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Michael Laitman, On The Times of Israel: “Moses’ Leadership to Take Humanity Out of Egypt”
Against the background of a worldwide vacuum in leadership today, the figure of Moses who brought Israel out of Egypt seems more relevant than ever. What made the great prophet, the hero of the Passover holiday, so prominent in the pages of history? What special leadership ability did he have?
In terms of leadership ability, there was nothing overtly special about Moses. He was anything but eloquent, he wasn’t a born leader and often failed to understand the Creator whose message he was carrying. With his apparent lack of success, anyone else would have given up long before, but not Moses. He had the quality that we would love to see in today’s leaders: true, unselfish love for his people.
Throughout history, there have been many people who have known how to handle things well and manage others according to their selfish aspirations, but they have not necessarily been considered great leaders. Sophistication, cunning, and other slick qualities, all of these are not required in a true leader.
A leader is really first and foremost an educator. Moses certainly did that, he educated his people toward loving one another and helped them connect above their egoism, their innate desires for self-benefit. The Hebrews united around Mount Sinai, which not coincidentally takes its name from the Hebrew word “sinah” (hate). They did not destroy the mountain of hatred between them, but sent the most pristine element in their midst, Moses, to climb the mountain, conquer it, and bring down a law (Torah) by which they would be able to establish love among them.
But the Torah is not a Hollywood script. It speaks of the spiritual development within a person and the constant struggle between the forces of egoism and the forces of brotherhood and unity within us. This is explained in The Book of Zohar with the line, “Man is a small world.” So when it is written in the Torah (Exodus 6:2) about Moses that the spirit of the Lord spoke in Pharaoh’s daughter to call him Moshe (Moses) from the word “moshech” (pulling), it is because he is the one who pulls Israel from exile, pulls them out of Egypt, meaning out of the egoism that was destroying the relations between them.
Today we feel the period of the darkness of Egypt starting once again, but it is general and global. We already clearly see that the entire world is tightly interconnected, most recently with the impact of the pandemic and with the repercussions of the war in Ukraine to the economies and food supplies worldwide.
We need to face the darkness and also understand what it is showing us. It is meant to bring all of humanity closer to redemption. We need to stop pretending this state of darkness has not descended on all of us. We cannot ignore it or merely hope it will go away. It is important to recognize it and understand that the darkness is the sign of a new bright state.
But we need some help to use this warning purposefully and achieve the desired results. We should be led by the attributes of Moses’ leadership as expressed in the form of a pan-social educational system. We need a system that will allow each of us to understand that the root of all of our problems, at home and abroad, is the ego that brings separation and that wars between us only make all of our lives bitter and bring only more troubles upon us everywhere in the world. We need the leadership that will teach us to transcend all disagreements and will teach us how, despite all the differences, to connect with each other.
Conversely, if we disrespect and harm one another, more blows like the ones of Egypt will certainly be revealed. This means that everything depends on us now. If we understand like a child who sees the look on his parents’ faces and interprets the warning, and improves his behavior in response, then there will be no need for more blows. Instead, we will build bridges of love over hatred.
Medium published my new article “When We Leave Our Kids with Someone Else”
For several weeks now, police in the Israeli town of Qiryat Shemona have been investigating a case of child abuse, when five kindergarten teachers abused thirteen children in their care. The events, which were documented on webcams, consisted of physical and emotional abuse, where teachers grabbed one hand of the children and hoisted them into the air, threw them on beds, covered their heads with blankets, leaned on them, and prevented them from removing the cover from over their heads. The cameras were installed in the kindergarten after the government made it a law several years ago to document everything that happens in kindergartens, following another case of child abuse.
For their part, the horrified parents, who had to watch the recorded videos in order to confirm the identity of the children, do not understand how women, who are all trained and certified teachers, became such monsters toward their children. Where was their motherly instinct?
There are two things we should note here: 1. I have said before and I will reiterate here that no matter how many cameras we install in a kindergarten or a school, it will not prevent abuse. When I first said it several years ago, people did not believe me; the idea of placing cameras in every kindergarten sounded great to them. They thought the cameras would restrain abusive teachers. Even then, I knew it would not, since human nature is stronger than any admonition, and the presence of cameras will not deter abusive teachers.
2. In no culture and in no indigenous people is it acceptable to leave babies in the hands of caretakers while the mother goes away for hours on end on a daily basis. Infants are always to be kept at home, next to their mother, at least until they are two years old. This is the indigenous way, and the fact that we have abandoned it does not mean that we are more progressed, but that we are out of touch with nature. The first motherly instinct that is trounced is not that of the teachers, but that of the mothers who put their children in their care.
The idea that a mother should return to work a few weeks or a few months after she has a baby is fundamentally flawed. We are putting career and affluence in higher priority than children, so we should not be surprised that our children get hurt. Since the dawn of humanity, and in all of nature, mothers would not dream of handing their children over to someone else’s care. Only we, thanks to progress, have begun to think that we are smarter than nature. Now we are paying the price for our folly.
Moreover, since people are becoming increasingly narcissistic, experiencing what multiple sociologists have dubbed a “narcissism epidemic,” the risk of our children being abused is even greater now than before, and will keep growing over time. Nothing can stop the growing ego. Therefore, nothing will stop teachers from abusing defenseless children.
I have nothing against women working, but I think they should do it from home, at least during the first couple of years of every child’s life. Women need to be there for their children, and no surrogate, however professional and caring, can replace them. Readers might deride my views as backward or outdated; I prefer to call them what they are: natural.
We need to rethink the whole concept of family, parenthood, children, and child-rearing. We need to see how we can rearrange our lives so that we needn’t be in constant pursuit of career jobs and long hours.
I thought that by now, we would be accustomed to working from home, but I see that many people are returning to their offices. I cannot understand why. Who gains from it?
I think women need to do what they love to do; they need to work because they love their work, and not because their livelihood depends on it. Their work should give them satisfaction and fulfillment, and make them happier, not more stressed and anxious about their children.
Granted, there are mothers, and fathers, who abuse their children, too. This is part of the educational process that we all need to undergo. As a whole, however, the only way to prevent child abuse is by leaving children under their mothers’ care. We may have to readjust our thinking, but it will make everyone happier, including the mothers, and to me, this is all that matters.
Michael Laitman, On The Times of Israel: “Will the Jews be Blamed for the War in Ukraine?”
As with any conflict, especially a major one, it is only a matter of time before a blaming finger is turned toward the Jews. The war in Ukraine is no exception. As the war continues, more and more posts and videos are popping up online blaming Israel, or Jews, or both, for the tragedy unfolding in Ukraine. In our defense, we may argue that the truth is to the contrary: Israel’s prime minister tried his best to broker a truce, we set up a field hospital in Ukraine at our own expense, Israel took in tens of thousands of Ukrainian refugees although we are a very small country, and Ukraine’s prime minister is himself Jewish. But no one listens to us since the hatred of Israel and Jews is as old as Judaism itself, and its roots are buried deep in the heart of every person on the planet.
In his comprehensive composition A History of the Jews, acclaimed historian Paul Johnson eloquently articulated how the world feels about Jews: “At a very early stage in their collective existence they [Jews] believed they had detected a divine scheme for the human race, of which their own society was to be a pilot.”
Indeed, the Jewish people did not evolve naturally, out of a core clan or tribe. It evolved by gradually gathering individuals from many different tribes and nations over generations. These individuals eventually amalgamated into a nation by following a single tenet that determined everything they did: the aspiration to love each other as themselves.
If you examine the legacy of Judaism, you will find that it consists primarily of social rules that determine how to build a just and cohesive society where people care for one another. This is why Rabbi Akiva, possibly the greatest sage since Moses, said that the encompassing law of Judaism is “Love your neighbor as yourself.” This is also why Hillel, another one of our greatest sages, said to a man who asked him to explain the whole Torah (Jewish law) in a nutshell (allegorically, while he is standing on one leg): “That which you hate, do not do unto another; the rest is commentary.”
When we were tasked with being “a light unto nations,” at the foot of Mt. Sinai, this love of others was the “light” that we were ordered to shine, our unity above all differences. King Solomon immortalized the tenet of love above all divisions with his words (Prov. 10:12), “Hate stirs up strife, and love will cover all crimes.”
Throughout our ancient history, we struggled to maintain our unity and love for one another. We fought to overcome internal hatred and struggles that arose within us, and be the light to the nations that we were ordered to be.
However, toward the beginning of the Common Era, we succumbed to self-hatred and our social structure collapsed. That failure had made us the world’s pariahs, as we had failed to be a light unto nations. Until we restore our unity and fulfill our vocation, the nations will not forgive us and will not want us among them.
For the most part, they will not be able to articulate exactly why they hate us, so they will rationalize their anger by blaming us for contemporary plights such as diseases, wars, economic crises, religious conflicts, and all the other problems for which Jews have been blamed. However, underneath them all, there is, was, and will be only one grievance that the world has against us: our lack of unity, and in consequence, our failure to shine the light of unity to the nations.
Only when we rise above the division that has been tearing us apart from within for more than two millennia, the world will accept and welcome us. If we unite, we will not need to explain our position; we will not need to justify ourselves; and we will not need to fight against antisemitism. If we defeat the antisemite within us, who hates his own brethren, the external antisemitism will vanish on its own.
Medium published my new article “Indebted against Our Will”
Much has changed in the job market over the past two years. There is a constant shortage of employees as more and more people are unwilling to groan under jobs they do not like. They are looking for freedom and satisfaction, and they are willing to settle for lower wages in return for more freedom. People are becoming increasingly narcissistic. As a result, they are reluctant to follow instructions, and will easily quit just to be free of their bosses. In many cases, people have become so rebellious that they can barely obey law enforcement officers. They simply cannot bow to anyone. But when we break the system that sustains us without building a better one instead, we are risking ourselves and all of society.
If we live in a society, any society, we are indebted to it whether we like it or not. The society influences us, and we influence the society. Since we cannot survive on our own, we are compelled to live in a society.
Therefore, in order to live in a society that we like, we must know the rules of our society and how to conduct ourselves calmly within it. To achieve calm, we must maintain balance among all parts of society. This includes not only the people in our society, but our entire environment, since our peace of mind and well-being depend not only on the people around us, but also on the climate, vegetation, and everything that surrounds us.
The key word in the formula that makes life peaceful and sustainable is “balance.” Everything in nature is balanced in the sense that it is equally nourished by its surroundings and nourishes its surroundings.
We, on the other hand, think only of ourselves. We have no interest in giving anything to anyone. But a society of narcissists is unsustainable. Since everyone operates with only themselves in mind, the society is collapsing. This imbalance between giving and receiving is the source of all our troubles.
We struggle against the compulsion to maintain balance, but the result is that we are in a climate crisis, social crisis, and an economic crisis. There is a growing shortage of food, extreme weather events are increasing in frequency and ferocity, inflation is soaring, and social orders are collapsing the world over.
If we want to feel free, we must free ourselves from egoism. This is what causes our narcissism, and this is our real tyrant. The ego enslaves us and forces us to obey its will. If we choose freedom from egoism, we will learn what real freedom means.
There is no need to be afraid that all our attempts to bestow will eventually turn into an egoistic action for our own sake. We still need to continue. If I give a friend a gift, then of course, this is also an egoistic action, but it is pleasant to me and pleasant to the one to whom I do it.
It turns out that we get closer and thus provide the Creator with a place where He can enter between us. The closer we are to each other, the more opportunities the Creator has to be included in this gap.
The Creator does not need a wide gap; on the contrary, He needs there to be a difference between one and the other, but it should be zero. If there is a difference, but this difference is zero, then the Creator is there.
We want to bring our qualities, intentions, thoughts, and desires so closely together that they all act in the same direction and so there is almost no difference between them. The difference between us comes from the side of nature, from the side of the Creator, but we want to merge with each other above these differences.
It turns out that the gap between us in our connection is zero, and then we reveal the Creator in it one hundred percent. After all, the Creator does not need a place; if there is a place, these are already impure forces.
If we would wish to get so close that there will be zero gap between us, then the Creator will do it.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/10/22, “Pesach (Passover)”
Michael Laitman, On Quora: “What does nature do for human beings?“
Nature is global and integral. It demands of us humans to consciously, scientifically and rationally abide by its law of integral connection, that we would create systems in humanity that let us align with its principle law.
When we correct our connections to each other in such a way, we then reach a state where nature’s other levels, i.e., its still, vegetative and animate levels, would also “click” into balance and the world would become calmer and more peaceful.
“Correcting our connections to each other” means organizing our lives such that we would enjoy positive connections to each other all around the world. When it comes to developing a common concern for each other and our planet, our very survival is at stake.
The more we head into the future without correcting human connections, then the more we will experience negative feedback from nature as various disasters, pandemics, shortages and other crises. Moreover, the severity of such blows would increase until a very small number of people would remain on the planet, who would understand that they have no choice but to build positive and caring connections.
Based on the video “What Does Nature Want?” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman and Oren Levi. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
Answer: Perhaps they are closer to recognizing the evil of power, but it depends on the circumstances. The fact is power is not about only one person. We are talking about an individual who exists in society. Therefore, we cannot talk about him in isolation from society, from the outer conditions.
Thus, we have to take into consideration a person, society, the Creator, and the way the Creator governs us through society.
Question: How will the desire for power be expressed within a person in the future?
Answer: I hope we will show people that power has to be kind and caring just like a mother’s power over her baby. Such should be the power of the society over an individual and no more.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 3/22/22
Comment: Over a year ago the biggest trade agreement in history between 15 countries was signed. It promised an increase in income for every third inhabitant of the planet and gave hope for the revival of world trade and cooperation. The agreement united China and the Asian-Pacific region countries including Australia, Japan, and South Korea.
The agreement allows trading partners in Asia to gain access to each other’s markets, reduce taxes on goods, and improve living standards, especially for the poorest countries in the region. They say: “The agreement is open to all. We are waiting for India here.”
Why not live like that? They set noble goals. Even though they are egoistic, they are set to provide income for people who are poor and have nothing today.
My Response: Yes, people there live poorly, of course.
Question: Why can’t all leaders rise above their pride, enter into one union and start to slowly revive our world, which is falling economically all the time?
Answer: I do not think it is possible. I do not even hope that it will all be as cheerful as they write. Someone has to win at the expense of the one who loses.
Such is our world! Therefore, agreements are agreements, but then politics and petty egoism come into play, and that is it.
Question: So we will not be able to live normally in this world?
Answer: No. We cannot. And these good impulses, they are all not good. The point is, how will they win? At the expense of whom will they win?
Question: So you think that one way or another, I have to suppress someone?
Answer: Our world is created in this way.
Question: And when they say “equal agreements”?
Answer: It is what they always say: mutually beneficial conditions, mutual trade, wellbeing of nations.
Question: What union will work?
Answer: The one that has a different goal: to lead people to unity, to rise above themselves, above their egoism, and above their nature. Otherwise nothing will work.
Question: So my goal to provide wellbeing to a third or half of the world’s population, to the whole world, will not work anyway?
Question: And the goal should be that the people of the world will be able to unite?
Answer: Yes. Such a goal is in a state of good balance with the general force of nature and with the general development of humanity. And then of course, it will work.
Question: Can you imagine such leaders who say: “We are now uniting in order to…”?
Answer: And they will explain that “might goes before right,” that you cannot go against nature. And it turns out that going against this basic law of nature is stepping on some kind of a rake again, on one side or on the other, under some other pretext, it does not matter.
Question: That is, if a person does not change and is a wolf to another man, or will be in competition with another one …?
Answer: They are originally wolves. And they will not cover it up with some good external deeds. This will come out and lead them perhaps to an even bigger war among themselves.
Question: Are you saying that if we are wolves, then we cannot achieve anything in this world?
Answer: Nothing, only suppressing each other, only rising one above the other. We must play our egoism.
Question: Who does the wolf have to become for everything to happen? For everything to be good?
Answer: He must understand his wolf nature, and understand that nowadays we cannot act any other way, but only by being aware of our nature and gradually resisting it together. It is not easy, but we should at least admit it.
Question: What advice would you give to these leaders in this situation, in this world? If you were listened to, what would you say? Take care of yourself?
Answer: Yes, take care of yourself. Write a general memorandum of your intentions and how you expect them to be realized; explain it to each other. This is possible only if you advance alongside the development of nature so that your development coincides with its development.
We see over the course of millions of years (with humanity it is over thousands of years) how nature develops us egoistically and at the same time creates such conditions that we must somehow cope with this egoism and balance it. And if we do not, then it is done through war.
So we have no choice but to first understand our nature, what state we are in and what the path of our development should be and that it must necessarily be in connection between us above our egoism.
Question: And is this your advice to leaders?
Answer: Yes, to admit that we all are egoists. It is not that difficult. But the fact that we should work on our egoism and get closer to each other, this is already a problem. How can we see us rising above egoism and acting against it? How can we weaken the egoistic ties between us and replace them with some kind of more or less altruistic, equal ties that are actually based on mutual understanding and mutual connection? It is not easy.
Question: Would the law of mutual guarantee that we are talking about suit them? Can it be included in the memorandum?
Answer: In principle, this implies that we commit to act in mutual assistance.
Question: Mutual assistance to what?
Answer: Mutual economic assistance, which in fact provides for universal development, the one in which no one acts at the expense of others, so that no one suppresses anyone else.
And how is this possible if we are in a closed space, in the closed world? We must initially determine for ourselves the norms of our behavior, each one in relation to all. It is, as it were, a group of 15 people who must work out some kind of a system for relating harmoniously.
Question: And if they decide to build some kind of common territory in which everyone will, in general, be satisfied with this connection, then should they follow these principles?
Answer: They must develop the population. They must explain to the population that the future of the world lies in a good connection between people, otherwise war in our time will destroy them in a second.
Therefore it is necessary to act in such a way so as not to lead these 15 countries to a fierce war in which they have already been, each in their own way; but here it can explode in general. So this association will split into many different small associations, which will begin to fight among themselves, hog the blanket, and this will all end.
Question: This striving for a good connection is necessary, isn’t it?
Answer: Who will lead this good relationship? Who will promote it? Who understands what this good connection means? Who will oppose the egoistic one-man politicians, each of whom in turn wants to climb over everyone and be above them? This is the nature of our world. And who is in charge of these states? The biggest egoists.
So I do not know. Personally when I look at it all, I just care that it does not explode.
If they do not follow the path of the correct education of the population of their 15 countries, then in the end they will see how angry they are with each other, how much their inner egoism does not allow them to connect with each other at least to some extent, and as a result a trade war will begin, then a political war, and then a real war.
Question: So isn’t education the only way?
Answer: Only education, changing a man.
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 1/3/22
But at the same time, other research concludes that the absence of stress has a bad effect on a person’s tendency to empathize and that their positive emotions are less vivid. And it is very interesting that embryos that have been stressed during fertilization are more successfully attached in the uterus and fathers with high levels of the stress hormone take better care of the child.
Is it necessary to fight stress? What is it and why is it given to us?
Answer: Our life is stressful all the time. And inside it, at all biological levels, there is also constant stress. Life is a clash of opposites and their combinations. It occurs on the border between plus and minus. And therefore it can always be described as stress.
Question: So is the combination of opposites such an explosion? Is stress good or bad?
Answer: It’s all necessary. When it is necessary, we don’t define it as good or bad. Rather, we need to talk about how we can manage these states.
Question: So stress can be managed?
Answer: Absolutely! Otherwise, why are we given brains and our whole environment? In order to adapt ourselves to proper stress management.
Question: How can stress be managed?
Answer: It is by understanding that the combination of plus and minus at all levels, in all circumstances, is necessary and should exist, and we need to learn how to do it.
Question: How do we do it?
Answer: It is very simple. Build love over all manifestations of hatred.
It is the same principle. There must be hatred, rejection, and any negative and above it undoubtedly a positive.
This is what the science of Kabbalah speaks of—how to get a plus from a minus, to leave a minus and leave a plus, and so that they exist in addition to each other. In Kabbalah, this is explained as the correspondence of darkness and light.
Question: But how do I attract love if I hate, and hate intensely?
Answer: This must be achieved through education, when a person realizes that there is no plus without minus and no minus without plus and that the correct combination of the two creates life. When a person comes to this understanding, he becomes calm and reasonable, follows the middle line, and builds himself and the world.
Question: What are my actions if I hate?
Answer: Realize that everything comes from an upper force and is given to us so that we balance all negative qualities, properties, and circumstances with positive ones. And all this can happen only in our awareness. When we realize this, we begin to treat everything with kindness, we do not denying anything, but rather we accept everything as an absolute necessity.
Question: So is this hatred a necessity now?
Answer: It is necessary for us to rise above it and exist above it and in it. And then we will balance these two forces of creation: plus and minus.
Question: That’s the whole difficulty: above it, is it possible somehow?
Answer: No, it will only be possible egoistically. In order to exist with it, it is necessary to rise above it and balance all negative properties by adhering to the Creator.
Question: It’s not easy. Can you give some simple formula for rising above hatred?
Answer: The formula is such, that minus equals plus. That is it. Where there is a minus, you should see a plus.
Question: What I hate now is a minus?
Answer: This is a minus until you realize that it is also a plus at the same time.
Question: So it’s good that I hate now?
Answer: Yes. But why is it given to you? So that you can turn it into a plus.
It means to understand that your attitude to the world depends on your attitude to the world. You have to change your attitude to the world. And how? It’s very simple. Replace egoism with altruism and hatred with love. And everything will be fine.
Question: So I hate this person, but I say to myself: “This is given to me so that I love him”?
Answer: You are given just the opposite properties. Replace them with the reverse ones and you will receive a wonderful world.
Question: Is it within my power?
Answer: It is not within your power to transform or to accomplish it, but it is in your power to ask the Creator to make it so you reach a state where you really crave it.
Question: Is this what hatred comes for? So that I beg that I want passionately to replace it with love?
Answer: Yes. And then you will realize that all this was not for that, but in order for you to have contact with the Creator. And that’s it.
Question: Is He calling us to turn to Him?
Answer: Otherwise we would not have turned in His direction.
From the TV program “News with Michael Laitman” 12/23/21