Why Do We Need a Jewish New Year?

506.3Question: The Jewish New Year has come, the 5783rd Rosh HaShanah. At the time when it all started, there were no Jews. But it is called “Jewish” and Jews celebrate it.

The global question now is whether this the Jewish New Year or is it the World New Year? What would you call it?

Answer: All those who take upon themselves the system of correction, meaning are included in this chronology, which is called Hebrew from the word “Ivri” – to cross the border between our egoistic world and the upper, altruistic one. So, those who want to cross this border, even if they have not yet moved from egoism to altruism, immediately the count goes to 5,783.

And then they call themselves “Ivri,” “Jew” from the word “Yihud” – “union,” because the transition takes place in connection. In this way they celebrate this date, the date of the descent into their hearts and minds of understanding of how we can move from our world, the egoistic state, to the upper world, the altruistic state.

Comment: Jews in Israel and around the world celebrate the New Year, this is the Jewish New Year. And you say, it is really those who cross or want to cross this border who celebrate it.

My Response: What is the news for everyone celebrating today that this is considered the new year? I understand that there can be many dates. But, in general, the main thing is not the date, but the meaning, the essence. And the point is that a person should change from an egoist to an altruist.

If a person wants to change, if he goes to this change, then the new year period comes for him.

Question: And all the attributes of the new year—apple, honey, sweetening life by dipping an apple in honey—does this have some deep spiritual meaning?

Answer: The spiritual meaning lies only in the human spirit. There are no spiritual roots in apples and honey, just like there isn’t in the head of a fish.

Comment: And they say that you need to start from the head, not from the tail.

My Response: Because this is the new year , the head of the year. That’s why it starts like this. But in principle, if you take not a fish, but a bull’s head? It could be even better. 🙂 The year will be even more successful. 🙂

Question: What is the spiritual meaning of the phrase “start from the head”?

Answer: You need to start from the head. Meaning, for what you want to live for this year, what it should give you, what you should rise up to, what you should demand from yourself, it’s all in the head.

Question: And what to rise to? What to demand from yourself?

Answer: Only getting closer to the Creator. Nothing more is needed. This is the only solid setting for us. And that is why we are called “Israel” – “Yashar Kel,” “straight to the Creator.”

Question: So, in principle, the new year is a constant thought and movement exclusively to the Creator?

Answer: It is not just constant thoughts and movements only in the new year. You’re the one making the groundwork for the whole of next year.

Question: So you do this kind of backing for the whole year? And if you put everything well and correctly, will the year roll? Will it go well?

Answer: No! It doesn’t mean anything yet. It would have been nice to pay off in the new year for the whole year! 🙂

Question: So it won’t work like this? Do you need to work constantly?

Answer: Yes, it won’t slip through.

Question: Then it turns out that every day can be a new year because every day you renew thoughts about the Creator and about the connection?

Answer: This is also true. So, this date is purely symbolic. There is nothing in this state of the Earth around the Sun and us on Earth, in general, there is nothing.

Question: What are your wishes to all people this New Year? You see how things are developing in the world. What a year we’ve had!

Answer: And it is still unknown what the new one will be like. We are facing really scary questions.

I think we should just wish humanity to be wiser. To understand what force really guides us, why such negative forces and threats arise in our world, and how we can even use them to turn ourselves in the right direction, to the right goal, to achieve unity, and in this unity discover the eternal great meaning.
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 9/22/22

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The Book of Zohar: A Collection of Exercises for Entering Spirituality

221.0Question: You say that there are my inner desires that I consider to be outside of me. But I see a certain picture of the world outside. How should I relate this picture to desires?

Answer: In no case should you start doing this! When you cross the road, do not think that the cars passing by are inside you and all this is a game of imagination. No!

This is why Kabbalists wrote The Book of Zohar, which is a special book. Any textbook contains exercises alongside explanations. The Book of Zohar, however, is a collection of exercises.

While reading this book, you should always imagine that everything written in it is inside you and search within yourself for all these desires and qualities.

My reading of The Book of Zohar consists in imagining everything described in it as the world inside me. Only through this will the correct perception of reality eventually naturally come to me. In the meantime, we are only reading The Book of Zohar and we really want to feel and understand it within ourselves.

The Zohar talks about Cohens and Levites, about Aaron and Moses, about the Creator and creation, about qualities, about Sefirot and Partzufim, about the donkey and the bull, and it doesn’t matter about what else. Instead, I imagine only my inner qualities and nothing else besides them.

There is no me, my body, or the world; there is nothing; everything has disappeared. And what does exist? My desire and a book that describes to me what exists in me inside the desire. It just uses such names and titles that confuse me because they evoke feelings in me from this imaginary world.

I have left this world; I do not want to think about it, and now I am as if suspended in air and represent only desire. Yet these names remind me of our world.

Then, by my efforts to imagine only my inner desires and qualities instead of these names, I attract to myself the light that returns to the source, the surrounding light.

With these efforts, I begin to open my point in the heart, my desire, the embryo of the soul, and to expand and grow it. I suddenly begin to distinguish in it certain qualities that The Zohar talks about and the connections between them.

It takes time. But after a few months of such training, I begin to feel a sensory response to every word written in The Zohar: “Aaron,” “Temple,” and so on.

Out of the complete lack of knowledge and feelings, as if out of a fog, some things suddenly begin to clear up; I begin to feel the connection between them and to understand what they are.

From one point I begin to reveal the whole desire in which all these parts exist in some kind of relationship.

This is how I reveal the complete creation, really created by the Creator, and not this illusory picture that is being depicted in me now that obscures the true reality for me. Eventually this false picture disappears completely.

Therefore the entire Book of Zohar is a collection of exercises to determine for each word written in it the corresponding quality within myself.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/15/10, The Book of Zohar “Shmini”

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The Book of Zohar Is Revealed for Us

65The Book of Zohar has been revealed only in our days because in our development we have passed the inanimate, vegetative, and animate levels and have reached the human level (human— Adam, from the word “Edomeh,” similar to the Creator).

Therefore, today we feel crisis, helplessness, despair, and disappointment in our lives.

That is why The Book of Zohar is revealed so that we can carry out our correction, meaning, reach the same system of connection between us as in Malchut of infinity where we are all connected together as one whole.

The first stage of correction is called “do not do to the other what is hateful to you.” This is the level of Hafetz Hesed (one who wishes nothing for oneself), return out of fear (trepidation).

The second stage of correction is even higher, at the level of love your neighbor as yourself, return out of love, or receiving for the sake of bestowal.

We have to make these two corrections and both of them are implemented in relations between people.

After all, the Creator is revealed in our corrected relationships to the extent of our love and bestowal to our neighbor or as it is said: “From the love of the other to the love of the Creator.”

Not a single correction can be made other than by its implementation in a group of Kabbalists, that is, those who wish to reach the level of human.

In their relations with each other, they build the system of Malchut of infinity and wish to feel in it the light of infinity, the Creator.

The Book of Zohar should give us strength, desire, and inner attainments for this.

Therefore, while reading The Zohar, one should try to keep the intention that we are all one and that our points in the heart, desires for spirituality, unite together and from these common desires we build our spiritual vessel, Shechina, or Malchut of infinity, in which we will feel Creator.

We must feel together, like the authors of The Zohar, the group of Rabbi Shimon, and try to imagine what the Book speaks about within this system of connections between us.

After all, The Zohar speaks only about the connection between us, although it describes it in all sorts of forms and images, supposedly of this world, it is only about the forces of our soul.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/21/10, The Book of Zohar “Shemot”

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How to Look at Yourself from the Outside?

559Question: When a person studies Kabbalah, he is sometimes squeezed through all sorts of states, as if through a grater. How can we relate to this with humor?

Answer: Nothing can be done. You can’t really relate to this with humor when you are greatly torn. If you associate yourself with this state, that this is indeed “me,” then you are in this wash.

And if you get used to looking at it from the outside, since it happens to your body, to your donkey,  egoism, then you will take it more calmly. But at every phase of our development, there are moments when you nonetheless fall into this feeling and in it so deeply that you can’t look from the outside.

Comment: There is a desire to look at it from the outside, but it is really absolutely impossible.

My Response: Move forward because nothing can be done. If you have a strong environment, then you will be able to overcome these states and stay, for the most part, above them. The environment will hold you, will not let you fall, and will pull you, as if through the air, above these states. Instead of crawling over rugged terrain, you will have a balloon or a magnet that carries you over this space.

Question: When a person experiences all this, there is some kind of cumulative process. Why is it important to endure these states?

Answer: There is no need to endure! On the contrary, it is necessary to sweeten them as much as possible. It is not good if you are in one of those states where you have to endure. Always be cheerful and justify the Creator for all the actions that He does, because He leads you forward all the time.

Going through the four stages of your development, you really feel like you are in a washing machine: the water starts, with the detergent powder, the drum turns, the water is drained, the rinsing starts, and then the spinning. These are the stages that you feel on yourself. But when you feel that you are being thoroughly washed, cleansed, scrubbed, and rinsed, and this is necessary for the goal, you rejoice. Everything depends on the goal.

If you understand that correction is taking place in you every minute, then you are inspired. After all, watch how mountain-climbers climb a mountain, how much work, how much courage. And what?… A person rejoices, although he is high in the mountains in very difficult conditions.

That is, everything depends on attitude. This is a difference between, let’s say, a casual walk and a forced march. The forced march has a goal ahead, whereas, during a walk we enjoy the process itself.

Question: But in such situations, students often ask you for advice on what to do, how to be. What do you tell them?

Answer: What can I tell them? Accelerate! And you can accelerate only on account of the environment. Let it put pressure on you and you act. That is all.
From KabTV’s “I Got a Call. How to Look at Yourself From the Outside?” 5/23/13

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Two Levels of Sensations

294.3Question: You gave an example of how a person neutralizes what is above him because a person’s egoism does not allow him to see something better. Is that why we do not see many things at all?

Answer: Of course. Our egoism hides them from us. There also are things that are given to us specifically so that we worry about them. They are given to move us forward.

Question: What exactly do we not notice at all? What is this about?

Answer: There is an egoistic desire within you that draws a certain projection against the background of light, i.e., this world.

This is what you see. You do not see anything better or worse. Egoism draws the so-called HaVaYaH, the whole Kli (vessel), on the inanimate, vegetative, animate, and human levels. This is what is drawn for you at this primitive level.

You cannot attain the next level because it must already be in accordance with the law of nature. The law of nature is the law of bestowal. You, however, are in your egoistic desire to receive.

Apart from your small level on which you exist in egoistic desire there is nothing else. So you grow at this level, develop evolutionarily, and reach a certain point where all of humanity must rise to the next level. To do this it requires a methodology, which has now been revealed.

Question: What does it mean to “see”?

Answer: It means to see with completely different senses, which are called Keter, Hochma, Bina, Zeir Anpin, and Malchut, just as in our world there are sight, hearing, smell, touch, and tactile sensations.

But these are extracorporeal sense organs, outside the animalistic body. Therefore Kabbalists have two levels of sensations: material and spiritual.
From KabTV’s “I Got a Call. How to See Spirituality?” 7/10/13

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The Hidden Force of The Book of Zohar

544Question: What is the benefit of studying The Book of Zohar nowadays? Is it necessary to study it in order to reach spirituality?

Answer: Yes, now the time has come to study The Zohar. I have been waiting for this for a long time because we needed preparation.

Now we have reached a state where a large mass of people in the world are already able to climb the spiritual ladder (the commentary on The Zohar is called “Sulam” – Ladder).

Therefore, we all begin to study The Zohar together. Anyone who joins us in studying it and can annul himself like a baby in order to study with us will be able to enter the sensation of what The Zohar addresses.

One cannot study The Zohar with the mind. The Zohar addresses a person’s heart and develops its feelings so that it begins to feel two qualities: bestowal and reception. It is not by chance that Baal HaSulam called his commentary on The Zohar “Sulam” (Ladder).

It is impossible to study The Zohar alone, but only in a group. It was written in this way by a group of Kabbalists in complete unity of ten souls.

The 10 Kabbalists who wrote The Zohar formed a spiritual vessel of the 10 main Sefirot. Each of them represented one Sefira, a special force, from a complete vessel (Kli) created by the Creator. Therefore, if we aim to become this complete vessel, we will be able to receive this message from them, and it will influence us.

If we try to study The Zohar in a group, we will quickly feel how the force hidden in The Zohar connects us. Only to the extent of our connection, will we be able to receive their message and understand it, meaning to feel it, because the heart understands, which means the desires that are organized to understand the spiritual message.

It is impossible to attain The Zohar with a dry mind. We need a group that has gone through a long preparatory path where people have already despaired reaching spirituality in other ways, have freed themselves from delusions, clarified many things for themselves, and are ready to annul themselves and understand that alone with their own forces, they can achieve nothing. They are ready to start studying The Zohar and become incorporated in it.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/19/09, Writings of Baal Sulam, Letter 45

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“Will AI-powered translation bring people closer together beyond languages?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Will AI-powered translation bring people closer together beyond languages?

I think that it would go the other way and bring about more harm, because we need to listen to each other’s hearts, to communicate from heart to heart rather than from mouth to ear.

Unless we correct ourselves, developing positive ties to one another, then the less we talk to each other, the better. Moreover, if we would correct our nature and relate to each other favorably, then we would not need such devices, because we would then feel other people’s hearts.

In other words, we would understand each other’s hearts without needing to understand each other’s languages. We would have no need to elevate what we feel in our hearts to our minds, converting our feelings into words and sounds in order to explain what we feel. We would rather immediately feel our common heart, existing together, as it is written, “as one man with one heart.”

Based on the video “Will AI-Powered Translation Bring People Closer Together Beyond Languages?” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman and Oren Levi. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.

Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 10/3/22

Preparation to the Lesson

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Lesson on the Topic “Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)”

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Writings of Rabash “Concerning the Importance of Society”

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Selected Highlights

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“Reflections on Self-Hatred” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Reflections on Self-Hatred

One of the things that election campaigns in Israel highlight is self-hatred. Some parties in the Israeli parliament are overtly and explicitly anti-Zionist. That is, they oppose the very existence of the Jewish state. The fact that they even exist proves more than anything the freedom of expression that exists in Israel, but what is truly unique is the fact that there are quite a few Jews among the leaders of these parties. They support terrorists and terrorism, deny Israel’s right to defend its civilians, mourn the loss of every terrorist, and do not mourn the death of unarmed civilians in terrorist attacks.

In any other country, they would be considered traitors. In Israel, they continue to express themselves freely and openly in the name of free speech, and the State of Israel does not feel it has the right to stop them.

For Jews, this type of self-hatred is nothing new. In the days of the Third Reich, some Jews were just as avid about the Nazi ideology as the German Nazis. In the days of the Spanish Inquisition, there were Jews and former Jews who personally persecuted Jews. In the days of the Great Revolt, the commander of the Roman army that destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple was Jewish, and the list goes on and on.

Self-hatred goes hand in hand with Judaism from its inception because the Jewish people were founded in order to correct the world. We invented the term Tikkun Olam (correction of the world), and to this day, we debate over its meaning. That is, we still feel that we must partake in the correction of the world, but we are unsure as to how we should go about it, or what correction of the world even means.

When a Jew hates Jews, it is not so much hatred for the Jews, as it is denial of one’s personal responsibility, an attempt to avoid the obligation to partake in the correction of the world.

However, just as Prophet Jonah could not run away from his vocation to save the gentile city of Nineveh, the Jews cannot escape from their vocation to save the world. The Book of Jonah became the centerpiece of the closing prayer on the Jewish Day of Atonement precisely in order to remind us of our calling.

The nations, for their part, hate us because they feel dependent on us. This is why they blame us for their woes. They may not understand how we are meant to ease their hardships, but they sense that it is our responsibility.

They are right; their woes are our responsibility. Tikkun Olam depends on our behavior. However, it does not depend on our behavior toward them, but toward each other. We did not become a nation until we pledged to love each other “as one man with one heart.” Only once we accomplished this, we were tasked with being “a light to the nations.”

In other words, all we have to do is unite among us as one man with one heart, and that will make us a light to the nations. Our responsibility to the world is to unite among ourselves.

As our history of self-hatred proves, this is far easier said than done. The last thing we want is another episode of Jews slaughtering Jews, as it happened in Jerusalem before the Jewish commander of the Roman army marched in to finish the destruction of the city.

Yet, we cannot escape our calling. Jew-hatred exists because Jews hate each other. When Jews turn away from Jews and toward their enemies, it does not appease our enemies; it intensifies their hatred even more because by hating each other and loving our enemies, we move further away from unity and deeper into division. Our only escape from antisemitism is internal unity. The cure for antisemitism does not lie in anything other than in Jews curing their hatred for each other.

“Always with Me” (Times of Israel)

Michael Laitman, On The Times of Israel: “Always with Me

Thirty-one years ago today, my teacher and mentor RABASH passed away. This post is dedicated to him because everything I know, everything I understand, everything I teach, and everything I do I learned from him, and my life’s goal is to continue his legacy to the best of my ability.

RABASH was the last in the line of spiritual giants that began thousands of years ago. From his time onward, the line does not continue because now is the time for the knowledge that was privy to a chosen few for so many centuries to spread around the world.

RABASH was unlike any of his predecessors. As the last in the line, his concern was with the realization of the knowledge, with implementing it in real life. Accordingly, he focused his teaching on one principle: The complete perception of the world is achieved only through connection with other people. And how do you connect with other people? You love them. How do you come to love other people? This is what the teachings of RABASH reveal through his writings and through the thousands of oral lessons he had given throughout his life.

By the time RABASH passed away, he had installed in me a clear and complete method for developing love for other people, who are not related to you biologically, culturally, or in any other way. He did not come up with the method out of thin air, of course. It is the same method that the people of Israel had implemented among them since the inception of the nation nearly forty centuries ago. However, like other spiritual leaders in their time, RABASH adapted the method for developing love for others to our time, to the people who live in the 20th and 21st centuries, and in his adaptation lies his greatness.

I received from RABASH and learned from him more than I can express in words. However, if I had to choose the most important lesson that I took from him, it would be this: Stick to your goal and never look aside. Even if the goal seems distant, often unachievable, never look aside. Whether you achieve your goal or not is unimportant. If the goal is worth striving for, stick with it and never look away.

I know our dreams often seem unrealistic, but we have no idea what tomorrow will bring. Therefore, I always advise my students and anyone who asks to pursue their dreams.

As for me, I will continue to work for the rest of my life to realize my teacher’s dream: that all the people in the world will come to love one another as one man with one heart.

For more of the many things I had learned from RABASH, read my book, Always with Me.