Entries in the 'Hebrew' Category

Hebrew Language Day

Dr. Michael LaitmanFrom My Facebook Page Michael Laitman 1/19/20

Why Is it Important to Emphasize the Hebrew Language’s Holiness and Purity?

As we reach this year’s Hebrew Language Day, which is celebrated in Israel annually on the birthday of Eliezer Ben Yehuda, who is known as the father of modern spoken Hebrew, I would like to emphasize the holiness and purity of the Hebrew language.

In an age when social media culture generates all kinds of hybrids within the Hebrew language, I see importance in making a special effort to strive for a pure Hebrew. The importance stems from the fact that the original Hebrew language points to the nation’s internal intelligence.

Why is this especially so with Hebrew?

It is because, unlike other languages, Hebrew has been consistent for generations, ranging from the Bible to its contemporary form. Indeed, Hebrew constantly evolves, changes and diversifies, but for instance, if we would speak to King David using the Hebrew we now have, the chances of his understanding would be higher than, say, a medieval French king’s understanding of modern French.

Hebrew has a characteristic concise style that gets straight to the point. For instance, two or three words of Hebrew can often translate into four or five words of English. Also, more significantly, it is a language that is not the invention of people. As written in Abraham’s Sefer Yetzira (The Book of Creation) some 3,800 years ago, “the twenty-two letters—[the Creator] created His entire Universe with them. He formed all that was made and all that will be made with them in the future.” According to the wisdom of Kabbalah, the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet are twenty-two code signs, which Kabbalists use in order to describe the process of spiritual attainment.

The horizontal and vertical lines comprising the shapes of the Hebrew letters express two fundamental spiritual qualities:

Horizontal lines express the force of love and bestowal in the soul.

Vertical lines express the lights, i.e., the spiritual pleasures that fill the soul.

Therefore, the twenty-two shapes of the Hebrew letters express twenty-two types of the soul’s filling by the upper light.

When we create the Hebrew letters in our souls, meaning that we attain those spiritual qualities, and do so with the intent of loving and bestowing to others like the Creator, then we become like Him. We then understand the Creator’s modus operandi and feel the eternal state of creation.

We enter the spiritual world to the extent that we develop a desire to love and bestow. The Hebrew letter “Mem Sofit” (“ם”), with its square shape, symbolizes this desire. When we acquire the desire to love and bestow, we feel the Creator’s love completely surrounding us, much like how the shape of a square signifies a defined protected space.

The Kabbalists codified spiritual states in the Hebrew letters, expressing their ascent from this corporeal world to the eternal spiritual world. The twenty-two letters describe the experiential states they have undergone in their process of spiritual development. When these letters are combined into words and sentences, the Hebrew language emerges.

If we read Kabbalistic texts with the desire to discover the real understanding and sensation of the spiritual world, the power of the letters will open our soul. We will then truly begin to feel the spiritual reality and “speak Hebrew” in the fullest sense of the term.


The Miracle Of Hanukkah, Part 2 – The Miracle Must Happen!

laitman_944Question: What does the miracle of the Hanukkah holiday symbolize?

Answer: If we are connected with each other, we discover a system called the “soul” between us within which the higher force is revealed. This system is eternal, and when we discover it, we feel connected with the flow of eternal and permanent life. We no longer die, but exist in an eternal and perfect world.

After the first miracle happened—which is called the exodus from Egypt and revealed the eternal and perfect reality to us that exists beyond our physical and temporal view—suddenly our ego returned and enslaved us. The ego returned us again to the beastly body, so only this unhappy world is seen through it.

Here a struggle happens between us to restore our connection built according to the method of our father Abraham and making it even stronger. If we connect, then we rise above the evil forces and again enter into awareness of the upper world, which is eternal and perfect. This is called the war of the Maccabees against the Hellenists.

The Hellenists are those forces within us that separate us. For example, the force of rejection between me and you, among all the Jews in the land of Israel, forces us to quarrel, cut each other off on the highways, and strive to succeed at the expense of others. This alien force is located between us; so let’s root it out, destroy and remove it, connect, and transform to be as one man in one heart.

The force of the Greeks doesn’t let us feel that we are close to each other, ready to help each other. It is against the unity of the people of Israel. The “Greeks” are the forces of separation between us and not people who lived in Greece. If we begin to struggle with these forces of egoism, then we can achieve success with the help of the upper force that makes it possible for us to defeat them and unite.

When we unite, we feel that a miracle happened, and we are filled with the Upper Light, with higher spiritual life. All of our previous life on this land was only to implement this internal spiritual ascent.

Question: Does all of this depend only on our relationships with each other?

Answer: Only on that. The entire Torah speaks only about this, about our unity. Let’s do an exercise like this in Israel: Throughout this week of Hanukkah, let’s be a bit kinder toward each other and expect a miracle.

The miracle must happen! Suddenly, a leap to a new level will happen, and in addition to this world, we will begin to feel the upper world in which we also exist, but we don’t perceive with our five senses. It is possible to feel the upper world only on condition that we unite among us.

Question: What is the upper world?

Answer: The upper world is a new reality that is felt here and now. Now, we are living simply on a geographic area, and then the next level is revealed to us.

The miracle of Hanukkah is a symbol of this, that we can attain some Light in our lives that draws us forward and makes it possible for us to see the world from end to end, filling ourselves with eternal joy here and now. The key to all of this is to unite at least a bit.

This small jar of oil is that light that reaches our lives if we connect with others.
From the Israeli Radio Program 103FM 12/6/15

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The Formation Of The People Of The Book

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe First Encounter with the Creator

Question: When talking about the identity of the people of Israel, about its unique specificity, it is impossible to ignore the Tanakh. Its legacy is at the heart of the people and largely determines our essence. The importance of this heritage is clear to almost everyone, but the reasons, the mechanisms of this phenomenon, are unclear, which generates many opinions and concepts.

The Tanakh writes about the exclusivity of the Jewish people. The book “Exodus,” 19:3 – 19:6, tells about the events at Mount Sinai, and cites the Creator’s words addressed to Moshe: So shall you say to the house of Jacob and tell the sons of Israel, “You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and [how] I bore you on eagles’ wings, and I brought you to Me.

And now, if you obey Me and keep My covenant, you shall be to Me a treasure out of all peoples, for Mine is the entire earth.  And you shall be to Me a kingdom of princes and a holy nation.” These are the words that you shall speak to the children of Israel.

The idea that the Creator chose the people of Israel was originally based on this verse.

Is this true? Can we consider the Tanakh as real evidence? Or is it just an historical narrative? And maybe it is a legal code, which singled us out from other peoples?

Answer: It all began with Abraham who revealed the upper force, nature, the source and its program of development and purpose. Most importantly, he saw the role of people living in the world and their place in the overall action. In particular, this applies to those people who consciously join the process to realize it and thus reveal the Creator.

In this way, the essence of what is happening, the meaning of God and the purpose of creation, which explains why we exist and what we become in the end—all this was revealed by Abraham, and this is what he taught to those who joined him.

However, his revelation was only the beginning. As the wisdom of Kabbalah explains, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob represent the initial stage, the first three Sefirot (GAR), the beginning of development, and the beginning of humanity’s acquaintance with the Creator. This encounter occurred in the group that Abraham created in Babylon and which left it for the land of Canaan.

The Protracted Session

Then there was the Egyptian exile, exiting Egypt to come to Mount Sinai and the Sinai desert, where for forty years, we studied spirituality, the upper force, understanding who and what controls us, for what purpose creation exists, what ultimately we had to do, what we had to become, what what we had to achieve, etc.

All this is really described in the Tanakh. The only question is who is able to understand its words? After all, this book was written by people who possessed spiritual attainment and saw the program that operates beyond the picture of our world.

In the same way, while watching TV, we understand that its picture is created by special tools, showing us information that comes from the external source, from a server or, let’s say, a video camera filming a live soccer match. It is clear that the action takes place on the screen, which just projects an image for us.

Similar phenomena are discovered by a person who begins to reveal the true pictures of this world. It turns out that behind it, there is the idea of creation and the upper force, which projects this picture within us. It does not need a screen to display this picture; rather, it shows its own movie from inside, but it seems to us that this happens outside. In this way, the picture of the external world, the universe, appears before us and we seemingly are in this huge cinema.

The upper force shows us its session in order to raise and develop us in a special way by which we will reveal it. Being together in this movie, we react to and participate in it. Thus we are pushed, compelled, and urged to discover why and for what this is happening. We learn from our actions and see a lot of causal factors and facets in the plot, but forget that the upper force shows it to us.

Thus, the connection with the original root is lost, and the movie becomes a reality. Joy, fear, and other internal responses take us away from the proper understanding of what is happening.

Not Just Spectators

We have been in this state for a long time. Having discovered this, Abraham used his fame and brought people from all over Babylon, outlined and explained to them, and taught them how to participate in the movie correctly.

The bottom line is that in every moment, we should try to reveal the intentions of the projectionist. And His intentions are crystal clear! He wants to raise us so that we understand His purpose and desire, understand the process that lies before us, and agree with Him that in the end our whole being is designed to become adhered to Him. This identification with the Creator is possible only on the condition that we become like Him. And this can be learned from watching his movie.

Abraham taught that to the Babylonians who followed him, and over the years they revealed to themselves, not only the world that he described, but also the course of development.

They tried to be included in the movie, in the unfolding action. Before them, they saw the still, vegetative, and animate natures and people who were friends from the group of Abraham, which later became the nation of Israel. They also saw distant people from other tribes and nations. And everyone tried to be part of the picture, as if it really were a movie, projected by the upper force.

In this way, every one of them related to what was happening outside and within himself. After all and in every instance, internal events make us look differently at what we see outside.

According to the explanations of Abraham, his followers wanted to develop the attitude that the Creator expected from them inn themselves. Abraham taught them how to relate to everything correctly, with the same thought, the same intention, that the projectionist, the upper force, had.

The Language of the Creator

They began to understand that this is the language of the upper force. The whole of nature is the language of the Creator that the Creator uses to communicate with human beings.

As a result, they began to reveal the separate elements that  compose nature, and to understand how the Creator creates it to affect us. They found that the world is created by good and bad forces, the light and darkness. Abraham explained this to them, and they revealed that within themselves. It turned out that the light and darkness are a good or a bad attitude.

Hence it became clear that the good force of bestowal, entirely related to the Creator, has 22 forms, called letters, and five additional forms. The followers of Abraham studied these forms and began to apply them. Moreover, the Aramaic language that was used in Babylon in speaking and writing was similar to this one, so in essence, this was their natural root, and they switched from Aramaic to Hebrew.

The Aramaic letters were also very much like Hebrew, only now they understood their true, correct form, the shape of vessels and desires, as well as the rules of grammar and the laws of bestowal, which were sequential, adjacent, etc. Abraham’s disciples revealed the precise laws of bestowal from the top down and from the bottom up, and thus this language was given to them.

In general, it is about revelation. People learned from the picture the upper force presented and understood how, what for, and why the upper force showed it to them. In other words, they learned the language of the Creator, finding internal meaning and the purpose of its influence in everything.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” 1/4/15

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Competitive Selection Of Spiritual Qualities

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Zohar, Chapter “Otiot de Rav Hamnuna Saba (The Letters of Rav Hamnuna Saba),” Item 31: This is the playing of the Creator with each of the twenty-two letters, by giving each room to show her governance according to His wish until they sort out by themselves—out of their own desire—which of them is worthy of leading the world. This is why it was said that 2,000 years before He created the world, the Creator was looking and playing with them.

The Light created the Kelim upon four phases of expansion. Then a restriction took place whereby a screen was established and Malchut decided to receive pleasure only for the sake of bestowal. That is how she interacts with the Light, the Creator, becoming similar to Him according to the law of equivalence of form.

Malchut wants to adopt the quality of Bina and in the process of doing this work, 22 forms of the desire for pleasure form inside her. It’s as if this quality is outlined and comes through by these contours, which accumulate to the degree that Malchut connects to Bina.

Initially the desire is formless like clay, but when it takes on the 22 forms of Bina, together they cause the desire to be similar to the Creator. So which of these forms is worthy of being the foundation by which the world is created? Which of them connects the beginning and end of creation? Which leads all the other forms after her? This is talking about the key intention, the main action, the calculation for making a striking interaction (Zivug de Hakaa) which is always done in the head of a Partzuf.

Following the reverse order, meaning from the side of the Kelim, all the letters appear before the Creator, or in other words, they raise MAN, a request. In reponse each of them receives MAD, an answer, telling it whether it is possible to create the world with it or not.

If no impurity latches on to the answer, it means that this is that very form. If, however, in response to the request from Above a force comes, but next to it Klipa awakens as well, then the world cannot be created using that form.

From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/15/10, The Zohar

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Just Like On An Oscillograph Screen

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe outline of all the letters is precisely determined. Every detail of the letters is a geometrical symbol of a certain spiritual quality, produced by the combination of bestowal and reception. That is why Hebrew writing has remained unchanged over the course of millennia. All other alphabets changed with time, sometimes even to the point of becoming unrecognizable, whereas the forms of the Hebrew letters are fixed by the combination of spiritual forces and are therefore preserved throughout the centuries.

The horizontal details of the letters’ outlines symbolize the influence of the Light of Hassadim, while the vertical ones symbolize the influence of the Light of Hochma. Hassadim belongs to the force of Bina, while Hochma belongs to the force of Malchut.

This can be compared to an oscillograph, whose signal is also made up of the interaction of two scales. In fact, all the pictures in our world are also based on the combination of two forces, although there is also chronological development superimposed on them. This is caused by the intrusion of Klipa, which “stretches” the process in time. As a result, a difference emerges between the beginning and the conclusion.

To the degree we correct the forces of impurity, they join the single whole, bringing the initial and final states closer until reaching total unity. Then the very notion of time disappears.

From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/15/10, The Zohar

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An Old Prayer

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My Answer: It was probably this one:

אלי, תן לי את השלווה לקבל את הדברים שאין ביכולתי לשנותם, האומץ לשנות את אשר ביכולתי, והתבונה להבחין בין השניים

My Lord, give me the humility to accept the things I cannot change, the strength to change the things I should change, and the wisdom to distinguish between the two.

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The Spiritual Meaning Of Names And Titles

titlesA question I received: In one of your books, you wrote that Moses (Moshe in Hebrew) comes from the word Moshech – to pull out. However, the word Moshe ends with the letter Hey, and the word Moshech ends with the letter Kaf. So from the linguistic point of view, the roots don’t quite match.

My Answer: His name was given to him by Batia, Pharaoh’s daughter, who found him in the Nile river and pulled him out of it. This is why she named him Moshe. It says so in the Bible. However, there are also other, additional meanings to the names. In essence, they refer to a person’s actions and predestination.

Baal HaSulam writes, “The mountain of olives (Har HaZeitim) may have been named by regular people, rather than Kabbalists, who saw that this mountain is good for cultivating a plantation of olive trees. But this name also corresponds to the inner, spiritual meaning of the place, and the reason for this is that all of nature is revealed in such a way that people speak and act without understanding what governs them.”

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Should Kabbalah Students Study Hebrew?

hebTwo questions I received on studying Kabbalah in Hebrew:

Question: I constantly listen to your lessons in English, and I recently started wanting to learn Hebrew. Does this mean that I am realizing my Reshimot, or is it just an altruistic desire to know the language of someone close to me? Later, when our points in the heart will fully develop, will we want to speak the same language as everyone around us, as we did before the Tower of Babel?

My Answer: Hebrew and Aramaic came to us from the times of ancient Babylon, and I believe we’ll be using them in the future as well. It’s worthwhile to study them, at least to the extent they are necessary for understanding our lessons and discussions.

Question: Why are some texts translated, while others – very important ones, in my opinion – aren’t? Maybe you do have them, but you only make them available to your closest students? For example, there is no official translation of some of Rabash’s articles, which are studied in the first part of the lesson. So I am forced to listen to the simultaneous translation while you are reading the text, but simultaneous translation is not always precise.

My Answer: Everything we have is available to everyone, free of charge. We translate what we can, and when we have the means, we will translate all the lessons.

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Intricacies of the Hebrew Language

I had a meeting that was recorded with Dan Kaner, the anchorman of radio Kol Israel and a popular Television host in Israel.

The Intricacies of the Hebrew Language

Dan Kaner is a true master of the Hebrew language, with extraordinary knowledge of its intricacies, origin, history and evolution. Therefore, it was a real pleasure speaking to him about the Hebrew language as used in Kabbalah.

By origin, Hebrew is a symbol for the forces operating in the universe. It harmoniously expresses the essence of man and nature through letters and symbols (TANTA). Combining and ordering the letters to form words and sentences is a means to describe the order of the creature’s creation and correction, all the way until the full correction – similarity to the Creator or Light. The Torah exemplifies this order. Knowing what forces and actions are indicated by the letters enables one to move all along the process of creation, to become incorporated in it at different stages, and to thereby gain a better understanding of the Creator’s plan.

Dan was very impressed with the wealth that the language of Kabbalah offers in describing the Hebrew language, the sensations that every letter evokes when interpreted Kabbalistically, and the music of feelings that plays in the combination of letters. He understood that Kabbalah enables one to enter the world of letters, symbols, forces and desires – to feel them and their filling with the Light.

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