Rabbi Ila’a said, ‘The world exists only on account of him who restrains himself in strife (Hulin 89a) (One Who Restrains Himself in Strife, Rabash, Assorted Notes No. 292).
Question: It was written by our sages in the treatise “Hulin” 2,000 years ago: “The world exists only on account of him who restrains himself in strife.”
Can you please explain what kind of world we are talking about?
Answer: The world means our entire world, all of nature, especially human nature. It exists only because people restrain themselves during a surge of egoism and mutual hatred.
Question: Today no one restrains himself by and large. So what is going to happen to the world?
Answer: I must be afraid of the other, and then I will sit quietly.
Question: Is this what the world is today? The world of power and demonstrating your strength. Is this not true?
Answer: Of course. How can the world be truly based on this? This means that we will constantly strengthen ourselves and wait until we can attack the other side. And this is not true.
Question: How do we come to this wisdom that “The world exists only on account of him who restrains himself in strife”? How can we learn to restrain ourselves at the time of a quarrel?
Answer: The world is, in principle, moving a little closer to this based on the fact that there are some opportunities to put pressure on any state through public opinion so that it restrains itself.
But this is still very far from a concrete, correct influence on each other, moreover, a good influence, not under the threat of destruction, but because it simply cannot be otherwise. This is not my opinion; it is other people’s opinion and I submit to it, and so on.
Question: It is said “quarrels.” It is not said that if they came to kill you, then there is no escape, and you must get ahead of him and kill him. This is about a quarrel. What is meant by “a quarrel”?
Answer: It is when murder is not yet resorted to and there is a chance for persuasion, for some kind of negotiation. But this is still not the path to peace. “Be ahead of him and kill him” is not the path to peace.
Question: They say that if one restrains himself at the time of a quarrel, he himself is under a lot of stress. Even psychologists keep saying: “Do not restrain yourself.” And so on. What do you think about it?
Answer: My attitude toward this is negative. If a person does not restrain himself, he will destroy everything. Everyone surely has a stone or a knife at hand. And if you go further, then a pistol, and so on. That is, little good will come out of this.
Question: How do you restrain yourself if you are driven crazy?
Answer: Train yourself so that you are not.
Question: So you see this as just training?
Answer: Yes. And do not disperse. Restrain yourself.
Question: Do not disperse, you mean in the sense of using force? Is it possible to run away for some time?
Answer: You can run away.
Question: In order to get together later?
Question: Maybe and maybe not, do you think?
Answer: Maybe not.
Question: That is, above everything there still should be to restrain yourself at the time of a quarrel. Is this possible in our world?
Answer: I think that precisely in our world it is more possible than it has been because we do not have any special opportunities to gather an army, ride somewhere, and attack somebody. All this is not so real anymore. I think that nowadays, it is precisely deterrence that is the best weapon.
Question: So by and large, all the organizations that were created after the big wars—the United Nations, the League of Nations—was it all for this purpose?
Question: But it did not bring tangible results. Why?
Answer: Human nature has not changed. They wanted to put up some kind of division, shutters, or something like that. But since nature does not change, they began to speak more beautifully instead, and nothing more.
We must understand that we need to change internally, and not sit somewhere beautifully.
Question: I understand what you are saying. Why do others not understand this?
Answer: It is human nature. What can you do with it?
Question: When will we understand this?
Answer: I do not have an answer to this. But I am sure that we will understand it some day.
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 10/19/23
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