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Medium published my new article “The Hunger Games of War”
After a month of war in Ukraine, an unprecedented world food crisis is anticipated. The wheat exports of Russia and Ukraine combined account for nearly 30 percent of global production, while Russia is the main fertilizer exporter in the world. Therefore, the conflict threatens to rapidly unleash a “perfect storm” in global agriculture, affecting food availability and prices. At its root, we need to realize that the impending hunger is not the result of a lack of food but a consequence of an excess of human egoism.
If we consider that around 45 million people in the world are already on the brink of famine, and nearly 283 million people in 81 countries are at high risk for food insecurity (according to estimates of the World Food Program), the forecast for the future is not promising. An energy crunch and skyrocketing increases in natural gas prices, have dealt a severe blow to food production and transportation costs.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization predicts a spike of at least 20 percent in food prices in the coming months, on top of the disruptions and cost increases due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is expected that the situation will acutely exacerbate global food security and create social unrest and instability.
If the world had approached the problem of food security correctly, it might not have reached such a crisis as to endanger provisions that could put millions in danger of starvation. We could have approached the situation in a healthy way and assessed what we have, how much is needed, who is lacking, and how to best distribute our resources, as in a family.
The problem is that while the world is increasingly interdependent, at the same time it has become increasingly disconnected. No one really thinks about the welfare of others. In some places, the basic grains for consumption will be even burned in order to keep the prices high, causing people in other places to literally starve to death. So the food crisis we face is not a matter of limited provisions but the lack of mutual concern and responsibility between us.
This is not the first food crisis the world has faced and will not be the last one. The billions of dollars received by international organizations to tackle hunger could have fed the entire world several times over, but the problem is not solved because there is no real interest in finding a solution. Hunger is a profitable business and a way of dominance. Those who make a cash cow out of it will be happy to perpetuate starvation. Others, in a cold-headed analysis, even look at the global population of 8 billion and think that it would be easier and more advantageous overall to deal with half that number of people, as was the case one hundred years ago when fewer natural resources were demanded.
In my view, until we deal with the heart of the problem, which is the egoism in human nature and the war between self-benefit and the common interest, we will find no remedy for our woes. We have run out of options. Only rising above selfish interests for common benefit can spare humanity many more years of needless torment.
The food crisis we face should force us to reassess our priorities about how to deal with global problems. Only when people grasp that everyone in society is dependent on everyone else and that the world is like one body in which a severe illness in any of its organs affects the whole system to the point of collapse, will we begin to change. At that time we will begin to see acts of mutual concern, and support systems that are established by the community, authorities, and everyone responsible for the emergence of a new society of mutual responsibility. Humanity simply has no other choice, no other way to survive.
Michael Laitman, On The Times of Israel: “How a Father of Five Becomes a Killer of Mothers”
Last Tuesday evening, a 35-year-old man, a schoolteacher and father of five from the Bedouin settlement of Hura, drove his car to Beer Sheba. There, he saw an elderly Jew riding his bicycle. He rammed him with his car and killed him. He drove away from the scene and stopped at a gas station, where he spotted a woman standing with her back to him. He stepped out of the car, drew an 8 inch long blade knife and stabbed her in the back. She turned to him and he stabbed her again. She fell on her back so he leaned over and stabbed her until she stopped moving. She died. He got into his car and drove on. Near a roundabout, he pulled over, went into a clothing store and drew his knife. He stabbed three people there, two men and a woman. The woman died. He went back to his car and saw an elderly man driving through the roundabout. He accelerated and crashed into the car. The elderly man was hurt and stunned. The schoolteacher got out of the car, drew his knife, and stabbed the elderly driver multiple times until he died. At that point, a bus driver saw what was happening, drew a gun, approached the attacker, and told him to put down the knife. The attacker jumped on him, too, but the bus driver pulled back and pulled the trigger. The stabber collapsed and died within seconds; the killing spree was over.
It is hard not to wonder how a father of five, a schoolteacher who spends his days educating children, can become so monstrous toward people from another faith. But when you think of what he himself was taught—that killing Jews, any Jew, not necessarily soldiers, rewards you with heaven above, admiration below, and a lifelong financial support for your family, courtesy of the Palestinian establishment, it becomes more understandable.
Indeed, the reward came right away. Hamas praised the killing, and the social media post in Arabic that the Israeli government posted about the slaying got more than 4,000 jeering faces within hours after posting.
In his past, the assailant spent five years in jail for membership in ISIS. Clearly, he had been filled with hatred from his youth, which led to his joining ISIS, and the hatred he absorbed there lived long after his release from jail. Indeed, the applause on social media proves that killing Jews is praiseworthy in the Arab society as a whole.
There is a solution to the problem, but it takes courage. Currently I do not see who among Israel’s leaders has it, but the solution will not change if we stall. It will only become more evident that there is no other way.
There are two steps to the solution. Since hostilities have reached a level that risk innocent civilians, the first step is to separate the two populations. Arabs and Jews can no longer live together; it is a fact of life, written in blood.
Jews and Arabs have a common father: Abraham. Just he said to his brother Lot, “Is the whole land not before you? Please separate from me; if to the left, then I will go to the right; and if to the right, then I will go to the left,” Jews must part from their Arab cousins.
The second step in mending the situation is to solidify Jewish unity through education. There will never be a military solution to the belligerence of our haters. As our leaders and sages have been telling us since the inception of our nation, the only thing that can dissolve the world’s hatred toward us is our own internal unity.
We, the nation that conceived the notion of loving others as ourselves must implement it on ourselves and set an example of unity and mutual responsibility. If we do, the world will welcome us, including the Arabs. If we do not, we will continue to suffer from senseless killings and the world’s hatred toward us will only grow more violent.
For more on the significance of Jewish unity, see my books 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.
Comment: Nowadays, more and more, scientists, public figures, and national leaders agree on the need to create some kind of unified global idea that contributes to the survival of mankind.
And although the reverse process is still going on, meaning, there are attempts to defend specific traditional values, in general the following trend is manifested, the creation of a single global vision for all, which would speed up the process of cognition of the programmer who created the universe.
My Response: We cannot get away from this, we have to do it. Nature pushes us to understand it and come to some kind of reasonable human community. It is impossible to continue like this, because every moment we will be more and more afraid for ourselves, for humanity, for the world, and for our Earth to continue to exist.
We need to move into a new reality. Now it seems like it is virtual to us, even fantastic. But it works exactly according to the mirror principle: turn your evil into good and you will see how the world will become completely different, and you will be different, and so will everyone else.
We have no other way out. We have to come to this.
From KabTV’s “Virtual World” 2/9/22
Question: The Book of Zohar was written 2,000 years ago. Do you know the current location of the original book, its first scrolls? After all, there were a huge number of scrolls, and only 5-10% reached us.
Answer: Yes, initially The Book of Zohar consisted of 100 volumes, but a maximum of three or five of them have reached our time.
Question: Can the original source itself ever be revealed?
Answer: I think it can be, but why reveal it? If a thousand more pieces of parchment are revealed, like the Qumran scrolls, for example, so what?
The Book of Zohar must be revealed in people. People need to understand its meaning, its basis. This is the most important thing.
Question: Baal HaSulam notes that this book has made a very strong impression on the world. Where are the consequences of this visible in our world?
Answer: We don’t see that, but, in principle, if such knowledge, such force, is manifested at least in something, in people, in forces at the level of our world, then this should give the world a big boost in its movement toward final correction.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 2/15/22
The Tanakh often mentions the city of Jerusalem and its importance. The Tanakh was written by people who attained the upper force and described how to reveal a spiritual state called Jerusalem (Yerushalayim or Ira shalem).
It means that a person reaches a state where he is completely in awe, but in good trembling. He experiences this not because he is afraid and trembles from the possibility of receiving some kind of punishment, but he trembles because he wonders whether he can really do to the Creator the same thing that He does to him, all that goodness, the upper abundance, everything that He pours out on him.
We are not talking about a simple person in our world who is in concealment, but about someone who reveals the universe and sees how the Creator did everything for his benefit—eternity and perfection. And at the same time, he reveals an adequate attitude to the Creator. This is called the state of “iraa shlema” or “Yerushalayim,” that is, absolute awe, absolute aspiration.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 2/22/22
Question: We influence each other on the level of desires and thoughts. And the fact that laws are being passed today that were unthinkable ten years ago is this because we are connected to each other at the level of thoughts and desires?
Answer: The fact is that we agree with the corruption, with the descents that occur in society. And if this is, let us say, the opinion of the majority, then it inevitably becomes law. Therefore, we have no choice but to go with the flow along with society that is gradually falling, falling, falling.
The science of Kabbalah reveals to a person his place, his purpose, the meaning of his life, and answers the questions that he needs to know in order to exist. It gives him both strength and knowledge of how to change his life.
From KabTV’s “Close-Up, Partnership Agreement” 4/7/10
Answer: People do not understand that a person who asks a question about the meaning of life is at a higher level of development and that greater voids are revealed in him than in them. They can somehow fill their little voids with restaurants, jobs, awards, and medals. But this person cannot.
Today, the question about the meaning of life arises latently among billions, but many do not understand what is happening to them. They pass it off as some small problem, ill health, dissatisfaction at work or at home. People do not understand that this is a deeper issue that is connected with eternity. That is the whole problem.
Question: So, does the disclosure of this question within a person show that he is at a higher level of development, and therefore others cannot understand him?
Answer: Of course. With this question, we rise from the level of animals that live without thinking according to the orders of nature that automatically arise in them and that they fulfill. We begin to think, “What for?” This is already a question about eternity, the level of the Creator. Here we must reach His degree because we can no longer remain animals.
At this level, I begin not only to function correctly in the world around me, but I am obliged to study why I exist. I must understand who is launching me and why He is doing it. I want to be like Him. I want to understand the meaning of everything that happens to me. Only then will I be able to do something, otherwise I will not have the strength.
That is, I must reveal the Creator. The Creator is the next degree that controls us, the general force of nature.
From KabTV’s “Close-Up. Summing Up” 4/7/10
Question: All Kabbalistic primary sources speak of internal wars, but we see the manifestation of wars in our material world. Is this process inevitable?
Answer: This process is inevitable and it is constantly moving forward. Its formula is very simple: the opening of the right line, the opening of the left line, the appearance of the middle line between them, and its disappearance. Then again one line rises above the other, plus over minus, minus over plus. This is how development goes on all the time.
Question: If everything in nature is determined, then does it mean that the course of its events cannot be changed and all wars must manifest themselves, including the third and fourth world wars that the prophets wrote about?
Answer: Yes, unless we apply forces to constantly bring these two opposing forces into balance with each other.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 3/1/22
You shall not curse a judge, neither shall you curse a prince among your people (Torah).
Question: Where does respect for judges come from? After all, an ordinary person cannot know the level the judge is at or how much he has distanced himself from his ego.
Answer: The issue is that a judge is not a person but a certain inner quality that allows one to judge himself. The beginnings of this quality are inside each person, and everyone should develop it within themselves. Without it there is no point in even thinking about rising to the spiritual degree.
It is also said: You shall set up judges and law enforcement officials for yourself in all your cities that the Lord, your God, is giving you… (Torah).
This means that if I want to get out of Egypt, i.e., out of the prison of my ego, I must cross the Red Sea (Yam Suf – Final Sea) that separates egoistic desires from altruistic ones and begin to develop altruistic desires in myself.
However, I must develop them in accordance with the instructions, calculations, and qualities that I find in myself compared to my former egoistic qualities and rise above the ego and thus constantly judge myself about how to rise again and again. All the states I pass through are the “period of judges.”
Question: What are the cities where one sets up judges and law enforcement officials?
Answer: You can enter the upper world, the quality of bestowal, connection, and love, only if you meet the condition of not being controlled by the forces of the ego, but by the the forces of love and bestowal you receive from the corrected egoistic qualities.
Then a completely different, new world opens up before you. You are building it and creating it.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 1/11/22