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My new article on Linkedin “Another Perspective on Whoopi Goldberg’s ‘The View’ Comment”
Earlier this week, actress and comedian Whoopi Goldberg, who co-hosts the show “The View” said on the show, “The Holocaust isn’t about race,” but about “man’s inhumanity to man.” The backlash soon followed and ABC, which produces the show, suspended Goldberg for two weeks. The Holocaust is definitely about race; the only problem is that the Jews are not a race. If they, and the world, knew what being Jewish means, the fate of the Jews and the fate of the world would have been very different from the current dismal state of both the Jews and the world.
Jews are not White, as Goldberg pointed out. They have no distinct color because they have no distinct origin from which they came. The first Jews were followers of Abraham, who was born in Haran—a major city in Mesopotamia, which is today within the boundaries of Turkey. Abraham was not a Jew; he was an idol-worshipper, the son of a successful idol-worshipping priest who had an idol shop.
According to Maimonides (Mishneh Torah), the Midrash (Beresheet Rabbah), and other sources, Abraham was worried about the growing enmity among his people. His concern made him ask poignant questions about life and how it is governed, or as Maimonides put it, “Who is the owner of the Capital?” and how he could help his quarreling townsfolk. Eventually, he discovered that only one force governs everything, and that what his people needed to do in order to overcome their division was to unite until they became as united as that one force.
Abraham began to talk about his thoughts and circulate his ideas. The idea of unity and oneness resonated with some people, but most people shunned it, including his King, Nimrod. As a result, Abraham and his followers were driven out of their city and their country and began to wander toward Canaan.
Along the way, Abraham continued to speak of his ideas and more people joined his entourage. These people later became the people of Israel, and their motto was unity to the point of oneness, or as they later described that level of unity: “as one man with one heart.”
After Abraham’s passing, Isaac continued in his father’s footsteps, Jacob followed Isaac, and so did Joseph. Eventually, when Moses managed to unite the divided nation that had splintered after Joseph’s death, they had become a full-fledged nation.
Their feat—building a nation out of complete strangers by sticking to the notion of unity—has remained unparalleled and unmatched to this day. No other nation had been built this way.
Precisely because of their unique background—their eclectic makeup—they were the perfect example of what the world could be like if all the people became as brothers. The Jews became a model nation for better or worse. When they were united, they were proof that people from different tribes, backgrounds, ethnicities, and faiths could unite above their differences. When they were divided, they displayed all the hatred that the nations feel for one another since the Jews are the descendants of those rivaling and quarrelsome nations.
Because of our unique background, we have been given a unique role in the world: to be a model of unity above hatred and differences. Because of our unique role, we were, are, and always will be at the center of the world’s attention. Because we are expected to show unity and be a model nation, we were, are, and always will be judged by a stricter standard than the rest of the world. Until we complete our task successfully and set a permanent model of unity, the world will keep reproving us and claim that we are bullies, warmongers, and thieves, and will accuse us of every wrongdoing that the world can think of.
Therefore, although the Jews are not a race, the Holocaust was certainly against the Jews, very specifically, and not some conflict between groups of Whites. At the same time, if we want to end antisemitism, we should focus not on silencing antisemites, but on silencing the criticism, spite, and hatred that we feel for one another.
The world will not embrace us until we embrace each other. If we remember this, our future is bright. If we forget it once again, then more troubles are ahead for all of us.
My new article on Linkedin “No Amnesty for Israel Until There’s Amnesty Among Us”
Just recently, Amnesty International fired a quiver of poisonous arrows at Israel. One may ask, what is new? A new report by the international NGO accuses Israel of being an apartheid state not only in terms of its policies in the West Bank and Gaza, but also within its borders. This time, it bluntly questions the very nature of the Jewish State, and even Israel’s right to exist. There is only one antidote to this hateful polemic: Jewish unity.
“In the course of establishing Israel as a Jewish state in 1948, Israel expelled hundreds of thousands of Palestinians and destroyed hundreds of Palestinian villages in what amounted to ethnic cleansing,” reads the 278 page report titled Israel’s Apartheid Against Palestinians: Cruel System of Domination and Crime Against Humanity. No more no less.
Where are the voices against other totalitarian and dictatorial regimes around the world while Israel is systematically singled out and accused of hideous crimes? Whether we like it or not, it is a fact that the Jewish state is judged by a completely different standard than the rest of the world, and this is called antisemitism. We must question where this antisemitism has its roots in order to tackle it.
In the complicated global reality we live in today, the more frequent and intense the problems are, the more humanity blames this tiny nation of Jews for its problems. Amnesty International and other haters seem to be telling us that If Israel were wiped out, the world’s problems would end.
They cannot even explain to themselves why they persistently and determinedly persecute us, but by this “special treatment” antisemites unconsciously elevate our status as a people with a special role in this world. Summarized in simple terms, their message is that the State of Israel, founded on the Land of Israel, is obligated to exist according to the laws of the nation of Israel – to be “like one man with one heart” and to act according to the rule of “love your neighbor as yourself.” If the nation does not exist in this way, in accordance with these laws, they believe that the Jews have no right to exist on their land, so they must be sent back to the Diaspora until perhaps in a few hundred years they will return and succeed to unite.
The principle of unity should be implemented first and foremost within the Jewish people in order to set an example to other peoples. Such high expectations on Israel have been expressed by some of our most vociferous critics throughout history. For example, American antisemite Henry Ford admitted in his book The International Jew: “The whole prophetic purpose in regard to the people of Israel seems to be to enlighten the world morally through their agency.”
At the other end of the spectrum are the lovers of Israel, the sages of the nation who knew how to define the meaning and purpose of the Jewish people, such as Rav Abraham Isaac HaCohen Kook, who explained the role of the Jewish nation in his writings: “Within Israel is a hidden sanctity of elevating the value of life itself through the Divinity that is present in Israel… With utter completeness will it be completed within the house of Israel, and from it, it will radiate to the earth and to the whole world, ‘for a covenant of the people, for a light of the nations.'” (Rav Abraham Isaac HaCohen Kook, Ein Ayah [A Hawk’s Eye])
In other words: If we fail to maintain solidarity and cohesion among ourselves, we will continue experiencing big trouble. But if we base our relationships on love and mutual understanding, we will be a source of goodness that spreads to the whole world, and hostility towards us will vanish.
Answer: If we are saying that each one cares for himself, it is impossible to be as one man, since they are not similar to one another. However, if they all annul their selves and worry only about the benefit of the Creator, they have no individual views, since the individuals have all been canceled and have entered the single authority.
The most important thing for us is to annul ourselves, our authority. No matter what we do in the group, in the spiritual area in which we want to develop, there should be no authority of our own.
Our power should be in not having our own authority. That is, a person must control himself in such a way as to annul the egoistic desires of his heart. This is very important!
We are all different. Everyone has different desires, different intentions. But by annulling ourselves, we become similar to each other in the direction of annulment. And although we are all very different, even opposite in some things, it does not matter.
If we annul ourselves, we all become the same—annulled. And when these annulled ones connect together, the Creator reveals Himself in them because an empty place remains in them, they have opened themselves for the attainment of the Creator.
From the International Convention “Rising Above Ourselves” 1/7/22, “Annulling before the Friends” Lesson 2
Answer: You must imagine life in the quality of bestowal, connection, love, and reciprocity, care in a group. In this case you will be able to show your friends that you are striving for this and that you are in it. This is the obligation in order to realize the condition of guarantee or the condition of faith above reason.
A loner cannot fulfill the spiritual law in any way, it is only relative to others.
Therefore, concern for the fulfillment of the condition of faith above reason must be accepted by all the friends, each in his own measure and in the form in which he can imagine it. This will lead to the revelation of the upper world in you.
From the International Convention “Rising Above Ourselves” 1/9/22, “Working in Mutual Responsibility” Lesson 6
Question: If a person makes efforts to connect, but at the same time it becomes more and more difficult for him to establish an internal connection and get closer to the group, how should he act so that this connection is nevertheless strengthened and the connection of the group with the Creator is strengthened?
Answer: Pray, ask, and act together, we have nothing else. Actually, everything is very simple. The more we advance, the simpler the method becomes.
We just need the connection between us, in which the Creator will be revealed. In fact, nothing is easier than that. It is just difficult to implement because we act against our egoism.
Yet, there is nothing difficult in the method itself. It is said that the Creator made everything very simple and people complicate it with their calculations.
From the International Convention “Rising Above Ourselves” 1/7/22, “Adhering to the Friends” Lesson 3
If there are quarrels between friends, but at the same time they understand internally that they need to unite, how can a person take a step toward a common ascent each time and not stick to fears that friends may push him away?
Answer: Everything depends only on the importance: to what extent is the Creator in my mind higher than me and my friends, how important is He in my eyes, how much am I able to rise above myself to merge with Him even if for the sake of this I have to annul myself in front of my friends up to the point of annulling my “I.”
From the International Convention “Rising Above Ourselves” 1/6/22, “Approaching the Creator Through the Network of Connections Between Us” Lesson 1
Question: Is prayer to the Creator and building relationships with friends on top of it the basis of our work?
Answer: Prayer is the most important action because egoism can be corrected only to the extent that it asks for its correction. It is said: There is no coercion in the spirituality. Therefore, only to the extent of our desire can we receive help from above, and the upper light will correct us.
So without prayer we go nowhere. We will remain small selfish animals, like those that exist around us. We are no different from them except for the ability to rise to the next level.
But this possibility depends only on how much we can unite and, in our unity, beg the Creator to raise us to unity. Then we will enter the next level of existence. But nothing else.
Therefore, we analyze the very necessary, very important points of our spiritual advancement, and we will try to reach the next level. In practice, it is already among us, it just needs to manifest itself clearly.
Question: Should a prayer be passed through the group to correct the connection, which includes family members?
Answer: We do not normally include a request for family members in group prayer. We cannot disconnect from our egoistic desires, motives, and connections in it. Therefore, such a prayer will not, at least at our stage, be truly spiritual.
From the International Convention “Rising Above Ourselves” 1/9/22, “Asking the Creator to Fill the Place Between Us” Lesson 7
Michael Laitman, On Quora: “Is pride evil?“
Pride is a key expression of our egoistic nature, where we want to feel that we are above other people.
Pride is given to us in order to realize the extent to which we are indeed egoistic, that we think and care about ourselves over others. Such a revelation should bring us to the conclusion that if we wish to be beneficial parts of society and nature, then we need to act according to nature’s force of connection and altruism, outside of our egoistic nature.
Pride is thus a positive quality. It is given to us in order for us to realize that we are insignificant when we are under its control, and that this realization of the evil of our pride and our egoistic nature in general would enable our desire for a different control upon ourselves: the unfettered control of nature’s altruistic quality. In other words, the evil of pride is in order to lead us to the absolute good.
We have been given pride in order to eventually come to feel it as a foreign force that controls us. It makes us submit to benefiting ourselves over benefiting others, and when we feel it as a foreign controlling force, we then come to seek strength from—and a genuine connection to—the altruistic force of nature.
Based on KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” on November 4, 2021. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
My Response: This is absolutely true. If you tamed, that is if you brought some of your properties, into a person or even into an animal, then you are responsible for those properties that now exist in him from you. And you are thus responsible for it.
That is, if you teach a person something, then see that as a result of your studies and training with him, he advances correctly in life.
Question: And if not? Am I taking the blame?
Answer: It is entirely your fault. Absolutely! It cannot be otherwise.
Comment: That is, one cannot say: “I invested so much in him, but he … look.”
My Response: If you have invested, then you have put yourself into it. And that’s it. You are responsible for it.
Question: What should be invested in a person, for real, in the course of life?
Answer: Man must receive help to create his soul.
Question: What is the soul in your understanding?
Answer: The property of bestowal and love for strangers, for others, for everyone.
Question: Is this really the only task of a teacher?
Answer: Yes. Nothing else is needed.
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 11/29/21