Entries in the 'Holidays' Category

Love Each Other for No Reason!

293.1Comment: What would you wish for all people in 2023?

My Response: I wish absolute mutual love for all of us. We need nothing else! Love. Just to love each other. For no reason. Just for the fact that we all are people.

Question: Is it possible to live like this, as you just said?

Answer: It is possible.

Question: What do we need to do in order to just love a person and all people?

Answer: We need to understand that in nature there is nothing better than this feeling, this relationship, and all of nature is built on love. Everything that is concealed from us in nature, in the upper nature, is just love.

Question: Can we, if we all would want to, attract the force of nature?

Answer: Yes, nature is waiting only for this. Love is the highest, strongest, and most central feeling and force in nature.

Question: Is it possible to move from hatred to love just like this? Now I clearly hate someone, and suddenly some time passes and we move to love. Can it be or is it a fantasy?

Answer: We can do that. We are in such extreme states that are opposite to this feeling, that we can do it.

It is because we see where we are coming to, where all our efforts and achievements disappear, everything falls out of our hands, and we cannot achieve anything. We are like blind stupid puppies. This is how we live. It is terrible! I have no words!

But if we ask nature to change us, we will receive such a change of forces, feelings, and qualities that we do not even expect, because the Creator is love.
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From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 1/1/23

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A Celebration of Light for the Whole World

293.1Question: The holiday of Hanukkah is also called the holiday of Light and it was established in the 2nd century BC. The rebellious Maccabees defeated the Greeks, Syrians, and Jews who joined the Greeks, that is, Hellenized Jews.

The Temple was liberated, cleansed, and the temple service began. And it seems like a Jewish holiday was taking place here. But you once said that the Hanukkah holiday is a holiday of light for the whole world. Can you explain this?

Answer: Because as it were, the connection between the people was restored, and through it, with the peoples of the whole world with the upper source of light.

Question: Through the Temple?

Answer: Through the concept of what a Temple is. It is a spiritual place, not a physical one, where there is connection between people—and it does not matter which people and how—and the Creator. That is, if people want to get closer to the Creator, then the place of their rapprochement, connection, merging, unity, and gathering is called a Temple.

Question: Whenever Hanukkah is mentioned, it is said that the Temple was purified. What is purification?

Answer: Cleansing from all harmful thoughts and intentions that were egoistic. And people who wanted to get closer to the Creator had to take on His qualities—the qualities of bestowal and love. “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”

And they achieved it. That is why it is called cleansing and purification of the Temple. It is in the hearts of people. No building, no rocks, and nothing else. That is, the Temple is in us.

Question: And when it is said that the people have purified the Temple, these rebellious people—did they purify it?

Answer: People have purified their hearts and connected everything together in mutual love. And then they began to feel spiritual qualities in this connection with each other. This is called a miracle.

Question: And when they say “the miracle of Hanukkah,” when they found one small jug of pure oil, the lamp was supposed to burn for eight days, and there was only oil for one day. And yet, the lamp was lit, and it burned for eight days. They say this was a miracle of Hanukkah.

What kind of a miracle is this when everything seems to be above reason: we think that this is for one day, but it burns for eight days? What kind of a miracle is this?

Answer: This is because people wanted to be united among them and raise their feelings from themselves, everyone together, to the Creator, to this common quality. And this common quality that was revealed between them was the manifestation of the miracle of Hanukkah.

Question: What are these high-calorie donuts that we eat on Hanukkah?

Answer: They are all kinds of manifestations of this celebration. When the oil, which embodies the connection between people, the intention of bestowal and love for the Creator, and so on, manifests itself in such a way that everything is made in oil. And this is, so to say, the main subject of Hanukkah.

Question: Why are they so sweet? Children eat them with pleasure.

Answer: Because that is how it should be. This miracle that happens when we annul our egoism and want to connect with each other is sweet.

Question: Why is this holiday also called a children’s holiday?

Answer: On one hand because there are practically no restrictions in it, and it only talks about love and connection, about communication, about rapprochement of people with each other. And besides, this is the beginning of the rebirth of people, the rapprochement of people among themselves.

Question: That is what this holiday is?

Answer: Yes.

Question: So, you are saying that this is a global holiday, it concerns the whole world?

Answer: Not only global, it is a great holiday.

It is a great holiday indeed. We look at it as if it is just donuts and lighting candles every day, and that is all there is. But in fact, this is a great holiday when people ignite in their hearts the connection between them and the love for the Creator.
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From KabTV’s “News with Michael Laitman” 12/15/22

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“Symbols of Tradition Becoming Symbols of Disobedience” (Times of Israel)

Michael Laitman, On The Times of Israel: “Symbols of Tradition Becoming Symbols of Disobedience

Traditional and religious holidays in Israel are usually times of national unity. These days, Israel is celebrating Hanukkah, a holiday whose essence is the triumph of the Jewish spirit of unity over the Hellenistic spirit of exalting the self. Yet, precisely now, prominent elements in Israel’s society, including the (still) incumbent prime minister, are calling for civil disobedience to protest the policy of the newly elected government before it has even been sworn in, and they are doing it by advancing displays of Christian symbols instead of, or more conspicuously than the Hanukkah Menorah. Despite being a primarily political initiative, this disobedience symbolizes the level of division spreading in the nation, and a divided Israel is a short-lived Israel.

Not only politicians and opinion leaders are pushing for prominence of Christian symbols over Hanukkah symbols in Israel. Santa Claus, elves, deer, and of course, the Christmas tree can be seen in some shopping malls in Israel, and no trace of the Menorah. Universities also place large Christmas trees at the entrance to some of the buildings, either with a small Menorah next to it, or with none at all. Even the Tel-Aviv municipality has asked visitors to its Facebook page which holiday they like better, Christmas or Hanukkah.

Having different political agendas and maintaining diversity of views are the essence of democracy. It is a precondition for the advancement and development of society. Countries that maintain diverse opinions thrive, while countries that allow only one narrative to dominate, whether from the Right or from the Left, become degenerate and sink.

In the case of Israel, diversity is not only a matter of evolution or devolution. For Israel, smothering diversity poses an existential threat.

The essence of the Israeli nation is unity above diversity. The ancient Israelites came from many nations, held different ideas about everything, and were very adamant people. When they came across Abraham’s teachings (or those of his descendants Isaac and Jacob), they learned that if they do not suppress other people’s views, but unite with them despite the differences, they form a bond that makes them stronger and wiser than any biological nation. When enough people had adopted that principle of uniting without suppressing disputes and disagreements, they became a nation, the nation of Israel.

When they were united, their differences complemented one another creating a tapestry of views that did not exist in any other nation. The unity that they had had to form in order to maintain their nationhood above such diversity had to be that much stronger than any other nation.

Nature, too, consists of complementary opposites; this is what makes creation harmonious and evolving. When the people of Israel were united, they were just like the rest of nature, harmonious and evolving, and that was the secret of the success of the ancient Israeli nation.

But when the people of Israel were not united, they immediately split back into the many nations from which they came. This is why when Israel are divided, they strive to assimilate among the nations and not remain Israelis or even Jewish.

However, Israel cannot afford to lose its unity and vanish altogether. The whole purpose of the existence of the Israeli nation is to demonstrate that unity above division is possible, and that it creates a thriving society. If people do not realize that diversity must be nurtured and embraced, they will be embroiled in eternal conflicts, and humanity will destroy itself.

If Israel does not practice unity above division, it disintegrates. At that time, the world hates the Jews for advancing conflict instead of peace. However, it does not blame us because we pit countries against each other, but because the fact that we do not present an alternative to conflict forces the world to engage in the only solution it sees: eternal war. And it blames Israel for it.

Only when Israelis learn that their challengers from within are not their enemies, but their partners to the task of setting an example, they will be able to unite above their contradictions. Until then, Israel and the world can only expect strife and conflict to keep building up.*

*For more on this topic, read my books The Jewish Choice: Unity or Anti-Semitism, and Like a Bundle of Reeds.
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Under the Shadow of a Temporary Home

745.01 The holiday of Sukkot symbolizes joy. This is a wonderful, pleasant, easy, and simple holiday that people love very much. Although it requires advanced preparation, it is nevertheless imbued with a joyful atmosphere. Why?

First of all, after self-examination, after receiving the Torah on Shavuot, on the 9th of the month of Av, we saw ourselves as shattered (this is also symbolized by shattering of the tablets). Then we came to the recognition of evil, and on the Jewish New Year (Rosh HaShanah) we decided that we must correct ourselves.

Then came the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). In the language of Kabbalah, this is described as the embrace of the right and left lines, the manifestation of the qualities of judgment (Dinim) and mercy (Hassadim), sweetening.

Then finally, the holiday of Sukkot comes, special corrections, when I can already take my desires and raise them to bestowal. The symbol of this process is the Sukkah (a hut). Everything is extremely simple: I use the simplest, “cast-off” desires represented by the branches and leaves of the hut.

There is nothing in them, but it is from them that I build myself a temporary home, a canopy that gives at least some shade over my head. It is made of things that have no value and can be found everywhere.

Once I have built this state, this temporary shelter, I can rejoice inside of it. Thus, it symbolizes the spiritual vessel (Kli) into which I receive the light. The canopy is a symbol of the screen (Masach). I do not want to receive the light directly, the shadow should significantly prevail over it so that it barely makes its way through the roof.

I am happy that I have formed a screen above me that allows me to hide the upper abundance and to remain in the shadows. I myself (although, of course, with the help of the reforming light) can hide from pleasures in a spiritual vessel.

Then the process continues. I correct myself again and again in my growing vessels (desires), I am with them in a “hut,” i.e., I can open and use them with the help of the cover.

Then I come to the holiday of Simchat Torah (The joy of the Torah). Torah is the reforming light that I received on Shavuot. I used this force to correct the vessels and now I am exiting the hut. In other words, I have an unlimited screen and I no longer have to take care of the cover.

The exit from the hut symbolizes the fact that from now on I am free to wander all over reality, all over the world. It is no longer necessary to build a screen over my head because now it is within me. I am in a self-corrected vessel.
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From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/18/13, “Sukkot”

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Sukkot: To Connect into a Single Embrace

276.03And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, Speak to the children of Israel, saying: On the fifteenth day of this seventh month, is the Festival of Succoth, a seven day period to the Lord. On the first day, it is a holy occasion; you shall not perform any work of labor. [For] a seven day period, you shall bring a fire offering to the Lord. On the eighth day, it shall be a holy occasion for you, and you shall bring a fire offering to the Lord. It is a [day of] detention. You shall not perform any work of labor (Torah, “Levit,” “Emor,” 23:33-23:36).

The Sukkot holiday lasts for seven days, in each of which an ascent to the spiritual degrees of Hesed, Gevura, Tiferet, Netzach, Hod, Yesod, and Malchut is performed.

And on the eighth day a special gathering takes place where a person is filled with the light of mercy (Hassidim), the light of love, friendship, joy, compassion, complicity, and kindness. This is called an “embrace from the right side,” as it is said: “His left arm is under my head, and His right arm is embracing me.”

Which means that Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur are “the left hand under the head,” and Sukkot is “the right one embraces me.” And on the last day, the eighth day of Sukkot, there is a combination of the male and female parts of the Kli (vessel).

During this time a person’s desire is illuminated by the upper light and therefore, throughout all the days of the holiday, there is a manifestation of more and more of the light of kindness and more and more merging of the male and female parts of desire into a single “embrace.”

Therefore every day of the Sukkot festival is important. It is held in a special tent built under the open sky where a sacred meeting and a meal are arranged.

A person staying in a tent for seven days receives all the surrounding lights, so to say, which correct, fill, and prepare him for revelation, connection, and contact with the Creator.

This happens on the eighth day after leaving the tent. Therefore the eighth day is called Simchat Torah, the Joy of the Torah. The Torah is the light that corrects a person and fills him with joy.

Comment: It is believed that every evening honored guests come to the tent in turn: Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Joseph, and David.

My Response: All these guests represent the lights of correction on seven spiritual degrees. After all, these are not historical characters but spiritual states. Each of the degrees has a special character and only after passing them, that is, after correcting oneself in seven different characteristic states, does a person become ready for the revelation of the Creator.
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From KabTV’s “The Secrets of Eternal Book

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King David: The Quintessence of All Corrections

232.1The last day of Sukkot is dedicated to the guest of honor David, the correction of the Sefira Malchut. It is clear that all corrections are concentrated in and end in Malchut.

Malchut is the quintessence and the result of all corrections. Therefore King David, Malchut, signifies the end of the corrections of our soul when we all gather together under the roof of the Sukkah, under one screen, and receive the upper light from above, which is revealed in the corrected Kli.

Thus we reach the state when the entire upper light enters our Kli. Then comes the feast of the Joy of the Torah (Simchat Torah), when we receive the upper light no longer inside the Sukkah, not under the roof, but rather outside of it, and the upper light fills all of reality.

David symbolizes the general Kli, which is all created beings. On one hand it is a state of complete separation from the Creator, from the upper light. But on the other hand, in this state there is a complete work that brings us to adhesion with the upper force.

Therefore King David is woven from opposite forces, from contradictory qualities. If we talk about his spiritual work, his entire life was like this because he fought all the time. But at the same time he was the ruler, the King of Israel.

King David receives from the qualities of bestowal, from Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph. From the qualities of reception, from Isaac, that is, from overcoming, he takes Kelim in order to use them just to the extent that the qualities of Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph can be imprinted in them. This combination of forces takes place in David, and therefore he is called the King of Israel.

After all, Malchut accumulates and collects all the forces within itself and combines them in the correct form.

Therefore David had such a difficult life, as described in the Torah. He was constantly involved in various wars and problems and was forced to hide from enemies and haters. His life was not easy, but he corrected all of Malchut through this. The Messiah is called the son of David because he comes out of this quality.

As long as the people of Israel do not have a king, this means that they cannot build Malchut; that is, they cannot become similar to the Creator in the full measure. After all the King of Israel is that quality of similarity to the Creator that created beings form within themselves, within their connection.
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From the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/16/22, “Ushpizin David—Sefira Malchut

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Sukkot Holiday: Aaron

294.4The Torah doesn’t really distinguish Aaron. He constantly accompanies Moses as if hiding in his shadow. Moses acts as a link between the Creator and the people, and Aaron stands beside him as his assistant, his brother.

From this story, the role of Aaron is not very clear. But just because it is not clear, it is apparently more hidden, which means that it is closer to a person, to you and me, and related to our work.

Aaron prepares the vessels, the connection of the people with the Creator. Moses comes from above, and Aaron comes from below, from the people, all the qualities of a person, the whole group, and the ten relative to the Creator. And that is why the role of Aaron does not stand out so much because a person has to add his work to it. Moses acts as the representative of the Creator before the people, and Aaron acts as the representative of the people before the Creator.

If I am in the power of the Creator (and there is none else besides Him), then I must always be satisfied, in any state. And if I am dissatisfied with something, it means that I am separated from the Creator. Therefore, I need to get back to the connection with Him, and a sign that I have this connection will be my joy from any state whatever it may be.

The quality of Aaron is the most important quality in a person. The qualities of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses are just preparation from above. And the quality of Aaron is our work from below, which we realize when we reach faith above reason, which is, mercy (Hesed), which is above all, bestowal, which is above any desire to enjoy.

To study the quality of Aaron means to accept him as a guest in our Sukkah. We want his quality to build our soul, the right connection between us. To clothe the quality of Hesed on all your inner qualities, which are called “the people of Israel,” means to do the work of Aaron, to adopt his quality on yourself, on all your desire to enjoy.
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From the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/7/20, “Sukkot

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Moses—Leader of Faith above Reason

224The fourth day of Sukkot is dedicated to the guest of honor (Ushpizin) Moses, the revelation of correction in the Sefira Netzach. There is no greater and closer person to us than Moses who brought the method of revealing the Creator and connection between the Creator and the created beings closer to us. That is why Moses is so dear and so important to us.

Moses is called the faithful shepherd. This is not just the force of faith or the force of overcoming but the force of care for the created beings on the part of the Creator that helps bring them to the final correction. Therefore, the entire Torah, which is intended to bring created beings into contact with the Creator, is called the Torah of Moses. This is his main concern, main work, and main purpose.

When we speak about Moses, we do not mean the physical person, but a symbol, a special quality, and the most important thing for us in accordance with the Creator’s program of governing the world. Therefore, it is so important for us to understand this quality and come closer to it.

Moses is like a shepherd accompanying the flock, a guide helping his people move correctly and confidently toward the goal. The common force that takes care of us, protects, guards, and consistently leads us to the goal with love and attention is the force of Moses, which is warm, loving, and caring.

All these forces that envelop us and pull us toward the purpose of creation are called the Torah. This is the upper light that comes to us, clothes in us, and fills each and every one of us together, like a shepherd who gathers his flock and leads it home.

The shepherd has a special mission to take the flock out of the house, bring it to a relatively dangerous place, and return it home in the evening. Due to the work of the shepherd, the herds are nurtured, grow, and multiply. The “faithful shepherd” is a leader of faith because every time his wards move away from home and then return home, thanks to these exits and returns, they gain more and more spiritual strength, more strength of faith that Moses cultivates in them.

Therefore, we need to see ourselves as such a congregation, ready to follow the force of Moses, which takes care of us. As a result of this, we are straightening up day by day and are getting filled with the force of faith above reason. This is the main thing we need, and we can acquire this faith mainly thanks to Moses.
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From the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/13/22, “Ushpizin Moses – Sefira Netzach

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Sukkot Holiday: Joseph

509Joseph is called the righteous, and the righteous is the foundation of the world. It is Joseph who leads a person inside his egoism and establishes his connection with Pharaoh. Then, with the help of Joseph, a person connects with higher qualities such as Moses.

Through Joseph we begin to get acquainted with the upper system, and thanks to him we can connect and try to find spiritual qualities in order to come closer to the upper force and attain the Creator. Every spiritual quality is attained through Joseph, through the Sefira Yesod, and through our connection.

Joseph is righteous, the foundation of the world, because only through connection, through Yesod, do we attain all other upper spiritual qualities. In our work Joseph is the most necessary and closest feeling to us, a connection in a group. Through the point of connection, we begin to recognize the quality of Joseph.

The Torah tells how the brothers sell Joseph into slavery. They do not understand this quality yet because they are higher than him and are not yet familiar with the quality of Joseph. They consider Joseph a younger brother and do not agree that he should stand out.

The main thing about Joseph is that he brings us to connection. Joseph does not have his own individual quality; he combines all other qualities in his yearning for connection, and through it, to the Creator. Joseph is a common quality in which all the other brothers are included, and they are clarified due to the growing will to receive, that is, Pharaoh.

Therefore, from the quality of Joseph, from Yesod, comes sustenance, the force of life, and the force of attainment. The revelation of the Pharaoh also happens through Joseph. At the beginning of the Egyptian slavery, the Pharaoh was kind and it did not feel like slavery at all. On the contrary we developed, and all this with the help of Joseph. Joseph is the beginning of the attainment of good and evil in our whole life, and therefore he is closest to us.

The quality of Joseph is implemented through our connection. He is called “everything” because all the qualities are combined within him and through them connect us with the Creator. Attaining Joseph is attaining unity, the essence of our connection. This is the first step that takes us out of this world and leads to the attainment of the Creator, the upper, spiritual world.

Joseph is like a tree that brings us all the fruits of life. This is a connection with the upper root, from which all good flows into the world. We eat from it; thanks to it we live, breed, and multiply. This is the place of our connection with each other and with the Creator; that is, it is the place of exiting the feeling of this corporeal world and entering the spiritual world. All this is performed through the quality of Joseph, the degree that is closest to us.

It is known that in order to advance at least one step forward, we need to connect into tens. Joseph is called everything because he combines all our qualities together. Each of the ten people has their own qualities that differ from others, but once we rise above ourselves, we can be together. If we rise above our egoistic differences, each of us above his egoism, then we become similar and equal and can connect and complement each other.

We attain this to the extent that we attain the Sefira Yesod, which is called everything. When we rise above our egoism and come to faith above reason, to connection in the ten, we create a new spiritual quality common to all called the Creator. He is born out of the connection between us and says: “You have made Me!”

It turns out that through our connection we have created the Creator; this is how He is revealed with regard to us. The first acquaintance with the Creator, with the upper force, with the upper world, occurs through the quality of Yesod.

Honored guests, Ushpizin, who come to the Sukkah, organize the right environment for us. Joseph is the last in this chain as if instead of Malchut.
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From the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/8/20, “Sukkot

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Everyone Should Have a Place under the Roof of the Sukkah

963.8The Sukkot holiday is about building a screen (Shach) to cover the Sukkah and creating a place for the soul. We restrict and correct our desire to enjoy, and build a screen over it. With this screen that separates us from the Creator, we create a barrier that will not allow us to receive the upper light from Him directly but only through the screen (Shach).

The roof and walls of the Sukkah and its dimensions symbolize the details of our soul, the rules of its construction.

The roof of the Sukkah hides us from the light of the Sun, which symbolizes direct light. The sun shines on everyone equally without any obstacles. In the Sukkah there are four columns and walls, but the main thing is the roof (Shach), which does not let the light of the sun pass directly to a person sitting in the Sukkah. This is the meaning of the Sukkot holiday—building a common Kli.

The roof is constructed from the waste of barn and winery. You can use branches cut from the trees in the garden. They cover the roof so that rays of the Sun cannot shine directly through it into the Sukkah. In fact, we refuse to receive direct light for our own sake.

Therefore, we build the Sukkah together with the group and sit in it together and enjoy our unity and the fact that we can connect and hide from the rays of the Sun, from the direct light, because we built a screen.

Each supports the other in order to protect them from receiving pleasure, which can come directly into the egoistic desire. Therefore, we hide under the screen and unite to help each other stand against all pleasures and temptations that confuse us at any moment, and we are thus saved from egoistic receiving.

Everyone should have a place under the roof of the Sukkah where he or she can eat during all seven days of the Sukkot holiday. But the main thing is to build an inner Sukkah in our desires, meaning, to build a common spiritual Kli and be under a common screen.
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From the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/8/22

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