Entries in the 'Family' Category

They Don’t Want To Have Children

Question from Facebook: Women today don’t want to have children. Things were different in my time. Today my daughter doesn’t want to hear what I have to say about the motherly instinct and that it is the greatest thing there is. What is happening to women today?

Answer: Our egoism keeps growing and determines how humanity advances and how it evolves. People don’t want to have families anymore, to see their relatives, or to have children.

They think more about the fact that it will be too costly, and they care only about loving themselves. Therefore, as far as they are concerned, there is no point having children and bringing them up so that at the age of 20 they will leave home without even saying goodbye.

Question: How can a woman feel happy about being a mother again?

Answer: If a woman can be certain that what she is doing is for some good. And today there is no benefit for her, the child, or society—no one.

Society does not need people because robots are replacing them today. A child has no benefit from being born into this world. What is he born for? In order to do drugs later on in life or to be unemployed? His mother has no benefit from that because she serves him and takes care of him for 20 years and then he disappears.

Therefore, looking at this reality, she prefers to dedicate this time to herself, to friends, to spending time in clubs, traveling, and various other engagements. We see that women today manage very well with this.

Question: When would women feel the benefit of having children?

Answer: Only if they discover that they have a new goal in life that cannot be attained without a family and children. This goal is to discover together with her husband and children the next level of their development, which means the upper world.

There should be a certain connection in the family between the parents and the children where they can discover the Creator between them, and the woman, like the Creator, gives birth to a human being and in this action feels that she is like the Creator. Without this goal, she feels unfulfilled. We should return to this state.

This will only happen after humanity begins to acquire a new nature, the attribute of love and bestowal.
From KabTV’s “News with Michael Laitman” 6/8/17

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Ynet: “For Brethren To Dwell Together In Unity”

From my column in Ynet: “For Brethren To Dwell Together In Unity”

Is tribalism something good or bad? What is the power inherent in it that causes us to long for the sensation that is created during times of war? What is the harm that a lack of tribalism is liable to cause to our sensation of security, and how can we overcome it? Rav Laitman on the wisdom of the tribe.


Sebastian Junger, American journalist and author, has dedicated most of his life to staying on dangerous battlefields during wars throughout the world and reviewing them for newspapers. One of those times, when he returned from the first difficult and hard-pressed time in Afghanistan to the bosom of his loving family in the big city of New York, what was waiting for him was an unexpected experience: Suddenly, post-traumatic stress disorder began to stir in him, panic attacks and depression, that he didn’t know how to deal with.

As researcher by nature, he examined this phenomenon in depth and discovered that he was not alone. Hundreds of US soldiers experienced similar trauma, but the shocking discovery that Junger made was that, at the heart of the depression, there was a deep longing for the feeling of tribalism and brotherhood that he had experienced under sniper fire.

In times of war, soldiers sleep together, eat together, and fight together for a common goal, and result in the creation of a collective brotherhood. But once they are removed from their stay in a cohesive group and the sense of “togetherness” and return to the divided and alienated society, a feeling of emptiness attacks them immediately. For Junger, it took more than a year to overcome the situation that only got worse, but because of his pain and his own insights, he published the Tribe about six months ago, which examines the benefits that we have lost over the years when we detached from the life of the tribe.

What has humanity truly lost when we abandoned the tribal world? Is the price that all of us pay for our individualistic life worth it? What can we do today to rebuild our tribal life, the cohesion and unity that are so important for our personal and national strength?

 Secret Tribal Wisdom

The first (and last) time humanity felt like one big tribe was around 3,500 years ago in ancient Babylon. “Now the entire earth was of one language and uniform words” (Genesis 11:1), and the unique power inherent in the tribal feeling granted a sense of a protective and safe womb and it neutralized all self-concern in a person: from concern about food, clothing, and shelter, to the feeling of security in times of war and canceling uncertainty about the future. The sense of security came from the members of the tribe surrounding a person, but its origin was much deeper—the general power of nature—a “tribe”—broader in scope, spanning the entire universe. The general force of nature provides the positive power that nourishes us individually and collectively, protects us on a psychological level, and serves as a refuge for us. Just as the family unit is used by us for support, so the system of nature provides a feeling of calm and serenity, enveloped with warmth and love and balanced relationships.

One fine morning, egoistic nature broke out among the Babylonian tribe, disrupting the serenity that had dwelled among them up to then, and strengthening the feeling of “self” in each one. The Babylonians began to split and divide into smaller peoples and tribes (in retrospect, these became the foundation of the seventy nations of the world about which the historian Josephus wrote at length). The first positive force was trampled, and was replaced by the negative force of egoism, which leapt to the heavens as indicated by the story of the Tower of Babel. Instead of “we,” “I” was created. Instead of concern for others, there was concern for oneself, and instead of a tribe, the individual was the center.

Had the Babylonians been able to preserve a sense of tribalism, increasing the positive power that united them over the gaping void between the negative strength of the ego, their relationship would have strengthened and they would have risen to a new level of existence. But from where would they awaken the positive force? How could they maintain contact despite the distance created? This is precisely the “wisdom of the tribe” that Abraham taught.

A Small Tribe Within the Great Tribe of Nature

Abraham gathered a group of Babylonians around him. He taught them the wisdom of Kabbalah and educated them on how to return to being a cohesive tribe that would operate through altruism. “Charity and bringing peace among one person and another has never been found as much as it was in Abraham, for after all he was the father of a multitude of nations and he united them and made peace between all creatures” (Gevurot HaShem Chapter 6). The method that Abraham taught the Babylonians was simple and logical: transcend the conflicts that separate them and connect with love.

How is that done? It is through effort and a desire to connect with each other through brotherly love so they would awaken the positive force that exists in nature. Like a small tribe within the great tribe of nature, all of the parts are gradually connected into one big family by means of that same positive force of nature.

With the help of the method of Abraham, “Love covers all transgressions” (Proverbs 10:12), the Babylonians who were alienated from each other connected between them “as one man in one heart,” and over many days, that group became the people of Israel (Yisrael, Yashar El, straight to the Creator, the positive force in nature). The sole function of the people of Israel today is to convey the wisdom of the tribe to all of humanity, to be “a light of nations” (Isaiah 49:6).

But like a big steamroller, egoism continued to crush everything in its path and divided the nations into more and more peoples, nations, and cultures, and even they were divided into factions, communities, and groups, divided into political parties, movements, and gangs, until a person was left standing alone. Today, the global tribe has become modern, broken into fragments.
What transforms the tribe into all of humanity? It is concern for everyone, mutual responsibility, and belonging to a single force.

What have we created during these 3,500 years? Has the dissolution of the big tribe transformed our lives for the better and made us more comfortable? Clearly, it hasn’t. We have returned to the starting point like we were in Babylon—billions of people don’t know how to get along with each other. Even if it seems for a moment that everyone suddenly will get along and take control of the situation, the ego will prevent it. Moreover, if we make it possible for the ego to continue to operate, it will cause us to deteriorate into an extreme civil war.

There is no doubt that stressful situations like these are made to bring us closer together as Junger testified in his book. The question is, why do we require a war or a big disaster to overcome the separation that egoism sows? Is there no other way to preserve the sensation of unity and restore the sensation of tribalism that is so vital for us? The solution remains the same: we need to return to the advice of Abraham, the father of the nation, and connect between us. However, unlike in the days of Babylon, this time the connection must be global, not local.

The Tribe of All Humanity

Baal HaSulam writes: “Therefore, in our generation, when each person is aided for his happiness by all the countries in the world, it is necessary that to that extent, the individual becomes enslaved to the whole world, like a wheel in a machine.

“Therefore, the possibility of making good, happy, and peaceful conducts in one state is inconceivable when it is not so in all the countries in the world, and vice versa. In our time, the countries are all linked in the satisfaction of their needs of life, as individuals were in their families in earlier times. Therefore, we can no longer speak or deal with just conducts that guarantee the well-being of one country or one nation, but only with the well-being of the whole world because the benefit or harm of each and every person in the world depends and is measured by the benefit of all the people in the world” (“Peace in the World”).

Living in a tribe gives peace and security. The burden is distributed among everyone, and day-to-day survival, which is typical of a competitive society, disappears as if it never existed. In the not too distant future when more and more people find themselves unemployed, the tribal way of life will provide us with everything required for our existence with ease and comfort.

A tribe is not a function of the quantity of people. A tribe could number billions and even more. What would make one tribe of all of humanity? It is concern for everyone, mutual responsibility, belonging to one force. One small step toward connection between us will create a warm and friendly connection, and will awaken the positive force. Then, we will ascend to a spiritual dimension, to the feeling of a single tribe in which all of us are “children of Adam,” members of the same tribe of Adam HaRishon (the First Man). Just as Junger returned from the momentary tribalism on the battlefield and yearned to return to a feeling of unity, so from such a divided world where we are living in incessant war, we can return to live together in a tribe of brethren.
From Ynet: “For Brethren To Dwell Together In Unity” 12/13/16

New Life 521 – The Magical Secret Of The Family

New Life 521 – The Magical Secret Of The Family 
Dr. Michael Laitman in conversation with Oren Levi and Yael Leshed-Harel

The values and habits one gets while growing up in a family are engraved in him for a lifetime. The family is first and foremost the mother. A boy is connected to his mother for his whole life. From her, he moves into the hands of his wife.

If a woman envelops a man in an atmosphere like in the home of his mother, he will treat her with love like his mother. A woman who builds such an atmosphere for her husband at home, her husband will really be hooked to the family.

A woman’s nature is revolutionary, is adaptable and flexible, she adapts to everything. However, a man always remains a child who wants his mother.

Today the family is in crisis where we are about to move toward a new form of relationship between people, included in the new approach will be we are all one family. Evolution is forcing us to learn to develop love. In the future family, the upper force will dwell, the force of love, bestowal, and connection, a power that comes from above our nature.

People are getting divorced today because they feel an emptiness that nothing can fill. Something is missing for them. In the future connection, people will build a family together because they will feel that it brings them to a higher goal. About this it is written, “When husband and wife are worthy, the Shechina abides with them” (Sotah 17a).

This is the discovery of the upper force, eternal life. The upper force is the force of love and bestowal, it is higher than our natural egoistic attitude to those around us. In a family, a person will life without restriction, full of discernments, joys, and happy children.
From KabTV’s “New Life 521 – The Magical Secret Of The Family,” 2/15/15

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Sex: Outdated Laws

Laitman_049_01Comment: The commander of Ayalon prison was under house arrest because of sexual harassment, although it later turned out that it was romantic love.

Answer: We are nearing the correction of the world. Our egoism kept growing throughout history and thus determined our evolution. But in the last 150 years the ego has begun to grow exponentially. In the past people didn’t think about sex so much. In ancient Rome and ancient Greece, for example, different celebrations and distortions were part of the elite’s life.

The life of ordinary people was very hard and they only thought about how to survive. They had several children, but they could never know how many of them would survive. Therefore this issue wasn’t relevant then.

Now, however, the growing ego is revealed in the form of sex since we are quite satisfied with regard to food. Therefore sexual desire is growing sharply, changing its forms beyond the ordinary frameworks of traditional sexual relations.

Different impulses, which humanity never encountered before emerge. We can see school children as young as 10 years old surfing pornographic websites, etc. It seemed that it would pass, but it isn’t, it keeps developing, taking on new forms each time.

The point is that man first develops in his desires for food, sex, family, and then there are the desires for wealth, respect, power, and knowledge.

But as I have already said, people are generally satisfied when it comes to food so it is time now for people to be satisfied sexually, just like they are with regard to food.

In the past sexual impulses were minor and a person could satisfy them in the framework of the family, but today it is erupting everywhere and all the time. After all, people live much longer now and while in the past a couple was married for 30 years and then died, today they live together for 50 years. This means that we are facing a totally different humanity, a different atmosphere, a different connection between people!

Why has the divorce rate increased so much? It is because the mutual relations between people are not meant to be for so long, not to speak of the egoism they have today.

Generally speaking, we should approach all the problems we encounter today in a totally different manner. We have not developed a new systematic perspective of modern relations between men and women, but we see how everything falls apart and that everything is temporary, casual and therefore an affair between a commander and a female prison guard is inevitable. Perhaps it makes no difference that he is a commander and that she is subordinate to him because if such relations do exist, it is very hard to resist them.

A person suddenly begins to feel that it is the main thing in his life. On the one hand we think: “What is going on?! A grown man, a prison commander, in such a post, he has three kids, a family…” She may also be in the same situation, and suddenly this happens. I believe that we cannot remain in outdated frameworks although the law strongly forbids such behavior.

We must understand the current state of man. Many may criticize me, but we cannot live according to the old principles and according to the old rules today. We have to change our approach to life every day, according to our ego.

The current laws were written 50 years ago, and you cannot accept them today like you did in the past. If 50 years ago 90% of the women were virgins when they got married, today hardly 10% of them are and men don’t care what the woman they marry did before they met.

Question: Does this mean that you endorse the legislation of new laws concerning this issue?

Answer: I believe in laws that go along with current circumstances. We have changed and the circumstances have changed, but the laws have remained the same. We put the laws above us instead of changing them to suit the circumstances, the relationships that we encounter in humanity today. Under no circumstances can we use the frameworks of the Middle Ages today!

We will not achieve anything this way but will only destroy people’s lives. They will not go along with the outdated laws anyway! Laws regarding mutual social relations and formal laws of conduct will differ. People will begin to disrespect and hate them. They need to be changed since otherwise society will be ill.

We should have social debates; debates on TV and on the social networks, everywhere. We have to work on this in public institutions and suggest changes in legislations and regulate them so that the laws constantly change according to the changes in society.
From KabTV’s “News with Michael Laitman” 12/16/15

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The Role Of Instructors

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Towards what should an instructor direct his students?

Answer: An instructor has to demonstrate a developmental vector to his students. Evolution made us human and brought us to the level of preoccupation with a question about the purpose of life. But on top of this general philosophical quest, we have to explain to our children why they live in this world and belong to the generation into which they are born. Each generation has their unique mission, potential, possibilities, and goals. All these things have to be explained to teenagers and youngsters as a part their preparation for life so that they can correctly implement them.

Question:  Toward what achievements should the instructor direct his students?

Answer: It so happens today that at best they teach a child how to earn as much money as possible and disregard all others. This is called “succeeding in life.”

In order to orient the young generation to a higher achievement, we have to learn what nature expects from us. We all live in the system of nature, and it is impossible to teach young people things that are completely irrelevant to the laws of nature. If we understand the evolutionary vector, we see where to direct a young person to avoid obstacles and hindrances that might spoil or ruin their lives. Youngsters have to understand how normal society should appear, thus, they won’t make mistakes that originate from a totally useless opposition to nature.

If instructors aim their students in the right direction, they can be called “teachers.” To a certain degree, this responsibility has to be divided among teachers of all subjects taught at school.

Question: How is school education different from parental education?

Answer: Parents and teachers have to stick to the same concepts and direct children toward one goal. In essence, there should not be much of a difference between teachers and parents, and children should not see parents and teachers in opposition. Schools, classrooms, and teachers should be as close as possible to what children experience at home.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” 9/17/15

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Love Exists Only Above Egoism

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: If I correct myself to the extent that I can love my husband unconditionally, no matter what he is like, would I still see his shortcomings?

Answer: If I ask the force from above to correct me and help me see my spouse without any conditions, then I see him completely corrected. This is called “Love will cover all crimes.”

Similarly, a mother does not see any flaws in her child since to he is the best, smartest, and most attractive.

Question: So I rise above my displeasure of a certain quality of my husband, ask to correct my attitude to love, and then suddenly it seems good to me?

Answer: The only way to come to love is by correcting yourself. I am not trying to overlook my partner’s flaws and deceive myself, but I rise above them, as I want to love him as he is.

But correction needs to start with love of friends. Until we begin to correct the relationships between all of us, we will not be able to correct the relationships within a family. This is why the institution of the family is falling apart and will continue to deteriorate further. It will come to the point where children will be killing their parents, and parents will be devouring their own children in the most literal sense.

Comment: But people are seeking romantic love, not love of friends.

Answer: This is because people are looking for material, egoistic love, which they will never find. Love exists only above egoism, and one should look for it inside oneself.

There is no need to look for an attractive object to love. The moment I realize what true love is, I should look for a partner who also understands how to achieve it.

And in that case, it does not matter whether or not we like each other’s appearance. I would come to a wise person and tell him about my desire to marry, and he would find me a suitable partner with whom we can build a correct family.

Such spouses want to find love that is above them. This is why they are not concerned about their spouse’s face or character, but only their willingness to build a relationship of mutual love that is above all shortcomings. They understand that each one needs to correct oneself, and in that measure, they will come closer and connect.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” 8/30/15

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A Love That Never Dies

laitman_527_03Question: Are you saying that love between a married couple is not enough and that they need to reach love between the Creator and the creature?

Answer: We don’t find any love in married couples nowadays. Our family relationships are in a state of the mournful day of the ninth of Av.

The destruction is felt in our entire lives, the relationships between parents and children, the boss and the workers, and between cabinet members as well. There is no understanding anywhere.

Question: There are many types of love, love for children, parents, close relatives, and so forth, but why is there a special romance in the love between a man and a woman?

Answer: Love is when I fulfill the desire of another person before my own desire. I need to know and feel what the other wants so that his desire becomes more important than my own.

This is the most general definition of love, but it fits all cases. The bond of marriage is just more encompassing than others since this connection includes mutual obligations, the experience of living together, knowing the partner, children in common, a common home and money, and a feeling of security and a guarantee of support in difficult times. A marriage is unification in this world with all the consequences that follow.

However, in the spiritual world, you are able to know your partner in a new way every moment. It is written that Malchut becomes a virgin again every day, and hence, a new relationship begins as if you weren’t familiar with her.

It seems that we lack this aspect in our regular life and family. If a married couple were on the spiritual level, they could renew their corporeal relationship every day.

Once, three and a half thousand years ago, the nation of Israel lived this way. Let’s hope that soon we will return to that and learn to reveal new qualities in each other every day. Then, it will be a correct, true love, which is renewed at every moment.

Meanwhile, today, in order to enliven our relationship even slightly and feel a connection, we are forced to fight. Upon making up after a fight, the flavor of love, which was dulled, is renewed.

However, it is impossible to get used to spiritual love. It changes all the time. New conditions are revealed constantly, and thus the love is rejuvenated all the time.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” 7/30/15

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Understanding Each Other Without Words

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Is it possible to have such perfect family relations that I feel everything my partner is experiencing as if it is happening in my own body?

Answer: It is possible, and moreover, we need to achieve this mutual feeling not only in the family, but on the scale of all of humanity in order to be one person with one heart.

After all, from the very beginning we belonged to one body, one desire. All matter is desire manifesting itself in different ways at different levels. Originally only one desire was created, but then because of the fall of Adam and the breakage, we lost the ability to feel as one person.

But now we need to return to that, despite the fact that our growing egoism amplified all feelings manyfold. Complete breakage and destruction prevail between us.

But when we unite on the day of love, the 15th of Av, after all the darkness and mutual hatred that are revealed on the 9th of Av, then we will reach a magnificent unity that is 620 times more powerful than before.

Question: In a perfect spiritual family, spouses never quarrel with one another?

Answer: Together we try to uncover what kind of disagreement or misunderstanding still remains between us. But all of this happens under the rays of Light that illuminate the darkness, since the benefit of Light is attained only out of darkness.

We uncover the dark areas and understand why this darkness is necessary, for it sharpens the taste of our relationship, like pepper or mustard added to a dish.

Question: What should be the first step toward a perfect marital relationship, since we are presently as remote as the east is from the west?

Answer: Try to perceive each other as if you belong to one whole. Begin to cultivate these inner feelings within yourselves, so that each would start to feel the other as oneself. And then you will be able to feel each other together without words.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” 7/30/15

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The Family Of The Future Is A Fusion Of Minds And Hearts

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What does an earthly family with a corrected spiritual relationship look like?

Answer: It is difficult to say since we have not yet seen such examples in our lives. For now, we are still in a state of breakage, in exile.

Therefore, since the time of Rabbi Akiva, after the destruction of the Temple, we know nothing about such families who would correspond to the corrected spiritual relationship with the Creator.

Moreover, it is written about how Kabbalists of the past suffered because of their wives who often had very difficult personalities and presented many grievances and demands. Kabbalists accepted it as inevitable and a consequence of the breakage and exile in which we exist.

A spiritual couple should feel as if it exists in one body, in common agreement and understanding, completing each other in a fusion of minds, hearts, and mutual intentions. Everything that exists in the body of the other, in their mind and heart, I accept as my own thoughts and feelings.

And these are not just nice words but are truly felt even on the most earthly, physiological level. If something is hurting in your partner, then you feel this pain in your body, even if they do not tell you about it. This is a complete union of bodies in accordance with the union of souls.

We will come to this state as soon as we begin to correct ourselves in relation to our general love for one another.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” 7/30/15

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Love Is Paradise

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Many of my friends feel unhappy because they cannot find a suitable partner. What should one do in order to find true love?

Answer: First of all, you need to stop expecting some extraordinary qualities from others and find a person who understands how a relationship of love should be built.

Love is based only on concessions and on the fact that each yields in relation to their partner and enjoys having the opportunity to do so.

I do not demand from my partner special attention and care; on the contrary, all of my pleasure is in the fact that I am canceling myself for his or her sake.

Question: What is the pleasure in yielding to someone?

Answer: This is called love. When you give something to your child, don’t you receive great pleasure? The same can happen with respect to your spouse. You just feel that a child is closer to yourself in a natural, animal way, since you feel him as a part of yourself.

Your wife is also somewhat yours, but nevertheless she exists separately, is next to you, and has an independent opinion. But through the correction of love, this distance is erased, which is difference between my desires and her desires.

Presently, I feel only my own desire and hardly any desires of my partner. My desire is more important to me than his or hers. But it is said, “Make your desire like His, so He would make His desire like yours.” This is the condition of love.

Our desires need to unite into one. This is called adhesion. “Husband and wife, and Shechina between them,” as if we are one body. It is very simple, we only lack proper education.

To be able to love, a person needs to be brought up, educated, and prepared in special courses. There is a lack of such education for all of humanity. Until we learn how to reach such relationships, we will remain unhappy.

Question: Everyone is looking for love, but how do you convince people to attend such courses? I doubt that they will like this condition of sacrificing themselves.

Answer: This is because we are deceiving ourselves. We think that we are winning whenever we insist on taking a stand. But who benefits from this deception? We want to love and fulfill only ourselves by using our loved ones, our families. Ultimately, it brings us neither pleasure nor love.

We need to teach a person how to fulfill himself in the correct form, which is perfect and eternal. And this fulfillment is only possible by loving another, since one can always give to others and fulfill them endlessly, continuously deriving pleasure from it.

It is a continuous cycle that always comes back to me, and in this manner, I reach a feeling of absolute, eternal love, and even more—eternal life.

Since then I am not consuming myself and my environment, but on the contrary, I bring to life everyone around me with my love. Thus, I reach the feeling of unending ascent to a higher dimension, to the Garden of Eden, to eternal life. Love is paradise.

Therefore, there is no need to be searching somewhere for love, you simply need to build it.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” 7/30/15

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