“On The Merits Of A Three-Generational Family” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “On the Merits of a Three-Generational Family

Today’s family often has only one adult living at home with the kids. But come Thanksgiving, I’d like to take a moment to discuss the merits of a full-size family. And by full size, I don’t just mean two parents and children, but rather grandparents, parents, and children all together. That is, they needn’t all live in the same house, but the benefits of keeping close family ties are something we should be aware of, especially today when it is so easy to find ourselves socially isolated and not realize that this is the reason for our sadness and irritation.

In spirituality, the three generations have a special meaning: They represent the full process of the ascent of a prayer. It begins with a person raising a prayer, sending it through a “medium” to the top level, and the top level returns the answer through the medium down to the beseeching individual.

When parents get an occasional break from their kids, it helps them relax and allows them to be more thoughtful and patient when they are with the children. It also increases the longing of the children for the parents and the parents for the children, and nothing bonds people more strongly than the right amount of longing.

This spiritual root manifests in many phenomena in our world, but one of the most vital ones is the three-generational family. This is why it is so mentally and emotionally healthy to maintain ties with all the generations in the family.

In addition to the spiritual benefits, grandparents can give to children what parents cannot. By nature, parents are more judgmental and demanding. Being the primary educators, they have to be that way. Grandparents are more accepting and give the children a place where they can always feel that they are loved the way they are. This is very important for children. Additionally, when children see that their parents treat their own parents well, they, too, will treat their parents well when they grow up, since example is the most impactful and lasting mode of teaching.

To the elderly, time with their grandkids is no burden; it’s a gift (to a degree, of course, as much as their health and energy allow). They enjoy being with their grandchildren, it connects them to their own children, the parents, and gives them vitality and health. To the parents, the children’s time with their grandparents is an opportunity to be with one another or do other things that they have no time or energy to do otherwise.

When parents get an occasional break from their kids, it helps them relax and allows them to be more thoughtful and patient when they are with the children. It also increases the longing of the children for the parents and the parents for the children, and nothing bonds people more strongly than the right amount of longing.

This Thanksgiving, I wish everyone a happy holiday, with lots of love and with the whole family.

“A Legacy That Will Keep Rolling” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “A Legacy That Will Keep Rolling

During a visit to Argentina years ago to chair a Kabbalah congress for my South American students, I vividly witnessed firsthand the impact of the gifted football player Diego Armando Maradona on his fans—a deep impact made not only at his birthplace, but around the world. At only sixty years old, his heart blew the last whistle in his ultimate match called “life.”

This is why such cultural heroes of the world who have reached the top of their fields all too often become addicted to drugs, fall from grace, and divorce and remarry countless times. Pleasure and pain are linked together, and without pain they do not feel real pleasure. Inside this duality they frantically and desperately search for the meaning of life.

He is considered by many as the greatest football player of all time. I do not know all his amazing skills on the field, but I am aware that he had a special attitude toward his profession, a huge passion and enthusiasm for the game, a great love for football that captivated the masses, as well as an unmatched commitment to bring fans joy and connect with them. In that sense, professionally speaking, he set a great example for many athletes around the world.

If we separate the athlete from the man, off the field Maradona had a special relationship with life itself. With all the noise around him, he remained a simple and unassuming person, warm and cordial like many of the Latin people. It’s easy to judge someone’s deeds on the surface, but after visiting the slum in which he grew up, one must tip their hat to him and say that, despite being raised in a difficult environment, he did much more good than bad to others.

Therefore, there is no point in harping about the way he conducted his private life, his behavior or personal attributes, but to focus instead on his professional achievements, on his unique excellence and his positive contribution to others. His love of sports and privileged talent transformed him into a legend that will live on in the admiration of generations to come.

One may ask why so many talented stars and celebrities with phenomenal success behave erratically throughout their careers, sometimes even showing a tendency toward self-destruction. It stems from the fact that they touched the pinnacle of fame, tasted world prestige, felt like revered idols, and once they felt the sweetness of global recognition and wealth, realized these accomplishments provided very little fulfillment. This is why such cultural heroes of the world who have reached the top of their fields all too often become addicted to drugs, fall from grace, and divorce and remarry countless times. Pleasure and pain are linked together, and without pain they do not feel real pleasure. Inside this duality they frantically and desperately search for the meaning of life.

Who Breaks The Law Of Mutual Guarantee?

161Question: Baal HaSulam writes that only after society wants to achieve an integral state, becomes self-sufficient, and economically independent can people become guarantors for each other. So must everyone have the minimum necessary material first?

Answer: Definitely. This is not even a question. But the fact is that it is possible to achieve an ideal material state if at the same time we have a state of reciprocity.

Comment: Further, Baal HaSulam adds that when the society of those wishing to achieve a mutual guarantee is influenced by irresponsible, self-loving people, the provision of the necessary needs cannot be guaranteed. Even if one person still takes care of himself, everyone else will no longer be able to come to a mutual guarantee.

My Response: Naturally because integrity is violated.

Question: But how can it be that in a society where everyone cares about each other, one person stops doing this?

Answer: In principle, this is theoretically impossible, and even more so in practice. Because everyone will begin to influence each other there will simply be no place for such a person. He will not be able to remain so because under the influence of the environment he will be forced to voluntarily, consciously work for others.
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From KabTV’s “Communication Skills” 8/21/20

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How Is Man’s Spiritual Potential Measured?

615.1Question: How and according to what is the spiritual potential of a person who comes to study Kabbalah measured?

Answer: This can only be determined by the very great Kabbalists, who see the world in the second half of the spiritual ladder.

They seemingly draw a person, absorb him into themselves, and then feel what his capacity, the unfilled volume of his soul is.

A Kabbalist who is only a beginner, however, cannot determine anything. To do this, you need to have heavy vessels of reception.
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From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah” 11/25/18

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The Infinity Of The Creator And His Creation

260.01The Creator made the desire of the creatures small, like the Malchut of the world of infinity. Infinity meant that the desire was completely filled, that is, without boundaries, like a full glass.

But then this desire must develop to infinite proportions. Due to the fact that the Creator created the creation, the desire to enjoy, the opposite of Himself, this gives us the opportunity to reveal the Creator without any boundaries and restrictions, without any stopping on the way until the end of correction and after it.

When we finish all the corrections, covering the whole desire to enjoy with the intention to bestow, then further progress will continue in other forms, no longer due to lack. However, the endless movement forward will continue anyway because this is the only way to reveal the infinity of the Creator.
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From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/18/20, “Connecting the World in the Last Generation”

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“Why I Care (And Write) About The World” (Times Of Israel)

Michael Laitman, On The Times of Israel: “Why I Care (and Write) about the World

Recently, I have received some questions about my interest in “worldly” matters. These readers seem to believe that kabbalists should take no interest in the material world and current affairs. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Kabbalists care a great deal about the world, and for very good reasons.

But before I elaborate on the reasons for writing and speaking about the world we live in, it is important to realize that in doing so, I am in no way the first. Great sages throughout the centuries were very interested in the events of their time. They often wrote about it, too. In the 20th century alone, two spiritual giants expressed themselves on various occasions regarding the world around them. When the great Rav Kook saw that the Jews were in danger abroad, he wrote a plea for their arrival at the land of Israel. In a declaration published in the book Essays of the Raaiah, he asked them, “Assemble one by one, wait not for formal words and orders; wait not for permits from renowned ones. Do what you can, flee and gather.” After a few more sentences, he adds, “Amalek, Petlura [anti-Semitic Ukrainian leader], Hitler, and so forth, awaken for redemption. One who did not hear [the call] … for his ears were blocked … will hear against his will.”

A contemporary of Rav Kook, the great Rav Yehuda Ashlag—known as Baal HaSulam for his Sulam [Ladder] commentary on The Book of Zohar, and the father of my teacher, Rav Baruch Ashlag (RABASH)—wrote in great detail about current affairs. His essays “The Peace” and “Peace in the World,” and his extensive composition The Writings of the Last Generation are some of the publications where he expressed his views on current affairs and politics, both in Israel and around the world.

But Baal HaSulam worked tirelessly to circulate his ideas, and mainly his warnings. He published a newspaper titled The Nation, in which he dealt only with current affairs, and predicted the outcome of WWII, Israel’s conflicts with the Arabs, and much more.

In “The Peace,” Baal HaSulam analyzes Russian communism and predicts its downfall. Even though he wrote the article in 1932, he was already convinced of Russia’s ultimate collapse. In his words, “Go and see what has become of [Russia]: Instead of rising and exceeding the achievements of the capitalist countries, they have sunk ever lower.” Note that in 1932, he already wrote in past tense, as though it was a done deal. “Now,” he continues, “they not only fail to benefit the lives of the workers a little more than in the capitalist countries, they cannot even secure their daily bread and clothes on their flesh.” Later in the essay, Baal HaSulam explains that this has happened to them because they failed to educate their people about the importance of unity and solidarity.

Baal HaSulam does not stop his explanation with Russia. In The Writings of the Last Generation, written shortly after World War II, he explains once more why communism did not succeed, and what will follow it: “Soviet Russia has already proven that an insufficiently developed society will invert the cooperative governance into the worst governance in the world. Moreover, [Marx] assumed that the subsequent phase to the ruin of today’s [capitalistic democratic] governance is the governance of the workers, but reality has shown [perhaps a reference to Weimar] that the subsequent governance to today’s governance is the Nazi or fascistic governance.”

We might think that this was a slip of the pen, so to speak, but Baal HaSulam makes his point very clear. In his writings, he mentions the word Nazi, Nazis, or Nazism 27 times, and the word “fascist” or “fascism” 11 times. In the excerpt below, he warns that the Nazi regime is likely to emerge from the Left rather than from the Right: “We should also take into account that all those who are ruining the natural process of the just governance actually came from the proletariat and emerged from their midst, and not necessarily the Soviets, but the majority of Nazis were also initially pure socialists, as well as the majority of fascists. Even Mussolini himself was initially an enthusiastic socialist leader.”

Further below, Baal HaSulam returns to Marx and writes about the danger of Nazism emerging specifically in democratic, capitalistic countries: “[Marx] thought that the subsequent stage to the bourgeois [capitalistic] regime would be a cooperative workers’ regime, but in the end, we are living witnesses that if the democratic bourgeois government were to be ruined now, a Nazi and fascist regime would promptly rise in its stead.” Worse yet, “Whenever the democratic government is ruined, a fascist, Nazi regime will inherit it.”

Baal HaSulam did not settle for writing about his predictions. He participated physically in political assemblies and parades in Poland before he moved to the land of Israel. Here, he met with political and social leaders and tried to convince them to include education toward unity in their platforms, speeches, and writings. He met with David Ben Gurion, the first prime minister of Israel; Zalman Shazar, the 3rd president of Israel; Moshe Sharett, the second prime minister of Israel; Haim Arlosoroff, head of the Political Department of the Jewish Agency, renowned poet Hayim Nahman Bialik, and many others. In all those meetings, he strove to promote the agenda of unity above differences. Regrettably, they would not listen, and today we are faced with the consequences.

My teacher, RABASH, Baal HaSulam’s first born son and successor, spoke to me at great length about current affairs and where they would develop. He knew that I would continue his path and the path of his father; we had talked about it many times, and it is my commitment to him and to Baal HaSulam to carry on with my efforts to warn humanity about the approaching cataclysm.

We need to understand that a kabbalist relates to the world in a very different way than other people. A kabbalist’s one and only goal is to help everyone develop the quality of love of others. Kabbalists strive for connection above all the differences, knowing full well that these differences all come from the singular, benevolent force that has created the world, and are implanted in the world precisely so that we will be able to develop the quality of love of others to counter the natural rejection we feel toward those who oppose our views. Were it not for the existence of opposers, we would not feel hate and would therefore have no impetus to develop love in order to counter it. It turns out that even those we hate, the Creator—the force of love and giving—put them there in order to help us grow and become loving individuals.

The countless conflicts in our world are opportunities to bridge hatred by building love between us. This is why these conflicts occur in the first place. If we acknowledge this and work on building love, our bonding strengthens and our society thrives. If we do not seize the moment and succumb to our hatred, the force of giving will have to give us even greater hatred in order to compel us to build love above it. It turns out that the more we avoid our work, the more we bring upon ourselves increasing pain and hardships.

We need to understand that spirituality means giving, love. It is not some parallel universe or an “elevated” state of consciousness where you become aloof and indifferent to material life. On the contrary, spirituality is an approach to life in this world that changes our perception of it. A kabbalist’s task is therefore to help all people see the force of giving acting behind everything that happens, and help them connect with it. A kabbalist must take interest and write about current affairs as a means to explain the operations of the giving force, the Creator, and advise people how to direct their lives, establish their own connections with the Creator, and achieve happiness and confidence in life.

When kabbalists observe the world, they look for the easiest, quickest, and most pleasant ways for people to achieve the positive transformation that they want to advance. If this way requires support for a certain political entity or direction, they will support it. They have no personal benefits to gain as a result of their support, or any other ulterior motive. Their only motivation for supporting any entity or organization, political or not, is the advancement of humanity toward connection, mutual responsibility, and solidarity. Kabbalists will support anyone who champions it, and appose anyone who hinders it.

Because kabbalists want everyone to be connected and acquire the quality of love, they care about the entire world: all the people, animals, plants, and planets. Rav Kook once said to the renowned author Alexander Ziskind Rabinovitz (AZAR): “I wish the whole of humanity could be placed into a single body, so I could embrace them all.” This is the attitude of a true kabbalist.

“Jerusalem, The Heart Of The World” (Thrive Global)

Thrive Global published my new article: “Jerusalem, the Heart of the World

We discover a fresh new purpose to our lives as we come closer to each other in our thoughts and feelings of mutual care and empathy. We align ourselves with the perfect global interconnectedness and reciprocity existing in nature.

South African actors rehearse their “Jerusalema” dance steps as they prepare to shoot a special feature film based on the viral music hit, after an online dance challenge captivated millions around the world, at the Cape Town Film Studios in Cape Town, South Africa, September 24, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

The pandemic’s determination and tenacity to continue its global spread has created a numbness and dulled us to sleep. A general fatigue has expanded throughout humanity, so the urge to find any source of contentment is only natural. Recently, a song in the Zulu language came along with a message of hope—Jerusalema—which transformed into a collective dance that has taken the world by storm. Its wildfire spread shows how eager people are to connect. Now the question is how can that feeling of connection be elevated to a higher level of unity, one that surpasses our physical actions and the distances between us to give lasting joy.

Jerusalem is the heart, the center of the world, the epicenter of all desires and aspirations, a state in which everything is based on mutual love for one another. When we reach such a state through the connection of our hearts, we will not only activate new sensations of livelihood, high spirits and energy, we will also attain boundless and eternal joy.
Michael Laitman

Some of my students asked me about the global sensation “Jerusalema,” explaining that the South African theme became a lockdown anthem as group dances spread in every part of the planet to uplift the spirit during Covid-19 restrictions. My response is that dancing, especially in a group, is a positive activity as it gives a sense of togetherness. At the same time, humanity’s state of desperation will still be waiting to resurface as soon as the contagious beats die down and everyone returns to his own place and concerns about the uncertain future.

In other words, a group activity for entertainment will act as a sort of therapy and escape from reality, but it won’t allow us to close our eyes like scared children without sharpening our minds with meaningful questions about what the tiny virus is trying to teach us. The pandemic calls for a deeper scrutiny of the state of the world, what we have wrongly built until now, and what needs to be flipped for humanity’s betterment—that the virus is stirring up the need for connection between us toward the goal of a better life.

Interestingly, the song’s theme of Jerusalema as home, as a special place in life, can be explained with a profound perspective from the wisdom of Kabbalah. In the Ari’s book The Tree of Life, it is written that if a person reaches the revelation of the upper force through the right attitudes of love and bestowal toward others, he discovers a special quality called “Jerusalem,” which refers not to a physical place but to a state of perfect unity.

Therefore, today’s Jerusalem, which is a holy city for the three major world religions, is not the real Jerusalem written about by prophets and sages. Jerusalem (Yerushalayim) represents the “perfect city” (Ira Shlemah) in which we all achieve perfection in the relationships between us, complementing each other. We discover a fresh new purpose to our lives as we come closer to each other in our thoughts and feelings of mutual care and empathy. We align ourselves with the perfect global interconnectedness and reciprocity existing in nature.

Jerusalem is the heart, the center of the world, the epicenter of all desires and aspirations, a state in which everything is based on mutual love for one another. When we reach such a state through the connection of our hearts, we will not only activate new sensations of livelihood, high spirits and energy, we will also attain boundless and eternal joy.

— Published on November 26, 2020

“What Is Freedom Of Speech And What Are The Limits Of Free Speech?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: What is freedom of speech and what are the limits of free speech?

Freedom of speech and freedom of expression definitely require limits. The first limit is that we should not hurt or offend anyone.

Causing no harm to others should act as an inbuilt “constitution” that first and foremost determines the limits of our free speech. It is similar to how we consider it a criminal offense to break into another person’s home and cause damage to its property.

Suppose I have a neighbor whose father passed away, and I start making fun of his father. It would be disgraceful and disrespectful to my neighbor, and I would awaken hatred by doing so. How could I let myself do that? It is completely irrational.

If we want to hurt and offend others, then it is precisely these desires that require correction. Their correction initially needs a restriction of their outward manifestation. Afterward, we need to bring ourselves to a state where we hold nothing against anyone in the world other than our own self, and we can then truly be considered free. In short, we can be free in every aspect of life on condition that we each refrain from harming each other.

In such a state, we can have criticism, disagreements and arguments, but we would need to learn how to not awaken hatred in each other while doing so. We would therefore need to regularly engage in connection-enriching learning, to elevate our sensitivity, empathy and inner intelligence so that our common goal to live harmoniously, peacefully and happily with each other would envelope all of our thoughts and aspirations.

In short, we cannot let ourselves hurt each other. On the contrary, we have to respect each other. We each feel different ideas, people and objects in differing levels of importance according to where, to whom, and how we were born and raised. One person considers something to be very important, and another person considers something else to be very important. However, above what we each consider as important, we should try to see what we all have in common.

New Life 449 – The Phenomenon Of Emigrants From Israel, Part 1

New Life 449 – The Phenomenon Of Emigrants From Israel, Part 1
Dr. Michael Laitman in conversation with Oren Levi and Yael Leshed-Harel

The people of Israel are a group of people who are associated with our ancestor Abraham in Babylon on the basis of kindness, connection, and love. They were a group of strangers who interacted with love in order to go Yashar-El (straight to) the upper force. The land of Israel is a spiritual place to which people who have a desire for connection with others and with a higher power are drawn. People who abandon the importance of being connected together with others in the land of Israel emigrate from the land.

The people of Israel must live in the land of Israel, but in order to do this they have to return to living in connection and love. If we were “like one person with one heart, ”they would feel that in this land there is a force that belongs to them. If a spiritual revolution doesn’t happen in the land of Israel, the entire Zionist enterprise will fade away.
From KabTV’s “New Life 449 – The Phenomenon Of Emigrants From Israel, Part 1,” 11/11/14

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Uniting For The Sake Of Uniting

275Question: There is a law that  a person in a crowd falls under its influence. He begins to lose control of himself and can easily lose his “I.” But why, when I am in a group of people who want to unite and reach a new level of attainment, this law doesn’t seem to apply?

Answer: Because egoism does not push you to unite, you must act against it! And you enter the crowd with your egoism and realize it like everyone else. It’s very simple, very easy.

Any person who joins a crowd becomes like it. He finds justification for his egoism, feels big, great, like the crowd. It is very difficult, almost impossible, to be in a crowd and not obey it.

Comment: But I spend a lot of time among people who want to unite for the sake of unity. And they don’t influence me.

My Response: This isn’t a crowd! The crowd is an egoistic rabble who decides to combine their individual egoistic impulses for some even greater gain. And so it goes, breaks, hits, and rampages. It affects your egoism, and you start acting like them. The crowd drags you along.

And when you want to unite for the sake of unity, it’s a completely different matter! You are part of a group that works to rise above its ego, to annul it, to deny its animal nature. There is a lot of work going on here. An outsider won’t even know what you’re doing.
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From KabTV’s “Communication Skills” 9/25/20

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