Entries in the 'Humor' Category

The Diagnosis Of Bialik

One of the leading Russian news sites in Israel, Zahav.ru, published this article by my student.


“The Diagnosis of Bialik”

“Scholarly Jews who were present in the early days of the state of Israel shaped the goal which identified the main problem it faces. Nevertheless, this didn’t prevent us from continuing to postpone the solution for a later time.

“Tel Aviv, Balfour Street, the year 1934. The last speech of Chaim Nachman Bialik. Soon he will travel to Vienna for an operation and return from there in a coffin. What did he talk about? About the division and the hatred that is destroying us from within: ‘How did we greet our brothers fleeing from war? We raised the price of housing and took their last pennies from them…the glitter of the Satanic gold blinded our eyes. We boasted the shine of the devilish gold blinds our eyes. We took pride in our initiative and prosperity, but in fact this was an empty speculative commotion.’

“What concerned Bialik was not the external threats, not problems with the authorities, but the root of all the troubles of the people—losing themselves in the twisting road of history. For hundreds of years they tried ‘to be like everyone else,’ conforming to the external standards. And even on their own land they continued in the same direction of assimilation—not physically, but ideologically and according to values.

“To this very day we have insisted upon imitating the ‘enlightened’ part of humanity, and are convinced that this is the only right way. But is it not here that our essential error lies because of which we haven’t attained true peace, not with our neighbors and not with ourselves?

“The conclusion of Bialik is prophetic and relevant for our times: ‘The main symptom of the disease is a terrible lack of internal unity, factional conflict and unfounded hatred that is tearing us apart.’

“Since the time that we fought for our independence, for our right to live in this land, we have not stopped quarreling between us and we even murder each other on the basis of factional disputes, as in the case of the ‘Altalena.’ We don’t miss an opportunity to warm our hands on the troubles of our brothers. Imagine the development of events in the case of a great new immigration, say from the Ukraine or from France and Belgium. I’m sure you’ve said this before—raise the price of housing!

“So what has changed? Nothing. It makes no difference that now laws are accepted in the Knesset of Israel and not by the Mandate government—we still remain in spiritual exile, on the outskirts of the land to which we should have returned differently, not just physically.

“It wasn’t only Bialik who indicated that separation is the main problem of the Jewish people and unity is the key to prosperity. Bialik, the famous poet, often visited a modest house in the old neighborhood of Tel Aviv, Neve Tzedek, at 21 Brotherhood Street, where Abraham Kook, the first Chief Rabbi of Israel, lived. In the 60 years since the nation of Israel was born, specifically he has been recognized by the entire nation as the person who has had the greatest influence on Judaism. One line below his would be—the name David Ben-Gurion. Nevertheless this recognition has remained as merely a formality, as a memorial to Rav Kook. After all, we haven’t listened to his message from the last century.

“And Abraham Kook spoke and shouted that we lacked cohesion and an understanding of our role in history. He saw the immigration to Israel as a basis for the revival of the nation and unity as a unifying platform for self-realization. Nevertheless, many in the religious sector hated Rav Kook because of his commitment to Zionism, and the secular, on the contrary, hated him because of his faith. In the Autumn of 1913, together with a group of Zionist Rabbis, Rav Kook entered the dining hall of Kibbutz Merhaviah, and immediately silence pervaded the room.

“Many suspicious glances stared at the strange guests, and one of the settlers shouted: ‘Don’t waste your words and energy, you will not find even one here who will join you!’ Rav Kook approached him and said: ‘We have come not to be joined but to join.’

“Over the course of hundreds of years we have lost the ability to appreciate our sages. Maybe Kook, like Bialik, appeared before his time, and remains as a believer in a utopia that is not understood, though in fact he didn’t talk about anything utopian. Today, when before our eyes we differentiate between people from different nations, cultivating enmity and hatred between them and do this with understanding, unity seems like a very logical solution and even a necessity.

“But the word ‘logic’ is not written on our flag. The Gallup center recently arranged a global survey about problems that concern people. 70 thousand people from 65 nations indicated their problems —’crying’ about corruption (21% in contrast to 15% in the previous year), economic difficulties (14%) poverty and inequality (12%). In brief these are problems that are recognized and understood in Israel. But these are the results. And there is one cause—isolation, apathy, mutual distance in heart and mind.

“Why doesn’t anyone complain about this? Maybe people are simply confused by the media? But we already know the answer that was heard not long ago and hasn’t lost its relevance.

“How is it possible to reach us? Even the Holocaust didn’t cause the people to think again about their fate.

“’I already let my essential considerations be heard in the year 1933. In addition to this, I spoke with the leaders of the generation, and my words weren’t accepted then, even though I shouted loudly and warned about the collapse of the world, but this didn’t make an impression….’ —that is what a close friend of Abraham Kook wrote, the Kabbalist Yehudah Ashlag. He shouted not only here, but in Poland too, from which he tried to bring out 300 families before the Second World War. Everything was ready, and nobody interfered, except…the Jewish leadership that banished Ashlag and really drove him away to Palestine, making it impossible for him to realize his plan. Needless to say, both those leaders and the families that he enlisted perished in the Holocaust.

“Isn’t all of this enough for us to draw conclusions? For us it is not enough.

“’The son of Ashlag came to me,’ writes Ben-Gurion in his diary in the year 1958, ‘I told him about my meetings with his father, when I wanted to talk with him about Kabbalah and he wanted to talk with me about Socialism…,’ that’s all.

“Smart, knowledgeable, caring people unanimously indicated the essence of the problems, the systemic social defect that impeded the nation from the start, but their voice has been swallowed in the cacophony of mutual accusations and recriminations, in minute disputes with great implications. If even a person possessing stature like Ben-Gurion didn’t comprehend, didn’t absorb, the message that was so clear to the members of his generation, it is not surprising that we still suffer from the same malady.

“The diagnosis of Bialik is correct: in our land we are strangers to each other to a great degree. Israel is split, divided into sectors, and confused by a greedy gaze at a golden calf clothed in the honorable clothing of liberal values.

“Are we the only democracy in the Middle East? Yes. But democracy is sick, lacking warmth in the normal relationships between people. So has the time come to recover from the illness? ‘Our Tel Aviv is sick,’ said Bialik, ‘And I bless you and myself for us to merit to see signs of recovery after I return.’ Sometimes hope lives longer than the person himself and passes on to his descendants, so that they will realize it in spite of everything.”

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Pesach And The Night Of The Exodus

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe beginning of this post is in: Passover Is A Reminder Of The Future

The maturation of the attribute of Moses in a person and in the nation leads us to a direct confrontation with Pharaoh. The Torah describes these states as the ten plagues of Egypt, the ten plagues of the ego, with the demand: “Let my people go.” They develop on the background of powerlessness and, at the same time, a desperate need to break free.

The Haggadah tells us about this internal night: “How is this night different from all the other nights?” In Egypt we had to exit the quagmire of self-love and we turn and move quickly upward without any power to unite as yet but with the power to escape.

Everyone tries to escape the persecutions, the internal disputes and conflicts. Thus we find ourselves further away from Egypt until we reach Mt. Sinai where we can complete what we have started.

This is how Pharaoh, the ego, pushes us to a new level of love. Eventually, all of humanity will have to rise to this level, but we are the first to do so. It is the lab of the Jewish nation, an essential phase in its formation.

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Kings And Jokers

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: In my environment, it is customary to tell jokes in order to create a relaxed atmosphere. But what should I do if by nature I don’t like jokes?

Answer: Jokes promote mutual incorporation with each other. Only they must be clever jokes, full of subtle humor.

For example, in the court of every king  there was a joker. He was even allowed to do whatever he pleased, even to mock the king. Anyone else would have had his head cut off for doing so, but not the joker. Although the kings were very serious, determined men, they still kept a joker by their side. Why did they need a joker?

The point is that people who were crowned to be kings were above everyone else around them. So who could influence them? In those days, it was actually the joker who could raise the king’s spirits and thus help him deal with many problems.

If something unpleasant happened or there were certain troubles, the joker would begin to entertain the king and the king would relax and begin to think differently about what was going on. These are very deep and important points.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” 10/21/14

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Do You Believe In Life After Birth?

Dr. Michael LaitmanA joke I received:

In the belly of a pregnant woman, two babies are having a conversation. One of them is a believer and the other is an atheist.

The Atheist: Do you believe in life after birth?

The Believer: Of course I do. Everybody knows there is life after birth. We are here in order to grow strong enough and prepared for what awaits us after it.

The Atheist: Nonsense! There can’t be life after birth! Can you imagine how this life would be?

The Believer: I don’t know all the details, but I believe there’s more light, and maybe we will walk and feed ourselves there.

The Atheist: Rubbish! It’s impossible to walk and feed ourselves! Ridiculous! We have the umbilical cord that feeds us. I just want to point this out to you: Life after birth can’t exist because our life, the cord, is already too short.

The Believer: I am sure it’s possible. It will be just a little different. I can envision it.

The Atheist: But there is nobody who has ever returned from it! Life simply ends with birth. And frankly, life is just one big suffering in the dark.

The Believer: No, no! I don’t know how life after birth will be exactly, but in any case, we will meet our mother and she will take care of us!

The Atheist: Mother? You think we have a mother? So, where is she then?

The Believer: She is everywhere around us, and we are in her! We move because of her and thanks to her, we move and live! Without her, we wouldn’t exist.

The Atheist: Baloney! I haven’t seen any such mother; hence, there is none.

The Believer: I can’t agree with you. In fact, sometimes, when everything calms down, we can hear her sing and feel how she caresses our world. I strongly believe that our real life will begin only after birth.

And what about you, dear reader?

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The Kind Of Question, The Kind Of Answer…

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Where was Adam when the serpent was tempting Eve? If he were by her side at that moment, he might have chased the serpent away or have protected Eve from it by asking her not to listen to the evil “seducer.”

Answer: He veered off to the left, to the serpent’s wife.

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Kabbalah With A Smile

Dr. Michael LaitmanPeople are starting to make jokes about Kabbalah:

A man sits and weeps. Seeing his grief, a friend asks, “What’s this all about?”
“That’s it, my goose is cooked. A fortune teller said I have one month to live. It’s destiny, she said. Nothing can be done about it.”
“That’s if you do nothing, but if you study Kabbalah, you can control your destiny.”
“And you seriously expect me to believe this baloney?”

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Sex Discrimination Continues In Hell, Vatican Says

soul-and-bodyIn the News (from The Times Online): Sex discrimination is destined to continue in the scorching fires of Hell, according to a study approved by the Vatican.

The men, it seems, are the ones whose souls end up being pelted with fire and brimstone, while the women’s souls are more likely to be broken on a wheel… Men are likely to have indulged in lust and gluttony [whereas] women are primarily occupied with pride, envy and anger.

My Comment: Now I’m really scared: I’ve been touched by a breath of everlasting darkness, cold and stale like a cellar, and I was overcome by fear… But then I thought: “Monsignor, I beg your pardon, but doesn’t anyone go to heaven?”

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What Do Kabbalists See? (And What Do They Eat?)

The intention of attaining the Creator does not conflict with careerThree questions I received on the experience of being a Kabbalist:

Question: People come to you asking about what to change their name to, couples asking if they should get married and what to name their babies. How do you know what to answer them?

My Answer: I do not have any supernatural abilities. I give advice as a person with lots of life experience, and I may be wrong.

My recommendations hold no mystical spells or powers. In fact, no one has such powers! People such as Wolf Messing have a natural ability to see our world and to see the future; however, none of these “psychics” are Kabbalists. They’re only able to sense our world better than other people, but not the Upper World.

I’m a Kabbalist – I see the Upper World and the path leading to it. During our Kabbalah studies, to the degree we aspire toward correction, we evoke the Upper Light – the Creator’s force of love and bestowal, which corrects us. Even the beginners, who don’t yet have the qualities to clearly sense the Light, can feel this force and its influence during the studies.

However, in all other respects, I am just like everyone else.

Question: Do Kabbalists eat meat?

My Answer: They always have.

Question: Is Rav Laitman a Kabbalist?

My Answer: I don’t know, but he eats meat!

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Who Believes In God?

The Moral Norms of a KabbalistA Parable: Once upon a time, in a small American town, a businessman decided to open a bar. The problem was that the bar was on the same street as a church. Obviously, the church officials weren’t happy about this, and at every sermon they called upon the citizens to protest the opening of the bar and to pray for God to punish the immoral businessman.

The day before the bar’s Grand Opening, there was a tremendous thunderstorm. Suddenly, lightning struck the bar and it burned to the ground.

The church officials rejoiced, but their festivities did not last long because the bar owner sued them, demanding a compensation for his loss. Of course, the church officials denied any responsibility for the matter.

After hearing out both sides, the judge noted: “Based on the evidence, it appears that the bar owner believes in the power of a prayer, but the church officials do not!”

A Connection Through the Times

There are two engines on the the “Kennedy” spacecraft, each engine five-feet wide. The spacecraft engineers wanted to make the engines wider, but couldn’t. That’s because the engines were delivered by railroad, and the distance between the rails was only five feet (or rather, four feet 8.5 inches). Why?

It’s because the American-made railroad was modeled after the British model, and in Great Britain the railroad was modeled after the trolleys, and the trolleys were modeled after horse-trams, and the width of the horse-trams was specifically made so the wheels would fall into tracks, and the distance between the tracks in Great Britain is five feet.

And that’s because the roads in Great Britain were paved by the Romans to fit the size of their military chariots, which were five feet wide. And that’s because the chariots were led by two horses and this was the width of two horses’ behinds!

So the size of the spacecraft’s engines depends on the size of a horse’s behind 2,000 years ago!

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