Listen to an Audio Version of the Blog
Listen to an Audio Version of the Blog
My new article on Linkedin “Time for Love to Cover the Crimes between Turkey and Israel”
Last week, Turkey’s president, Tayyip Erdogan, hosted the president of Israel, Isaac Herzog, in his palace in Ankara. The purpose of the festive meeting was to end fifteen years of cold and often hostile relations. There have been previous attempts to thaw the relations between the two countries, but for various reasons, it did not happen. I hope that this time it will succeed.
There are many good reasons to warm up the ties between Israel and Turkey. The economy is the most obvious reason, and probably the most important. The economy sustains the entire world. It sustains every country and every family, and I think that a sense of mutual dependence among people and nations is good. This is why our sages wrote, “Go and make a living off of each other” (Sanhedrin 16a), since this kind of connection is the safest.
Also, in a sense, Turkey and Israel have a lot in common. Both countries are “somewhere” between east and west; and both are looked upon as “outsiders” by NATO, even though Turkey is a member and Israel is officially a Major Strategic Partner. Therefore, we have a mutual interest in collaborating; we can really assist one another.
As for the conflicts of the past, I think they were necessary and, in retrospect, even helpful, as they now form the basis for our rapprochement. If we had had no disagreements in the past, we would have nothing to overcome, no distance from which to draw closer. Consequently, it would be impossible to create closeness. Now that these differences have subsided for some time, it is possible to rise above them and form a strong bond between us.
When there is no disagreement, there is nothing to overcome. If there is nothing to overcome, there is no motivation to draw closer. This is why King Solomon, the wisest of men, said, “Love will cover all crimes” (Prov. 10:12), meaning that hatred is there so we can cover it with love.
Besides the economy, there are other ways we can help each other out. We can help each other in international relations, in various technological developments, and in many other areas. Moreover, traditionally, Turkey and Israel have never been on particularly bad terms; there is no inherent hatred between us, no historical enmity. But even if there were such antagonism, it would be just another impetus to cover it with friendship, as I just mentioned.
On a more personal level, I have been to Turkey several times in the past, and wherever I went, I did not sense any negative feelings. The Turkish are very civilized people. They are an ancient nation, very powerful, and I do not think we should have any problems with them.
The disputes of the past are just politics. And the good thing about politics is that it changes quickly, while the inner feelings remain. Therefore, I think we can look to a better future, learn from the past, and cover all the crimes with love.
War is a great clarification arranged from above, at all levels. But they all focus on one goal: to find out the truth. That is, to gather all the opposing forces from both sides, gradually bring them closer to each other, guide them toward one direction, and return everything to their source—the Creator. The main character in the war is the Creator.
It depends on the Kabbalists to what extent the corporeal war will turn into a spiritual war so that the purpose of the war will not end halfway at the destruction of evil, but will bring it to the subduing of all egoistic desires and transform them into good ones.
To win the war does not mean that one egoism overpowers another, but rather, it means that everyone bows down before the upper force, the force of love and mutual bestowal. The end of the war is not just the reconciliation of two fighting parties, but it is uniting all the inhabitants of this world, which in the end should be aimed at adhesion with the Creator. This indeed will be a true victory.
From the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/8/22, “Winning the War (Against the Evil Inclination)”
How can we win the war against our egoistic desire that cares only about itself? This is its nature and because of that, it is opposite to the Creator, the force of bestowal and love, which obliges us to think about everyone together and perceive reality in this way.
Reality is not what it seems to everyone in one’s egoism that wants to subjugate the world and rule over everyone by itself. On the contrary: it is necessary to overcome one’s own egoism, which exists in everyone, in order to unite with others as one and bend one’s evil inclination so that it becomes a good inclination.
The highest level, the hero of all heroes, is the one who overcomes his evil nature and turns it into good so that darkness will shine as light. Then we come to real victory when there is no evil left in the world. Both opposing forces were given to us by the Creator specifically to research their opposition together so that we could attain Him.
Everything comes from the Creator. He is the only source of everything. Therefore, there is no good and evil in the world; everything is in the force of the Creator, who is above everything. This is the kind of victory we need to achieve so that the angel of death turns into a holy angel, and all the forces that exist in the universe work only for connection and mutual completion.
It is necessary to defeat our evil inclination so that it bends down and begins to work as a good inclination, only for connection. This is our goal. Both good and evil come out of the Creator and come to us in the form of two lines so that we study them, work with them, and realize that we are only required to bow the egoistic intention before the intention of bestowal.
A hero is someone who overcomes his desire, and a superhero is someone who turns his egoistic desire into receiving for the sake of giving. This is the correction.
Therefore, the main thing in war is not to kill, destroy, ruin, burn, or subjugate, but to think about how to correct the evil inclination so that darkness shines as light. Without darkness there is no light; we exist only in the contrast of one against the other. We are not able to feel either darkness without light or light without darkness.
We exist only in the contrast of two opposites. And therefore, only by combining good and evil, darkness and light, can we feel ourselves and exist.
The Creator is constantly growing and inflating our egoistic desire, and we must reduce it and use it for the sake of bestowal. It is precisely because we have a desire to enjoy, the opposite of the light, that we can ignite the light and strengthen it.
The real victory in the war against the forces of egoism is to change the principle of their work, their function. And then, upon the difference of potentials between them, we will emphasize the light even more and reveal the Creator in all of reality. When we cancel the egoistic intention and continue to work with the power of reception for the sake of bestowal, the Creator grows and reveals himself to all creatures 620 times more than before in all our corrected kelim.
Therefore, the war does not end with the fact that evil is completely destroyed. It cannot be done. One can only bend evil, gradually begin to revive it, and use it for the sake of bestowal in the direction of good so that it works together with the power of light and reveals the Creator to us 620 times more.
The Creator has given everyone only one spark in the heart, and we ignite a great light inside our egoistic heart using egoism as fuel to ignite the power of the Creator’s force of bestowal and illuminate the world.
From the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/8/22, “Winning the War (Against the Evil Inclination)”
My new article on Linkedin “America in Search of a “New Normal””
According to a study published by Pew Research Center, two years into the pandemic, “a growing share of Americans appear ready to move on to a new normal, even as the exact contours of that new normal are hard to discern.” Although “the official count of coronavirus deaths in the United States … is now approaching 1 million lives,” writes the research center in another report, and the excess mortality due to Covid-19 stands at 20 percent, Americans desperately want to resume normalcy.
Unemployment has dropped to pre-pandemic levels, children are at school, businesses are open, and sports and entertainment events are running almost as before. But escalating violence, a deepening divide between red and blue, and the plunging popularity of the president indicate that a new normal will have to mean a new society.
The American people are very different from most other nations. It did not emerge from a core group of related people, a clan that evolved into a tribe, which grew into a nation. The United States is a country of immigrants or descendants of immigrants. People of all backgrounds, nationalities, ethnicities, cultures, and faiths inhabit it. Often, these nationalities, cultures, and faiths carried with them centuries of enmity when they came to the “land of unlimited possibilities.”
While in the past, it seemed like the American people have managed to overcome the chasms and develop a distinctive identity, it now appears that the fabric of society is tearing at the seams. The last presidential elections have deepened the division between Republicans and Democrats, and the time since the elections has only made matters worse.
Also, racial tensions have been growing once again, and the Critical Race Theory is being warmly adopted in some states, and vehemently rejected in others. At times, it seems as though America is on the verge of another civil war.
In light of the situation, I think that America should treat the chasms as a calling for its people to finally mend the rifts and glue the individuals into a cohesive nation. America has all the resources, all the know-how, and every reason to exert in this direction since its future depends on the solidarity among its people more than on anything else.
In regards to cohesion and solidarity, I think that American Jews can and should play a major role in fostering unity. Being a nation that emerged much like the American people—when people from different, often vying tribes and clans joined together—the Jews have it in their DNA to connect above differences.
At the moment, Jews are divided more than any other nation, faith, or ethnicity on the planet, but the seed of unity is buried in the unconscious of every Jewish person. It was King Solomon who wrote, “Hate stirs strife, and love covers all crimes” (Prov. 10:12), and it is the Jewish people who were commanded not to hate their brethren and love their neighbors as themselves (Lev. 19). At times when we observed these commandments, we were a light unto nations; when we turned away from each other, the world turned against us.
If American Jewry unites its broken ranks, it will set an example that the rest of America will gladly follow. And if America unites, it will be an example to all of humanity.
It may be ironic, but it seems as though the war in Ukraine has given America something to unite around: their objection to Russia’s invasion into Ukraine. A newly found unity will give America the power it needs in standing up to Russia. If leveraged correctly, it can put the American society back on track toward realizing the pledge of allegiance to be “one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
Question: Is it right to pray for the correction of friends when I know that I must first correct myself?
Answer: In order to pray for the friends, you do not need any personal correction. Praying for the friends is already your correction.
Question: It is said that everything is obtained by the power of prayer. What do the words “the power of prayer” mean? How is this power expressed?
Answer: The power of prayer is expressed by the desire. It is the force of the desire to correct ourselves, to become similar, to unite, and to rise.
Question: Is praying to see the spiritual greatness of my friends the main prayer for the friends?
Answer: This is not a main prayer, but it is a prayer. The main one is connection. And here you are asking for something auxiliary, personal. But it is nevertheless a good request.
Question: Is the request from society for the benefit of society?
Answer: The request of the group should be in such a form that we raise our common Hissaron (deficiency) to the Creator and ask Him to connect us so that we, from our common desire and yearning, can awaken Him to treat us as one single whole.
From the International Convention “Rising Above Ourselves” 1/9/22, “Asking the Creator to Fill the Place Between Us” Lesson 7
Our world is an imprint of the upper world, but just an imprint. This word includes a lot of various nuances.
The fact is that in our world there is an imprint, that is, some kind of white background on a black background. There is something similar to the nature of the upper world, but all this is imprinted on the matter of our world.
The material world is purely egoistic, opposite to the highest. And we who exist as if between two worlds (the imprint and the original) are very complex creatures in structure and worldview. We do not know what to do with ourselves. Where to go? We do not know. Who controls us? We do not know. What is on? We do not know. This is the state we are in.
Comment: Our sensory organs depict the reality we live in for us. We perceive smells and sounds and touch various objects. But, as you say, we do not really know what is outside. That is, our sensory organs, which send signals to the brain, can be affected by anything.
My Response: Of course. It may not be what we imagine. The main thing is what is already depicted in our brain.
Comment: Today, scientists who believe that people are beginning to master a new, virtual world in which they will increasingly immerse themselves, are talking about this out loud. This is what prompted David Chalmers, who wrote the book Reality+, to speculate that if we can create a virtual world that we go into, then did someone else of a higher order create it?
My Response: Naturally, we cannot prove anything here.
We exist in certain sensations that are depicted in our sensory organs, in the brain. To what extent this reality is objective or subjective, we cannot judge either. But the fact that our feelings are subjective is certain. And the fact that this reality can be objective is an open question. In general, nothing is clear to us about our world.
Question: Who is this so-called programmer that is pushing us to think of some higher Creator? What exactly did He come up with? What is His purpose? What should we achieve?
Answer: Our goal in this world is to really understand its programmer and find out why He created us and the surrounding space in such a way. Everything happens relative to us. So we do not know what is really going on. But why He programmed everything in this way and for what purpose, we should know this.
Kabbalah says that our most important and in general our only task is to reveal this programmer, His objective, goals, and methodology, discover and master.
What else do we need? If we could only find out who we are, what we are, where and how we exist, and what we live for, this will give us an answer to the question: What to do next? And so, we do not know. We see that our world is completely lost.
Question: How could someone with the ability to create such a reality come up with horrors in which we have lived and live?
Answer: It all depends on how you look at things. It is quite possible that the task of this great programmer, who created us to feel this supposedly existing universe, this great mind in which, in general, we exist, is to bring us to a state in which we feel lost, abandoned, and in absolute ignorance of where we are, for what and why, and eventually to want to know it.
We will have no other choice but to know the upper force that controls everything. I think we are moving toward this and are approaching quite quickly.
From KabTV’s “Virtual World” 2/9/22
Michael Laitman, On Quora: “How can we help disabled children?“
School trips are no ordinary experience for 12-year-old Mayan Hanan, who has a rare disease that makes him struggle with severe pain during long walks. His class arranged a special wheelchair capable of navigating through the varied terrains. Mayan shared: “On this trip I felt that I’m like everyone else and that I’m equal among equals. Everyone really made a big effort for me.”
Such is an example that what helps a child with a disability is to support them, participate with them, and identify with them.
To identify with them means to understand their suffering, to accept them as equal and to wish for us to live and participate in everything together. And participation means sharing everything that we have 50-50.
How can we share the disability of another person? We can take half of their disability by adding our strength to theirs. And the disabled person supports the able-bodied person by providing an opportunity to help and feel that they contribute.
What exactly does a disabled person give us? This is the crux of the matter. It seems to us that the able-bodied person gives to a disabled person only because we fail to understand how much the disabled person gives. Participation gives us an opportunity to connect and to act together.
What is the correct attitude toward people with disabilities? For the able-bodied, it is a call from the general forces of nature that we need to take these supposedly disabled persons into our society, take care of them, and bring them to a state where they feel no disability at all. It depends only on our correct attitude toward such people: that there is no disability and that we are equal in everything in life.
How are we equal? We are equal in that we share all good and bad things among us equally. When we reach these feelings, even if only a little bit, then we will feel ourselves in a different state. We will be in a different world, one of true equality, which is worthwhile to live in.
Based on the video “Disability Equality from a Kabbalist’s Perspective” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman and Oren Levi. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
Michael Laitman, On Quora: “Is infinite energy possible?“
Infinite energy exists in the attitude of nature toward us, an attitude of unconditional love and bestowal.
As nature is a force of love, bestowal and connection, when we use this force to benefit others, we discover infinite sources of energy, light and beauty.
In principle, we lack nothing on condition that we use everything to benefit others. Why is there such a condition in nature? It is because nature is whole. In order to relate correctly to nature, we as a humanity thus also need to be whole like nature.
We should thus invest in improving human connections up to a point where we relate to each other as nature relates to us: out of absolute love and bestowal. We would then discover infinite energy as we use that energy for the benefit of others.
Based on the video “How to Extract Infinite Energy from Nature” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman and Oren Levi. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
Question: There was a special period in the history of the Jewish people that lasted 300 years called the period of judges. At that time, there were practically no kings or regular army. Can we say that this was a special spiritual level that people were in?
Answer: Of course. Everything that happens in our world comes from the inner, deep states of man and society. You cannot tear one from the other.
Therefore, the spiritual state of each one and everyone together especially at that time after leaving the Egyptian slavery when people felt themselves under the rule of the Pharaoh (egoism) and could not escape from it anywhere, after becoming free, that is, as if they crossed the border from themselves, from the egoism that enslaved them, to freedom, they felt they were in a completely different world.
They no longer had to obey their inner instructions, habits, and inclinations, but could be free from their nature. Thus began the period of judges. It meant that people could judge themselves, rise above themselves, and feel what states they should be in.
Each person could separate from egoism and objectively judge himself and others. But, in addition, there were judges who personified a measure of responsibility and a measure of understanding of what state the people were in.
Question: Did the judges have such a moral level that it allowed them to rule the nation even without executive power?
Answer: People had their own power. They were at the mercy of their forces, thoughts, and decisions. They were their own judges. Therefore, this period is called the period of judges.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual states” 1/11/22