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From My Facebook Page Michael Laitman 5/5/22
After many years of learning about the spiritual meaning of the Jewish holidays according to the wisdom of Kabbalah, we thought it was judicious to bind together selected source excerpts on the topic from the greatest kabbalists throughout the ages, and primarily Rav Yehuda Leib HaLevi Ashlag (Baal HaSulam), and his firstborn son and successor, my teacher, Rav Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag (RABASH).
Landmarks: The development of the soul in the cycle of the year was compiled so as to pave the way for all our friends, Kabbalah students from around the world, who aspire to be Israel—Yashar El [directly to the Creator], namely to aim themselves directly to the upper force, the power of bestowal and love.
In Hebrew, the word Hag [holiday/festival] comes from the word Hug, meaning a circle. As the hands of a clock repeatedly return to the same numbers, we, too, experience spiritual states in a cyclical process. It begins with the exodus from Egypt, which we celebrate on Passover, symbolizing the beginning of the process, and ends with the final correction on the holiday of Purim.
Each holiday and festival in the cycle of the year is like a landmark symbolizing an important stage in the development of the soul. Through these stages, we come to know ourselves, build ourselves, and experience the spiritual process over and over again.
I am thankful to my devoted students who collected and translated the excerpts herein for those already on the path, and for those who are yet to come. I hope that reading them will help us advance the entire world toward redemption.
My new article on Linkedin “If We Want, We Will Have Independence”
In the short time between 1948 and today, we have built the State of Israel as a strong and prosperous country under immense pressure and constant bombardment. However, we have not achieved a state where we feel stable or safe in this land. Quite the contrary. Day by day the menace increases both from outside the country and within it, and we feel how at any moment, everything that was achieved with blood, sweat and tears, can crumble and dissolve. There is a constant existential threat.
Our inability to achieve security stems from the way we have gathered on this land. We founded this country as brothers in need, as foreigners who agreed to live in this land, knowing that the world is against us and through lack of any other choice. From this starting point, today we are in danger of disintegrating and losing our independence.
When our ego wins and divides, and it always does, “brothers in need” are no longer able to keep us together. Every quarrel goes away instead of strengthening closeness, every friction weakens instead of strengthening and increasing love. Until we can no longer stand each other. And the neighbors adjacent to our borders, feel our disunity and strike us.
Our well-being depends on the peace between us. Therefore, from the very beginning, we should strive to see in each other not brothers in trouble, but brothers. Full stop. We should want to guide each other, be concerned with each other’s well-being and measure ourselves constantly in relation to our mutual concern: Have we achieved these ideals? If we haven’t, we will immediately need to rectify our mistake.
We should become a nation that is no less than a family. Only a concept called family can hold such abysmal differences and by so doing can turn itself into an even stronger and more successful nation.
Our independence depends on an internal factor, and that is our will. The desire to connect across the divide. Connection is the spiritual power that has been inherent in us since our ancestor Abraham founded the nation across the division created by the growing ego or self-benefit. And we do not use this power because we do not want to.
This power, which can dwell between us from the desire for love and mutual embrace, is the highest power. Since it is potentially anchored in us, it is sufficient to ensure our survival here. Nothing more, nothing less. Erecting a real building requires we do it with the right intention, i.e., that it should serve all of us. In this way, not only will Israel truly be built, but the whole collapsing world will be fortified.
It does not take much. A little compromise. I just have to stop seeing the Jew outside of me as a stranger.
Michael Laitman, On The Times of Israel: “Antisemitism in Crimson Print”
Last week, The Harvard Crimson editorial stated in its title that the university daily newspaper is “In Support of Boycott, Divest, Sanction and a Free Palestine.” Wholly adopting the narrative of the Harvard College Palestine Solidarity Committee, praising their “Keffiyeh Thursdays,” and their “colorful, multi-panel ‘Wall of Resistance’ in favor of Palestinian freedom and sovereignty,” the paper stated: “We … wish to extend our sincere support to those who have been and continue to be subject to violence in occupied Palestine. … This editorial board is broadly and proudly supportive of PSC’s mission and activism.” The paper does recognize that “Jewish people — like every people, including Palestinians — deserve nothing but life, peace, and security,” but when it comes to sovereignty, the paper grants this right only to the Palestinians.
At the same time, the writers of the editorial “feel the need to assert that support for Palestinian liberation is not antisemitic. We unambiguously oppose and condemn antisemitism.” It is interesting that objection to the very existence of the Jewish state, a level of disapproval and denunciation that even today’s Russia and North Korea do not face, is not considered antisemitic, but one of the board’s “foundational principles we must uphold.”
We should not be fooled by the paper’s thin veil of moralism; it is antisemitic to the core. At the same time, we should not blame them for writing such editorials when Jewish students themselves feel this way toward Israel. But when it comes to Jews, the only distinction that really matters to BDS activists, antisemitic university professors, Nazis, or whomever, is the distinction between Jews and non-Jews. The rest, for them, is detail.
The Crimson editorial comes as no surprise. It is part of a growing wave of antisemitism, whose end will be another catastrophe for the Jewish people. The editorial, as well as the Jewish community’s lackluster response to it, point to the fact that we, Jews, are not functioning correctly. And if we do not do what we must, we should not expect anything positive in our future. The editorial’s position will gain traction and the Jews will keep silent until they vanish, either physically or spiritually, and probably both.
Our only response to such publications must be enhanced unity. No protests or debates with antisemites will help, but only enhanced focus on internal unity among Jews; this is the only answer to antisemitism, and the only thing that will diminish it. Jewish sympathy with BDS is not our main problem, but what this sympathy reflects: the depth of Jewish division. The more divided we are, the more we increase antisemitism.
Today, we have BDS supporters even in the Israeli government. That is, within the Israeli government there are people who are against the State of Israel. If it sounds absurd, it is.
To tackle antisemitism, we must understand why there are Jews. I understand why Jews do not want to sympathize with their own heritage. Jews are pariahs. However, if Jews knew what it means to be Jewish, what a noble duty we have been given, and which the world demands that we carry out, perhaps they would relate to their heritage with more respect.
Just the fact that we are held responsible for so many misfortunes proves what power we hold in the eyes of the world. It proves that the world believes that we can bring tremendous good to the world, and they are mad at us for not bringing it. Therefore, all we need to do is find out what is the benefit that the world demands we bring it.
The benefit that we can, and must give to humanity is mutual responsibility among everyone. We are the nation that conceived this notion when we first established our nationhood. We coined such sayings as “That which you hate, do not do unto your neighbor,” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” We became a nation only after we united “as one man with one heart,” and immediately thereafter were ordered to be “a light unto nations”—to be the world’s example of unity.
Yet, we have lost our unity and have fallen into abysmal hatred of each other. In such a state, we do not serve our purpose, we are not a model of mutual responsibility or unity, and because of it, we condemn the world to perpetual bellicosity.
Everyone but us feels this and hates us for it. We are the only ones oblivious to our calling and therefore do not understand what everyone wants from us. While humanity cannot articulate its grievance against us, the fact that it accuses us of warmongering proves that they believe that we can eliminate belligerence.
Indeed, we can do it by restoring our internal unity above all our divisions. By this, we will become a “light unto nations.” If we restore our mutual responsibility, we will become the model that the world demands that we become, and we will gain the world’s respect and gratitude. Then, and only then, we will not see antisemitic editorials, as people will understand why there are Jews, and why there is a Jewish state.
Michael Laitman, On Quora: “What is the culture of consumption?“
The culture of consumption is first and foremost in the human mind, that we do not care about what is going on as long as we get what we think is good right now.
We need to understand that our desires, thoughts and intentions—our attitudes toward the still, vegetative, animate and especially the human levels of nature—need to be balanced, positive and benevolent. Therefore, our culture of consumption needs to be stopped, and we need to be given the required tools so that we would be able to understand how to relate to our decisions at any given moment.
We do so by taking other people and nature’s forces into consideration. Accordingly, we would take only our life’s essentials from nature, similarly to animals, which do not harm nature.
However, since we are people and not animals, then we need to understand that we are the worst part of nature, that we are all on this planet together, and we thus need to be concerned about how to restore its balance.
We should thus seek out how to become concerned about our environment, so that it vitalizes us and so that we do not destroy it. We lack only this concern. We can bring ourselves to a state where we will start caring, but it will already be too late because there is inertia in nature until we correct something, until it grows and restores itself.
Several researchers have pointed to our consumption culture as the major factor that requires changing in order to deal with climate change. Indeed, if we correct this corrupt aspect of our lives, then we would bring about newfound harmony and balance throughout the still, vegetative, animate and human levels of nature, and our planet would prosper. By undergoing such a change, we would see how everything in nature falls into its right place. We need to begin this change, and we begin it in our hearts.
Based on the video “How Consumption Culture Affects the Climate Crisis… and What We Can Do About It” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman and Oren Levi. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
Photo by Juli Kosolapova on Unsplash
The instrument of perception of reality is the person himself. Therefore, as long as we are imprisoned in this device, in this person, we cannot do anything. We must always attribute the additional condition that everything is attained relative to us.
All the huge processes that we study by looking at the universe, micro or macrocosm, we explore relative to ourselves. And with respect to other creations, unearthly beings, they would unfold in a completely different way.
Does the anti-world exist? Yes, it exists! And in it, there are creations who in correspondence with it perceive everything in a completely different way. And there can be an infinite number of such anti-worlds.
That is why, I hope that with time science will come to the right conclusions. Scientists have accumulated enough data to come to the realization of limitations. We are people, we feel only in ourselves, relative to ourselves, and according to how we are created, we cannot feel otherwise. Let’s assume that in this place where we now exist, there are a huge number of other universes, states, dimensions, beings, and creations.
Meaning that place, space, and time is all conditional. Therefore, Kabbalah says: “Until we will not go beyond our limitations, let’s use ordinary science and not get confused.” This is because we assume that this is all there is. And what does “everything that is” mean? It means that what we perceive exists and there can’t be anything else.
We can advance further, but still, only based on the instrument that I myself am, and we limit ourselves by this.
Kabbalah is the science of receiving, the science of perceiving the universe, and not only ours, but in general everything that exists, regardless of our body. We have to get out of it. Such a possibility exists. We have to investigate it: its limitations, boundaries, nature, perception, and its method of attainment and awareness.
At the same time, we will begin to comprehend how we can perceive everything that exists in a different way. And then we will achieve a true view of the world.
From KabTV’s “Close-Up. The Will of the Universe” 28/11/10
Question: Isn’t the current way of upbringing a theater of the absurd? We study a variety of subjects, the laws of mathematics, physics, and chemistry. And we are not taught who, for what, from where or why we are.
Answer: Obviously, and who can teach this? You can demand anything from teachers, but they weren’t taught this either. They don’t even know what to tell the children.
And children have a greater desire, a greater potential request than their parents. Who will tell them about it? After all, the parents also do not know anything about it; they are at a loss.
Parents today are unable to keep their child close to them. They can’t say anything. They have nothing to give! The child has such requests! Does anything change from the fact that the father knows higher mathematics or physics and the mother knows biology, gynecology or something else? Children don’t need this. They need to know the meaning of life!
But parents don’t know about it. Therefore, children look at them like they are dinosaurs living an animalistic life, doing household chores. “Well, go ahead. Just give me something to eat, you can’t fill me up with anything else anyway. Leave me alone!” That’s what a child demands from his parents. And he is right.
It’s the same at school. What can teachers give them if children have completely different demands? They don’t want knowledge in order to learn how to make money. First of all, they want to reach their I.
They unconsciously have such an inner need and feel that they cannot fill it, they kill themselves with drugs, parties, gatherings and even computer games in which they forget themselves, a different atmosphere that they create for themselves that helps them play.
They continue their childish game, because if you take an adult look at the world, this world is empty. It’s better to go back to the children’s community and stay there. This is what remains with them. Therefore they are immersed in computers, in something virtual, as disconnected from life as possible in order to deal less with the outside world.
Question: Does their internal request take on such negative external forms?
Answer: I don’t consider them negative. As a result, these requests will find their way out, their solution. They will break through the shell of misunderstanding, ignorance, and rejection, like an abscess. And people will find the answer that there is a method that allows you to see what you want.
From KabTV’s “Close-Up, Theater of the Absurd” 7/18/10
Question: Kabbalists talk about this concept of building a society where everyone is united. How do they envision it?
Let’s say I understand that there is nothing in the world but evil. Can I replace it with an opposite quality?! After all, there is either a force of attraction or a force of repulsion. We are either giving or receiving. Can I work in a mode of giving instead of receiving? No this is our nature.
But it turns out that there is a force in nature that can change us into the opposite and simply transform us. Today I work only in the receiving mode: where, what, and how to receive. Not to mention, I want to do it more comfortably, more cheaply, with less effort and while giving less and receiving more because this is the formula for my whole life and my activity at every level: physiological, mental, spiritual, whatever.
Can I really change myself? Yes. There is a force in nature that created egoism. It can have such an effect on us that it will change us toward the opposite direction. And suddenly, instead of always acting according to the formula “give less and take more,” we will begin to live according to another formula: “The connection between us is the most important thing and it determines all my actions.”
That is, my actions will be aimed at being as connected as possible with others, not receiving for myself, and uniting with everyone. At the same time, I will discover myself and the whole of nature as one single entity. And if this single whole is not connected together, then it will become more and more destructive and eventually destroy me just like cancer destroys the body.
If I understand this clearly, I will have no option but to find a way to change myself and connect with others. Now, when we are approaching a global catastrophe and because the whole world is externally connected and everyone depends on each other, we are simply obliged to do this.
And here Kabbalah becomes revealed, saying: “There is such a force in nature. This is the same force that created your egoism and keeps influencing it. It can affect your ego and make such an inversion instantly. If you understand that you have to be interconnected with others through good connections, this force will do all the work for you. How? Here’s a methodology for you.”
Then we will really be able to change the nature of man. Not ourselves or any political dictatorships, but the force that we invoke. We see this in the example of the Kabbalists who have been putting this into practice for many generations.
Today we are approaching a state where it can be done by all of humanity. And In this lies our bright future.
From KabTV’s “Close-Up. Gene of Altruism” 9/19/10
Question: Where is the line when a person acquires freedom from death or rather, freedom from this concept?
It means freedom from the angel of death. It is said about this: “Behold, I have set before you today life and good, and death and evil… choose life.” Moreover, this is not life when you simply exist, but spiritual life that you can reach now and rise above it. Essentially, “Choose immortality.”
Comment: Many have tried to seek this immortality. Today scientists are also trying to find this “I” that perceives reality. They have already explored everything they can, and they say: “We do not find this in the brain.” Moreover, we do not perceive this reality through the eyes. There is a kind of screen at the back of our brain that reflects what is inside of us.
Kabbalists spoke and wrote about this many centuries ago.
My Response: Kabbalists saw it, revealed it, and felt it. Scientists just presume. They clearly do not realize that the world we see before us is inside us. They just guess that it must be so, that our eyes do not see what is happening outside. In general, the eyes are not an organ of vision.
The organ of vision is our brain. The eyes are a lens that turns what is inside us outward. Therefore, for the time being, we can explain existence only in this way.
Nevertheless, we will come to a state when we discover that Kabbalah is vital for us, because without a correct view of life, without real attainment of the universe, we simply cannot exist, we get lost in this. We have developed so much and went so deep into matter that we got lost in this forest. What to do next, we do not know. In any area!
We suddenly find ourselves so lost, small, and dependent entirely on nature. We ask, “What is next for us?” Here Kabbalah is revealed.
I think that people will begin to accept it correctly, as a science of an integral single universe and most importantly, as a science that takes us to an eternal, perfect level of existence.
From KabTV’s “Close-Up. Beyond the Last Line” 5/3/10
Answer: Because the sun and the moon are two forces that exist in nature and they affect us.
The sun gives us everything, it gives us life. This is a very clear force. Therefore, all Christian holidays and calendars work under the sun. And for Muslims, as well as for Jews, the calendar countdown is determined relative to the moon. The lunar month begins with the new moon.
By the way, the months specified in the Christian calendar come from ancient Rome and have the ancient Roman names July, August, etc., while the Jews have different names.
Jews take their calendar from the middle line, because there are three lines in the governance of our nature. Two lines descend from top to bottom: solar (left line, Christianity) and lunar (right line, Islam).
And since the Jews have a tendency to imitate the upper power, they were guided by Kabbalah, according to which they took an alternate, solar-lunar calendar. Therefore, on the one hand, they have a very complex calculation system, but, on the other hand, it is the most universal.
Imagine a calendar created two and a half thousand years ago. Up to today, it has been smoothly carried out without any problems. We know the revolutions of the sun, the revolutions of the moon and its phases. We know in advance when there will be leap years, 17th anniversaries, 28th anniversaries, 50th anniversaries; there are such periods. And all this comes from the first day of creation, when the first man, Adam, revealed the upper power for himself.
Since then, we have absolutely clearly known any date in history: on what day of the week it happened, in what year, and so on. But there is a correspondence between our central calendar and the Muslim and Christian ones, since it includes both of them and combined them together in a special middle line.
Therefore, the hours in it are calculated as in the Muslim calendar, meaning the period of darkness is divided by 12, resulting in arbitrary night hours. For example, an hour in the Muslim calendar can last 50 minutes, and in the Christian, 45 minutes. The Christian calendar simply beats time: the twenty-four hour period is divided into 24 equal parts. And for Jews and Muslims, it is divided into 12 day and 12 night parts. The winter hour is long, and the summer night hour is short. It’s more like a sundial. There are a lot of interesting things in this.
But the most important thing is that in the Jewish calendar everything is clearly carried out and known in advance. We don’t need to calculate anything. For example, in the Muslim calendar, holidays can float: one year they fall on summer and another year on winter. In Christianity, too, because it is linked only to the sun. And in the Jewish calendar it always works precisely because we exist simultaneously influenced by the sun and the moon, which symbolize two lines.
From KabTV’s “Close up. Formula of the Creator” 7/18/10