Entries in the 'Anti-Semitism' Category

The Times Of Israel: “Jews Vs. Jews, Who Needs Anti-Semites? What The Pittsburgh Killings Uncovered”

The Times of Israel published my new article “Jews vs. Jews, Who Needs Anti-Semites? What the Pittsburgh Killings Uncovered

Aftershocks from Pittsburgh’s synagogue massacre have surfaced fissures and faults that riddle Jews in the US, in Israel, and between. Deep ideological divisions over who is responsible for American anti-Semitism and how to tackle the problem reveal the crumbling foundation beneath worldwide Jewry. At the same time, the cosy, secure feeling that existential threats toward Jews do not happen in America has shattered. Commonsense dictates that our footing must be restored because anti-Semitic storm clouds gather on the horizon and our survival as a people is at stake.

Hatred, an Old Disease

In 2015, a gunman killed nine people in Charleston, South Carolina, during a Bible study session at an African-American church. Racial and religious hatred is nothing new. Anti-Semitism, in particular, did not start yesterday either and cannot be attributed to any specific US president or political party. It has been present throughout history and has increased over the years. We have lived in denial, believing that this scourge of the past was dead and could never strike in America, until the murders at the Tree of Life Synagogue struck a deep chord in our collective consciousness and shook us into the reality that there are no sacred spaces that can shield us.

These are the stark facts: over the last decade since the FBI began registering hate-crime cases, Jews have been the most targeted victim group in America, despite being less than 2 percent of the American population. Fully 54% of religiously motivated hate crimes have singled out Jews. Yet, the decade saw nothing compared to the Pittsburg shooting that took the lives of 11 people, the worst attack on worshipping Jews in American history.

Jews vs. Jews

The deadly shooting in Pittsburgh has prompted an interfaith outpouring of solidarity for the victims and the Jewish community in general. However, among the Jewish community itself, there is no such solidarity. While the American Jewish Committee (AJC), launched the #ShowUpForShabbat campaign, “determined to ensure that love triumphs over hate, good over evil, unity over division,” Franklin Foer, a Jewish writer for The Atlantic called for the excommunication of Jews who back Trump and their shunning from religious congregations: “Their money should be refused, their presence in synagogues not welcome.” Moreover, Israel could not be left aside when looking for a place to pin the blame for anti-Semitism, as GQ writer Julia Ioffe asserted that the moving of the American embassy to Jerusalem motivated the synagogue attack.

In the meantime, Rabbi Jeffrey Myers of the Tree of Life Synagogue, who is still trying to overcome the trauma of the massacre in his congregation, reported receiving hate mail for welcoming President Trump to the victims’ memorial site in Pittsburgh. In addition, the synagogue tragedy has become an excuse for political pundits from both sides of the Atlantic to fan the flames of division between Israel and the US Diaspora over ideological principles on a variety of issues that have eroded relationships and deeply split Jews in the last few years: the Iran deal, the Kotel, conversions, the move of the American Embassy to Jerusalem, the definition of who is a Jew, to name a few.

Blame Game to Connection Game

It is always easy to blame someone else when a problem arises, but by doing so we eliminate the possibility of finding solutions by diverting attention away from its root cause. To find the cause of Jewish suffering we need look no further than ourselves.

The enemy is within us. To be more precise, the disorder is between us, in our detachment from each other. Jews have succumbed to the blame game instead of holding each other tight in response to adversity. Moreover, when our unity crumbles, hatred against us strengthens.

During the trying times of World Word II, prominent Kabbalist Rav Yehuda Ashlag, Baal HaSulam, expressed it this way in his paper “The Nation”:

“It is clear that the immense effort required of us on the rugged road ahead requires unity as strong and as solid as steel, from all factions of the nation without exception. If we do not come out with united ranks toward the mighty forces standing in our way then we are doomed before we even started.

Our sages knew that we are a strong-headed people and knowingly left us a plethora of wisdom to follow to heal our rifts and find strength to face threats. As was written in The Book of Consciousness by Rabbi Eliyahu Ki Tov, “We are commanded at each generation to strengthen the unity among us so our enemies do not rule over us.”

How Can We Reach Unity Under the Current Climate?

There are Jews from the left, Jews from the right; less observant, more observant, not observant at all Jews; Jews who oppose Israeli policies, Jews unconditionally pro-Israel. To our enemies, these distinctions don’t matter. To them, we are one. But why should we depend on haters to remind us of our shared Jewish heritage? We can easily follow the path of our ancestors to solve our disputes: “Although Beit Shamai and Beit Hillel were disputed, they treated each other with fondness and friendship, to keep what was said (Babylonian Talmud, Eruvin, 13b).

We have been one unique people since the times of ancient Babylon, when Abraham the Patriarch gathered us as a Jewish nation, as those willing to unite above differences following our seminal principle of “love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18).

The internal conflicts between us back then were just as vivid as ours today. Each individual’s ego burned with its own views and demands, but each understood that the only way to repair their broken relationships was adherence to the tenet, “love will cover all transgressions” (Proverbs 10:12).

Jews are a mini-model of humanity. We are to function as a prototype of connection between people, between opponents. This is possible and doable with the method of connection we were given in ancient Babylon: the wisdom of Kabbalah. Kabbalah contains the “know how” to fix the world. Its treasure holds the glue to put all the broken pieces of the Jewish puzzle together again in a most amazing way where every different piece is indispensable to complete the whole picture. Our perfect Jewish connection is meant to be radiated from inside out like a kind of fractal pattern for the rest of humanity.

It is written in The Book of Zohar about the Jews’ special role, “as the organs of the body cannot exist in the world even a minute without the heart, all the other nations cannot exist in the world without Israel.” Rav Yitzhak HaCohen Kook (the Raiah), elaborated on the need for unity when he wrote, “The construction of the world, which is currently crumpled by the dreadful storms of a blood-filled sword requires the construction of the Israeli nation … in anticipation of a force full of unity … that is found in Israel.” (Orot [Lights], 16)

Shining Light for Ourselves and the Nations

Spreading unity and light in the world is our role, whether we currently agree to it or not. Kabbalists have long stated that the sooner we realize and implement our role, the sooner we will see anti-Semitic hatred dissipate and disappear. This is so because our foundational identity as a people was in unity and mutual responsibility. We are expected to pass it on to humanity. By not doing so, we bring resentment, hostility and destruction down upon our heads.

We can replace hatred with love by drawing closer to one another above our frictions. Let’s accept our current shattered state as an opportunity to truly become one people again. Then let’s continue to build layers of mutual trust, love and understanding after this tragedy fades away in the news. While tragic or happy events come and go, our role is an eternal promise. As it is written by Rabbi Simcha Bonim Bonhart of Peshischa, “this is the mutual guarantee on which Moses worked so hard before his death, to unite the children of Israel. All of Israel are each other’s guarantors, meaning that when all are together, they see only good” (A Broadcasting Voice, Part 1, Balak).
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The Times Of Israel: “Pittsburgh Tree Of Life Synagogue Massacre A Call To Unity“

The Times of Israel published my new article “Pittsburgh Tree of Life Synagogue massacre a call to unity

It is a tree of life for those who hold fast to it, and all its supporters are happy. Its ways are ways of pleasantness and all its paths are peace.” (Proverbs 3:18)

As US flags fly at half-staff for 3 days following the horrific Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh—the killing of 11 people and the injuring of six others by a gunman wanting nothing less than to eradicate all Jews—it is time to unite above our differences and bow our heads not only for the victims’ families and friends, but to contemplate on why such a heinous anti-Semitic hate crime took place, and what we can do to prevent future attacks.

While the ADL called the shooting “likely the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the history of the United States,” hate crimes in general were recorded as being the highest in over a decade in 2017, with a 12% increase in the US. Moreover, Jews accounted for around 54% of those hate crimes, despite being just 2% of the US population. Therefore, while we unite and pray for the victims’ families and friends, we need to understand that we are reacting to a symptom of an intensifying problem.

The Tree of Life is For Those Who Hold Fast to It…

In order to solve the problem at its root and not wait for mass shootings and other crises to temporarily unite us, we need to recognize the unity of the Jewish people as a force capable of solving anti-Semitism. When the Jewish people unite above their differences, love covers hatred, peace covers conflict, happiness covers all the emptiness in the world, and as if miraculously, from within, people feel a new kind of fulfillment in their lives. And when people are fulfilled, thoughts to eliminate an entire race stop popping up into their minds. How does this all work?

How is the Unity of the Jewish People a Solution to Anti-Semitism?

Historically, Jews are a living testament of resilience. Throughout history we have been persecuted by Romans, the Spanish Inquisition, the Russian Empire of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and of course, Hitler … and yet we have survived. Modern-day challenges will also not destroy us unless we sit passively by and fail to use this event in Pittsburgh as a wake-up call. To answer the call and make sure that such slaughter of Jews never happens again, we first need to understand who we are, why we are here, and what is our role and purpose on this planet. Only then will we be able to comprehend why we go through so many tribulations and struggles, and only then can we discover how to change to a positive course.

The originators of our nation came from different tribes all over Babylon and the Near East. The only thing that held them together was their belief that Abraham’s tenet of mercy and love of others was the right way to live. It transcended all other values and considerations, and so, they followed him.

We were established as a Jewish nation at the foot of Mount Sinai when all our members committed to unite “as one man with one heart.” Immediately afterward, we were commanded to be “a light unto nations,” namely to spread the light of unity throughout the world. That is what makes us unique. Since we once experienced brotherly love, we have the ability to once again unite above differences and set an example to others who so desperately need such guidance.

Rav Kook summed up the role of the Jewish people as follows:

“The purpose of Israel is to unite the world into a single family.

As long as we maintain our unity, we thrive and remain safe. When we abandon it, the world regards us as a negative influence and anti-Semitic manifestations resurface with a vengeance, as evidenced in the Tree of Life synagogue attack.

When our enemies strike they do not ask what denomination we belong to, or what our origin is, or whether we are right wing or left wing. They simply strike out against us, convinced that the world’s problems will be solved by erasing Jews off the face of the planet. These overriding forces of anti-Semitism constantly resurface in different ways to compel us to unite as we become increasingly distant from implementing our role of being “a light unto nations.”

How We Can Turn This Around

Instead of exemplifying unity, we radiate divisiveness to the rest of the world. In such a state, the world will always find reasons to hate us and feel justified in trying to destroy us. The point upon which our prosperity depends was succinctly expressed by Samuel David Luzzatto:

“The success of our nation depends only on our brotherly love, on connecting to one another as members of a single family.

It is my hope that we will use the choice we have in our hands to lead the world from darkness to light, chaos to unity, by rising above our differences. We don’t need to agree on everything, but we do have to connect our hearts above all that separates us.

It is said in Shem MiShmuel:

“When Israel are ‘as one man with one heart,’ they are as a fortified wall against the forces of evil.

By uniting, we will be empowered to firmly take root as a nation, realizing among each other and spreading to others the happiness, pleasantness and peace contained in the words: “It is a tree of life for those who hold fast to it, and all its supporters are happy. Its ways are ways of pleasantness and all its paths are peace.” (Proverbs 3:18)

The Times Of Israel: “Rising Anti-Semitism In New York: Animosity Turned Into Violent Attacks“

The Times of Israel published my new article “Rising Anti-Semitism in New York: Animosity Turned Into Violent Attacks

“He started to punch me. I screamed ‘What do you want from me?’ ‘Help!’” describes an Orthodox Jew about the moment when he had been viciously assaulted without provocation by a Pakistani immigrant in Brooklyn, NY. The video of the aggression went viral, putting a face on a growing problem in the US and the world: verbal hostility toward Jews transforming into physical violence.”

This was the second attack of its nature in two consecutive days. In the other incident, a teenager carrying a stick chased after an Orthodox Jewish man in Brooklyn and beat him on his back and shoulders.

These types of violent actions against Jews are certainly not coincidental, but rather, a recurring pattern that’s increasingly becoming the new norm. Just this year alone, organizations monitoring hate crimes tracked 11 assaults against Jews in New York State, 8 of them in Brooklyn. Statewide, the Anti-Defamation League reported a 90% increase in anti-Semitic incidents in 2017 compared to the previous year.

Why the Jews?

How many times have we asked ourselves, “Why Jews?” How can a drop in the ocean of the world’s population be the subject of such visceral hatred and scrutiny? It usually manifests as inflammatory rhetoric openly expressed without consequences, like the recent comment by the well-known American anti-Semite, Louis Farrakhan, who compared Jews with termites.

So, again we ask why it is that 15 million Jewish people, around 0.2% of the total world population, draw so much attention and arouse so many emotions? Why has there been this special treatment of Jews throughout history? When we think about how humanity has progressed with all its hi-tech developments, communications, education, culture, how has this backward behavior and attitude toward Jewish people persisted?

No one wants to deal with answering these questions because there is no logical explanation. Foremost Kabbalist, Rav Yehuda Ashlag, Baal HaSulam, in The Writings of the Last Generation, Part One (Section Nine) stated it this way: “It is a fact that Israel is hated by all nations, whether for religious reasons, racial reasons, capitalistic reasons, communistic reasons, or cosmopolitan reasons. It is so because the hatred precedes all reasons.” In other words, although the hatred and blame of the Jewish people takes on many forms, from the idea that the “Jews run the world” all the way back to being seen as responsible for the “Black Death” epidemics and even the death of Jesus Christ, none of these are the actual causes of the hatred, but its symptoms. The cause of anti-Semitism is rooted much deeper beyond our usual understanding and reason.

What Is the Cause of Anti-Semitism?

In order to find the root of anti-Semitism we need to look into the profound and special role of the Jews, a role they cannot escape.

According to the wisdom of Kabbalah, anti-Semitism is not an accident or a whim, but a subconscious and instinctive reaction of the world that feels the Jews hold the secret to pave the way for a better society, to be a “light unto nations,” the role they were chosen for.

Around 4,000 years ago, the Jewish nation began to build its life in accordance with the idea of unity and love, under the tenet, “one man with one heart,” in mutual care and solidarity, being responsible for one another. Jews are expected to reclaim and implement this principle that was lost due to internal divisions and conflicts. The world waits for them to set an example and bring unity to the world by uniting and then extending the positive force of unity to all human society.

Until the Jews carry out this task, the animosity and accusations against them for all the world’s problems will only increase, and this is precisely what is happening.

The unique role of the Jews is explained in the book, Sefat Emet [Language of Truth],

“The children of Israel became guarantors to correct the entire world… everything depends on the children of Israel. To the extent that they correct themselves [and become united], all creations follow them.”

The Midrash (Bereshit Rabah, 66) also refers to the important role of the Jewish nation: “This nation, world peace dwells within it.” Jews cannot escape from carrying out this mission, everything revolves around it. Becoming the conduit that radiates light and goodness is what the world really wants from us. If the Jews repair their broken relations and help the rest of the world achieve this state, the hatred toward them will be canceled. It is my hope that we will acknowledge and accept this great responsibility sooner rather than later, as the well-being and happiness of both the Jewish people and the nations of the world depend on our unity, and spreading that unity to the world.

“The prime defense against calamity is love and unity. When there are love, unity, and friendship between each other in Israel, no calamity can come over them. …When there is bonding among them, and no separation of hearts, they have peace and quiet … and all the curses and suffering are removed by that.”
– Rabbi Kalman Epstein, Maor VaShemesh
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The Times Of Israel: “Why Is There Anti-Semitism?“

The Times of Israel published my new article “Why Is There Anti-Semitism?

Overlooking the controversy of what is anti-Jewish discourse

Anti-Semitism has been at the center of a recent semantic dilemma, with opposite perspectives in Europe and the US in terms of what is considered anti-Semitic and a legitimate criticism of Israel. It deviates our focus from the real matter at hand: Why does the phenomenon of anti-Semitism receive dramatic global attention, comparable to the time of the Second World War, according to recent studies.

The British Labour party, facing mounting backlash for their anti-Semitic positions in recent years, adopted in full the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, which calls for combating hatred and discrimination against Jews and Holocaust denial, but included a caveat alongside on “freedom of speech on Israel,” the right to criticize the Jewish nation and its policies.

On the other hand, the Trump administration reopened a 7-year-old case involving alleged anti-Semitism at Rutgers University, backing the claim of Jewish groups, which have long-campaigned fighting anti-Jewish bias and the hostile environment on college campuses across the US, promoted by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. As a vivid example of admitted support of this movement by academics, just a few days ago a professor at the University of Michigan rescinded his offer to write a recommendation letter for one of his students after he learned that she wanted to study in Israel.

The U.S. Department of Education, has now signaled that it is willing to blur the line between criticism of Israel and discrimination against Jewish students, where condemnations of Israel that call into question its legitimacy and the Jewish people’s right of self-determination are defined as anti-Semitic. Such a move is considered by some as a violation of the First Amendment, if implemented.

We could continue with many more examples on this issue. However, maybe the time has come to address this matter from a more in-depth perspective on the root cause of undeniable anti-Semitism and its solution? Four years ago, I published an article in The New York Times print edition entitled, “Who Are You, People of Israel?” Since anti-Semitic crimes and threats have only escalated since then, I would like to re-publish this article, as the solution to this problem is right around the corner. It is up to us to achieve it sooner rather than later.

Who Are You, People of Israel?

Time and again, Jews are persecuted and terrorized. Being Jewish myself, I often ponder the purpose of this relentless agony. Some believe that the atrocities of WWII are unimaginable today. And yet, we see how easily and abruptly the state of mind preceding the Holocaust is re-emerging, and “Hitler was right” shouts are sounded all too often and all too openly.

But there is hope. We can reverse this trend, and all it requires is that we become aware of the bigger picture.

Where We Are and Where We Come From

Humanity is at a crossroads. Globalization has made us interdependent, while people are growing increasingly hateful and alienated. This unsustainable, highly flammable situation requires making a decision about humanity’s future direction. Yet to understand how we, the Jewish people, are involved in this scenario, we need to go back to where it all began.

The people of Israel emerged some 4,000 years ago in ancient Babylon. Babylon was a thriving civilization whose people felt connected and united. In the words of the Torah, “The whole earth was of one language and of one speech” (Genesis, 11:1).

But as their ties grew stronger, so did their egos. They began to exploit, and finally hate one another. So while the Babylonians felt connected, their intensifying egos made them increasingly alienated from each other. Caught between a rock and a hard place, the people of Babylon began to seek out a solution to their plight.

Two Solutions to the Crisis

The search for a solution led to forming two conflicting views. The first, suggested by Nimrod, king of Babylon, was natural and instinctive: Dispersion. The king argued that when people are far from one another, they do not quarrel.

The second solution was suggested by Abraham, then a renowned Babylonian sage. He argued that according to Nature’s law, human society is destined to become united, and therefore strove to unite the Babylonians despite, and atop their growing egos.

Succinctly, Abraham’s method was a way to connect people above their egos. When he began to advocate his method among his countryfolk, “thousands and tens of thousands assembled around him, and … He planted this tenet in their hearts,” writes Maimonides (Mishneh Torah, Part 1). The rest of the people chose Nimrod’s way: dispersion, as do quarrelsome neighbors when they try to stay out of each other’s way. These dispersed people gradually became what we now know as “human society.”

Only today, some 4,000 years down the line, we can begin to assess whose way was right.

The Basis of the People of Israel

Nimrod forced Abraham and his disciples out of Babylon, and they moved to what later became known as “the land of Israel.” They worked on unity and cohesion in accord with the tenet, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” connected above their egos, and thus discovered “the force of unity,” Nature’s hidden power.

Every substance consists of two opposite forces, connection and separation, which balance themselves out. But human society is evolving using only the negative force—the ego. According to Nature’s plan, we are required to consciously balance the negative force with the positive one—unity. Abraham discovered the wisdom that enables balance, and today we refer to his wisdom as, “the wisdom of Kabbalah.”

Israel Means Straight to the Creator

Abraham’s disciples called themselves Ysrael (Israel) after their desire to go Yashar El (straight to G-d, the Creator). That is, they wished to discover Nature’s force of unity so as to balance the ego that stood between them. Through their unity, they found themselves immersed in the force of unity, the upper, root force of reality.

In addition to their discovery, Israel also learned that in the process of human development, the rest of the Babylonians—who followed Nimrod’s advice, dispersed throughout the world, and have become today’s humanity—would also have to achieve unity. That contradiction between the people of Israel, which formed through unity, and the rest of humanity, which formed as a result of separation, is felt even today.

Exile

Abraham’s disciples, the people of Israel, experienced many internal struggles. But for 2,000 years their unity prevailed and was the key element that held them together. Indeed, their conflicts were meant only to intensify the love among them.

However, approximately 2,000 years ago, their egos reached such intensity that they could not maintain their unity. Unfounded hatred and egotism erupted among them and inflicted exile on them. Indeed, Israel’s exile, more than it is exile from the physical land of Israel, it is exile from unity. The alienation within the Israeli nation caused them to disperse among the nations.

Back to the Present

Today humanity is in a similar state to the one the ancient Babylonians experienced: interdependence alongside alienation. Because we are completely interdependent in our global village, Nimrod’s solution of parting ways is no longer practical. Now we are required to use Abraham’s method. This is why the Jewish people, who previously implemented Abraham’s method and connected, must rekindle their unity and teach the method of connection to the whole of humanity. And unless we do it of our own accord, the nations of the world will compel us to do it, by force.

On that note, it is interesting to read the words of Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company, and a notorious anti-Semite, in his book, The International Jew — The World’s Foremost Problem: “Society has a large claim against him [the Jew] that he … begin to fulfill … the ancient prophecy that through him all the nations of the earth should be blessed.”

The Roots of Anti-Semitism

After thousands of years of exerting to build a successful human society using Nimrod’s method, the nations of the world are beginning to understand that the solution to their problems is neither technological, nor economic or military. Subconsciously, they feel that the solution lies in unity, that the method of connection exists in the people of Israel, and therefore recognize that they are dependent on the Jews. This makes them blame the Jews for every problem in the world, believing that the Jews possess the key to the world’s happiness.

Indeed, when the Israeli nation fell from its moral apex of love of others, hatred of Israel among the nations commenced. And thus, through anti-Semitism, the nations of the world prod us to disclose the method of connection. Rav Kook, the first Chief Rabbi of Israel, pointed to that fact with his words, “Amalek, Hitler, and so forth, awaken us toward redemption” (Essays of the Raiah, Vol. 1).

But the people of Israel are unaware that they are holding the key to the world’s happiness, and that the very source of anti-Semitism is that the Jews are carrying within them the method of connection, the key to happiness, the wisdom of Kabbalah, but are not revealing it to all.

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Mandatory Disclosure of the Wisdom

As the world groans under the pressure of two conflicting forces—the global force of connection, and the separating power of the ego, we are falling into the state that existed in ancient Babylon prior to its collapse. But today we cannot pull away from one another in order to calm our egos down. Our only option is to work on our connection, on our unity. We are required to add to our world the positive force that balances the negative power of our ego.

The people of Israel, descendants of the ancient Babylonians who followed Abraham, must implement the wisdom of connection, namely the wisdom of Kabbalah. They are required to set an example to the whole of humanity, and thus become a “light for the nations.”

The laws of Nature dictate that we will all achieve a state of unity. But there are two ways to get there: 1) a path of world suffering wars, catastrophes, plagues, and natural disasters, or 2) a path of gradual balancing of the ego, the path that Abraham planted in his disciples. The latter is the one we suggest.

Unity Is the Solution

It is written in The Book of Zohar, “Everything stands on love” (Portion, VaEtchanan). “Love your neighbor as yourself” is the great tenet of the Torah; it is also the essence of the change that the wisdom of Kabbalah is offering humanity. It is the obligation of the Jewish People to unite in order to share the method of Abraham with the entire human race.

According to Rav Yehuda Ashlag, author of the Sulam (Ladder) commentary on The Book of Zohar, “It is upon the Israeli nation to qualify itself and all the people of the world … to develop until they take upon themselves that sublime work of the love of others, which is the ladder to the purpose of Creation.” If we accomplish this, we will find solutions to all the world’s problems including the eradication of anti-Semitism.
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Let Nature’s Positive Force Flow Through Us

Dr. Michael LaitmanFrom My Facebook Page Michael Laitman 5/15/18

The people of Israel act as a central junction in the human network. If we try to connect positively above our differences, we let nature’s positive connective force flow through us into the entire human network. As a result, people start changing, albeit unconsciously. Connection would become more valued, and as a byproduct, the attitude toward the people of Israel would become more positive. On the other hand, failure to invest in enhancing human connection invites the negative force to further fuel humanity’s subconscious, enabling the flames of hatred to rise higher and higher in our direction.

Read my full article on Breaking Israel News >>

Complying With Spiritual Laws

laitman_284.03The definitions of the wisdom of Kabbalah are not quite like definitions we use in the ordinary spoken language. The “nations of the world” are the desire to enjoy for oneself. “Jews,” the people of Israel, are desires aiming to bestowal.

Therefore, each person can be divided into nations of the world and Israel: into desires seeking only to satisfy themselves and desires aiming to the love of others and from it to the love for the Creator. On this basis, everyone can determine to which part of the general desire, that is, the creation he belongs.

Religion (Daat) is the method of Kabbalah that helps a person reach the middle line (Sefirot Daat-Tifferet-Yesod), and accordingly aim his desire to enjoy bestowal. If, when reading Kabbalistic sources, we perceive them through these definitions, we will not get confused and we will attribute everything to the desire to enjoy, the material of creation and its various properties. Then we will be able to identify them correctly and understand where we are: in a corrected or in a corrupted state. 1

The desires of Israel, directed straight to the Creator (Yashar-El), do not feel satisfaction until they reach correction. Such a person feels internal restlessness. If he is drawn to the revelation of the Creator, to correction, he cannot be satisfied with ordinary civil life, but must reach the revelation of the Creator. Only in this he will find comfort, tranquility, and satisfaction. 2

If we are given a desire to attain the Creator and we do not develop it, do not promote it toward the revelation, we inflict great troubles on ourselves because we are lowering the heavens to the earth. By this we cause the fall of the generations who were called to correct their desire. After all, instead of ascending to the upper Light and being filled with it, they want to receive abundance below without any correction, and by this they cause darkness and all disasters in the world.

People who were capable of making a correction and rising, becoming a channel for the upper world for all others, but failed to do so and did not realize the desire given to them to reveal the Creator, suffer from this themselves, and they also condemn others who cannot do anything by themselves and depend on them. Therefore, the nations of the world suffer from the fact that Israel fails to perform its mission, to correct itself. This is the reason for the existence of anti-Semitism. 3

Instead of climbing the degrees of bestowal and love of others and conducting the Light to the nations of the world, which was possible already from the First Temple, the people of Israel absorbed corporeal desires of the nations of the world and adopted their customs. In each generation only a select few Kabbalists remained. 4

There are laws of nature that act on the inanimate, vegetative, and animate levels. If a person does not follow them, he receives punishment because these are laws of physical nature. There are also laws of spiritual nature that relate to the equivalence of a person with the Creator. These laws act selectively, according to a person’s degree, like a system of justice that does not punish a child, gives only partial punishment for the same offense to a teenager, but punishes an adult person in full.

The spiritual ladder is created on the attitude of the upper Light toward the desire to enjoy, the material of the creation. According to this, a spiritual law acts at each level. The law is a proportion between the upper Light of the certain level and the desire to enjoy corresponding to it, when they are equal and can connect.

Therefore, if at some degree we do not see and do not know something, it means that it is for our benefit, because the ladder of degrees from above downward is built in such a way. We cannot complain that this is unfair. 5

Everything we feel in this world is an influence of the forces that guide us with maximal love and care in the right direction. Wherever I fail to see this, I need to correct myself in order to agree with this governance. 6
From the From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/17/18, Baal HaSulam, “Exile and Redemption
1 Minute 0:40
2 Minute 3:05 
3 Minute 6:45
4 Minute 12:00
5 Minute 23:00
6 Minute 26:10

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No Fear Of Another Holocaust?

Laitman_011There is no good or evil in this world, but only two forces: giving and receiving, which have to merge. They work according to a simple principle of connection, the law of the similarity of form. And to the extent of our unity or lack thereof, according to the time allocated for our development, these forces generate the states that develop and change the desire to give pleasure to creation.

We must be impartial to this process, keep our feelings out of it, or we will not understand it. “The judge has only what his eyes see” and not what his heart feels.1

To Punish or to Pardon

The Creator treats every person, even an infant, as if he is responsible for his own decisions. From His perspective, there is no difference between people; we are all one body that must fulfill its mission: adults, children, men, women, the elderly—everyone falls under the same rule.

The Holocaust is a consequence that accumulated over a long period of time. For two millennia, Jews tried to avoid their responsibilities. Their purpose is to be the Light to the nations, to be a conduit that delivers the Light to the part of humanity that does not belong to its head, but to the body of the common soul and is unable to pull the upper Light to it by itself. However, specifically in that part is where the Creator should be revealed. Israel, which is called “I am the head” (“Li Rosh“), only serves as a conductor of the Light to the body. But the actual contact with the upper force and the adhesion of the creation with the Creator takes place in the body, where the need for it is felt the most.

And when Israel does not fulfill its mission, it makes itself useless in this world. Either the upper governance will have to bring a lot of suffering to us, the left line, to make us change our behavior and attract the Light that reforms to the right line, or we will realize it and start behaving correctly on our own. It is one or the other.

The Creator does not decide what to do with us: to punish or to pardon. The system works according to specific laws, not emotions. Today, the situation is worse than 80 years ago. Back then, the nations of the world supported the people of Israel in creating their country because it brought with it a possibility of this world’s correction. Today, we have no such support from anyone. The world refuses to even give respect to the remembrance of the Holocaust.

This shows that the nation of Israel fails to fulfill its mission even slightly. The other nations feel no benefit from us. On the contrary, they see us as the most harmful part of the world. The only way to solve this is for us to unite and turn ourselves into a conduit. We will create a circle in our connections and form a pipeline for the world. This is our purpose.

If we, however, fail to do so, we will feel the hatred from above, from the Creator, and from below, from the nations of the world. We already saw what this leads to. We exist in the system of nature’s laws that one cannot forget nor hide from. So let’s not pretend that we do not understand what is happening; it is worthwhile informing ourselves about this issue and then we have a chance to save ourselves. Nothing else will help, for “the law is given and cannot be broken.”2

With the passing years, the memory of the Holocaust fades, it no longer causes the feeling of common loss and pain. If that happened to any other nation, aimed against their desire to receive, it would have been felt much more strongly and would not have been forgotten in hundreds of years. But since the Holocaust was aimed at our insufficient work with the desire to bestow, the memory of it vanished. Today, we feel no trace of it.

We have to understand this unusual phenomenon. This is why there is no fear of a Holocaust today. This is incomprehensible! Even when the new wave of anti-Semitism arises, reminding us of a possibility of another Holocaust, no one is impressed by it. Just like the Jews of Poland did not concern themselves before World War II, thinking that everything will turn out well.

However, our condition today is even worse than it was before the Holocaust. Nevertheless, the Jewish nation cannot awaken. Because awakening should not be a result of suffering. Suffering can only be a side-effect. The awakening has to be the result of realizing our mission, the necessity for us to unite in order to bring the Creator, the upper Light, from top to bottom, to all the creations, that is, not running away from blows, but revealing the Creator to all of humanity.3

The spiritual root of anti-Semitism is the incorrect behavior of the nation of Israel that must reach unity with the upper Light. The result of this lack is revealed in the uncorrected desires, not in its head, but in the body of the common soul—in the nations of the world. When the body of the spiritual Partzuf is supposed to receive the inner Light from the head but does not receive it, this lack goes up to the head and is felt there as anti-Semitism.4

Today, Nazism can arise in any developed country. The more developed the country is, the higher the chances of it reaching Nazism because people are more sensitive and feel more strongly that they are suffering because of the Jews. The situation is such that the democratic, liberal, and pro-socialist regimes are about to collapse and make way for Nazism, as Baal HaSulam had warned us.5
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/11/18, Lesson on the topic “Holocaust Remembrance Day”
1 Minute 21:10
2 Minute 22:30 – 31:20
3 Minute 40:50
4 Minute 49:03
5 Minute 87:28

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New Life #724 – Holocaust Remembrance Day
New Life #723 – The Holocaust In A Kabbalistic Perspective
Fighting Off The Shadow Of The Holocaust, Part 5

New Anti-Semitism

Laitman_001.02The world is developing toward the realization of evil. Kabbalists call it “development,” although according to the opinion of economists and generally accepted standards, it can be called degradation.

As a result of this development, the world is gradually falling into despair, feeling its helplessness, from generation to generation, from year to year. And it is clear that the attitude of the nations of the world to the group called Israel, which must be directed “straight to the Creator” and show this direction to the whole world, is becoming increasingly negative.

The more integral the world becomes, the sharper its attitude will be manifested through the opportunities to communicate with each other and to exert general pressure on Israel. It is important whether Israel understands why it is being pressured and whether it is trying to attract the whole world to discover the purpose of creation and the upper world.

Whether this goal will be achieved through blows, wars, and great suffering for all, including Israel itself or this change will happen in a good way depends on to what extent Israel, through its external explanations, will succeed in attracting the whole world to the revelation of the Creator. And most importantly, to what extent Israel will realize this mission and will be able to draw the Light to all the nations of the world.

If the people of Israel are properly organized, they will come in contact with the upper Light, draw it through themselves, and pass it on to all the nations of the world. Let us hope that we will be able to realize this in a good way, which is desirable on behalf of the Creator, as well as creation.

No matter whether or not Jews understand their mission, because they were once already in spiritual work, a record about it (Reshimo) remains in them. According to this Reshimo they must act in the system. I do not look at people as physical bodies, but I see a field of power called “Light.” And inside this field, there are charged particles that are bound to get together and start working together with this field.

It makes no sense to look at bodies, because they belong to the animal level. The inanimate, vegetative, and animate levels belong to this world, and the human stage refers to the spiritual world.

It turns out that in this world there is a special creature called man, Adam, who is connected with both the spiritual and the material. According to his material body, he is an animal, only highly developed. But there is nothing spiritual in it yet. Therefore, it is necessary to take into account not only what is now visible to our eyes, but also the inner potential hidden in man.

The people of Israel are those who were connected with the upper Light and can pass this Light through themselves to everyone else. Israel is a transitional channel, a modem, a device that connects the upper Light with all of humanity. They once received a method of connection between the upper Light and all people. Abraham already wanted to complete the correction in his days, but only individual disciples followed him, not all of the ancient Babylon.

The people of Israel are those who once left Egypt (the intention for themselves), reached the Light of Mochin de Haya through altruistic unity, and then began to descend.

In an ideal form, they seemed to have continued this correction to the whole world. After all, they built their final corrected state, but only relatively, because all the common Kli, all peoples, did not participate in it.

Therefore, they had to descend and in these falls establish a connection with all the nations of the world. It turns out that the fall from the height of the First and Second Temples was inevitable: from the stage of reception for the sake of bestowal, and bestowal for the sake of bestowal.

After this collapse, the Kli completely disintegrated, and the Jews mixed with the nations of the world. It was not a biological mixture, but an ideological one when the Jews learned from other peoples, i.e., from their desire to enjoy for themselves.

Before that, they were in reception for the sake of bestowal, and then the corrected Kelim fell into destruction, into desires to receive called “the nations of the world” in order to mix with them. This intermingling lasted two thousand years. And from the time of the Ari and onward an updated method of Kabbalah has appeared, adapted for our time, and we are obliged to move toward complete, universal correction.

According to the program of creation, the people of Israel are obliged to correct all mankind.
[224695]
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/9/18, Lesson on the topic “Holocaust Remembrance Day”

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Israel’s Role In The World

“GFCA 2018”

Dr. Michael LaitmanFrom My Facebook Page Michael Laitman 3/21/18

First Conference, Second Conference, Third Conference … The Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism convened today in Jerusalem for the sixth time.

How many more conferences, conventions, forums and meetings will we need to deal with the relentless global phenomenon of anti-Semitism.

Bulgarian President Rumen Radev, former Director General of UNESCO Irina Bokova, head of the Museum of Jewish Heritage Center for Study of anti-Semitism Abe Foxman, and many others leading the battle against anti-Semitism attended – none of them have some brilliant solution to offer. “Anti-Semitism is on a worrying upward trend,” each of them said in their own words.

There were recommendations for legislation, further discussions and calls to support active organizations; but a genuine, revolutionary solution was not heard. At least not in the ears of my students who participated in the three days of the conference at the International Convention Center in Jerusalem.

They saw representatives of various organizations speaking about how much they do against anti-Semitism. They protest hatred, speak at conferences, build coalitions, and go into Twitter-wars with anti-Semites.

The problem is their approach. Every organization proudly displays its work and justifies what it’s doing, yet after countless efforts, “Anti-Semitism is on a worrying upward trend.”

Until we become receptive to hear about the root of this relentless phenomenon, we will find ourselves gathering again and again, and painfully looking at the grim results.

However, the path to a solution has already been paved from time immemorial. Anti-Semitism is only a result we see on the surface; The reason runs deeper.

Humanity needs a unifying mechanism, a way to feel the natural connection that binds all human beings, a bond that will lead to peaceful life. The Jews have the method. They carry it within them. They were founded based upon this method of human connection. Abraham, the father of the nation, gathered around him representatives from various groups, tribes and clans living in ancient Babylon, and founded a group that lived by the principle of “Love thy neighbor as yourself” – unity above all differences.

In time, that group became a people. But later on, it lost the brotherly love and fell into unfounded hatred, and that was when anti-Semitism was born.

Anti-Semitism is an expression of a deep-seated demand that lies in the hearts of the nations of the world. An expectation from that same group, the world’s Jews, to once again provide mankind with the blueprint for a unified society, to recreate their oldest start-up. When we hold a convention that aims to do just that, we can expect to see different results.

My Facebook Page: “Why Anti-Semitism Is On The Rise”

Dr. Michael LaitmanFrom My Facebook Page Michael Laitman 2/1/18

Anti-Semitism is on the rise again. This will continue until the Jews will assume their only responsibility, which is to demonstrate to the world how to achieve positive human relations.