That is, until we process this poison correctly, we cannot use it as medication.
This is why it is said that there is no evil in the world, but it only seems to us for the time being until we rise above it and give to all this evil the form of bestowal. When we are able to turn it into bestowal by attracting the upper light to it that will correct it, darkness will immediately turn into light, bitter into sweet, and poison into medication.
This is what we are trying to implement in practice by studying articles of Kabbalists on the topic of “Faith above Reason”: how do we use reason, the egoistic will to receive, and build above it the will to bestow. Then, depending on the degree of the coarseness of the egoism revealed in the will to receive (zero, one, two, three, and four), we attain the force of bestowal (Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama, Haya, Yechida), five degrees that are divided further into 125 degrees.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/28/22, “Faith Above Reason”
Medium published my new article “Clean Energy Requires Clean Intentions”
The gold standard for clean energy is to be “carbon-neutral.” If production of energy does not emit more carbon than it absorbs, that process is regarded as clean energy. Recently, researchers at Technion Institute of Technology have even surpassed the gold standard. They managed to generate electricity from algae with “currents that are on the level of those obtained from standard solar cells.” Better yet, in the process, the algae emitted oxygen and absorbed carbon. This “carbon-negative” process both generates energy and cleans the air.
Regrettably, humanity will not enjoy the fruits of this stunning discovery. Human nature will ensure that only those who “own” the patent will benefit. The rest of us will pay for it, if we can afford to, and the environment will be abused in yet another nasty way.
Nature has abundance. With the right approach, we could provide ourselves with all the energy, food, and everything else we need with very little effort. We could really live in Heaven on Earth if we would only change our attitude.
In our present attitude, we constantly try to gain as much as we can, much more than we need, so that others will not have. By doing so, we condemn ourselves to a constant war with every person, with all of humanity, and with all of nature. In other words, our self-centered, malevolent attitude toward others sentences us to an eternal war from the day we are born to the day we die — drained and defeated.
Nature gives all creations precisely what they need. It has also installed in them the instinct to use only what they need in order to satisfy their needs and not beyond. But nature has created humans different: Greedy, abusive, and domineering.
There is a good reason for the “flaws” that nature has built into us: If we make a conscious effort to transform ourselves and become like the rest of nature, we will understand and feel nature on a deeper level than any other being can.
Just as nature gives everyone exactly what they need, we, too, must learn to see that everyone has what they need, including ourselves, and that no one abuses or exploits others. If we adopt this approach, we will discover countless ways to improve our lives. We will have all the energy we need and more, all the food, water, housing, education, recreation, and everything we want, and in abundance. As long as we do not try to deny others what they need or harm them in some other way for our own pleasure, our lives will be flawless.
Using the considerate approach, there will be no wars, no shortages of anything, and no pollution. With all of Earth’s systems in balance, it will finally become the heaven it was meant to be, when the only noxious element upon it has been reformed.
Medium published my new article “Spyware Will Not Hurt Us, Spying Will”
Pegasus, the spyware developed by cyberarms firm NSO Group, can be covertly installed on mobile phones and other devices running most versions of iOS and Android. It can read text messages, track calls, collect passwords, track the target device’s location, access its microphone and camera, and harvest information from apps. The spyware, which was developed in Israel, is used by authorities all over the world, as well as in Israel, and has raised the alarm against unlawful infringement of privacy. In my opinion, the problem is not the spyware, but the spying, the foul intentions of those who use technology to harm, manipulate, and abuse others.
The fact that such spyware exists does not surprise me. It is clear that governors and government officials are not saints and that they do anything they can to know as much as they can about each other so they can manipulate and control others more easily and gain more power.
We need to recognize that our society is broken. The way the government operates simply reflects the society from which the governors come. The same goes for law enforcement and the justice system in general. If a society is corrupt and filled with people who wish to hurt and overpower one another, we cannot expect its representatives to be any different.
It has been this way for decades. What started with wiretapping and other forms of surveillance has simply adapted itself to today’s technology, but in essence, nothing fundamental has changed. This is why it is not the spyware that is hurting us, but the spying we constantly do on each other.
When parents look after their children and want to know their whereabouts, they are not “spying” on them; they are looking after their loved ones. But when strangers or authorities do the same thing, it is spying because their intentions are to hurt or manipulate us. In other words, the problem is not with the software but with its operators.
If we want to “correct” Pegasus and other malware, we need to correct the mal-will that is operating them, namely human nature. The malice we harbor for each other is the root of all evil, not only Pegasus, but everything we do that is intended to hurt, harm, manipulate, exploit, and overpower other people, and the whole world, if possible. If we do not correct the root of the problem, namely ourselves, we will not be able to correct anything.
As a first step toward correcting our root, we need to acknowledge that we are as rotten as our actions toward each other. Here, transparency and courage are key. If we are unwilling to look at ourselves in the mirror, we will not advance toward fixing anything in society. We will have to wait until enough malpractice surfaces to convince us that we must correct not the practice or the practitioners’ tools, but the practitioners themselves.
Once we, all of society or at least its majority, accept that we are the problem and not what we use to satisfy our ill-will, we can begin to work on ourselves. This is when we will begin to examine ourselves instead of blaming others for our woes.
When we shift the focus from others to ourselves, we will begin to see that we are just as bad as everyone else. It will not be just one or two people going through a process of revealing their evil selves. It will be a process where all of society realizes this. As a result, people will begin to change their attitude toward others from wanting to exploit them to wanting to support them.
The realization process may take a long time, but the transition from an exploitative attitude to a supportive one can be very quick. After all, there is nothing that we need to do here; it is only a matter of changing the intention behind our actions, and changing the intention can happen as quickly as our thoughts change.
Therefore, the most important phase in our correction is happening right now.
The sooner we expose the wickedness of human nature, and the more profoundly we acknowledge that this is who we are, the sooner and easier will be the shift from bad intentions to good ones, from spying on each other to caring for each other.
Michael Laitman, On The Times of Israel: “Remembering the Holocaust: What Is New About Old Antisemitism”
Record antisemitism in the U.S. and around the world has become a regular headline. But there is an important difference between it now and in the past. The perfect storm caused by the interplay of all-powerful social media platforms and the link between COVID-19 conspiracy theories against Jews and criticism of Israeli policies has triggered antisemitic violent rhetoric worldwide. A staggering 3.5 million posts with antisemitic content were posted on social media last year according to an annual report of the Israeli Ministry of Diaspora Affairs released just before the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The number of antisemitic posts on five different social media platforms increased by 1,200% in May 2021 compared to data from 12 months earlier. This was prompted by Israel’s Operation Guardian of the Walls, which was launched in May in response to Hamas firing thousands of rockets at densely populated Israeli cities.
The recently published findings of the World Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency on the state of antisemitism worldwide point in the same direction. 2021 was the most antisemitic year of the past decade. In addition to anti-Zionist diatribes, antisemitism took the form of conspiracy theories blaming Jews for the pandemic and comparing vaccination regulations to Nazi Germany’s policies. Reminiscent of the past, Europe was the epicenter of nearly half of the antisemitic incidents reported last year; North America followed with 30%.
There were some quiet years, but today Jew-hatred is reaching new levels all over the world. Antisemites are eager to find what they see as the final solution. Of course, if we consider the consequences of the Holocaust, the situation today is much better. But if we look at what has happened in the last ten years and even in the last 20 years in the United States and in Europe, we can clearly see that the situation is not changing for the better.
The peoples of the world cannot escape antisemitism; it is in their genes and in their blood. It is a law of nature. Jews can ask nothing of them until the Jews themselves bring correction to the world. They hate Israel until Israel corrects them.
If Israel does not unite and become a role model to make all the nations of the world rise up against their egoism, that is, against the hatred among them, then the nations of the world will unite and rise up against the people of Israel. One of two.
It is written that “the externality of the entire world, being the nations of the world, intensify and revoke the Children of Israel – the internality of the world. In such a generation, all the destructors among the nations of the world raise their heads and wish primarily to destroy and to kill the Children of Israel, as it is written (Yevamot 63): ‘No calamity comes to the world but for Israel.” Rav Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam, The Writings of Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to the Book of Zohar”).
So what is on the horizon for the Jews in the world? The answer depends solely on the Jews. In the meantime, we are approaching a situation where everyone will gang up against the Jews until the Jews open their eyes and realize that they have no choice but to activate the spirit of connectedness between them. And to rise above their selfish calculations since this is the only way to save themselves (and the world). Only in this scenario will antisemitism cease, “And all the nations will acknowledge and recognize Israel’s merit over them, until the realization of the words: ‘And the people shall take them and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the Lord.’” (Isaiah 14:2)
My new article on Linkedin “Remember the Past to Protect from the Future”
A week ago, the Ruderman Family Foundation released a report examining antisemitism in the US today. According to the report, “Ninety-three percent of American Jews are concerned with the current levels of antisemitism in the United States, with nearly half of U.S. Jews (42%) experiencing antisemitism either directly or through family and friends over the past five years alone.” It turns out that American Jews, who thought, “This would never happen in America,” are facing the same old hatred that every Jewish community in the Diaspora has experienced since the ruin of the Temple nearly twenty centuries ago.
No online or offline efforts to curb expressions of antisemitism will help. Antisemitism will exist as long as its root exists. It will keep growing until its engine, the core reason for its existence, is uprooted. And only we, Jews, can tear it out because the root exists within us.
Some months ago, Oren Jacobson, co-founder of Project Shema, which helps Jewish students, leaders, organizations and allies explore the difficult conversations surrounding Israel and antisemitism, published an op-ed on Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA). In the column, he lists some of the accusations that antisemites use as pretexts for hating Jews. “Jews get attacked for supposedly controlling the world (governments, banks, media),” he wrote, “for being disloyal to our home countries, for killing Jesus, for making up the Holocaust, for being greedy, for undermining the white race and subverting people of color (among other things). We’ve been blamed for plagues, famine, economic hardship and war. Whatever major problem a society has, Jews have been blamed for it.” In other words, as retired General William Boykin once stated, “The Jews are the problem; the Jews are the cause of all the problems in the world.”
The Ruderman report was released on January 20, the 80th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference, when the Nazis devised the “final solution to the Jewish question.” A week later, on January 27, which is today, is the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. There are other memorial days surrounding the Holocaust, but none of them will protect us from the next tragedy. If we want to avoid another reason for establishing even more memorial days, we must recognize that the key to solving the problem is within us, and get proactive about solving it.
The key to solving antisemitism lies in eliminating our internal divisions. Throughout history, our unfounded hatred, the hatred that cost us the loss of our sovereignty in the Land of Israel, has also inflicted on us all the persecutions and exterminations we have experienced since. For us, “Love your neighbor as yourself” is not an empty slogan; it is a commandment that we must obey if we want peace and quiet in the world. The world accepts us only when we accept each other. If we hate each other, the world hates us in return for our hatred of each other. This may seem counterintuitive, but it is true nonetheless.
In 1929, Dr. Kurt Fleischer, leader of the Liberals in the Berlin Jewish Community Assembly, sensed why the Germans were becoming increasingly antisemitic. He stated, “Anti-Semitism is the scourge that God has sent us in order to lead us together and weld us together.” Regrettably, the awareness of the linkage between antisemitism and internal disunity did not penetrate deep enough, and the result was catastrophic. This time, we must let the message sink in so that our generation does not suffer the consequences of our hatred for each other.
Michael Laitman, On Quora: “What is global interdependence? What are some examples?“
We were created as interdependent beings. The more we evolve as a humanity, the more we find ourselves becoming increasingly dependent on each other. We find ourselves depending on each other more and more in several fields of human activity, whether it be in trade, commerce, industry, communications, technologies, culture, science, and the list goes on and on.
Take a look, for instance, at how popular tourism has become in our times. Where does the interest in travel come from? We had no such interest on a mass scale even a hundred years ago, but such desires gradually develop in us.
Why are we made to be dependent on each other, starting from our closest circles such as to our homes and our families, and then expanding out to our towns, cities, states, countries, and the more we develop, the more we feel our dependence become global. Today, we can see several examples of how we have become dependent on the whole world.
Whether it be oil and gas supplies, various harvests and crops from different countries and regions, through to all kinds of cultural products that span different countries and cultures, the more globally dependent we become, the more we develop a need to realize our global dependence positively.
We cannot get rid of our interdependence, but we will become forced to change our attitudes to each other from negative to positive. That is, instead of infusing our network of connections with egoistic motives, where we each seek maximum benefit for minimal effort, we would instead seek to relate altruistically to each other, aiming to benefit others over our natural drive for self-benefit. We will then perceive our growing global interdependence as a great phenomenon, one that lets us exercise the “muscle” of benefiting others over self-benefit. The more we do so, the more we will start feeling a new harmonious and peaceful reality open up to us.
As a result, we will reach a point where we will feel a sincere need for the billions of people in the world, that each person is a precious part of a perfect system, and we will feel a need to fuel our globally-dependent relations with positive, altruistic, supportive, encouraging and mutually considerate relations. We would then also start feeling the positive forces dwelling in nature; it would vitalize our entire world with abundance and perfection.
Based on a Kabbalah lesson, “Deriving the Greatness of the Goal from the Friends,” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman from the World Kabbalah Convention, “Rising Above Ourselves,” on August 1, 2022. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
In order to gather the whole force of the light and spread it to humanity, we need to be highly interconnected. Then we will be able to become conduits of the highest light to the world. In principle, this is our task and our destiny. The Creator pushes us, and we must achieve it.
We must be the link between the Creator and all mankind. Therefore, on one hand, we need to somehow hold on to humanity, but the most important thing is to connect with the Creator.
We must know what the true commutation with the Creator and with the created beings means so as to turn, as Baal HaSulam writes, into a pipeline through which the upper light will pass to all humanity.
From the International Convention “Rising Above Ourselves” 1/8/22, “Going with Faith above Reason” Lesson 5
Question: How can I imagine bestowal as a good force if the beginning of this action happens in the quality of reception and my egoism does not perceive bestowal as good?
Answer: You play at it. As Rabash writes: He must believe above reason and imagine that he has already been rewarded with faith in the Creator that is felt in his organs, and he sees and feels that the Creator leads the entire world as the good who does good (Rabash, Article No. 28 (1987), “What Is Do Not Add and Do Not Take Away in the Work?”).
You need to attune yourself to it, and you will see that this is what happens. The fact that you used to see it in a completely different way was only because egoism painted a completely different picture of the world for you.
You must pull yourself by force to the correct picture of the world and create it in connection with your friends. You have to play at it all the time in the group. All the time!
Really, what is the problem? Did you not play games as a child? My whole life has been a game. Today, as a matter of fact, it is also a game. So stop pretending to be understanding, serious, and far from games. I advise you to start playing.
Question: Is playing in a higher degree and working in faith above reason the same thing?
Question: Now, within reason, I try to see my friends higher all the time. And if I will come to constantly work in faith above reason, then what is the difference?
Answer: That you would not have to imagine to yourself that they are like that because you will actually see that they are higher than you.
From the International Convention “Rising Above Ourselves” 1/8/22, “Going with Faith above Reason” Lesson 5
Answer: But you can help them, support them, demonstrate that you love others, help, and give a good example, even if you still completely disagree with them.
You still can do it. We are in a world of lies, therefore lying in the right direction leads you to the truth.
From the International Convention “Rising Above Ourselves” 1/6/22, “Approaching the Creator Through the Network of Connections Between Us” Lesson 1