Question: Do you think there may come a time when students will be able to see you as a friend?
Answer: I would like that, but it is unlikely. I do not see this yet, and I am afraid of spoiling the energy for the students that gives them a special idea about me.
The fact is that when a teacher becomes the same in the eyes of a student as the student himself, a problem arises. He loses the energy of movement; there are all kinds of doubts about the knowledge that he receives from the teacher; he disregards him. In order to feel close to the teacher, the student must be ready for the state where he deifies his teacher. This is not easy.
I know this from my own experience—when you cook food for the teacher, go to the sea with him, to the sauna, take care of him in the hospital, and he is sick and helpless, and you have to feed, wash, and clean him. Rabash had both hands and face burned, and I was with him for several weeks.
These are all complex processes for the student and teacher that come from above, and they must work with each other in this way and understand why they are given this. The teacher understands. For a student, however, this is a terrible problem! We need to understand what happens at this time, what thoughts, tips, and preventions are given to the student.
Comment: Our entire world is built on hierarchy—the president and his entourage, for example. But their relationship is certainly different than what you describe with the teacher.
My Response: With a teacher, you are given such thoughts, desires and circumstances that you have the full opportunity to disregard him. It is very hard for you to tune in to something good. Very hard. This is work, and this is a struggle.
We say that in the group you need to elevate your friends, the ten, and the Creator in your eyes, that the importance of the goal determines the energy that you can expend on moving toward it. But with a teacher it is even more difficult. The reason is that in the group you have the support of your friends. Regarding the Creator, you also have the support of the group. With regard to the teacher, it is not enough to see from the friends that they exalt the teacher.
Moreover, it depends on how the teacher behaves. Some do everything to attract people who would idolize him, respect him, and be attached to him, which is a purely Eastern technique of cunning in processing a person. This is an anti-Kabbalistic entity.
I do not do that. I studied with Rabash who was an absolutely simple person that walked freely through the streets of the city at a brisk pace; in no case did he break away from the people, as they say.
Next to him, I felt that this is exactly what a person should be. There is no other way if we are all equal under the Creator. And I respected him for that.
However, there were those who said: “Well, what is this? Is this a rabbi? Is this a respected spiritual leader?” Where are these hundred and fifty kilograms of weight, where is this importance and slowness in communication? Where is his splendor in conversation when you ask, and after five minutes he slowly turns to you, answers a couple of words, and you are already satisfied that you heard some kind of response from him? There is nothing of this! Because everything is based on actions.
It was the same with Baal HaSulam, because we are dealing with nature, with science, with the methodology of changing a person. There is no relation to religion, no manipulation; you are given a technique, and you are taught how to use it. That’s all.
Comment: Still, many people treat you with great reverence.
My Response: I am trying to transform all this into clearly businesslike ways of changing a person in his work on himself. Let him respect me only to the extent that he needs to listen to what I have said. That is all. I do not need anything more from him!
From KabTV’s “I Got a Call. Confessions of the Kabbalist” 2/23/13