Entries in the 'Holidays' Category

“A Final Good Word For Novy God” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “A Final Good Word for Novy God

Novy God is the Russian term for “New Year.” More importantly, the term refers to the Russian New Year’s Eve celebration. Since there are many immigrants in Israel who came from the former Soviet Union, Novy God has become a festival that many Israelis celebrate, as well.

There is a good reason why it is so popular. In Soviet Russia, religious holidays were banned and Russians of all faiths were left without days for celebration or recreation. As a result, New Year’s Eve became the only holiday that had no religious or political affiliations, and therefore gave the government no cause for concern. Pretty soon, the holiday developed its own characteristics, with its own typical foods and customs.

Even more important, the holiday became an opportunity for bonding, as friends and family got together, ate, drank, and sang together, celebrating their care for one another. What better way to start a new year?

Indeed, any opportunity to connect is welcome. Any event that allows people to feel closer to each other is a good event that should be encouraged. When it comes at the end of the past year and the beginning of the new year, it is even better: It sends us into the new year feeling more connected, and connection is always positive.

In fact, if we could make it a daily habit to work on improving our connections with others, above ethnicities and cultures, we would be celebrating Novy God each and every day. I see no reason why we shouldn’t.

What Would I Wish For People In 2022?

112Question: If all the people in the world, every single one would make the same wish for the New Year—one from all—would it come true? What kind of desire should it be that you would also like to participate in?

Answer: What would I wish for people? To open their eyes, to understand the universal formula of nature, that they can feel and see it, enter into this formula, and exist in it.

Question: And if this desire, which you want everyone to have and with which you obviously associate yourself with, would appear in everyone, would everything turn upside down?

Answer: Of course. Then all people would live in “love your neighbor as yourself.” This balances the entire nature at all levels—from small to large.
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 12/20/21

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A Wish To Humanity For The New Year

293.1The world develops through suffering, by getting more and more blows. And in order to break out of this tangled circle, we need to understand what the blows depend on and how to organize our lives in a new way so that the blows benefit us and bring us closer to each other and to the global nature, meaning to the upper force.

Then we will feel that we live in a wonderful world! There is no shortage of anything in our world except a kind, balanced connection between all the forces of nature. If we could connect one with the other through forces of kindness instead of forces of confrontation, we would feel ourselves in the upper world, in paradise, instead of in this world.

We just all need to agree that we want to awaken the good forces hidden within us in order to build good relationships. Everyone has a little bit of such forces. But if we all want to awaken together toward kindness, then it is possible.

This is exactly what we need to do leading up to 2022. We have already tried all the means and realized that nothing works except for one thing: let’s try to keep good connections with each other. We will help each other with our thoughts so that everyone will manage to come to such mutual involvement, support, unity, and love.

We will not let anyone explode, scream, or spill their evil on to others. Then we can really succeed, and 2022 will be a turning point in our relations in the family, between states, and among all people. We will see how we balance the whole of nature with this. All the forces of nature, supposedly in conflict with each other, will suddenly calm down, and all nature will come into balance.

I wish my students all over the world to absorb even more wisdom of Kabbalah in the new year and gather even wider circles of support around them so that together we can change the world for the better.

My wish to all mankind for this new year: Let’s come to love, connection, and mutual embrace between all people without any distinction around the globe. This will solve all the problems.

Happy New Year!
From KabTV’s “World” 12/21/21

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Can The Miracle Of Hanukkah Be Repeated?

627.1Question: It is said that a miracle happened on Hanukkah: the oil, which should have been enough for only one day, burned for eight days. Do you think this could really happen in the material world?

Answer: There are many opportunities for such incidents and events in our world. This all depends on how we treat them. Of course, what happened on Hanukkah was a miracle from an earthly point of view.

Comment: But no one can repeat it.

My Response: Of course. There are no such conditions. But if there were, then it could be repeated.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 11/30/21

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“And The Land Had Rest From War”

294.4Question: What does it mean “And the land had rest from war”?

Answer: There are periods when the Creator does not awaken heavy desires in the heart of a person and gives him peace. But this peace is twofold. Or it can be a respite in the war, this is what we have on Hanukkah, as Rabash explains.

Or is it a punishment for the fact that we did not attract our forces, which we could have attracted, and did not ask the Creator for advancement? Then He as if forgets about us.

In other words, He either helps us and gives us, as they say, “Hanu-Ko,” a break in the war, in order for us to gain strength and move on, or He forgets about us for a while.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 9/27/21

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“Hellenism Vs. Judaism – A Clash Of Civilizations” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Hellenism vs. Judaism – a Clash of Civilizations

Right before the holiday of Hanukkah comes to an end and we forget about the war between the Hellenists and the Jews, I would like to say one more word about it, since we are still fighting that war, the soldiers are us, and the result so far has been an outright defeat.

The Greek philosophy, which the Hellenists tried to impose in the land of Israel in the 2nd century BC, argues (by and large) that there is nothing wrong with humankind, and all we need is to develop. This is why the Greeks placed so much emphasis on sports and learning.

The Jewish approach said the opposite. “The inclination of man’s heart is evil from his youth” (Gen. 8:21) and “Every intent of the thoughts of his heart is only evil all day long” (Gen. 6:5) are two examples of many that show how Judaism views human nature. Why is man’s heart evil? We think only of ourselves and treat others as objects to use and abuse.

The Greek approach is the natural one; the Jewish approach is counterintuitive. However, by applying it, the Jews were able to conceive, and live by (if only briefly) social ideals that lift us above human nature, above cruelty, exploitation, and ridicule, and usher us into a realm of unity and oneness.

To understand how revolutionary the Jewish approach was at the time, think of a mother’s love for her child. She sees the world through the eyes of her child and her needs through the needs of her child. Whatever the child needs is first on her list.

Now imagine that all the people love each other as a mother loves her child, and even more, since the Israelites united “as one man with one heart” (RASHI, Commentary on the Torah). At times when the Jews maintained that oneness, they were “a light unto nations” (Isaiah 42:6). That was the wisdom that Ptolemy II, king of Egypt, sought to acquire from the Jews when he summoned seventy Hebrew sages to his palace in Alexandria to translate Jewish Law into Greek.

Prior to translating, the king sat with the sages for two whole weeks and asked them every question he could think of concerning governance and society. When he was satisfied with their answers, he sent them to translate, not before he said that now “he had learned how he ought to rule his subjects” (Josephus, The Antiquities of the Jews, Book XII).

When Jews began to abandon their noble ideas of society and embrace Greek values, the clash of civilizations intensified and eventually erupted into civil war. At that time the Hasmoneans, champions of the Hebraic approach, won the war and drove out the Hellenists. Today, the Greeks are the winners and the losers are all of humanity and the entire planet.

Wittingly or unwittingly, we will have to fight the Hellenists within us. The self-centered approach that the world has so readily embraced has depleted our resources and destroyed human society. If we persist with it, it will plunge us into a third world war. It is better to fight against our egos than to face nuclear weapons.

So before the holiday ends, we must remember, for our own sake, that Hanukkah is not about dreidels and sufganiyot (Hanukkah doughnuts). It is an inner war that we must wage against ourselves. Within each of us there are Greeks and Hasmoneans. In each of us, the ego wants to rule, and today we see that if the ego wins, we all lose. We have no choice but to side with the Hasmoneans and choose unity and mutual responsibility over division and alienation.

“The Miracle We Celebrate On Hanukkah” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “The Miracle We Celebrate on Hanukkah

Every Jewish holiday has deep spiritual meaning. Hanukkah is no exception. On Hanukkah, we celebrate the miracle that happened to the Maccabees, who defeated the mighty Seleucid Empire and its allies, the Hellenistic Jews. After their victory, they cleaned the plundered Temple and found just enough oil to light the menorah for one day. But lo and behold, the oil lasted eight days. By then the Maccabees had procured more oil and the candles on the menorah could keep burning.

However, in all the festivities, we overlook a very important message in the holiday. The candles on the menorah symbolize our struggle with our egos, our hatred of others. The burning of the candle symbolizes our triumph in using even our most depraved desires for the benefit of others.

Traditionally, a candle consists of three elements: 1) the oil, which serves as fuel, 2) the wick, the thread that is dipped into the oil and carries it to the edge of the wick, and 3) the fire, which uses both the wick and the oil (mainly the latter) to burn. RABASH, my teacher, explains that the oil is a pool of bad thoughts and intentions toward others. The wick is a single thought or intention emerging from that pool. The miracle happens when we determine that we do not want to follow our corrupt intentions, but rather develop love for others.

If we succeed, it is regarded as lighting the flame, and this is considered a miracle. The flame needs a constant supply of bad thoughts or it will have no thoughts to “burn,” to rise above, so bad thoughts are necessary. However, given the extent of our self-absorption, it really does take a miracle to rise above our wickedness and turn it into good thoughts about others.

It is an even greater miracle when this transformation occurs not in a single person, but in an entire nation. The people of Israel established their nationhood precisely by performing this miracle when they pledged to love one another as themselves.

Today we need an even greater miracle. With the whole world interconnected and all the nations engaged in constant power struggles, the miracle we need is for the whole world to rise above hatred and suspicion and use them as fuel, as oil, to light the flame of love.

The chronicles of the Jewish people are not stories about people who lived in ancient times; they are lessons for humanity. The Jewish nation formed from people who came from all over the ancient world, so it is only natural that their annals should pertain not only to themselves, but above all to their original nations.

The union that our ancestors achieved was a “pilot” for a program that the whole world must implement today. The more we shun the idea of rising above hatred and wallow in our mutual odium, the more shaken we will be when we finally realize that we have no choice but to change our attitude toward others, just as our ancestors did back then.

“Hanukkah Celebrates A Victory Of A Civil War; Can There Be Another Today?” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Hanukkah Celebrates a Victory of a Civil War; Can There Be Another Today?

Next week we will celebrate Hanukkah, the festival that celebrates the victory of the Jews over the Greeks. This is the story that we tell ourselves each year. It is not the truth. The truth is that the Greeks (actually, the Seleucid Empire) entered the war much later, when their allies, the Jewish Hellenists, were defeated by the Hasmoneans, who were fighting to keep the nation united. The Hellenists pleaded with their patron for help, but to no avail. The Hellenists lost, Jerusalem was liberated, and the Seleucid Empire left Judah in peace.

It is important to remember, however, that the rivals were both Jews and the war was mainly between them.

Just over two centuries later, Jerusalem was destroyed and the Jews were exiled from Judah. We like to tell ourselves that it was the Romans who destroyed the city and murdered the Jews, but again, that is not the case. The Romans killed many Jews, but not nearly as many and not nearly as savagely as the Jews killed each other. The war against the Romans was really another civil war, but it had disastrous consequences because the splintered nation had depleted its strength by fighting one another.

Today, people ask if a third civil war is possible in Israel. Most of them believe it cannot happen since we must have learned from our tragic past. I, for one, think we have not learned a thing. This is why I think another civil war in Israel is not unlikely.

We are more fractured today than at any time in history. We are divided between secular and religious, Left and Right, Ashkenazi and Sephardic, haves and have nots, and each election, we have dozens of parties vying for seats at the Knesset (Israeli parliament) to prove it.

In addition, we are surrounded by enemies who want to see the end of the Jewish state, and we are divided in our attitude toward them. For their part, our enemies are trying their best to divide us even more.

If this continues, it will not be long before we see the end of the Jewish state. Jews will happily immigrate from Israel and the Arabs will take over the country.

If we want to prevent another meltdown of a Jewish state, we need to start doing what we were meant to do in the first place: unite above our divisions.

We were not meant to love each other from the start. We could not. After all, our ancestors came from numerous tribes that were often sworn enemies, yet they formed a nation by embracing an ideology that hatred must not dictate our actions, that we must rise above it and forge bonds that are stronger than hate.

King Solomon, whose wisdom is celebrated to this day, said, “Hate stirs strife, and love will cover all crimes” (Prov. 10:12). This mode of work should have guided us in building the society in contemporary Israel, as well. Regrettably, we have allowed hate to take the driver’s seat. Is it any wonder that we are headed for an accident?

If we want Israel to exist, we must unite above all differences and declare that this is our calling – to be a beacon of unity for the world to see. Our only justification for being here, and our only source of strength, is our unity.

For more on the importance of Jewish unity, see my book The Jewish Choice: Unity or Anti-Semitism.

Sukkot—Correction By Light

291Question: The Sukkot holiday was described in the Torah 3,000 years ago, and it was celebrated from the sixth to the eighth century. Why?

Answer: Kabbalistic holidays have nothing to do with calendar dates and any incidents in our world. While studying Kabbalah, we study the upper roots. Whether they descended into our world or not, does not matter. The Kabbalist feels and sees all this.

Question: There is a custom in Sukkot to take the Torah and spin with it. What does it mean?

Answer: This means that the surrounding light, the so-called Ohr Makif, from the surrounding, gradually becomes the inner light of the soul. The soul is slowly being corrected within the seven days of Sukkot.

Therefore, spinning with the Torah is a tradition, that means nothing; it is just that in our world we want to mark special states of the soul in this way.

Question: On the last day of Sukkot, it is customary to read the final part of the Torah and start a new chapter. What does it mean that a certain chapter is read every week?

Answer: The Torah is given in order to correct the soul, so during the year by reading a portion from the Torah, each time we correct our soul, and the light gradually enters it. On the last day of Sukkot, we finish the annual reading of the Torah and immediately begin to read again. The year of the Torah begins with the last day of Sukkot, not with the New Year, but with Simchat Torah.

Question: What is the essence of this celebration?

Answer: The essence of the Sukkot holiday is to give the opportunity to the huge upper light that surrounds us, which we call the Creator, to enter the corrected soul, as we are corrected by connection, by being under one common roof in a hut. The upper light enters into us, corrects, and fills us.

Sukkot is a really big celebration.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 10/7/19

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When A Higher Power Puts On Matter

744Question: You said that the Creator is just a force without matter, and we must somehow create matter for it ourselves. What are these laws that will manifest there?

Answer: Power without matter is the Creator. When this force is clothed in matter, in desire, according to the law of similarity, then it becomes, as it were, material. Although this is not matter, but simply a person’s desire that becomes similar to the property of bestowal. Therefore, Adam consists of these two properties, the desire to receive, which creates out of himself the external form of the desire to bestow.

Adam and Eve are two forces that, by thus interacting with each other, make up the system called Adam. Adam has two parts. The feminine part is included in him as matter, and he shapes this matter under the likeness of the Creator. That is why it is called Adam, which means “like the Creator.” This must be achieved by each of us.
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