Entries in the 'Kabbalistic Sources' Category

The Meaning Of Kabbalistic Books, Part 1

laitman_531.01The Many Faces of the Torah

Question: When we open the Torah, we find a collection of historical stories with many characters. How should we correctly relate to them?

Answer: If the Torah did not come from a special source but was an ordinary book written, suppose by a person in the Middle Ages, then it would just be an interesting historical novel.

The Torah itself is presented in very interesting language, and when you start reading it, you cannot stop, because it captivates you. There is something in it that makes you never get tired of reading it.

I speak of this as an ordinary reader who has nothing to do with the origin of this book, religion, history, geography, or with anything else. It is just written in an interesting style.

Some perceive the Torah as a historical document, others as fiction, or, perhaps, as a collection of instructions or legal documents. It contains a lot of information about the interaction of people and nations in ancient times, about their view of the world.

In general, the Torah is a very interesting book. We see something similar in Josephus Flavius, if it is possible to compare the Torah and his works at all. To some extent, he retells the Torah and describes it as a historian.

Josephus is a truly stunning historian with a broad outlook and a deep knowledge of historical facts. He wrote his works while in exile in Rome where a huge institute was created especially for him, where hundreds of people worked for him.

But all the same, what he wrote cannot be compared with the Torah itself.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah” 12/18/18

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The State Of The World Depends On Israel

The Zohar, “VaYechi,” “Do Not Recall Our First Sins,” 412 – 413: If Israel performed good deeds before the Lord, the nations of the world and idolaters would not rise against them. But Israel is causing the other nations to raise their heads in the world, because if Israel had not sinned before the Lord, the other nations and idolaters would have surrendered to them.

If Israel had not continued their evil deeds to the other side of the Land of Israel, the other nations of the world and the idolaters would not control the Land of Israel and they would not have been exiled from their land. It says: “We have grown very poor since we have no good deeds, as we should have.”

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The Future Of Education

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: I am an education student. You say that education is the only way to correct the current situation, but education is a long process that takes years. What is more, I am trying to do something in my local environment and I see that not only does it not improve the situation but it actually make things worse. What would you recommend now in light of what is going on lately in Israel?

Answer: Our problem is that we develop in a way that we seem to be the horse chasing the cart. We advance by impulses that nature summons within us. We change and then we see how evil we become in our new state and what we can do in order to become a little better.

Thus we always try to improve yesterday’s state, never today’s state, and certainly not that of tomorrow. This is the reason that our education system is ineffective, and as you say, “education is a long process.” If we bring up our children incorrectly now, we will only see that we were wrong in 20 to 30 years. You are right, this is a problem!

Therefore, even great experts in the field of education cannot provide the educational system that is right for the generation growing up today and which will run the world in 30 years so that they will have this method and be able to use it correctly.

We cannot come up with such a method by using our own minds! After all, we have not developed to the state in which we can develop the education system nor teach it to everyone so that we will be properly educated in the future either. We don’t know where nature will lead us in 30 years, but the educational system has to be corrected now in order to fill, correct, and complement all the differences and contradictions between us, as well as all the states that will be revealed in the future. We cannot even imagine what a person, an Israeli citizen, will be like in another 30 years.

This is the reason that I understand your question. You are right that the current educational approach is unsuccessful and that it cannot be. Only a person from the future can provide us with the right method, which means someone who knows the state into which we should develop. Therefore, this person already precedes his time and provides us with an educational system so that we will be ready for the future, although we haven’t yet reached it and haven’t yet developed internally for it.

This is the reason that we need the wisdom of Kabbalah that teaches us about us and explains the whole process of our evolution, to what state we reach at any given moment in our history, and how we should unite so that we will be ready, not only today or tomorrow, but also for the day after tomorrow and always. It is because this method is eternal and ready for any and everyone. Therefore, the educational system has to stem from the true sources of the wisdom of Kabbalah. It doesn’t mean that we actually need to study this wisdom, but this system stems from it, from the deep understanding of man’s nature and his environment.
From Israeli Radio Program 103FM, 8/2/15

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The Spirit Of The Russian Jewry

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: For some time great Kabbalists lived in Russian cities: the Baal Shem Tov, Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, and others. Did this influence the spirit of Russian Jewry?

Answer: Without a doubt, students of the Baal Shem Tov lived in every city. The Baal Shem Tov first began to apply the wisdom of Kabbalah that the Ari revealed in the 16th century. He taught this to his many Kabbalist students, those who attained the highest level in the system. Their role was to arouse inspiration in the people, to correctly elevate, stabilize, and lead them forward. This was the idea of restoring the spirit of the people, which they had already lost at the time of the destruction of the Beit HaMikdash (Temple), when they fell from the level of mutual love to mutual hatred. So the need ripened to raise the people from the egoistic level of rejection, to the altruistic level of mutual love.

The Baal Shem Tov established what was called Hassidism, practical Kabbalistic work. But it is necessary to say that the Hassidism of today is much different. The Baal Shem Tov changed the study of the Ari to bring it closer to the people and show them them inner correction. In this way, he implemented the general rule of the Torah, “Love thy neighbor as yourself.” The people were then able to leave both spiritual and physical exile, because one is connected to the other. But if a person was not ready for spiritual redemption, he also would not attain physical freedom.

So for two generations until the 18th century, the Kabbalistic current that was called Hassidism prospered. In every village and settlement, there were people who were involved in attaining the Creator on the basis of the right connection between them, which is what the Torah requires. In this way, Judaism became spiritual, and many people appeared who became teachers. At the same time, opponents of Hassidism appeared, but no matter what, both groups began to rise spiritually and this played an immense role in influencing the environment.

Around that time, opportunistic people began to appear, which changed everything and replaced the popular current so that they were no longer involved with the attainment of Torah. Instead, they simply carried out the physical Mitzvot (commandments) with some kind of slightly greater inner aspiration, but no more than that. This means that Hassidism fell to a lower level. But until the end of the 19th century and in spite of all this, there were still a multitude of Kabbalists who felt the higher world, the system of management. From this, they taught others. This very strongly influenced the spirit of Russian Jewry and was rooted in them forever. So the continued discovery of the spiritual world, the discovery of the soul, the feeling of the upper world, and the entire system of discovery of the Creator as the higher force of management, pushed, and today still pushes a large part of the Jews of Russia towards true spiritual attainment.

Among my students today, it is possible to find many from the former Soviet Union and Russians still living in Russia. Even today, the spiritual potential that was inserted into them by the followers of the Baal Shem Tov still lives within them.
From KabTV’s “About Our Life” 5/07/15

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Dissemination: The Road To Freedom

laitman_934Question: You are inclined to disseminate the wisdom of Kabbalah by uniting the people through circles and roundtables, but what about the media, radio, newspapers, the Internet, flyers, etc.?

Answer:Israel are not redeemed by sorrow and not by enslavement, not by being shaken, not by madness, not by being pressured and not because they have no food, but when ten people sit together and each one reads and studies with his friend and their voices are heard” (Tana Rabbi Eliyahu Zuta, Item 84).

We use all the other means of disseminating the method of correction as much as we can.

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The Gifts Of Abraham

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: In what way are the spiritual methods of the East different from the wisdom of Kabbalah? After all, they apparently speak about similar things.

Answer: There are 3,800 religions and faiths in the world. All of the main religions actually came from Abraham who lived in ancient Babylon close to 3,500 years ago.

Abraham taught his method, meaning the wisdom of Kabbalah, to a small group that he called Israel. And he gave gifts, or other forms of faith, to the rest of the people. The Torah says that Abraham gave gifts to the children of his concubines and sent them eastward, where all of these methods reach back to us.

The difference is that the method of Abraham possesses the ability to correct a person, something that doesn’t exist in any other method. The wisdom of Kabbalah makes it possible for us to attract the good force towards us that is concealed in nature and that will correct our hatred towards each other to love. This good force is added to our egoistic nature and we become bearers of two forces. The integration of these two forces makes it possible for us to work with them, develop correctly, and discover an additional form of reality that is found outside of us.

Modern physics talks about the existence of a reality such as this. Besides the universe, the world that we see now, there are other forms of reality. The wisdom of Kabbalah makes it possible for us to go out beyond the framework of the limitations of this world and see higher worlds. Possibilities like this don’t exist in any other method because they don’t contain the Light that Reforms. The uniqueness of the Torah is that it contains a force that corrects our nature and raises us above the ego to a nature of bestowal and love, in that it opens our eyes, as it is said, “You will see your world in your lifetime” (Berachot 17a).
From Israeli Radio Program 103FM, 5/03/15

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In The Quantum World The Future Affects The Past

Dr. Michael LaitmanIn the News (Hi-news.ru): “A new study says that we now know everything about quantum particles, but we cannot measure them accurately. On the whole we can calculate the statistic probability of the possible outcomes. This fact isn’t a mis-measure in itself but a natural registered phenomenon.

“Not only don’t we know the state of the quantum particle, but until we measure it, it is totally undefined and unclear. The direct measuring process itself forces the particles to vaguely change their status.

“Not too long ago, physicists studied the attributes of particles only through theoretical experiments, while direct observation forced the subjects to hide their quantum attributes.

“In the 80’s scientists devised special instruments that measure these sensitive systems very carefully, and don’t lead to their sudden collapse. The instruments enabled physicists to predict the future state to an accuracy of up to 90%, which means that they managed to perform the process in nine cases out of ten.

“The quantum theory suggests that in the quantum world, time changes in two directions while according to classical physics, just like in the classical world, everything flows in only one direction. The result of the experiment determined the symmetry of time.

“The data that were received indicate that the quantum state of the system combines the information about the past and the future. The graphic illustration of time in the quantum world should be indicated by an arrow with two heads.”

My Comment: It is striking that all the attributes typical of quantum nature were described by the wisdom of Kabbalah 5,776 years ago by the first Kabbalist who discovered the next world that is beyond the egoistic corporeal world. Adam (First Man) wrote about it in his book The Angel Raziel (the concealed force), referring to the general force of connection, which is  love and bestowal.

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Meeting On The Bridge Above Hatred

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Why is it customary to have a meal on Pesach evening when the entire family sits around the table?

Answer: Pesach is a special holiday because it symbolizes the birth of the Israeli nation. It says that it is only after the exodus from Egypt that they become a nation, and that we cannot be called a nation as long as we are separated and divided, and the egoistic force tears us to pieces. It is only when we resist these foreign forces and try to connect that we discover the force of unity that ties us and that we become a nation. Therefore the Israeli nation today is not called a nation according to the true Kabbalistic definition.

Comment: This state of division was very strongly revealed during the elections in Israel that ended not too long ago and divided the nation into many parties and movements. The internal division is increasingly growing and deepening.

Answer: These elections were very harmful to the nation since we celebrate the fact that we have conflicts and that we hate one another. During the election’s propaganda, we emphasized these differences and everyone tried to harm the other as much as he could. This is terribly harmful to our nation, although it is called democracy. After all, the entire basis of the Israeli nation is unity above all the obstacles and the differences.

Question: But, what should we do if our opinions differ?

Answer: This is a very good thing! It is actually the connection between plus and minus that generates energy. It is good that we don’t share the same opinions. We only must learn how to connect above all the differences. Therefore, the connection to which the wisdom of Kabbalah brings us is far from being a simple idea. We must find the special force in nature that will help us unite despite our differences and oppositeness. The opposite opinions remain, but we know how to make peace between us above them so that love will cover all the sins. This is a very profound principle. We are both sinners, you and I, but we build a bridge above the hate we feel towards one another.

The Book of Zohar tells us that Rabbi Shimon’s ten students who sat in a cave and wrote this book hated each other so much when they began to study at midnight they wanted to burn one another. But, to the extent that they studied together and made efforts in order to gradually build the bridge above their burning hatred, they reached spiritual revelations about which they tell us later in The Book of Zohar. Such a bridge can be built only above opposite opinions.

Question: Does that mean that whenever we have disputes, we always can build a bridge above them?

Answer: We can always build a bridge above our disputes, and moreover, it is forbidden to pressure a person to force him to concede and change his opinion. The more different his opinion is from the others, the better it is.

Question: So, what will build the bridge between us?

Answer: For example, we can take an electric or electronic system that actually works thanks to the fact that it burns energy as a result of the potential gap between two electric wires that reach it. When we are in a conflict and opposite one another because of our egoistic nature, and, at the same time, connect above it, these two levels create spiritual attainment within us. We attain the spiritual world in the potential gap when we discover and get to know not only our current corporeal world, but also the upper world. The attainment of the spiritual world is called a soul.
From Israeli Radio Program 103FM, 3/15/15

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Ending The Old Myths About The Wisdom Of Kabbalah

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: My acquaintances tell me that it is dangerous to study the wisdom of Kabbalah because you can go crazy. Is it true that it is so dangerous and what should one beware of in the study?

Answer: In the “Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot,” the main textbook for studying the wisdom of Kabbalah, it is written that the Kabbalists intentionally spread the rumor that it is dangerous to study the wisdom of Kabbalah because they didn’t want people to come to study. So the wisdom of Kabbalah was concealed from the time of the destruction of the Beit HaMikdash (Temple) almost until our day.

This had to happen because humanity had to develop and the people of Israel had to go through exile. The exile is also detachment from the wisdom of Kabbalah, from knowledge of the system, and a sinking into darkness. So we were in darkness for 2,000 years and this myth has existed about the wisdom of Kabbalah until today. But it was spread by the Kabbalists themselves to keep people away from the wisdom of Kabbalah until its time would come.

And today everything is precisely the opposite. Just as our entire world has transformed, so has the attitude towards the wisdom of Kabbalah changed. The Kabbalists write that from our day and onward everyone must discover the wisdom of Kabbalah and see what it gives to the people of Israel. This is because we cannot solve our problems nor exist any longer without it.

So there is nothing to fear. It is possible to open the book and study, and there are plenty of books that are appropriate for beginners, men and women.

Question: So it follows that in recent years humanity has reached a stage in which the wisdom of Kabbalah must be studied by everyone? Previously this wasn’t so and there even existed a prohibition on its study. But today humanity is found in such a blind alley that the only exit from it is to learn about life existing beyond these boundaries?

Answer: It is specifically the same outlet that is revealed to us through the study of the wisdom of Kabbalah that takes us out of the blind alley in which we are now found.

Question: What do you mean by “beyond the boundaries of life”?

Answer: This is life beyond the boundaries of our corruption, a life in a corrected world. The world continues to act according to determined laws and nothing is changed other than our attitude. The wisdom of Kabbalah explains to us how to manage the forces and the network of connection between us so that everyone will be connected in the right way.

We reach such a harmony, such a unity, in the relationships between us that we discover a unique force between us that helps us rise above this life that is within the body and only for its sake. We begin to feel life on a higher level, and in this manner we go out beyond the limits of this world, this life.

Question: Doesn’t one have to be a great sage for this?

Answer: This is accessible to everyone. In our house there is a refrigerator, a stove, a microwave; do you know how they work? Even if you don’t it doesn’t keep you from using them.

In the same way there were wise Kabbalists who created the method, like a microwave. And there are ordinary people for whom it is enough only to learn to use it. Each one must learn to some degree, similar to how we need to know how a microwave works, in terms of what buttons to press and how to change its states.
From Israeli Radio Program 103FM, 2/15/15

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Clarification Of The Unexplainable

Dr. Michael LaitmanKabbalah talks only about what’s going on inside us. The terms “Israel” and the “nations of the world” stand for our internal properties. However, we use these definitions as if we talk about corporeality. Yet, these notions never imply this realm. Rather, they refer to the internal qualities of a human being.

Kabbalists use common, plain, earthly words to describe spirituality because there are no other words in our vocabulary. Even if we saw the other realm, we would not be able to find accurate words to express our impressions. We would fail to give names to the phenomena that take place there.

If we were to write the titles of all objects in the room on post-it notes, there would be lamps, doors, windows, and bookcases since each thing has a name. If we correct our properties, we would move the wall that separates us from spirituality. We would remove the wall that hides the upper world from us, but, we still wouldn’t find the right words to describe what we actually see there.

It is impossible to find the correct words to name the forces and actions associated with the other realm. How would you explain to others what you saw in spirituality? Let’s say somebody asks you: “Please, tell me a little about what’s there! I am eager to know!” You wouldn’t be able to describe a thing!

Kabbalistic books explain the unexplainable. Kabbalists were the ones who found a solution. We all live in this world, both Kabbalists and common people. We all know this reality.

So, Kabbalists have said: “We will tell you about spirituality.” They wrote books about the spiritual dimension: The Torah, the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmud, Mishnah, The Zohar, The Study of the Ten Sefirot. All these books are called sacred; they are not ordinary books because they describe the upper world.

However, we cannot describe spirituality using spiritual words since there are no words there. That’s why these books tell us stories as if they are happening in this world, when in fact, all of them are about the upper reality.

Spirituality is parallel to this world. It is a dimension of forces, desires, impressions, and sensations. It is a domain of feelings! However, the feelings there are not egoistic as they are here on this planet. Rather, they derive from the property of bestowal that doesn’t exist in this world. These are the sensations of love, bestowal, unity, reciprocity, only positive feelings.
From KabTV’s “The Torah Chapters with Shmuel Vilozni” 2/2/15

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