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Michael Laitman, On The Times of Israel: “There Could Be Much More Light in Israel”
On the knife for cutting the Shabbat challah of Baal HaSulam—Kabbalist Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag—were engraved the words, “State of Israel.” Although the Independence Day of the State of Israel has no Kabbalistic background, the establishment of the State of Israel was of great importance to Baal HaSulam.
In the eyes of the Kabbalist, the reestablishment of the State of Israel in the land of Israel was a great step and cornerstone toward the fulfillment of the eternal Jewish vision. Two thousand years after the destruction of the Temple, when unfounded hatred broke out among Jews and we were scattered to all corners of the world, we finally founded once again a state to realize our role as the Israeli nation: to be “a light unto nations” – a model of the correct path for all mankind.
The Zionism of Baal HaSulam was not the Zionism we know, and it did not advocate one party or another. It focused on the goal for realization of the plan of creation, a plan in which the Jews play a central and significant role. From one Independence Day to the next, Baal HaSulam tried to navigate the compass and guide the Jewish people in his writings to fulfill their spiritual destiny.
Independence Day is also of great personal significance to me. Thanks to the establishment of the State of Israel, I was able to immigrate to Israel. And I share the aspirations of Baal HaSulam for the establishment of an exemplary people on Israeli soil. Let us be united as one man in one heart toward that goal. For only in this way will great and positive forces be able to arise among us, superior forces that we will spread to all the nations of the world from the strength of our unity as Israel.
I was recently pleased to hear that 90%of Israelis said in a new poll that they are proud to be Jewish. Without such national pride it is impossible to move forward. However, we should feel this pride as both a reward and an obligation.
While we are rewarded with the exalted role that awaits us, with the distinction of being a special link in the chain of humanity, it comes with an obligation to continue along the path, because we are only in the middle and we must reach the end. Our destination is to reach the state of mutual guarantee between us and then to transmit the power that comes from our unity to the whole world.
We have a heavy and significant work to carry out, and the nations of the world sense this within the contents of the internal global network that connects us all. Year by year, people put increasing pressure on us to push and force us to fulfill our destiny. Sometimes the people of the world relate to us negatively in the form of antisemitic statements, and sometimes they relate positively in the form of expressions of appreciation and a desire for cooperation. But whether from one side or another, the world is steering us toward one clear point: that Israel must be a unique people, upright before God, a people directly connected to and aligned with the revelation the Supreme Force.
Considering the darker side of the recent survey was the admission that about 33% of the respondents, young people aged 24-34, said they were considering leaving Israel. It is the intense stress and pressure, the danger and threat, and, most importantly, the lack of foreseeing a positive future that empower these thoughts of leaving Israel. They all stem from a lack of knowledge and appreciation of our indispensable role as a people, our destiny as a nation, and our responsibility to some nine billion people of the world.
Both the younger and older generations—in fact, all of us without exception—need to go through a maturing process. Simply understanding our role as taught by Baal HaSulam in his writings—a direct continuation of the message of a long chain of Kabbalists stretching back to the birth of our people— will already neutralize the latent contempt some of us may feel for our role. This deeper perception will elevate us and clarify for us how to build among ourselves and later in the world a reformed society.
Question: The time in which we live is special. On one hand, there are dark times: pandemic, war, disease, and death.
According to statistics, it suddenly turns out that along with this there is an increase in social support and charity. Along with the great separation people are experiencing, at the same time there is great solidarity and support. They exist together. It feels like we are being put through some kind of purge.
What do you think we will cling to?
Answer: We are simply being washed like in a washing machine. That’s all.
Question: What is being washed in us?
Question: What is a “clean garment” for you? What should we come to as a result of all this washing?
Answer: We should reach an understanding of how we should relate to the world. We do not know. We rush from here to there. We do not have a clear worldview.
Question: Is that why we were placed into this washing machine?
Answer: Yes. People are not yet free within themselves to create a clear, definite, independent, objective base for themselves in order to observe the world from it, and precisely from it.
Question: Is this washing and cleaning in order for us to have at least some small light through which we would look at the world? Is it only then that we can talk about some kind of getting closer to objectivity?
Answer: Yes, at first we begin to understand how biased we are, how there is absolutely nothing that is clearly our own within us. Everything is superficial, everything changes very much depending on what we hear and what we see.
Question: Do we have this understanding that if they have already started washing us, it means we are dirty?
Answer: So what? I have nothing else. I think this way today, in a day or two or a week or two I will think differently. I myself do not know from which side and to which side I am gradually drifting. Not at all.
Question: How do we get through this time and come to a good result?
Answer: This is possible when we see a goal and we aim at it, we harpoon it, and we can be directed at it and go to it, swim to it. We harpoon it and it is dragging us.
Question: What should be the goal?
Answer: The Creator. There is nothing else. The world is already close to beginnin to discover this state.
Moreover, for us this discovery is turning to be scientific in some way, experimental, like for scientists, and so on.
And for people it will happen naturally. Like this: turn left, turn right, no, not here, no, not there, but where is it? And so on. That is, they will be rocked on the waves, and in the end they will see that here it is, the promised land.
Question: Are you saying that nowadays some kind of gyroscope is as if inserted into a person, like in an airplane, which leads him to the goal?
Question: Is this gyroscope my inner voice that will be saying what I feel?
Answer: The gyroscope is a small motor that is clearly oriented, for example, to the North Star. No matter how its platform rotates in all planes, this spinning top is clearly directed at it along its axis.
Question: Is this how we will be directed to the Creator?
Answer: Yes! We need someone to spin this top within us. This is the middle line that should appear in us. Then there will be nothing scary.
Question: Is this what you call the best and only result of this whole washing and cleaning?
Answer: Of course! After this, everything becomes clear!
Question: Is this why all this is happening now?
Answer: Yes. Hold on to it and keep walking.
Comment: May God grant that this gyroscope, this wheel, will be finally inserted into us.
My Response: Yes. But only if we want it.
Question: How will I, a simple, ordinary person, perceive the Creator? What is it that I am yearning for, going toward?
Answer: The only truth of all possible ones. Then everything in the world will gradually subside, settle down. In general, it will all calm down.
Comment: God willing!
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 3/21/22
Question: You often say that man himself creates the Creator. Isn’t this idolatry?
Answer: When a person creates the Creator, that is, builds an idol for himself, this is idolatry. Usually, this happens in all religions and spiritual practices.
Comment: But we often say that in uniting with each other we create the Creator.
My Response: No. We create a quality that we call the Creator. That is not idolatry. We do not sculpt anything for ourselves to worship this doll.
Comment: It turns out that without revealing the altruistic positive force of nature in our feelings, it is impossible not to be an idolater.
My Response: We are all idolaters until we become at least somewhat similar to the Creator. That is, if the quality of bestowal, of absolute, pure bestowal, is even a little bit higher than zero, it already is a quality that is above the egoistic work called idolatry.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 4/5/22
Question: If I give something without knowing what and to whom I give it, and neither society nor other people, not even the Creator know about it, is not such selfless giving idolatry?
Answer: I would not be so sure about the words that the Creator does not know. After all, we are talking about the fact that I simply imagine that I can do an action that no one, even the Creator, knows about.
And how do I do it? For what, why? Without any motivation?
Comment: No, I want to be like the Creator. And He is an absolute bestower. He can do actions with no relation to Himself. And I also want to do such an action.
My Response: Let us say that theoretically, you did it. And then what? Has the world changed for the better? What is the result of your action?
Comment: The result is that I have come closer to the Creator, at least in theory. It is said that He is a quality of bestowal, an absolute altruist, and I want to be like Him. So I am trying to do this action. And if I fulfill it, then it means that I am getting closer to Him.
My Response: That is right. The Creator is your standard. You want to be like Him in the quality of bestowal, love, and selfless help. Then do it.
Question: And this will not be considered idolatry?
Answer: No, because it is bestowal. The Creator is the absolute, working only for bestowal. If you want to be like Him, work for bestowal.
It will not be idolatry because you do not want to get anything for it. Idolatry is the desire to receive for oneself.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 4/5/2
Question: There is such a thing as “scientific idolatry.” It manifests in the fact that one relies on science more than on oneself and on God. Is the worship of science considered idolatry?
Answer: It depends on what form of worship. If only to obtain some scientific data in order to move forward further, then no.
And if this stops a person and he worships exactly what he has received from science, believing that it is final, irrevocable, and unshakable, then this is already idolatry.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 4/5/22
Question: If Sigmund Freud did not have an answer to the question about the meaning of life, then was he simply trying to disengage a person from it?
Answer: I would not say that Freud did not understand this. He just clearly set the boundary where this issue was really solvable from a scientific point of view, from the point of view of the psychoanalyst’s impact on our world and the study of its reactions, from the point of view of the psychologist’s interaction with his patient, and so on.
Therefore, he acted sensibly in suggesting that we treat materialistic psychology as a science.
The great Kabbalist Baal HaSulam welcomed materialistic psychology because it analyzes matter, studies matter’s obvious reactions, and on this basis empirically builds its approach and thus develops.
In this regard, as Kabbalists we are in harmony and friendship with psychology, but that is not what we would say about philosophy, which is full of contradictions, mutual oppositions, and gaps from end to end, although Kabbalah is studied at philosophical faculties.
Sigmund Freud understood this problem. He wanted to make a science out of psychology, which he purposefully called psychoanalysis, and all this was done experimentally; he himself took all kinds of substances, including narcotics.
Therefore, he said that the question of the meaning of life goes beyond the scope of our existence and is considered painful, as in not real, not sane, and not healthy from the point of view of the researcher and as such it must be related to in that way. In this he is absolutely right.
From KabTV’s “Close-Up. Is Frankl right?” 8/8/10
Answer: Yes, in this she assumes upon herself a certain function of the Creator. She is giving birth.
Question: Is this the reason that for many women the period of revaluation of values is a difficult one?
Answer: Yes, depression and very serious conditions can take place here, but all this is due to the hormonal restructuring of the body. As a result, there is a very serious internal process of growth and maturation, and it cannot be substituted with anything.
It is the function of childbearing, development, upbringing, and care that is the function of the Creator. From the structure of the spiritual system, we see that a woman in this state is Bina, i.e., the function that is above us. Through Bina, the Creator influences us. Therefore, we call it mother nature.
There is no substitute for this and, of course, men are disadvantaged here in many ways. Only a complete connection, the correct interaction of a man and a woman can compensate for a man what he will never be able to achieve by himself.
From KabTV’s “Close up. Unwanted Children” 1/2/11
Preparation to the Lesson
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Lesson on the Topic “Ascents and Descents”
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Writings of Baal HaSulam, “Study of the Ten Sefirot,” Vol. 1, Part 1, “Table of Answers for Topics”
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