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Michael Laitman, On The Times of Israel: “9/11 – a wasted opportunity for unity”
On Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001, America suffered the worst blow to its pride since Pearl Harbor. On that fateful day, 21 years ago, 19 terrorists hijacked four passenger airliners. They crashed two of them into the Twin Towers in NYC and destroyed the World Trade Center. A third airliner roared into the Pentagon and set its western wing on fire, and the fourth airliner flew toward Washington DC. In that last plane, the heroism of passengers, who fought against the terrorists, prevented an even greater disaster as they caused the plane to crash into a field in Stonycreek, Pennsylvania. Three thousand lives were lost, 25,000 people were injured, and countless more suffered and still suffer from substantial health consequences in what became the single deadliest terrorist attack in human history.
It left not only America, but the whole world in shock. No one perceived America as vulnerable, certainly not on its own territory, and in its most sensitive and essential spots. Anyone who was old enough to understand a news bulletin will never forget where they were when they learned what had happened.
To many people, the collapse of the towers meant much more than the grief over lost and ruined lives. It indicated that the 21st century was going to be very different from its antecedent and that it did not bode well for America.
The US did everything it could to prevent another 9/11, as that day became known. It tightened airport and airplane security, and launched a massive manhunt in Afghanistan, where Osama Bin Laden, leader of al-Qaeda, the organization that carried out the attacks, was hiding. In 2011, after nearly a decade of frantic searching, Bin Laden was found and killed.
The security measures did help, and a second 9/11 did not happen, and not because terrorists did not try to carry one out. But as for the American way of life, nothing really changed. Any event, especially a traumatic one, brings people together. For this reason, even the most tragic circumstances can yield positive results and build a more robust and cohesive society.
For a while, America came together. America stood behind the president when he launched the campaign against Bin Laden and when the government introduced increasingly stricter security measures. But the unity did not last.
The thing that was hurt the most in the attack were America’s military deterrence, so money was poured in abundance to restore it, and to reconstruct the World Trade Center, but nothing was done to nurture the budding sense of solidarity, the feeling that “We are in this together, all Americans, as one nation.” Nothing was done to water the shoot, so it withered and died.
Writer Robin Wright eloquently articulated the sensation that America is coming apart in a column in The New Yorker: “The United States feels like it is unravelling. It’s not just because of a toxic election season, a national crisis over race, unemployment and hunger in the land of opportunity, or a pandemic… The foundation of our nation has deepening cracks—possibly too many to repair anytime soon, or, perhaps, at all. The ideas and imagery of America face existential challenges … that no longer come only from the fringes. Rage consumes many in America. And it may only get worse after the election … no matter who wins. Our political and cultural fissures have generated growing doubt about the stability of a country that long considered itself an anchor, a model, and an exception to the rest of the world.”
Robin’s intuition is dead on; there is no mending to the fissures. But there isn’t meant to be. People will only grow further from each other over time since this is the trajectory of the evolution of the ego, and no country cultivates the ego like America.
A solution will be found only when people decide that the unity of the nation is more important to them than the triumph of their own view. I hope and pray that the American people will rise above their numerous conflicts and bridge the chasms in society. However, without understanding that canceling the other side also cancels them, I do not see what will be the impetus that will drive them to save the US from collapse.
Michael Laitman, On The Times of Israel: “Queen Elizabeth II – a Model Monarch”
Queen Elizabeth II was an exemplary monarch. She lived through very significant and complicated times in history and kept England stable and on course. I think Britain should be proud of her representative. If we are looking for a model of a good monarch, Queen Elizabeth II definitely fits the description.
Britain will now have to create a new image of a monarch after so many years of being accustomed to seeing Queen Elizabeth in this position. It will not be easy, but the country has no choice, a monarch is crucial to Britain’s stability.
Speaking more generally, nations need a king. In Israel, too, there was a king for many centuries; it maintains order in society.
However, the duty of the king of Israel was more than to rule. He was to be a model of a good relation toward everyone. The role of the Israeli king is to teach people to love others as themselves, and the king should be a model of such love.
As for England, I wish for it to keep itself together, all the members of the commonwealth, and to increase the bond between them. This will be the main task of King Charles III.
Historically, the UK and Israel have always had a good connection, albeit with some disputes. I hope that with King Charles, we will be able to maintain the good connection going forward.
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II (4th-R) waves to the crowd as members of the royal family (L-R) Prince Charles; Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall; Prince Harry; The Duke of York; The Duke of Edinburgh; The Earl of Wessex; and The Countess of Wessex look on at Buckingham Palace as part of the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of VE Day in London, July 10, 2005. Thousands of British war veterans gathered in central London on Sunday to mark the 60th anniversary of the end of World War Two, a ceremony made all the more poignant by last week’s deadly bombings in the capital. REUTERS/Paul Hackett RD/SA
Michael Laitman, On The Times of Israel: “What I Wish for Israel’s New Chief of Staff”
Herzl “Herzi” Halevi, the current deputy chief of staff, will soon become the 23rd chief of staff of Israel. Congratulations. The Israeli army faces countless challenges, from terrorism through conventional warfare, to nuclear weapons. On top of it, it is a melting pot of the Israeli society, where all the factions live together, work together, fight together, and die together. It is clear, then, that the task of Israel’s top commander is not an easy one.
What makes this task even more daunting is the fact that there is really no way to carry it out successfully. The army cannot stop terrorism, cannot thwart the nuclear threat, and cannot win a conventional war because there is none, and if there were, it would mean that the army’s deterrence has deteriorated to the point where a war could break out, so once again, it is a failure.
In order to end the Sisyphean struggle on multiple fronts, it is time for the army to consider a new focus for its efforts. Since the IDF is already a melting pot where all factions of society work together, even if against their will, it makes the army willy-nilly the ideal arena for enhancing social cohesion and solidarity.
It is not as if the army does not know this. Every army base is peppered with slogans that praise unity and mutual dependence. However, signs and slogans do not anchor unity in people’s hearts; mutual efforts for a common goal does that, alongside a constant educational effort to explain the paramount importance of these values.
Our biggest problem has always been division. Even the mighty Roman army could not defeat Jerusalem were it not for the infighting among the factions within the city in the final days of the First Temple.
Nothing has changed since then. When we are united, we are invincible. Israel’s solidarity is so potent that it not only vanquishes any enemy, it turns foes into friends and makes Israel welcome among the nations, the opposite of our current status in the international arena.
Enhancing solidarity should therefore not be a byproduct of the army being a social “eggbeater”; it should be a key component in our defense strategy.
Israel will not defeat its enemies until it defeats its internal enmities. Once it achieves this, it will discover that it has no enemies, and that its only nemesis has always been division.
Answer: Only by getting closer to the friends, only when a person clings to his friends and wants to be one with them. There are no other means because the Klipa is the desire to move away, to push away, to isolate oneself from others in order to concentrate inside oneself.
There is a common Klipa in the group that acts to separate friends; it is pride, envy, etc. And there is specifically the Klipa of Al Menat Lekabel (Amalek) that acts against the greatness of the quality of bestowal, the upper force, the Creator. It says to a person: “Your benefit, your profit is more important.”
Question: Does it mean that it is impossible to go through all the spiritual work and all the clarifications and not fall into Klipot?
Answer: Naturally we must fall and rise, fall and rise. In this way, from our falls, we will raise a little part of Klipa with us, a little of this husk, a little of egoism, a little envy, jealousy, and everything else. By raising these pieces of our egoism, we will correct them.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 8/21/22
Question: Usually, we rise after falling into the Klipot. Is there a state when you fall into them and can’t come back?
Answer: No, this practically cannot happen because the Creator, the upper force, takes care of everyone and raises everyone anyway. So it doesn’t matter if one fell or didn’t fall. It is also said about this: the righteous man will fall a thousand times and rise.
Question: So there is only a difference in time, one fell and got up in a second and the other in a year?
Answer: It depends on the speed at which a person prepares himself to rise.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 8/21/22
Question: You once said that corporeal love is just a hormonal craving to calm the “evil inclination” and that there is no love within our framework. Did I understand correctly?
This feeling arises in order to become integrated with each other: I am in his desires and he is in my desires. To the extent that we rise above egoism, annul it, and wish instead to work with the desires of other people in order to fulfill them, to love your neighbor as yourself, precisely here love appears.
But what does love itself mean? It does not come from us. Precisely because we destroy our personal egoism and become included in each other, light enters into this mutual inclusion. The Creator, who is love, becomes revealed.
From KabTV’s “I Got a Call. Hormonal Love” 5/1/13
1) Katnut—the beginning of her formation, in which there is only the Sefira Keter in her, in which her light of Nefesh is clothed, and her bottom nine fall outside of Atzilut, in the world of Beria.
2) Gadlut—when her bottom nine rise from the world of Beria into the world of Atzilut and with them, she is built into a complete Partzuf with ten Sefirot (Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai [Rashbi], Zohar for All, The Rose).
Question: What advice would you give to a new student who finds himself at a Kabbalah lesson for the first time?
Answer: Our Source is called “Infinity” (Ein Sof). From there, through the world of Adam Kadmon (AK), the light descends to the common Tabur (navel). Below are the Partzufim of the world of Atzilut: Atik, Arich Anpin (AA), Aba ve Ima (AVI), and ZON (Zeir Anpin and Nukva). And below them are the worlds of Beria, Yetzira, and Assiya.
We study about what is happening in the world of Atzilut. For us, it is of utmost importance because here is where governance is conducted and where the past, present, and future are contained. It is concluded with the Parsa (border, separating line), which restricts the spread of the light of Hochma (Wisdom).
Below, in the worlds of BYA, are the broken souls, and all the way at the bottom below the common end line (Sium) of the light coming from infinity is our world. Here, we exist in our bodies until we are awakened spiritually.
The souls raise their desire, their appeal for correction, to Malchut of the world of Atzilut. It utilizes the connection with Zeir Anpin and raises the souls’ desire to Him.
To the extent that Zeir Anpin connects to Malchut, they become a joint Partzuf called ZON and ascend to AVI. Zeir Anpin ascends to Aba, the fatherly Partzuf, while Malchut ascends to Ima, the motherly Partzuf.
ZON obligates “father and mother” to give them all the necessary lights, corrections, and fulfillments and then they return to their place. There, they become “big”; they acquire the adult state of Gadlut. This helps us clarify the meaning of the two states of the rose, that is, Malchut: Katnut and Gadlut.
In the first state, it represents only the point of the upper Sefira— Keter, whereas its other nine Sefirot are below the Parsa. Also, here are the forces of Klipot (filth, shells). This is the meaning of the phrase “a rose among the thorns”: Malchut among the Klipot. It is Malchut’s first, smallest state.
In her adult state, Malchut elevates her lower nine Sefirot, makes a Zivug (mating, coupling) with Zeir Anpin by unifying with him and thereby becomes a genuine rose, blossoming to its full beauty. Malchut can become this way only when her “thorns,” meaning Kelim (vessels) that are unconnected and unfulfilled by Zeir Anpin, ascend to a Zivug with him.
All of this is evoked by the broken souls when they unite together and it is they who bring about the correction of Zeir Anpin and Malchut. Herein lies our entire work: to bring about the correction of ZON until they reach their ultimate state.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/28/10, The Book of Zohar “The Rose (Shoshanah)”
In the News (NPR): “China’s government banned effeminate men on TV and told broadcasters Thursday to promote ‘revolutionary culture,’ broadening a campaign to tighten control over business and society and enforce official morality.
“President Xi Jinping has called for a ‘national rejuvenation,’ with tighter Communist Party control of business, education, culture and religion. Companies and the public are under increasing pressure to align with its vision for a more powerful China and healthier society. …
“Broadcasters should avoid promoting ‘vulgar internet celebrities’ and admiration of wealth and celebrity, the regulator said. Instead, programs should ‘vigorously promote excellent Chinese traditional culture, revolutionary culture and advanced socialist culture.’”
My Response: I agree with them. We suddenly began to believe that everything was possible for a person, that he or she is at such a spiritual level that he can perceive everything about himself correctly, that he knows what is good and what is bad. And it is good that they show me the bad so that I can move away from it even further.
This is all wrong! A person will perceive and absorb everything! And, of course, he will perceive the bad more than the good. Therefore, the Chinese are right, nothing good will come of this. Ban it! It is like with children. We give the child only what can benefit his development and not everything we want.
Comment: In principle, this philosophy is peculiar to people of art. I know directors who say: “I show bad things so that a person is horrified and does not go there. I want to show bad, scary things!”
My Response: I would have sent this director somewhere for correction.
We need to show to a person something that can be absolutely precisely used by him for his spiritual elevation so that an Adam (Human) would grow within him and not an animal.
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 6/30/22
Question: A lot of people write to us about the fear that permeates everything, that there is fear for oneself, fear for loved ones, fear for children, fear of death. Moreover, the situation cannot be changed and it is frightening.
The main question is how to overcome fear. Is it possible?
Answer: Let go of the situation. Don’t think about what will happen in the next moment. There’s nothing we can do. We don’t know anything about it. And that’s why it’s best for us to let go.
Question: But is it within a person’s power at all?
Answer: Yes, it is. This is achieved by a little bit of training, but in principle, it is necessary.
Question: So can I exist inside a real dramatic situation, threatened with death, with anything you can only imagine, as if it doesn’t exist?
Answer: Yes. You invent a dramatic situation, to use your words, and you annul it. Or other things: you say that it can’t be, because it can’t be. I already know that I’ll be fine, that I’ll be well. Or I’m not interested in it at all, not even now! It’s the best thing—to let go of the reins and not control anything.
Question: So you think that fear arises from the fact that a person tries to manage this situation?
Answer: He wants to manage it and cannot. That’s where the fear comes in.
Question: And when I let go, I seem to control it, but, as it turns out, from a different side?
Answer: Sure. Think about the fact that of course you will die, of course everything will be after, and something will exist after you. You don’t lock this world up and go somewhere out there. It is not known how this can be imagined. So it’s okay. Imagine this is normal; agree with it, and that’s it.
Question: I understand the general situation that I need to let go. Can you offer a few steps on how to let go of any situation?
Answer: No, different people do it differently. There are people who are starting to think: “What will happen to the world after me?” “How will my loved ones and relatives be?” “What will happen to my inheritance?” “What will happen to my creative legacy?” And so on and so forth.
Question: Then the question is: why is fear given to a person?
Answer: So that he can correct something additional: his attitude to life and death.
Question: What should this fear turn into? If it is given from above, what should this fear flow into?
Answer: It must flow into absolute submission to the will of the Almighty, the Creator, and to the fact that one still has something to do in those moments (there may be a huge number of them) until one really finishes his earthly journey.
Question: Basically, does a person have to do something one way or another? What should he do?
Answer: Calm down. Nothing else. This is what a person should do.
Comment: You once said that the Creator is at peace, and man should come to the same peace.
My Response: Yes.
Comment: Then give us the definition of peace.
My Response: Peace is when the next moment doesn’t bother you. It absolutely does not bother you! Not that you live in it. If you live in it it doesn’t bother you, because you live in it. But it just doesn’t bother you. We must come to this.
Question: Then am I living in this moment?
Answer: And there is no such moment. Don’t think that you exist at all.
Question: That is, I am as if floating on the river, floating and that’s all?
Answer: This is also a bad attitude to life. “Lift the oars” and “float” are also not good.
Comment: This point is not very clear.
My Response: It is not clear to anyone. This is the point at which we achieve absolute calm.
In other words, it can only be this way. “I rely on the control of the Creator. He controls everything, including me in every moment of my existence. And in general, He controls the whole universe and everyone. So I have nothing to worry about. Do I want to crawl into His correction, His governance, His force over all this? No.” If not, then sit still and get on with your life.
There should be no difference between how you exist now and afterward when you decide how you should exist.
Question: Such a point of stillness?
Answer: Yes. This indicates agreement. This means that you agree with the Creator. And it’s not easy. After all, we always want to grab His hand, check what is planned there, and argue that it should maybe be done a little differently.
Question: Is there no need to grab anyone here? Just like that and that’s it?
Answer: Let go.
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 6/30/22