Entries in the 'Hebrew' Category

“Can you tell me more and more about the Hebrew language?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Can you tell me more and more about the Hebrew language?

A little while after I had started studying with my Kabbalah teacher, Kabbalist Baruch Ashlag (Rabash), a letter reached us from a prisoner who lived under terrible conditions in a prison camp in Siberia.

The letter was written in Hebrew, full of very complicated rhymes that I did not understand, and it was by a person who had no prior learning of Hebrew, nor was he connected to Israel or the Jewish people.

Rabash told me that probably what had happened was that, out of suffering, the prisoner came to feel Hebrew and the internality of the language.

How could it be, that out of great suffering, a person with no seeming connection to Israel or the Jewish people, starts writing in Hebrew?

The Kabbalistic explanation is that his suffering led him to a certain kind of connection with the source of his suffering, which is in the depths of creation, and there he found expression in Hebrew.

Kabbalists, i.e. people who hold a connection to the deeper layers of creation, see that it is indeed possible for a person to discover the Hebrew language in such a way as shown by the prisoner. That is, Hebrew is the base language that exists in the center of the world. It is at the root of all writing, talking and expression, and it lets us express our innermost feelings.

If we reach the depths of creation, then we discover life’s causal point—the common root to us all—and in that root, we have a single language and one force—of love, bestowal and connection—that created us, and which guides us gradually toward its revelation.

Based on the video “The Siberian Prisoner Who Discovered Hebrew Out of Suffering” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman and Oren Levi. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
Photo by Tanner Mardis on Unsplash.

“The Meaning of the Hebrew Alphabet and the Prisoner from Siberia Who Suddenly Knew Hebrew” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “The Meaning of the Hebrew Alphabet and the Prisoner from Siberia Who Suddenly Knew Hebrew

Many years ago, not long after I had begun to study the wisdom of Kabbalah with my teacher, RABASH (Rabbi Baruch Shalom Ashlag), I received a letter from a man who was imprisoned in a penitentiary facility in Siberia. Back then, in the Soviet Union, those prisons were known as ruthless places where many did not survive. I do not know how the letter came to me, but its author wrote in eloquent, poetic Hebrew about his ordeals at the prison. He described hunger, cold, and inhumane conditions. However, what struck me most was that the man had no Jewish upbringing and had never been exposed to Hebrew; the language simply “landed on him.”

I asked RABASH how it was possible for someone who was not Jewish and never learned Hebrew to suddenly know the language so intimately. RABASH explained that extreme suffering can sometimes do that. When the suffering becomes too great and too long to bear, sometimes the ego becomes so broken that it seems to disappear completely. At that point, a person begins to connect with the whole of reality.

The Hebrew alphabet, explains The Book of Zohar in the essay about letters, consists of dots and lines that connect with one another. Each combination of dots and lines creates a different letter, which together form words, sentences, and the entire language. These dots and lines that form the letters represent interactions between the giving force and the receiving force of reality. Together, these forces form all of reality, the part we perceive and the part we still do not perceive.

When one’s ego is removed, the veil that hides from us the part created by the giving force is lifted, and we begin to see the full picture of reality. At that time, the way to express it through dots and lines may sometimes appear. This is why the prisoner from Siberia suddenly knew Hebrew. It did not actually “land on him”; it became revealed because the suffering had vanquished his ego and thereby removed the veil that hid it.

After explaining this, RABASH added that we do not need to suffer in order to reveal the hidden part of reality. The wisdom of Kabbalah reveals that part without any suffering, but simply by learning with a group of people who also wish to reveal the hidden part. As they study and work on their connections, they begin to grasp the meaning of the Hebrew letters. This is part of what Kabbalah defines as “spiritual attainment.”

Years later, the prisoner got out and came to live in Israel. His suffering had ended, but so did his enlightenment. In the absence of torment, his ego had reawakened and veiled once more the hidden part of reality.

Today, we can all reveal the full picture of reality. All we need is to study Kabbalah with like-minded people. Today we can study in almost any language we choose, and the material is available online. We do not need to suffer in order to reveal the secrets of reality or the meaning of the Hebrew alphabet; all we need is to want it.

“What is the significance of the recently-found oldest inscription in Hebrew, which is full of curses?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: What is the significance of the recently-found oldest inscription in Hebrew, which is full of curses?

Researchers recently discovered what several experts claim to be the oldest-ever found Hebrew inscription from at least 3,200 years ago. Interestingly, it is full of curses, which shows that the nation back then was developed and powerful, capable of evil, and which also had faith in an upper force.

Even if the faith is expressed in a way where we can turn to the upper force and ask it to help us do something bad to our neighbor, there is significance in the consideration of the upper force. Today, we also curse each other. Back then, we turned to an upper force, and today we turn to lawyers and courts. So which era is the most developed?

We can thus see the underlying hatred in human beings, in one era pointed at the upper force, and in another era pointed at ourselves. Of utmost significance here is acknowledging that our progress into a bright future depends on turning our hatred into love.

Hatred is an asset. We can invert hatred into love, darkness into light, and turn our negative connections into positive ones. Moreover, we need the revelation of the negative force in order to invert it into its positive.

That is why I point out the Hebrew curse inscription showing that we were a great and powerful nation. By overcoming the evil in us, we had tremendous potential to do good in the world. That is relevant for us today: let us awaken that inclination today, and continue solely in the good direction.

“Love covers all crimes” is the formula for letting the upper force fill our lives with an abundance of fulfillment. We first reveal hatred, as the upper force reveals our true nature to us. We then try to come closer to each other, and convince each other that besides turning to the upper force—for it to correct us from hatred to love—we need nothing else. And the upper force is capable of inverting hatred to love because love is its quality.

Based on the video “Kabbalist Responds to Recently-Discovered 3,200 Year-Old Hebrew Inscription” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman and Oren Levi. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.

Letters Are The Creator’s Attitude To The Created Beings

526Question: One of the most interesting chapters in The Book of Zohar is the chapter “The Letters of Rav Hamnuna Saba.” Why is it so important?

Answer: This chapter is about the creation of the letters and how people can depict the revelation of the Creator to man.

Question: The text describes how each letter came to the Creator and said, ” O Lord of the world, it is good for You to create the world with me.” What does that mean?

Answer: Although each letter is the lowest egoistic revelation in relation to the light of the Creator, it believes that it is actually in this manifestation that it can express the inner essence of the Creator’s attitude to the created beings. This is the reason that it makes the claim: “It is befitting that the world will be created with me.”

Question: The Creator replies, “You are comely and upright, but you are unfit to create the world with you…. Moreover, you are the seal of death, since Tav is the last letter in the word ‘Mavet’ [death], as well.” Why does the Creator praise each letter first?

Answer: It is because there cannot be anything bad in the world.

Is there any phenomenon or revelation in the creation that has no right to exist? There is no such thing. Can there be life without one of the letters? No. Can there be life without death? No. Without hate, without anything else? It is impossible. That is, everything is built on the right combination.

Why can’t the world be created by any of the letters other than the letter “Bet”? It is because this letter is not related to anything and there is only blessing in it. This is what the Creator’s bestowal unto the world comes down to.

Question: So, if a person eventually makes place for the Creator, everything will make sense?

Answer: Yes, well said.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah” 1/6/19

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Hebrew Is The Language Of Spiritual Attainment

522.03Question: Will there come a time when we will be able to penetrate the spiritual potential of the Hebrew letters a little? After all, modern Hebrew does not totally match this potential.

Answer: It is actually because they didn’t want Hebrew to be the official language of Israel at the time. It was never been used as a spoken language, only during the time of the Temple when the people were on a spiritual level. They used it only in order to explain spiritual actions, while for any other purposes they used Aramaic and then Greek.

Moreover, it was possible to use any language. There was no such thing as “we have our language and we will not use any other language.” On the contrary, Jews in Israel spoke different languages in different periods, which means that they used Hebrew only for spiritual purposes.

So when at the end of the 19th century Eliezer Ben Yehuda and other settlers came to Israel and suggested making Hebrew the official spoken language and many objected to this approach.

“Why should we use the holy language that was intended for expressing spiritual forces, for mutual cooperation between people above the ego, and for mutual cooperation between a person and the Creator, to print newspapers and to curse, etc.?” There are still such disputes today. Orthodox Jews don’t use Hebrew for any purpose other than for studying; they speak other languages, mainly Yiddish.

It isn’t a coincidence that the word “language” in Hebrew is also “tongue” because it is expressed in speaking, in writing, or in hearing.

When I express different letters, it affects the eardrum in different ways and also the auditory nerves, different parts of the brain, and so on. All the means of producing the letters, my “transmitters” are divided according to the division of the letters into five parts.

The forces that descended from top down, created and shaped a person, which is how the letters were formed through the four phases of direct light in the world of Ein Sof, which accordingly created our senses, our physical body, and everything else. We can therefore say that the letters created the world.

Question: Does this mean that for the time being Hebrew is a language that no one can attain?

Answer: Yes, it is attained only according to the level of a person’s spiritual attainment, not in any other way. We can speak about it and write different theories, but on the whole, it is not clear how it can be attained unless it begins to “speak” inside you, and for that to happen you must really be able to attain spirituality.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah” 1/6/19

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Why Are All The Spiritual Sources Written In Hebrew?

527.04Question: Why are all the sources, all the global spiritual writings like the Torah, Ecclesiastes, and the Book of Psalms, written in Hebrew?

Answer: It is because the letters of the Hebrew language don’t change, and it is impossible to express them differently. Take any source you like that is thousands of years old and a modern book and you will see that not a single letter has changed.

It is just like a mathematical formula, if you change one symbol with another, you would not be understood, and it would also lead to nothing.

Besides, it isn’t about just another symbol, although a letter in the pure sense is a symbol. When you express your feelings through letters, you affect the world. A letter connects you to the internal system of the world, and by that you seemingly press the buttons, and do something inside the internal system.

Comment: But when we look at a book now, we don’t see or feel anything at all.

My Response: It is a multi-layered system, and even when an ordinary person looks at these letters, he still penetrates the system to a certain degree and receives some illumination. The light operates on him.

There are people who don’t understand the language at all, but during the lesson they place the book in front of them and look at it, even if they cannot follow the text, and the text impacts them.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah” 1/6/19

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Hebrew Is A Multi Layered Code

526Hebrew is the language of the spiritual worlds, of the spiritual forces that manage our world. Hebrew is a multi layered code. It can be a representation of certain forces and their compatibility with each other, it can be a representation of intonations in the language, an emotional code, or an emotional record.

In addition, in Hebrew there is TANTA: Taamim (flavors), Nekudot (points), Tagin (crowns), Otiot (letters), and each of these components is seemingly a door to an enormous world.

For example, when we enter the world of sounds through Taamim, it opens through the five parts of the mouth, the five parts of the lungs: dental, palatal, guttural, labial, and lingual letters.

And all this must be written down.

In principle, if you do not know what “man” is and you are given the correct letter image, then you can use it to sculpt him from atoms.

Question: Suppose a musician looks at musical notes, he sings them internally and the music is playing inside him. And what does a person who looks at letters and words in Hebrew feel internally?

Answer: Divine revelation is felt. If man can reproduce inside what he sees even in a written text, and he penetrates inside through each symbol, then a new creation is revealed to him in a new way from each angle. He sees the integration of worlds.

Question: Why do you call Hebrew a universal language and not Jewish?

Answer: Because it is about forces that impact our world and arrange it. Their mutual combination must be somehow expressed, reproduced, and conveyed. This is the reason for the multilayered writing: horizontal and vertical lines, dots and connections.

It is similar to how children are taught. But in fact, it is much more complicated internally. For example, what does a dot mean? It is a manifestation of the property of reception in the infinite light of the Creator, the attribute of bestowal.

The horizontal line from left to right or from right to left symbolizes the light of Hassadim. The vertical line from top down or from the bottom up symbolizes the light of Hochma. Each letter symbolizes a specific world.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah” 1/6/19

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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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