Entries in the 'Holidays' Category

Yom Kippur—Request For Correction

562.01In the process of spiritual development, there is a special state called Yom Kippur (from the word “kapara” – atonement), which means the correction of all sins that one has repented for and asked for correction. After all, it is clear that we can’t correct anything ourselves, and the sins we have committed are not ours at all because it is the Creator who created the evil inclination that controls us and makes us transgress.

It is not our fault that we are in egoism that each time forces us to think only of ourselves rather than others or the Creator. Therefore, both sins and their correction are not our fault or our merit because the Creator does everything. He prepared all sins for us and all the corrections for them, while we are between them like in a vice.

Our job is to attribute everything to the Creator: both sins and corrections. We only connect sin with correction to the extent that we realize and feel both of them come from the Creator and not from us. The Creator is above the transgressions and the corrections; it is a special upper force that is above everything.

Therefore, Yom Kippur is a day of special joy that allows us to rise even higher above creation and connect with the upper force to achieve its level. All the sins, all the egoism, made by the Creator, and the corrections achieved because of it, are necessary in order for us to understand the level that is higher than the evil and good inclinations, that is, to understand the Creator who cannot be attained any other way.

The Creator is separated from all of creation, and His essence can only be attained in this way by going through all our disunity. By connecting with each other, we connect with the Creator.

We rise above sin, above reward and punishment, and make these corrections only in order to reach the Creator who is separated from all of creation. The Creator prepared all these states for us so that we can attain Him—the one, unique, and only.

Yom Kippur is the main symbol of the process of attaining the upper force that is detached from all of creation. Without uniting and without concern about the whole world Kli, about mutual help, about all of humanity, it is impossible to achieve even the smallest spiritual revelation. All nations are destined to rise above their individual egoism and return to the system of Adam HaRishon to become one person, one desire.

Yom Kippur is a spiritual state in which a person reveals that his sin is believing that he was the one who sinned and not realizing that everything comes from the Creator. That is, he has not admitted that “There is None Else Besides Him.”

He thought that he did everything himself and evaluated his thoughts and desires inside his egoism. But now a person wants to correct his mistakes and all the impure scrutinies that are not connected with the one, unique, and unified upper force. This is what he prays for and asks of the Creator.

This is the essence of the Day of Atonement; it is the day a person wants to redeem and correct all the states and scrutinies that he could not attribute to the upper force. All our work is in attributing everything that happens in the world to the upper force and in considering ourselves to be only a creation 100% controlled by this force.

The ascent up the 125 spiritual degrees is identifying ourselves even more with the upper force until we come to the total adhesion with it. When we fully correct the Kelim, which the Creator intentionally broke, and raise it to His level, then we will be ready to begin the true path in understanding and adhesion with the Creator.

But these are the mysteries of the final correction. When we achieve this all together, all the creatures that are now in this world and those that are not here, we will advance further and find out what the Creator has prepared for us after the general correction.

Yom Kippur is when we reveal that not only good but also evil comes from the Creator, and they are of equal value. A person should bless for evil as well as for good because through both of these forces one attains adhesion with the Creator.

Adhesion with the upper force is our common and only goal; therefore, any states we go through should be perceived as an invitation to adhere. It doesn’t matter what I feel or what happens in my mind, heart, body, or relationships; it shows me where I can increase and strengthen my connection with the upper force.

The meaning of fasting on Yom Kippur is that we act only by the power of faith, not by the power of receiving.
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From the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/26/20, “Yom Kippur

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“Decoding The Book Of Jonah The Prophet For Salvation” (Times Of Israel)

The Times of Israel published my new article “Decoding the Book of Jonah the Prophet for Salvation

The Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, is considered the most solemn on the Jewish calendar, but do we know why? The answer lies in the Book of Jonah the Prophet. Its reading as a key part of the prayer on this special day is intended to unravel the code for saving humanity, and by doing that, saving ourselves—the Jewish people.

Jonah’s story speaks of a prophet who first tried to dodge his mission, but finally repented. His mission was to save the city of Nineveh, whose residents were not Jewish. In light of today’s precarious state of the world, we should take a closer look at this story and its meaning to every person on Earth, in particular to us, Jews, and our role toward all of humanity.

In the story, God orders Jonah to tell the people of Nineveh, who became very mean to one another, to correct their relationships if they wanted to survive. However, Jonah bailed out of his role and took to the sea by ship in an effort to escape God’s command, causing the sea to roar and nearly sank the vessel. At the height of the storm Jonah went to sleep detaching himself from the turmoil and leaving the sailors to fend for themselves. Gradually, they began to suspect that someone among them was the cause of the storm and the lot fell on Jonah, the only Jew on board.

Today’s world is similar to Jonah’s ship. Yet, the sea around us is raging, and the sailors, who are all of humanity, are blaming the Jew on board for all their troubles. As it is written, “No calamity comes to the world but for Israel” (Yevamot 63,) and as Kabbalist Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam) writes, “they cause poverty, ruin, robbery, killing and destruction in the whole world” (Introduction to The Book of Zohar).

A Light unto the Nations

We can be wiser than Jonah and avoid the blows to activate us and willingly unite to neutralize all our predicaments. In the book, Jonah tells the sailors to throw him overboard, as only this will calm the sea. Reluctantly, the sailors obey and the storm calms. A whale swallows Jonah, and for three days and three nights he stays in its abdomen, introspecting his actions and decisions. He begs for his life and vows to carry out his mission.

Like Jonah, each of us carries within something that is stirring up the world. We, the people of Israel, carry a method for achieving peace through connection. Unity is the very root of our being. It is what makes us a people because we were declared a nation only after we pledged to be “as one man with one heart,” when we stood before Mt. Sinai and strove to love our neighbor as ourselves.” Today we must rekindle this bond because wherever we go, this untapped power is destabilizing the world around us in order to compel us to unite and open up the pipe of goodness and tranquility.

Just as the current separation among us projects separation to the whole of humanity, unity between us will also radiate the rest of the nations, inspiring them to unite. It will endow humanity with the force required to achieve worldwide connection. That is the meaning of being “light unto the nations.” So the only question is whether we assume our responsibility, or prefer to be thrown overboard, only to subsequently agree to carry out our task.

If we want to end our troubles, be rid of antisemitism and have a safe and happy life, we must unite and thus set an example of unity for all the nations. This is how we will bring peace and quiet to the world. Otherwise the nations’ hatred toward us will keep growing. Therefore, the people of Israel must become a role model to the world. Rav Kook, the first Chief Rabbi of Israel, explained it in his book, Orot Kodesh (Sacred Lights), “Since we were ruined by unfounded hatred, and the world was ruined with us, we will be rebuilt by unfounded love, and the world will be rebuilt with us.”
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“How We “Earned” Being Covid’s Prime Target” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “How We “Earned” Being Covid’s Prime Target

What timing! In the first wave of Covid-19, we spent Passover in lockdown and didn’t get to celebrate it with our extended families, the way Jewish families have been doing for centuries. I warned then that unless we learn the lesson that the virus is trying to teach us, we will suffer from an even worse outbreak.

We didn’t learn a thing. The whole world looked at us in Israel in awe as we nearly eliminated the virus, eased the lockdown, and went back to normal life. But “normal” life was the reason that got us Covid in the first place, so it returned with a vengeance. Now, once again the world stares at us, but for the opposite reason. We have become a role model of incompetence, with more infections per capita than any other nation—from the zenith to the nadir in a matter of months.

These days, the days of the High Holidays, the second period of the year when Jewish families come together, we are going into full lockdown once again. Nature has turned our hubris against us and made Israel the world’s laughing stock.

To understand how we “earned” nature’s admonition, we need to understand who are the people of Israel, where we come from, and what is our role. Maimonides, Midrash Rabbah, and many other sources tell us that during the time of Abraham the Patriarch, Abraham would observe his countryfolk building the Tower of Babylon, where he had lived. He noticed that the builders were growing increasingly alienated from each other, which prompted him to search for an explanation. The book Pirkey de Rabbi Eliezer (Chapter 24) writes that the Babylonians “wanted to speak to one another but did not know each other’s language. What did they do? Each took up his sword, and they fought each other to death. Indeed, half the world was slaughtered there, and from there they scattered all over the world.”

The hatred among Abraham’s people troubled him. He reflected on the plight of his people and realized that the intensification of the ego was the cause of their hatred. To overcome it, he called on his people to increase their cohesion to match the growth of the ego. In Mishneh Torah (Chapter 1), Maimonides describes this as Abraham beginning “to provide answers to the people of Ur of the Chaldeans,” explaining why their society was disintegrating and what they could do about it.

However, Abraham’s answers did not please everyone in Babylon. The Midrash (Beresheet Rabbah) tells us that Nimrod, king of Babylon, tried to persuade Abraham that he was wrong. When the king failed, he expelled Abraham from Babylon.

But as the exiled Abraham wandered toward Canaan, people “gathered around him and asked him about his words,” writes Maimonides. “He taught everyone … until thousands and tens of thousands assembled around him, and they are the people of the house of Abraham. He planted this tenet in their hearts, composed books about it, and taught his son, Isaac. And Isaac sat and taught and warned, and informed Jacob, and appointed him a teacher, to sit and teach… And Jacob our Father taught all his sons.” That was the beginning of the people of Israel, but it still does not explain our role in the world.

A few centuries after Abraham, Moses wanted to do the same as his predecessor. He aspired to unite the people of Israel, and faced Pharaoh’s fierce resistance. Like Abraham before him, Moses fled with his people, except this time there were millions of them. Under Moses, the Hebrew tribes united and became a nation, but only after they committed to be “as one man with one heart.”

Moreover, immediately after they united and became a nation, the people of Israel were tasked with passing the method of unity to the entire world in order to complete what Abraham intended to achieve when he first began to speak of unity above hatred. “Moses wished to complete the correction of the world at that time. … However, he did not succeed because of the corruptions that occurred along the way,” wrote Ramchal in his commentary on the Torah. But once Israel achieved unity, they were tasked with passing it on, or as the Torah put it, with being “a light unto nations.”

We often like to think that our responsibility to the world is a thing of the past. It is not. Both antisemites blame us for their troubles, and our sages blame us for the troubles that the nations make for us. Our role, to bring the light of unity to the world, is as valid now as it’s always been. The book Sefat Emet writes that “The children of Israel became guarantors to correct the entire world … everything depends on the children of Israel,” and many other books by our sages write similarly.

If we look at what is happening in Israel today, it is easy to see that we desperately need mutual guarantee, the unity that had made us into a nation. Without it, we are not a nation, we are not “a light unto nations,” and both we and the world suffer.

This abandonment of the mutual guarantee among us “earned us” Covid’s admonition. It is so easy to see that had we all cared for one another just a little bit, we would have taken the minimum precautions not to infect one another and the plague would stop. And just as we were a great example in the first wave and nearly curbed the virus, we are the worst example in the second wave, the “darkness unto nations.”

This coming Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), we needn’t regret our sins so we can start the new year with a clean slate, ready to sin again. We need to recognize what is the only sin that we are committing, and commit to stop it. And that only sin is our lack of mutual guarantee, our unfounded hatred of each other, our alienation and cruelty toward our brethren. If we commit to trying to stop it, to reverse our attitude from negative to positive, the next year will be Covid free. We will defeat it through our unity, and suffer if we stay apart.

And as we are now a bad example, when we unite, we will become once more “a light unto nations,” and truly win the world’s approval.

Rosh HaShanah—Beginning Of A New Life

963.6Man emerges from the Exodus from Egypt with rising above his egoism. Until he exits his egoism, he is not yet considered a person because he is at the mercy of his egoistic nature. By rising above egoism, a person becomes at least somewhat similar to the Creator and is called Adam.

Therefore, the degree of man begins with Passover. But then we have to go through a period of seven months, according to the number of Sefirot, during which we move from the desire to receive to the desire to bestow. In the seventh month after Passover, Rosh HaShanah (new year) begins; a new beginning when we really begin to build a new spiritual degree.

However, before that, it is necessary to make an honest calculation: what am I, where do I come from, what should I build, what should I move away from, and what should I get closer to? This is why there is a period called Slichot (repentance) before the new year in which I make inquiries: where do I come from, from what quality, and what quality do I want to reach? I want to move from reception to bestowal, from the animalistic mind to faith above reason, that is, to the spiritual mind, to the opinion of the Creator.

Instead of seeing, feeling, and perceiving the world through animalistic eyes, I want to come to a new perception of reality and see everything through the eyes of bestowal, through the force of faith. Then instead of this world, I will see a future world. All this symbolizes Rosh HaShanah—the beginning of new changes.

This year is very special because immense changes are happening to all of humanity. For the first time, all of humanity is experiencing such a radical change; this is indeed Rosh HaShanah—the beginning of a new year, new changes for everyone.

You can see this as the fulfillment of the Creator’s promise. Those who try to understand this and help humanity do this correctly, quickly, with love for everyone and love for the Creator, are called Israel, which means straight to the Creator (Yashar-El).

This state can only be achieved by correcting the shattered soul of Adam HaRishon. The Creator deliberately broke it so that we can now assemble it like children assemble LEGO blocks, and from this, we can better understand the spiritual life that we must reach.

Therefore, we are glad that every day we are making huge steps forward in revealing the evil of our egoistic nature as well as in recognizing the good, that is, understanding that only a good connection can save humanity. This is the only cure for the coronavirus.

Therefore, we are happily welcoming this special holiday of Rosh HaShanah—the beginning of changes.
Why then is it customary to ask for forgiveness before this holiday? The Creator does not need our repentance. It was He who made all the conditions for which I ask forgiveness. If I react to them correctly, it means that I have correctly understood the work of the Creator on me and that I am working with Him as His partner. In this partnership, there are many degrees: a servant, a sinner, a friend, a loved one, and many others.

The Creator does not need our repentance and corrections. It is us who need them in order to rise from ignorance, misunderstanding, and insensitivity to knowledge, feelings, and solidarity with the upper system and its process, to understand the Creator’s program. We not only understand, but also begin to control this program. It is like children who first take the first timid steps in this world, learn to live in it, and eventually grow up and begin to control it.

In the same way, we gradually become involved in the spiritual reality until we reach understanding of the Creator and solidarity with Him, and even take the reins of control from Him, as it is written: “My sons defeated Me.” In fact, only we can control the evil inclination and turn it into a good one.

We can only ask for what depends on us, that is, ask the Creator to give us strength, reason, feelings, and ability to perform the right actions that He left for us. In this way, we are becoming included in the world created by the Creator and move toward its final correction.

We are at the stage of the final correction of the world. So far, the world has been corrected selectively, in small parts, as if one part after another has been replaced in a car: the engine, gearbox, transmission, and so on. But then we start putting all the corrections together and launch the entire system.

Up until this time, all the Kabbalists of the past were making personal, partial corrections to the system of the common soul of Adam HaRishon, correcting part by part. Now, however, it is time for the most important work: establishing communication between the parts and launching the entire system together.

This is a different job. A very special one. After all, we need to establish a connection between all the parts, since we understand what it should be. Therefore, this is possible only through our mutual connection, from light to heavy, from the internal to the external. But in the end, we have to launch the entire system.

We do not ask the Creator to reveal Himself, but we ourselves want to reveal Him by assembling our Kli. The Kli will work in the same way as the Creator, and from this work, we will understand the Creator. This is the revelation of the upper force that we desire.

It is as if I want to be like my father and mother not just through their stories, but through organizing my life in such a way that I understand and feel them. From life I will understand what really happened to them and how they took care of me and did everything for me. This is called “By Your actions we know You,” and it defines a new period, a new year. The world is moving toward such correction.
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From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/14/20, “Slichot

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“A Yom Kippur Prayer That Will Be Heard” (Times Of Israel)

The Times of Israel published my new article “A Yom Kippur Prayer that Will Be Heard

Regarding good and evil—“No matter how we behave or where we are, we will get away with anything in the end because God is good and benevolent to our people.” That is the usual Jewish calculation for Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. To put it plainly and simply: Think twice, because this is pure nonsense. Our “special treatment” can actually be summarized as constant blows steadily pushing us toward deep soul-searching about our self-centered and harmful behavior toward others. The very admission of our uncorrected state, however, is a great step toward the true prayer we need, one that will bring forgiveness and redemption.

But what is a true prayer? It is an internal process of self-scrutiny that brings one to the understanding that I have a problem, that I cannot seek any justification for how I am or my egoistic desires and actions for self-benefit at the expense of others. This is the nature each of us was created with and inherited from birth, so in order to rise above it and desire to be truly considerate of others, we need to cry out to the Creator for help, for correction.

This year, the coronavirus pandemic presents a special opportunity for such an entreaty. Our dire straits situation works as a help against us by adding urgency to our appeal. The congregational restrictions need not interfere with the essence or efficacy of our prayer. Physical connection has nothing to do with what happens in the heart, the spiritual place where prayer takes place. Instead of standing as an obstacle to our connection, physical separation will reveal the true distance between us, the great gaps and separation between our hearts.

Through the unpleasant troubles of our times, we may finally discover what it is that we should be asking for. If we reach such a discernment, this current crisis will be an invaluable help to us. As it is written,

“There is no happier moment in a person’s life than when he discovers how absolutely powerless he is and loses faith in his own strength since he exerted all possible efforts that he was able to, but reached nothing. This is because precisely at this moment, during this state, he is ready for a complete and clear prayer to the Creator.”
– Kabbalist Rav Yehuda Ashlag, Pri Hacham: Igrot Kodesh.

We must pray to heal the wounds we inflict on each other in our daily lives, when we treat everyone and everything around us with disregard and lack of consideration, pursuing only our personal goals against the common good.

Thus, the real sin is the fact that I do not want to know what my sin is, how I harm others. Just that. Because if I had known, then it would have been clear to me that I should have turned to the Creator asking for correction. In our current state of unawareness, we are unable to discover in our actions the real situation we face. We do not think that our qualities and actions are really that bad.

My sin is that I do not reveal my true evil, do not attribute it to myself, and refuse to think that I need to change. I do not ask to be able to love others, help everyone, and sacrifice myself even a little for the sake of humanity. I never even think about it. So the realization that we must come to in the first place is that this is our sin, and this should be the place of real remorse in our hearts.

In our globalized world, it becomes clearer every day that humanity is increasingly connected and interdependent. Everything in reality is so intricately intertwined that even if I do not actively cause harm to anyone, it does not mean that I have caused no evil. I simply did not do good to them, therefore, by that omission I caused harm. Our inaction is also our transgression. So, instead of trying to fix the world, we first need to fix ourselves and learn how to be an example to others.

Particularly on this Yom Kippur, while facing a powerful plague of nature in the form of the coronavirus, we can come to terms with the realization that the situation gives each of us an opportunity for profound introspection. We can realize that a real prayer is not a mechanical reading of verses but a deep scrutiny of ourselves that moves us closer to an honest request for unity as our ultimate goal.

May we all achieve true connection of our hearts and be inscribed and sealed in the Book of Life for a good year!

Rosh HaShanah—Time To Ask For Forgiveness

534Rosh HaShanah is the time to ask the Creator for forgiveness for one’s crimes. That is, I feel that I do not sense the importance and the greatness of the Creator, and for this I apologize. After all, if I felt the Creator as great and important, then, of course, I would behave differently. It turns out that I only lack the feeling of the Creator.

And therefore, I ask: “Let me feel You, and I will become different!” This is what a man should say to the Creator; this is a correct request and a correct apology. Why do I commit crimes? Because I lack the feeling of the Creator, which is called faith. There is no feeling of the Creator, there is no faith, and therefore, there is no one to stop me. I cannot act otherwise because if the Creator does not rule over me, then the evil inclination, egoism, rules.

Therefore, I ask the Creator to rule over me. This is my main request after which we come to Rosh HaShanah, we come to the king, that is, we want to put Him to reign over us.

I want to repent for all my sins, that is, to know and feel everything that interferes with my correction. I am asking the Creator to open my eyes and let me feel where the crime is and where the commandment is so that I understand where I fulfill His commandments: to bestow, to love, to unite, and where I do the opposite.

After all, now I do not feel this in every moment of my life. And if I did, I would certainly correct myself. The problem is that I do not feel the Creator, the force of bestowal, against which I could check myself. It is with this that I turn to the Creator and demand that He give me the opportunity to check myself against the force of bestowal, and then I will never commit a crime.

We do not recall the past and do not ask forgiveness for it. I must cry not about what happened but about the fact that I do not strive for correction and do not demand from the Creator to help me in this. I want to move forward and not delve in the past, shedding tears over what I did.

Did I really do something? I did nothing. The Creator did everything. And He did it on purpose so that I now know what I have to fix. I take this evil, this crime, that has just been revealed, and start to correct it. All my striving is forward, not backward. This is the difference!
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From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/16/20, “What Is Preparation for Selichot (Forgiveness)”

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“Covid19, Jewish Divisions: Somber Prospects For 5781” (San Diego Jewish World)

My new article on San Diego Jewish World “Covid19, Jewish divisions: somber prospects for 5781

PETACH TIKVAH, Israel — We are about to celebrate the Jewish New Year, a Rosh Hashanah like no other. Synagogues across America and the world are adjusting their services to the Covid-19 restrictions limiting physical gatherings. Besides the loss of lives, individual members and entire congregations have been deeply affected by the pandemic’s economic blows, wreaking havoc in rippling waves, which have fueled anti-Semites to blame Jews for the creation and spread of the virus. A somber future looks like the most realistic scenario, but this can definitely be changed if only we will see our fate as a single, seamlessly-shared project.

The opposite is happening now. Within American Jewry, division, self-hatred, and bickering signal an internal fragmentation which puts in jeopardy the continuity of a vibrant Jewish life now and for generations to come. In Israel, politics, who is considered Jewish, these topics and more are igniting burning clashes within our community.

Interestingly, Covid-19 arrived without paying attention to who is religious and who is secular, left-wing or right-wing. Meanwhile, we fail to look at the big picture which is the threatening crisis caused by a virus that disregards no one. Covid-19 appeared and halted regular life with the clear purpose of making us reflect on ourselves and our egoistic perspectives toward others and our surroundings.

How can we grasp a global view when we are so busy with quarrels and fights? Sadly, we enter the holiday season with blinders on, preoccupied with getting back to the routine and to our usual power struggles, caring only about our personal interests.

It’s high time for us to stop in our tracks and take a firm hold on the new year as a unique opportunity for introspection and change. Rosh Hashanah, from the Hebrew “Rosh Hashinui,” marks not only the beginning of the Hebrew calendar, but also symbolizes renewal—a time for inner evaluation of our thoughts toward others and the intention behind our actions.

We are currently ruled by our intellect that immediately makes calculations about how to best pursue egoistic relationships for self-benefit, stirring up separation and conflict. The time has come to be inspired by a higher, more comprehensive and steady mindset, one that will help us to open our eyes and recognize our exhausting and fruitless struggles in life and choose change instead.

How is such a meaningful transformation possible? Through the power of nature—a force that works consistently to unite all the details of reality, that embraces and connects us all as one, that transcends our limited and selfish views—profound change is assured.

Our problem is that we are currently in a state opposite to nature where everything works in balance. Due to our lack of integration with the larger system in which we live through our broken relations with each other, nature will continue amplifying the impact of the pandemic until we react and unite.
Our lives are already ruled by closures, restrictions, uncertainty, and every successive blow will be even more painful than the last until we make efforts to improve the connection in our human relations.

However, there is no need to wait for the situation to get worse. Things can get better if we will begin to ask what the root cause of the coronavirus is, learn from life what is essential for us to exist, and approach one another in a healthy and considerate way. Like the round and connected natural world around us, nature is trying to teach us to live in harmony and peace out of a desire to do good to others, implementing the ultimate Jewish tenet, “love thy neighbor as yourself” and transforming our hearts.

We awaken the force that propels a positive change when we take a step toward connection, when we get closer and reduce the huge gaps between us. We may do it either against our own will or proactively with open hearts. We do not even need to erase the negative feelings and disagreements between us, but only to rise above them in the spirit of, “love will cover all crimes.” (Proverbs 10:12)

In a nutshell, the power of love we activate through the connection of our hearts, above everything tearing us apart, is precisely what will sweeten our fate as Jewish people and as individuals, keeping us strong and healthy. Happy Rosh Hashanah!

“’Celebrating’ The New Year In Closure”

Dr. Michael LaitmanFrom My Facebook Page Michael Laitman 9/21/20

The new Hebrew year began with closure. But that was only the official declaration. In practice, every faction pulls its own way and tries to ease the restrictions on it and make them more convenient. In this tag of war, the public’s health is of no interest to anyone and everyone is losing.

The people of Israel that’s living in the State of Israel are not a nation. It is a collective of many sects and factions. I don’t see a collective and I don’t see an Israeli nation. For this reason, we will not emerge stronger or healthier from this closure, since getting better or stronger is not on anyone’s mind. The more we sink into this pandemic, the more divided, hateful, and alienated from each other we become.

As long as we continue our separation, there is zero chance of curing from the virus. This hatred between us is the exact opposite of what we should be doing, and this is why the virus is winning. We are already the country with the second highest number of cases per million people in the world, and we are quickly racing to the “top.” Instead of a role model for the world, a light unto nations, we have become the world’s laughing stock.

If we don’t take the time while we are in closure (assuming we obey it) to think about the future of our nation and what it means to be the people of Israel, we will bring on ourselves a third, and more painful closure.

Being Israel means being united. It means making unity the top value, above all our differences. We pride ourselves in our legacy of debates and arguments and often give the House of Hillel and the House of Shammai as examples of two conflicting views within the nation. But we omit what is not convenient: They helped the nation scrutinize essential issues precisely because they were a part of the same nation.

Today’s so called debates are nothing of the kind. We wish to eliminate our dissenters, not learn together what is best for the nation. We’re not using disagreements in order to grow. In fact, we don’t even want to grow, but to obliterate our opponents and be left alone in the rink. By this we are bringing on ourselves our doom.

There will be no vaccine to Covid-19, since the real pathogen is our sick egos. When we change our relation to each other, we will be freed from the virus. Our ill-will creates it, and it will create ever worse pathogens until we switch our ill-will into good will.

Currently, we aren’t doing this. We are defying the closure to go out and protest, clash with the police, and shout in defiance without masks and without distance. Why are we not defying the closure in order to get closer to each other? As long as our motivation is to destroy, we will continue to destroy ourselves. If we maintain it long enough, we will succeed.

What Is Our Fault?

236.02When a person asks the Creator for forgiveness, he has to feel that he has sinned. Otherwise, it turns out that he just mocks the Creator and the entire system that He created. However, we do not feel that we have committed any sins and do not think we need to be corrected. It is all because there is a law in nature that you repeat a crime for a second time and you already consider it as permitted not recognizing it as a sin.

Therefore, we need to think: is it possible that we do commit crimes in our life? In fact, we are full of crimes, every one of us at every moment. However, we return to them all the time, and therefore in our egoism, we do not feel we are committing a crime. You repeat a crime a second time and you begin considering it the norm; this is the law of nature.

A person is perplexed: What did I do? Who did I harm? The crime is felt just for the first time. After that, I can repeat it a thousand times and will not feel that I am doing something bad.

This is why we do not feel that we are sinners when we ask the Creator for forgiveness. What is our fault? Before Rosh HaShanah it is customary to cry and ask for forgiveness, but these are artificial tears since we do not recognize our crimes.

Therefore, we need to become included in the tens and find out that we are neglecting our friends, our connection, and our appeal to the Creator. We do not feel that we are constantly returning to the same crimes and therefore we stop considering them sin, a vice.

I should feel how much I disregard the Creator in order to ask his forgiveness for not appreciating Him enough, not realizing that only the Creator does everything, arranges everything, controls everything, that there is none else besides Him, and I depend on Him one hundred percent.

I was not considering correctly the presence of the Creator in my life, was not recognizing that only He determines my thoughts, desires, perception of reality. Now I ask to forgive me because I did not attach importance to the Creator.

It means that all my pleas for forgiveness are only with regard to the singularity of the upper governance and all my appeals to the Creator are only through the ten. All this we establish inside our connection: how much I disregard my friends, do not consider them as great, and do not value the ten, which is the only tool that can direct me to the Creator.

To the extent I disregard my ten, I disregard the Creator. Therefore, first of all, I must work with the ten, and through it, I will come to the Creator.
[270974]
From the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/15/20, “What Is Preparation for Selichot (Forgiveness)”

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Wish The Creator A Good Year!

293.1First of all, I must press “Delete” on all my claims against my friends because it was not them who acted badly toward me, but the Creator. Instead of my friends, I must see the Creator who is hiding behind them and teasing me on purpose.

The Creator is standing behind each friend encouraging him to do something that I condemn. Therefore, I erase all my claims against my friends, and I see only the Creator who has pushed them to these actions.

And therefore, I apologize to my friends for thinking they were bad. It was not them at all, but the Creator who awakened the evil inclination in them and has done everything.

But I have no claims against the Creator either because “there is none else besides Him, who is good and does good.” I I feel bad, it indicates that within myself I turn all His good into evil.

I am now in the world of infinity, in the Garden of Eden (paradise), and you too! Why on earth do we feel hell instead of paradise? It is because we perceive this paradise in our corrupted Kelim. How can I fix them? The Creator has given me the opportunity to check myself in relation to my friends. If I love them, then I have corrected my attitude toward my neighbor.

We ask the Creator to help us achieve good unity between us in order to please Him. We want to wish Him a good year! A good year means that we have made a good change, that is, we have prepared a place for the Creator to reveal in order to express our love and unity. And so we wish the Creator: “Have a good year!”

Try to wish the Creator a good year through your connection. And then He will be revealed in Rosh HaShanah as the king who has done all this. We are His creations, and He unites us together and rejoices in us.
[271033]
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/17/20, “What Is Preparation for Selichot (Forgiveness)”

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