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Michael Laitman, On The Times of Israel: “What Holidays Are Celebrated During the Month of Tishrei?”
Before overviewing the holiday cycle during the month of Tishrei, it is important to understand that the Jewish holidays are not a celebration of specific historic events that an isolated group of people experienced, which is irrelevant to humanity and its further evolutionary development.
What are the Jewish holidays? They are spiritual states, i.e., omnipresent varying levels of our equivalence of form with nature’s form of love and bestowal, which we attain through our spiritual progress toward greater and greater states of unity among each other and with nature.
With that in mind, we can discuss the Tishrei holiday cycle as a series of spiritual states, i.e., introspections, conclusions, decisions and inner actions that we perform as we progress from the sensation of our reality locked within our egoistic desires—where we wish to enjoy ourselves for self-benefit alone—to the spiritual reality—where we wish to benefit others and nature, immensely expanding our sensation of reality.
Leading up to the Tishrei holidays is the month of Elul, which ends with the period of repentance, Selichot, where we reach the conclusion that our egoistic approach to life drives us to a state of helplessness and despair.
The introspection from the states of Selichot leads us to the first day of Tishrei, Rosh Hashanah, which means the beginning (“Rosh”) of change (“Shana” [year] from the word “Shinui” [change]). That is, we reach the decision that we want to change our egoistic attitude to life with a new attitude that does not oppose and resist nature—as we do when we remain in our inborn egoistic desires—but which is in balance with nature, i.e., in balance with an attitude of love, bestowal and connection.
After making the decision to change our egoism into altruism that characterizes Rosh Hashanah, we soon arrive at the realization that we cannot make that change on our own. This state is called “Yom Kippur” (“The Day of Atonement”).
The self-examination that takes place during the state of Yom Kippur, which reveals to us the true extent of our egoistic and altruistic intentions, brings us to a new discernment: that there is a single solution to this problem: to raise the importance of benefiting others and nature over the importance in doing so for ourselves. At such a juncture, we then proceed to activate our intention to benefit others and disengage from our egoistic desires. This shift in importance—bestowal over reception; altruism over egoism; unity over division—is the essence of Sukkot.
The Tishrei holiday cycle draws to its conclusion with Simchat Torah, the eighth and last day of Sukkot. On this holiday, we rejoice in the unified state that we acquire, which nature’s force of love and bestowal reveals to us. In other words, on Simchat Torah, we rejoice in correctly realizing the method of connection, called “Torah,” from the word “Hora’a” (“instruction”), and that we corrected our opposition to nature’s altruistic form into equivalence and balance with nature.
The attainment of equivalence of form with nature—a unified state among each other and with nature through an intention to love and bestow that is similar to the force of nature itself—is the final destination to which humanity evolves. Accordingly, the Tishrei holiday cycle represents the various states of spiritual progress from our current egoistic state, through to the opposite altruistic state of love and bestowal that is similar to nature’s force of love and bestowal, the force that created and sustains reality.
Michael Laitman, On The Times of Israel: “What is a Shana Tova?”
A good year (Shana Tova) comes about first from understanding the previous year’s shortcomings.
We then go through a time of introspection. In general, human society is starting to realize that a good life is further and further out of reach. When we start seeing that our egoistic form of development—where we each try making a better life for ourselves at the expense of others and nature—leads to a growing entanglement of troubles and crises, then we reach a state called the “realization of evil.” Thanks to such a realization, we come to see that the egoistic way we live our lives is false, which is a very important step toward the truth.
We then have to find a solution. If we discern our egoistic modus operandi as the problem we need to fix, then the solution is in rising above our egoistic approach to life: that we shift from prioritizing self-benefit over benefiting others to its opposite—the benefit of others over self-benefit.
Therefore, in order to experience a good year, we should set as our goal a positive connection among each other, with mutual support, encouragement and care in our ties.
The more we develop an understanding and feeling of our true state as a single, global, interconnected and interdependent system, with us as the system’s key parts, then similar to how cells and organs function to uphold an organism’s health and well-being, we too would start thinking more and more about the benefit of others and the whole system of humanity and nature we live in.
The more we understand that our egoistic approach to each other and to nature destroys us, then the readier we become to rise above our egoistic goals, and place a higher goal of a harmonious and peaceful connection among all people and nature before us.
We will then start feeling the need for help from a power that is beyond our human powers, since our human powers are all self-aimed. We will find how we cannot “fight fire with fire,” so to speak, and that without the help from a higher power, intelligence and consciousness, we are doomed.
A good year is thus one in which we will invite the positive force dwelling in nature to come out from its concealment, due to our need and request for its help, and then feel that force fill the space between us. When we genuinely desire to reach positive connections of mutual support, encouragement and care among us together with feeling the impossibility to achieve it with the egoistic powers at our disposal, then we develop what is called a “vessel” for the reception of the positive loving and bestowing force of nature to enter into and upgrade our connections. Such an upgrade from egoistic to altruistic connections that are balanced with nature’s force of love and bestowal will then grant us access to a whole new harmonious and peaceful life.
Question: How can one overcome the state of ambiguity and isolation in spiritual work? Why is it given to a person and how does one treat it correctly?
Answer: All this will pass, along with all other actions of the Creator on us. The main thing is to ask. We need to feel that we are completely and unconditionally under the authority of the Creator.
From the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/23/23, “The need for the Creator’s salvation”
Question: It seems to me that my friends and I are in different time frames, and everyone feels something different. It happens that one person feels that something needs to be done right now, and the whole group feels that it needs to be done later. What is the reason for our different senses of time?
Answer: It depends on the sensitivity of the heart of each one in the group.
Question: Yesterday a friend showed me an example of true love. But I want to run away from the burning shame that I will never be able to love my friends so much. How can I work with this state?
Answer: You are now going through a very good state. It cleanses you and brings you closer to the others. You should pray for everyone, including yourself, to feel that you all are in one heart. It must come true, if not today, then tomorrow.
Nothing will happen by itself. The Creator is the only one who can help you. We need to work on the prayer.
From the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/23/23, “The need for the Creator’s salvation”
Answer: Because they have to move forward.
Question: If you have already passed through lowliness and can be nothing, then what else can you ask the Creator for? I do not feel the need for anything anymore. “Save me!” but from what?
Answer: From the fact that you are distanced from your friends and cannot reveal the Creator in the connection between us.
Question: You always give the example of Rabbi Shimon whose disciples hated each other, but they did great work. Why would there be hatred between them?
Answer: They were doing great work—the connection between them—because they tried to be only in this aspiration, constantly, continuously, and in any circumstances.
Question: What prevents me from being honest with myself and why is it so difficult? After all, I harm myself and the ten. How can I correct this?
Answer: You are afraid to reveal that you are such an egoist. Everyone will know who you are, what you are, what thoughts you have in your head, and what desires you have in your heart. You want to embellish and hide it all. Stop worrying about it.
Question: Rabash writes that the Creator waits until one reveals what he has to do. I know what I have to do, and we have a long way to go. What do we need to worry about?
Answer: You only need to worry about the fact that when you connect with each other, you cannot experience love for the Creator.
From the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/22/23, “The need for the Creator’s salvation”
We have given birth to all the past social, economic, political, and state institutions based on egoistic connections between us. We created an economy and trade based on the egoistic qualities in which we have existed since the day of our origin, since the Big Bang when our Universe came into being up to the present day.
The only way we understand nature is by exploring that part of it that we can egotistically comprehend, feel, and measure. And suddenly, the second half of this nature is revealed to us—the altruistic! It shows that we do not know it at all, that we cannot explore it, and that we cannot find ourselves. This world is beginning to slip away from our sensations and becoming something different.
We are still playing with old toys, it seems like we still interact with each other. But suddenly some other relationships, schemes, and different extraterrestrial forces interfere in our lives and create disruptions in the connection between us, businesses, banks, schools, teachers, and families, and so in everything.
It is as if some kind of cloud is descending on us, and we are working in a fog, not as explicitly egotistically as before: “I to you, you to me. Let us do it together,” and so on where everything is clear to everyone. But now, nothing is clear to anyone.
With each passing day, the fogginess between us continues to grow and will manifest itself more and more. Naturally, under such conditions, humanity will seek a scapegoat. And here, the Jews will come to the forefront, who are ahead of the entire planet as usual.
In general, this is the objective reality. This is the crisis of our old concepts, the crisis of our inability to see the new blueprint of the world.
I hope that people will understand that something new is being born here and that it is necessary to perceive it correctly, to try to adapt to it as quickly as possible so we can be born, so to speak, in the next world with as little pain as possible.
From KabTV’s “I Got a Call. Internal work” 9/3/11
They need to listen, to somehow participate in this, to want to develop themselves a little, to lower themselves, and to bend their heads. They say they cannot do everything by the power of money alone or just by force since there is still something not comprehended in nature.
Therefore it seems to them that the world is becoming unmanageable and that If they comprehend it, they will be able to manage. But it is with different qualities through which they will come to attainment. After all, from our time onward they will not enter the governance of nature if they do not become similar to it and at the same time do not acquire an altruistic force opposite to themselves.
Now we can already see how some strange statements are coming from billionaires like, “We are ready to share a little with you. We will meet you halfway.” And so on.
This has never happened before. They used to be ready to rob you to the last penny just to add another zero to their bank balance. But not today. Something seems to be radiating from the outside, through the masses, from somewhere in nature. They will suddenly start feeling that there is another movement and will begin to approach it.
The world is becoming such that it will force us to change. I look at this world with great hope. For me this is a birth!—a painful event, but at the same time joyful, as if you are expecting a baby that is about to be born.
From KabTV’s “I Got a Call. Attraction … Rejection …” 9/3/11
Question: In the article “The Donkey Driver,” the driver intervenes in the conversation of the sages, asks them questions, and explains the wisdom they do not know about. How can it be that, while seemingly at a level below them, he explains the wisdom of the Torah to them?
Answer: When you read an article for the first time, it really looks strange and you do not understand what it means.
The fact is that it seems to us that the donkey driver has to serve the donkeys and their bags. Yet, the people he takes with him are big scientists and rich people who travel from place to place.
But the driver does not think they are special. In our world, we are connected with each other, but we do not understand the purpose of other people and their spiritual value. Gradually they reveal themselves to us, and we begin to understand that we were wrong by not appreciating them and by treating them disdainfully. First we had to somehow change ourselves.
It shows how we can reach a state where we begin to understand that we are dealing with the Creator, with His manifestations. From this moment onward, our path begins to straighten.
From KabTV’s “Introduction of The Book of Zohar” 9/3/23
Michael Laitman, On Quora: “What does the resurrection of the dead mean?“
According to the wisdom of Kabbalah, the resurrection of the dead refers to our inner qualities, not dead people.
A body is a desire, and a dead body refers to a desire that wishes to do nothing in a spiritual direction of love, bestowal and connection. It wishes to remain content simply as it is, as an egoistic desire. Such a desire is considered dead.
On the spiritual path, we invest a lot of effort into killing our egoistic desires, i.e., reaching states of not wishing to enjoy for self-benefit alone at the expense of others and nature. However, at a more advanced stage of our spiritual path, we wish to revive these desires since they can then be used differently, for the sake of bestowal. This is called “the resurrection of the dead.”
We then make contact with our dead egoistic qualities and work out how to correct them in a direction of bestowal.
We thus need to be concerned with bringing dead bodies to life, i.e., helping each other resurrect our dead desires and raise them above ourselves.
Based on the Daily Kabbalah Lesson on the article “All My Bones Shall Say” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman on August 14, 2023. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.