Entries in the 'Anti-Semitism' Category

Talk With John Safran

John Safran and Michael Laitman discuss the essence of Jewishness: the Jewish role to be a conduit for unity to spread globally.

“European Anti-Semitism: More Outspoken And Widespread” (The Times Of Israel)

The Times of Israel published my new article “European Anti-Semitism: More Outspoken and Widespread

I emigrated to Israel 45 years ago. When I was young and living in Leningrad (today St. Petersburg, Russia), walking down the city street one day, I witnessed a man suddenly violently attack a Jew and instinctively intervened to protect him. The aggressor was arrested and I was taken to the police station to make a witness statement. When I asked the police officer what kind of punishment the assailant would receive, he replied: “Two weeks in jail,” explaining that such behavior would not be tolerated, and he added, “I don’t care what he was thinking or feeling, we’ve received high-level instructions to stop anti-Semites because they help the Zionists. If there’s anti-Semitism seen here, more Jews will want to leave Russia for Israel and this is not in our interest. Jews are a useful and beneficial force: workers, engineers, scientists, teachers, doctors. We want it to stay that way, so we fight for it.”

Back then, if someone even dared to say a word that sounded anti-Semitic, they would be sent to jail. Therefore, even if deep inside the police officer harbored anti-Semitic sentiments, he would never outwardly express them. But what I did understand from the officer’s explanation was that Jews were not necessarily loved, they were actually hated, but they were needed to advance national interests and thus were useful in the service of the nation’s pride. After all, if the Jews were expelled, who would be the chess champions or space explorers? It’s not that the Jews were so bold or dominated all the key positions, but they held respectable, solid professions. Afterward, the situation changed. At the point when Jews became the bankers or the wealthy with no other contribution to make other than being rich, they were no longer considered indispensable. Therefore, the open anti-Semitism once prohibited was gradually allowed to surface.

Those memories from my youth come flooding back today when I see the uncertain future of European Jewry, particularly from the perspective of the new generation. While they are not being formally expelled from their countries of origin, they could be forced to leave by rising anti-Semitism. Since the Jewish contribution to society seems to be overlooked and unrecognized nowadays, the associated protective shield surrounding them has also virtually been lifted. Today, four of ten young European Jews do not feel safe and have considered emigration due to rampant anti-Semitism in their countries, according to a recent survey conducted by the European Union. As troubling as it may seem, I see it as a positive report since it shines much needed light on a problem that cries to be addressed without delay. The call to action is clear: to start working to unite as Jews, to become one diverse yet monolithic body. As such, we will be safe anywhere we live.

Anti-Semitism has not resurged in Europe, it actually never left. In the current more permissive climate, it now displays itself in more open, evident and widespread ways from myriad directions: neo-Nazis, the far left and radical Islam. It is raising its head both online and in the streets of major European cities. France, for instance, experienced a 74% increase in anti-Semitic incidents just last year. Germany and the UK registered record numbers of hate crimes against Jews, with an average number of 100 cases each month per country, according to monitoring groups.

It is not surprising then that the new survey commissioned by the European Union’s Agency for Fundamental Rights revealed that more than 80% of respondents aged 16-34 perceive a rise in anti-Semitism or have experienced anti-Semitic harassment in their homeland countries. Half of them prefer not to wear or carry items that openly identify them as Jews.

The loss of safety among European Jews should not be accepted as a new norm. Also, we should not wait for the situation to worsen before we react. As it is written by our sages in the book Shem Mishmuel, “When Israel are ‘as one man with one heart,’ they are a fortified wall against the forces of evil.” This means that in order to stand firm as a single united front in face of the great challenges, the young generation of Jews face on the Old Continent and elsewhere in the world, our single goal as Jews must be to focus on our connection as a people.

Why can unity guarantee our safety? It is so because the pressure against us from the nations of the world is rooted in their instinctive feeling that Jews are failing to fulfill their role, which is to unite. By connecting above all differences, Jews provide an example to the world, a world so hungry for tranquility, peace and fulfillment. Therefore, the external demands upon the Jewish people are expressed as hatred that will not cease until we deliver the remedy revealed to us to cure an ill world.

This is the reason the good future for all depends solely on us. This is the contribution to human society we are expected to deliver. As it is written by the greatest Kabbalist of our generation, Rav Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam), “It is the wisdom of faith, justice and peace which most nations learn from us, and this wisdom is ascribed to us alone.” (The Writings of the Last Generation)

When we Jews are bonded together, we succeed. When we forget who we are and fall into separation and hatred, our enemies fall upon us. Our unity is our strength, and when we finally revive our brotherly love, no enemy will be able to harm us and we will find that the road to peace is wide open and boundless.
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“If You Were Donating To Combat Anti-Semitism, Where Would You Donate?” (The Times Of Israel)

The Times of Israel published my new article “If you were donating to combat anti-Semitism, where would you donate?

Rising anti-Semitism and the funding to combat it

So far, the global efforts to fight anti-Semitism have been directed at heightening intelligence, monitoring and security for Jewish communities across the globe. Another objective has been to tackle the rising tide of online anti-Semitism and to the BDS movement’s growing support. This is the main focus of a $20 million foundation that Jewish philanthropist, Robert Kraft, plans to establish.

Meanwhile in Europe, two Swedish donors pledged $4 million to, in their words, “instill some hope in the Jewish population.” The funds are aimed at increasing security for Jews in Malmo, Sweden, where multiple anti-Semitic incidents and threats are reported annually. Similar situations are experienced in France, Germany and the UK, among other European countries.

However, all these efforts are temporary solutions that fail to deal with the cause of the problem of rising anti-Semitism. The cause of anti-Semitism is a failure of the Jewish people to come to terms with their identity, and the mission of uniting among themselves in order to be a conduit for unity to spread in the world.

Therefore, to combat anti-Semitism at its causal basis means to implement a single, comprehensive solution: the education and promotion of unity above division.

What form of education can secure humanity a harmonious future?

Simply put, education needs to focus on uniting the Jewish people under the principle of “love your neighbor as yourself” in order for them to be a conduit for unity to spread worldwide (“a light unto nations”). The wealthy who want to make a critical difference in the world need to thus invest in organizations that deal with education aimed at uniting the Jewish people.

Why is Jewish unity so important?

The Jewish people received their name from attaining a state of spiritual unity (the Hebrew word for “Jew” [Yehudi] comes from the word for “united” [yihudi] [Yaarot Devash, Part 2, Drush no. 2]). They share no biological connection as Jews, since they are a people that came from all parts of ancient Babylon, gathered into Abraham’s tent, and became united when they, using Abraham’s method of unification, set their sights on attaining the perception and sensation of the spiritual state of unity, purified from any self-centered motives.

Why is this non-biological, spiritual form of unity so important today?

It is because precisely today, since the human ego has grown to overblown proportions, we’re in a humanity experiencing increasing social division and the myriad personal, social and global-scale problems stemming from an increasing internal disengagement between people. Moreover, the increasing social diversity and mingling of cultures, economies and technologies into a globally-intertwined blend demands a method that can glue together the thickening tangle by making sense of it.

As people suffer more from increasing social division, they instinctively feel that the Jews are to blame for their problems. That is because, since the Jewish people had once achieved a unified state “as one man with one heart,” the nations of the world have a gut feeling that the Jews are holding back “something good” from them. And both the nations of the world and the Jews are unconscious as to what that “good” actually is: a harmoniously unified society, the key to everyone’s happiness and safety.

The more the nations of the world feel problems and crises in their lives, the more they will unconsciously blame the Jews, pointing out any dirt on Jews that they can get their hands on (or fabricate), without knowing that there is a deep-seated hatred within them preceding all of its corporeal manifestations. As social division and its byproducts of anxiety, stress, xenophobia and extremism increase, and as the suffering in the world rises, the Jews will be circled out more and more, and an intensification of attacks and threats on the Jewish people can be expected.

Kabbalist Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam) describes this phenomenon at length in his Introduction to The Book of Zohar:

“In such a generation, all the destructors among the nations of the world raise their heads and wish primarily to destroy and to kill the children of Israel, as it is written (Yevamot 63), ‘No calamity comes to the world but for Israel.’ This means, as it is written in the above corrections, that they cause poverty, ruin, robbery, killing, and destruction in the whole world.

Today, the nations of the world unconsciously sense that the Jewish people, or Israel, are failing to implement and exemplify a unity worthy of replication in human society. The natural reaction is for them to apply pressure on the Jews, which boosts anti-Semitism. On the other hand, as soon as Jews unite, it will also bring about the unity of all nations of the world and they will feel a wealth of goodness and well being streaming from Israel.

What should donors who want to combat anti-Semitism invest in?

With the understanding that in order to obliterate anti-Semitism completely, Jewish unity is needed in order to be a conduit for humanity’s unity, then donors should invest first and foremost in a comprehensive educational plan in Israel. It needs to cover the education and promotion of Jewish unity on multiple platforms, the mass media as well as local and online courses, programs and events that serve to activate a shift toward a society learning how to unite above its member’s egocentric, divisive drives.

The goal of this educational plan would be that a new, elated spirit of unity spread in human society worldwide: an expanded perception of reality. The state can be likened to waking up from a coma and finding ourselves in a sensation of our collective consciousness.

By increasing the appreciation of the common intention to benefit one’s fellow human being, the newly unified society would be a much happier, peaceful and loving society. Anti-Semitism would then be uprooted completely. That is, it’s not only that there would be no hatred of Jews, the hatred would be replaced with love and appreciation of this united people spreading harmony throughout the world.

“With utter completeness will it be completed within the house of Israel, and from it, it will radiate to the earth and to the whole world, ‘for a covenant of the people, for a light of the nations.” Rav Abraham Isaac Kook, Ein Ayah (A Hawk’s Eye)
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New Life #1102 – Intolerance In The International Arena

New Life #1102 – Intolerance in the International Arena
Dr. Michael Laitman in conversation with Oren Levi and Yael Leshed-Harel

Israel is perceived as a very aggressive nation that wants to dominate the entire world and exploit everyone for its own good. If Israel wants security, it must invest in research and development of new relationships between people. The level of connection in the world depends upon the level of connection between us Jews. We determine how everything will be managed. Kabbalah teaches people how to connect with each other correctly.
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From KabTV’s “New Life #1102 – Intolerance in the International Arena,” 3/5/19

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“Guns At The Synagogue? Unleashing The True Weapon” (The Times Of Israel)

The Times of Israel published my new article “Guns at the Synagogue? Unleashing the True Weapon

The spike in hate crimes has opened the debate over the use of guns for self-defense among the American Jewish community. “We live in a time of danger,” stated the US official for combating anti-Semitism, Elan Carr, in a recent conference in Jerusalem. He suggested to post security guards at every Jewish temple, community center and school in America. A rabbi in Boston backs this view and proposes that his members carry guns to the synagogue for protection. Others are already taking firearms training. It is better to be safe than sorry, but these are band-aid solutions to a problem that can only be solved from another level: through Jewish unity.

The deadly attacks in Pittsburgh and Poway, California prompted to reinforce security measures at Jewish facilities in the US. Incidents against the Jewish community increased 57 percent from 2016 to 2017, the highest in 20 years and the largest single-year rise in history, according to the Anti-Defamation League. And even though white supremacists are responsible for recent attacks and threats to synagogues, terrorism and violence inspired by Islamist extremism “continues to pose a serious threat to Americans,” says a recent report by the anti-Semitism watchdog group. It states that as June, three people have been arrested for plotting Islamist terrorist attacks including Jewish targets.

The uneasy feeling and menace facing Jews in America are, in fact, a wake up call to reflect on our state as a nation and follow what the Torah mandates to us: to connect by the principle of “love your neighbor as yourself,” and radiate that positive force to the rest of the world. If we fail to do that, non-Jews perceive our disunity as the cause of their problems, putting pressure on us through violent acts. Therefore, until we unite above our differences, anti-Semitism only will get worse. Arming ourselves will simply give us a false and empty sense of security.

We currently do not realize how humanity’s unity depends on Jewish unity. Both are deeply interrelated, as Jews have a central role in the world’s wellbeing. As it is written in the “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” “Israel refers to the inner part of the world, whereas other nations are considered its outer part.” That central role of Jews is also explained in that seminal text as “a man of Israel elevates his outer material part over the inner, spiritual one, the outer part (the coarse and harmful elements in the nations of the world) accordingly rises over the inner part (the righteous among the nations of the world) and calamities and wars befall the world.”

Therefore, unity should be our priority. By getting closer to each other, narrowing the huge gap that currently separates us, we will become an example to humanity. The power of unity will make any form of hatred against Jews vanish. It is not only the strongest weapon—it is the only weapon that can guarantee peace and safety.
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“Arming Ourselves Gives False, Empty Sense of Security” (Newsmax)

My article in Newsmax: “Arming Ourselves Gives False, Empty Sense of Security

The spike in hate crimes has opened the debate over the use of guns for self-defense among the American Jewish community. “We live in a time of danger,” stated the U.S. official for combating anti-Semitism, Elan Carr, in a recent conference in Jerusalem.

Carr suggested to post security guards at every Jewish temple, community center, and school in America. A rabbi in Boston backs this view, proposing that his members carry guns to the synagogue for protection. Others are already taking firearms training. It is better to be safe than sorry, but these are band-aid solutions to a problem that can only be solved from another level.

Through Jewish unity.

The deadly attacks in Pittsburgh and Poway, California prompted to reinforce security measures at Jewish facilities in the United States. Incidents against the Jewish community increased 57 percent from 2016 to 2017, the highest in 20 years and the largest single-year rise in history, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

Even though white supremacists are responsible for recent attacks and threats to synagogues, terrorism and violence inspired by Islamist extremism “continues to pose a serious threat to Americans,” says a recent report by the anti-Semitism watchdog group.

It declares that, as of June, three people have been arrested for plotting Islamist terrorist attacks which include Jewish targets.

The uneasy feeling and menace facing Jews in America are, in fact, a wake up call to reflect on our state as a nation and follow what the Torah mandates to us: to connect by the principle of “love your neighbor as yourself,” radiating that positive force globally.

Should we fail to do that, non-Jews will perceive our disunity as the cause of their problems, putting pressure on us through violent acts. Therefore, until we unite above our differences, anti-Semitism only will get worse.

Arming ourselves will simply give us a false and empty sense of security.

We currently do not realize how humanity’s unity depends on Jewish unity.

Both are deeply interrelated, as Jews have a central role in the world’s wellbeing.

As it’s written in the “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” “Israel refers to the inner part of the world, whereas other nations are considered its outer part.”

That particular central role of Jews is also explained in that seminal text as “a man of Israel elevates his outer material part over the inner, spiritual one, the outer part (the coarse and harmful elements in the nations of the world) accordingly rises over the inner part (the righteous among the nations of the world) and calamities and wars befall the world.”

Therefore, unity should be our priority.

By getting closer to each other, narrowing the huge gap currently separating us, we will become an example to humankind. The power of unity will make any form of hatred against Jews vanish. It’s not only the strongest weapon — it is the only weapon that can guarantee peace and safety.
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US Antisemitism

Dr. Michael LaitmanFrom My Facebook Page Michael Laitman 7/1/19

“If you asked Jews twenty years ago whether a Holocaust could happen in America, you would get a unanimous answer: “impossible, not in America,” said Dov Hikind, founder of Americans against Anti-Semitism. “Unfortunately, a holocaust is possible in America. It may not look the same, but if we post a petition calling for Jews to be sent to concentration camps in America, many will sign.”

If there was a time when we were certain that the Holocaust could never return, and that anti-Semitism was a passing phenomenon, then we should sober up and understand that things will only get worse.

In the United States they throw coins at Jewish children because “Jews love money”; a group of ten attacked a young Jew in Berlin; the head of Chabad was attacked in Argentina; an Israeli pavilion was destroyed at an exhibition in Prague; a bullet was shot at an 80 year old woman next to a synagogue in France, and her head was harmed. We can go on and on.

Clearly, these examples from the past two weeks are only the tip of the iceberg. Behind them are hundreds and thousands of cases that are never reported. “Jews are attacked physically and verbally – and people are silent,” Hikind concludes.

In order to deal with the growing problem of anti-Semitism, we must understand the root of the phenomenon, or in simple terms: What makes people hate us?

According to the wisdom of Kabbalah, the irrational hatred of the Jewish people over generations stems from the special role of Jews, to show all of humanity how to unite. We carry a method of human connection, the key to a good and happy life for all people.

As long as the Jews do not fulfill their role, all sorts of suffering increases in the world. Subconsciously, the whole world feels dependent on the Jews, and this is expressed through accusations, slander and a burning hatred, as it were, without justification. But the truth is, that they are right.

The Jews have nowhere to escape. We must begin to recognize the role and responsibility on our shoulders, and realize the rule of “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Only when Jews will demonstrate how to achieve a higher level of human connection, they will alleviate the hatred of the world towards them. And the sooner the better.

Anti-Semitism Inherited?

Why Did The Holocaust Happen?

Dr. Michael LaitmanFrom My Facebook Page Michael Laitman 6/25/19

Can Kabbalah Dissemination Prevent the Next Holocaust?

Dr. Michael LaitmanFrom My Facebook Page Michael Laitman 6/25/19