Entries in the 'Israel Today' Category

“The New President’s Very Important Mission” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “The New President’s Very Important Mission

The new president of the State of Israel, Isaac “Bougie” Herzog, has taken upon himself a very important mission, not only for the State of Israel, but for the Jews all over the world, and indeed for the whole world. In his inauguration speech, on July 7, 2021, he made two very important announcements: First, when speaking about the Israeli society, Herzog addressed the division that has spread throughout Israeli society. Instead of hating those who dispute us, Herzog suggested that were it not for them, we, too, would not develop and grow. In his words, “We must stop seeing the differences between us as an obstacle; they are the source of our strength. Thanks to them, Israeli power is revealed in its full intensity. After all, we would not be who we are without the vast range of human and ideological diversity that has gathered here.” Herzog also added, “I still believe in us. I believe that this is possible. … Let’s choose us, each day anew. We will choose to win together, and not only to win out over each other. We will choose to be kind, to extinguish the fire and the hatred with the Israeli spirit, to be plentiful in our love … to be united…. We will choose to bid farewell to the schism that is destroying us. All of us, together.”

Next, Herzog addressed the plague of antisemitism. He stated, “In my role as President of the State, I undertake to … assist in the battle against antisemitism and hatred of Israel.”

On the surface, there seems to be no connection between the two challenges that Herzog pointed out, namely Jewish unity and Jew-hatred. In truth, however, the two are intertwined, and the latter cannot be solved without first solving the former.

Throughout the ages, our sages have linked between our unity and prosperity, and our division and decline. This Sunday, we commemorated the 9th of the Hebrew month of Av, the date when both Temples were ruined. As every Jew knows, while those Temples were ruined by foreign armies, their success was made possible by our prior Jewish decline from unity into hatred, derision, and finally, mutual self-annihilation.

It is beyond the scope of this short article to cite the countless Jewish sources that speak of the paramount importance of our unity, but I would warmly advise the newly sworn president to refer to them for validity, as they support every word from his speech, which I just quoted above.

As I wrote above, Jewish unity is important not only for the well-being of the Jews; it is important for the entire world. Anyone familiar with the roots of the Jewish people knows that our ancestors came from various nations in ancient Mesopotamia, and were not an organic clan or a tribe that had evolved into a nation. Anyone familiar with our roots also knows that at the foot of Mt. Sinai, we united “as one man with one heart,” and thereby received the onus of being an example of unity. Being able to see our differences as the “source of our strength,” as Herzog put it, is indeed what made us special at that time, and “seeing the differences between us as an obstacle,” as he stated, has caused our downfall every single time.

Here, too, I would warmly advise referring to our own sources for validity. For example, in the portion Aharei Mot, The Book of Zohar writes about our unity, division, and its importance to the world: “‘Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to also sit together.’ These are the friends as they sit together and are not separated from each other. At first, they seem like people at war, wishing to kill one another … then they return to being in brotherly love. …And you, the friends who are here, as you were in fondness and love before, henceforth you will also not part from one another … and by your merit, there will be peace in the world.”

Our sages have always known this to be true and wrote about this throughout our history. Ramchal wrote about it in his commentary on the Torah, the book Kol Mevaser stressed it, too, but perhaps one of the most eloquent writers about the role of Israel in modern times was the great Rav Kook. In Orot HaKodesh, he wrote, “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.”

Indeed, when we rebuild our nation through unity and love, there will be no wars throughout the world, and certainly no antisemitism.

For more on this topic, refer to the book Like a Bundle of Reeds: Why unity and mutual guarantee are today’s call of the hour.

My Thoughts On Twitter 7/13/21

Dr Michael Laitman Twitter

A poll conducted after the Israeli-Palestinian conflict showed that Jews in the USA are against Israel. They think that approval of the ultra-left will save them from pogroms, as was the case when Nazis first came to power in Germany. 100 years later, history is repeating itself!

@WHODirector-General @DrTedros: “The mortality rate is rising again. The #Delta variant is rampant in the world. The #pandemic is not over anywhere. It will take collective action to defeat it.”

My Comment: Nature will bring us, against our will, to the need to unite in order to survive, if we don’t wish to unite on our own! #COVID19

Everything depends only on our aspiration to be united, “Love your neighbor as yourself”
This is the mission of the Israeli #government!
Otherwise we will bring ourselves to exile again.
It says so in all our sources.
This should be the directive for our government!

We have to realize that this land will belong to us only on the condition that we correspond to it, that we strive to be the nation of #Israel, similar to the Creator in the quality of bestowal and love.
Otherwise we will bring ourselves to exile again.

Up to 34% #Jews in the USA think that #Israel is an #apartheid state! Just like in Nazi Germany, they will have to learn the truth through their personal experience…
From Twitter, 7/13/21

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“When I Look At Them I See My Fault” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “When I Look at Them I See My Fault

I look at the state that our nation should be in, “as one man with one heart,” and the state we are actually in—unwilling to recognize each other—and it pains me. When I look at our politicians, I see the state of our nation. Since they represent the people, their relationships reflect the relationships among the people: No one is friendly; no one even bothers to be politically correct.

Look at the Knesset, our parliament, and see where we are: Each with a knife behind the back or in the pocket, very similar to the days preceding the ruin of the Temple. This is what unfounded hatred looks like, and we know where it is leading.

Even worse, when I look at what is happening around the world, at all the hatred that prevails the world over, I know the ruin among them points to the ruin among us. When I see what is happening in Russia, Germany, or Poland, at the yelling and corruption that we see in every government, I see that I am the cause; I am the cause. I don’t look at them and say, “It’s not so bad; we have that, too.” No, I know that I am the reason it is happening to them, and I must be the reason that they will connect “as one man with one heart” through the example that our people should give them.

I have no grievances against anyone but myself. I know that I, and the whole of the Jewish people, can tilt the world for better or for worse through our internal unity or separation. This is what our sages have always told us; this is what our history throughout the centuries has shown us; and only our obstinacy prevents us from recognizing the obvious truth.

“What Will Bring Peace To Israel And The Middle East?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: What will bring peace to Israel and the Middle East?

Peace will come when we realize the method for correcting the human ego, which is running rampant in our day and age.

What does “correcting the ego” mean? It is the shift of our inborn egoistic attitude toward each other and nature, to an opposite altruistic attitude, where we wish to benefit others. Also, our ego’s correction involves feeling how our happiness and fulfillment in life stems from our love, care and contribution to others.

Israel holds the method for correcting the ego. It first realized the method around 4,000 years ago when Abraham led a group of Babylonians, who had a desire to discover the meaning of life and reach peace among the divisions of that time, to a state of the ego’s correction called “love your neighbor as yourself.” It is a state where everyone meshes together in a single connection, through which the positive force dwelling in nature emerges.

Since Abraham’s time, Israel lost contact with the positively-connected state it once had, and largely lost awareness of the method of correction that it once learned and implemented. In place of the connection Israel was supposed to attain at various times, antisemitism emerged as a negative goading force. As a natural phenomenon, the purpose of antisemitism is in order to pressure Israel to wake up to realizing the method of correction that it possesses. When it does so, peace will ensue not only in the Middle East, but in the world at large.

The method of correction has only recently started becoming disclosed in our current era. That is why people the world over have started taking interest in the wisdom of Kabbalah. Several kabbalists have pointed to our era as the one when there would emerge a growing need in humanity for this method, which has the power to reconcile differences, unite us above divisions, and shift the world’s course to a positive direction. A positive direction is one where we prioritize benefiting others over self-benefit, and as a result, discover a state of perfection and peace both in the Middle East and throughout humanity. On the contrary, if Israel fail to wake up to the method of correction that they possess, then antisemitism will continue rising to overblown proportions, and they can expect terrible outcomes. Moreover, the threat of destruction would sweep over the world, as a third or even a fourth world war could become an unfortunate reality.

In essence, what is now happening in the Middle East is the hotbed of a global-scale problem. If we resolve this problem, if Israel wakes up to realize the method of the world’s correction, then it will solve the world’s problems, and peace will also come about in the Middle East.

Based on a Q&A with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman on September 9, 2006. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.

The Coronavirus Is Coming Back

961.2The coronavirus will inevitably return. We did not draw the correct conclusions from the first wave of the pandemic, and the second wave will come. All that we understood from the first wave is that we should stay at home, and if we go out, we should wear a mask and keep distance between us. And of course, this is not enough to correct our state.

Therefore, I initially did not expect the coronavirus to disappear quickly. This was only the first wave and a second would come after it, and it is already happening. Not just a repetition of the wave, but new mutations of the virus from a new source. And closer to winter, I think there will be a third wave.

It is very possible that these waves will come with great frequency, time after time, to teach us that we need to finally do something with ourselves. Otherwise, the virus will disconnect us from the normal life we had before. We will have to change the whole routine of life, the economy, industry, forms of work, child care, and forms of communication and interaction.

The virus affects everything because our whole world is built on the connection between people. The pandemic is striking precisely this connection between us. We will now begin to feel more and more how much of a qualitative disturbance this blockage of connection is. The pandemic does not allow us to communicate even with masks on.

The virus will mutate to such an extent that vaccinations will stop working so that we will start thinking about what should the nature of the vaccination be, what it should do, and how we should prepare ourselves so as to not undergo heavy blows. We need to start getting smarter!

The waves of the pandemic are like the Egyptian plagues that push us to rise above our egoism, to get out from the power of the Pharaoh. Is this the direction of our actions, thoughts, and conversations? Do we realize that the coronavirus is the same plague that the people of Israel experienced in Egypt: blood, frogs, lice, and everything else? We have to go through all this, but in a different form.

You can try to close borders so the virus does not penetrate from the outside, but this will not help because the Creator still implements His upper program. The virus will not disappear and will not leave us, because it has not caused any changes within us so far. And so it will have to beat the people of Israel and the whole world again and again.

Israel can by its internal correction cure itself and the whole world of the pandemic by serving as the medicine for the entire human society. If the Jews start treating each other correctly, the pandemic will disappear all over the world, and all of humanity will be cured.
From KabTV’s “A Conversation with Journalists” 6/24/21

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Masks Are Back

592.02Look what is happening: the Creator is allowing us to almost eliminate the pandemic, but as soon as we breathe a sigh of relief and take off our masks, it suddenly returns with a new force. This is to show us that nothing has gone away, and we have learned nothing from the last wave. Therefore, after a temporary abatement, it returns again.

We needed this respite to distinguish the second blow from the first one and understand that we did nothing. If the pandemic just continued, it would be one blow from which we would learn nothing.

Why were there ten plagues in Egypt? Was one not enough? The Passover Haggadah says that the people of Israel received four hundred blows, one hundred, two hundred, three hundred.

We are at the stage of the final correction when all evil must be revealed. However, in what form it will be revealed depends on us, on our desire to receive the force of correction.

The shortest, ideal way is to turn to the Creator and ask him for the force of connection. We must be connected together as in the corrected system of Adam HaRishon. However, there is no way we can reach such a connection except with the help of the upper force that would influence us and make it possible to connect with each other and all of us together with the Creator.

We have no other choice. Otherwise, we will receive blow after blow. The people of Israel are able to hear this because they have a point in the heart and the heart is the place where this information is received.

The coronavirus binds us. It is like a symbol of our egoistic connection. Therefore, it passes from person to person and manifests itself egoistically in order to eventually teach us how to change the relationships between us.
From KabTV’s “Conversation with the Writers” 6/24/21

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Solution To An Unsolvable Conflict

293Operation “Guardian of the Walls” has ended, which has become another round in the fight against the constant military threat that does not leave Israel for a single day. The operation has helped reduce the threat to some extent, but it cannot eliminate the confrontation from the opposite side, which inevitably escalates again and again and leads to a military confrontation. War has become so familiar that people are bitterly aware that their children will live on this land in incessant wars.

How to get out of this vicious circle? Apparently, this is not possible either at the expense of a military operation, through a state agreement, or by dividing this land: this is for you and this is for us, each nation on a piece of land. There is no solution visible here. And so the conflict feels like a tangle of contradictions that cannot be unraveled.

Finally, we came to this realization and realized that there is no solution. This is not a state conflict or a religious one, but in the essence.

Therefore, it can be solved only at a new stage of understanding of the purpose of creation, the purpose of human existence on earth, different peoples and states, and religions.

This conflict is at the central point of all reality, of all the world, of all humanity. And it is intended to lead us to the question: How to reach the point of balance for everyone, for the entire universe?

It is possible to achieve such balance, but this decision is not in the hands of a person. For this, the participation of two conflicting parties is not enough, a third force is needed, the upper force of nature. If we find out what nature wants from us, we will know how to solve this problem.

The balance is based on the right, good connection between all parts of creation, even the most opposite, and not only between the Jews and Arabs, but as it is said in the prophets that “the wolf will live peacefully next to the lamb.”

And first of all, it is necessary to explain to everyone, both Arabs and Jews, that peace in the world depends on how much people are willing to sacrifice themselves, unite and relate themselves to one upper force. I don’t think it will be difficult to convey this to the Arabs because in essence their upper force and our upper force is the same force.

A person should know only one thing: If we advance, we must reveal the upper force of nature and unite everything around it. Let it be called differently in each nation, but it is always the upper force of nature, just each nation represents it according to its perception. However, we must realize that we are at the mercy of one force, and we must achieve balance, connection, and attain it.

The Creator wants to see everyone on this earth, if they live in such a way that there is no difference between nations, but a good mutual connection between all. The ruler in such a country will be peace, tranquility, and unity, and people will be in power who believe that peace, tranquility, and unity should rule.

The only way out of this conflict is for everyone to understand that no one has any egoistic right to own any part of the globe. The whole human race is on equal terms under the rule of one supreme force whose nature is connection and love, and this is the only God we need to worship.

We can accept it, even though it’s against our nature. Today, a Palestinian child is taught to kill Jews, not to unite with them. How can you come from such radicalism to a place of concessions, connection, and love when they seem far from one another as heaven and earth?

And it is written about this: “Love will cover all crimes.” Where there are the greatest crimes there is a chance to reveal the unity and love if the relation of the person is corrected. Instead of hatred, it is possible to come to love. Love is revealed precisely from hatred, from the polar state.

We will see that it is impossible to continue to exist like this. We find ourselves opposed to the upper force and to the whole of nature in general. The forces of nature require us to replenish and unite between all the opposing forces.

This conflict is at the center of the entire universe, and if we can resolve it here and achieve mutual fulfillment, then peace and tranquility, unity, love, and full abundance will reign throughout the world. We must come to the realization that it is impossible to achieve peace by conventional methods.

The good future of the world depends on everyone understanding what form of connection there should be in the world, and that the mission of the people of Israel is to bring the world to connection. And the role of the world is to put pressure on the people of Israel to push them to unite and pull all the nations of the world with them.

This is a mutual work in which the nations of the world and the people of Israel must help each other. The nations of the world are pushing Israel forward, and Israel continues and opens the way for all nations to rush after them. As it is written in the prophets that the people of Israel should strive for the Creator, and then the nations of the world will carry them on their shoulders so all will ascend to the mountain of the Creator and achieve connection with the upper force.
From “KabTV’s “Look from the Inside” 5/24/21

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“A Needless Conflict Generates Needless Victims” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “A Needless Conflict Generates Needless Victims

The Palestinian-Israeli conflict, or as it was previously known, the Arab-Israeli conflict, is widely considered as the source of all the problems in the Middle-East. Over the past century or so, this conflict has inflicted tens of thousands of casualties on both sides, and tremendous suffering of countless innocent people. The sad thing about it is that the conflict is needless. If the two peoples acted according to their roots, there would be no conflict whatsoever, and the area would be a role model of amity.

In our roots, Jews and Arabs aren’t that far. We both come from the same father, Abraham, who taught us all the same law: the law of mercy and kindness. Abraham taught us that nature consists of one force that moves the stars in the sky and “rules the capital,” as Maimonides put it. Abraham taught us that that force is one of love and giving, and this is why he taught his disciples to love and give, as well, so they would be like nature.

The conflict began once we abandoned the principle of love and giving and gave in to the power of the ego. Once the ego has set in, religions took over where simple love once ruled. Religions thrive on separation and distinction; they set apart Jews, Christians, and Arabs, and then continue to separate them into countless sects and factions. Since the ego wants to be the king, it cannot tolerate connection and bonding. When it cannot be the sole ruler, it finds “flaws” in others, which justify parting from them. This is how new religions form.

It is true that people need traditions and cultures; it is very human and serves positive roles in people’s lives. As such, religion is not at all negative. However, when it drives people away from one another, presents others as enemies simply for wearing a different kind of clothing or for praying to the same force in a different way, then religion becomes a source of conflict and hate, and anything that increases hatred among people is negative.

Despite the apparent deadlock, I see the solution as easy, as long as people do not try to annihilate others or force their ways of life on them. To establish peace, all that people need is to consider that the one force that guides our world is good and does good, and if we want to be close to it, we should try to be likewise.

An approach of love and giving never reproaches or delegitimizes other people. Each one should live according to one’s own culture and tradition. All that we need is to add another layer, a coating of love over our diversity, above our different approaches to life. If we remember that we all have the same father, who wanted us all to have the same things, to attain what he had attained, and spread what he had discovered to the whole world, I think it will be only natural to lead a peaceful and harmonious life here in our tormented piece of land, and leave our bloody history behind, for good.

“The Ten Plagues Of Covid” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “ The Ten Plagues of Covid

In the last week or so, it has become clear that we are in the beginning of the fourth wave of Covid-19 in Israel. We thought we had beaten the virus, and so did much of the world, but once again we’re closing down as the number of new cases quickly rises. Even though about 60 percent of Israel’s population is inoculated, we’re still losing to the virus.

As I have warned countless times before, we’re not sickened by the coronavirus; we’re sickened by hubris and conceit. Self-importance and egoism are sure recipes for disaster, and we are proving it every time we see that Covid cases are declining. What’s more, Covid is not a local or a national problem; it is the problem of the entire world, and unless the entire world is included in the solution, we will not get rid of it. Covid-19 will teach us that we’re in this together, for better or worse, dependent on each other. Unless we think about each other’s health, we ourselves will not be well.

In a sense, I’m happy that Covid is here because it teaches us this mutual responsibility. At the same time, I am equally unhappy about our obstinacy and reluctance to learn, as it is costing us lives, millions of lives. I myself lost friends, students, and some of their family members to the virus. No one is excluded from this bug, which is precisely why it is so effective in teaching us mutual responsibility.

Just as the ten plagues in Egypt ushered a new era in the history of the people of Israel, when they pledged to unite “as one man with one heart,” Covid-19 is ushering the world into the exact same state. Its plagues will grow less and less quantitative, and more and more qualitative, meaning leading us directly toward understanding that without pledging to care for one another, we will not survive.

In the desert, after they fled from Egypt, the Israelites did not willingly accept the pledge for unity. They, too, had to deal with their egos. The Talmud writes (Avoda Zarah 2b) that “The Lord had forced the mountain over Israel like a vault, and said unto them: ‘If you accept the Law [of mutual responsibility], very well, but if not, there will it be your grave.’” Today, it seems as though Covid is taking God’s role in forcing us to make the same pledge. I hope we will not be obstinate much longer since the plagues, we already know, will only grow harsher.

“Is National Identity A Thing Of The Past?” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Is National Identity a Thing of the Past?

In our global village, national identities seem to be blurring. People can live almost anywhere they want, the culture is more or less the same culture everywhere, everyone admires the same mega popstars, the same multibillionaires dictate the global agenda, we feed on the same ideas and aspire for more or less the same things. In such a state, a national identity becomes almost irrelevant.

But when it comes to Israel, the picture is very different: No one wants us to lose our identity, not our neighbors, and not the entire world. Everyone is demanding Israel to be certain things and do certain things, while Israelis only want Israel to be a country among countries, an unassuming member of the family of nations. Yet, everyone is singling us out, usually for condemnation, while we have no idea what it is they want from us.

The problem is not with the world; it is with us. If we knew what the people of Israel are about, we would know why the world is always demanding toward us and what we need to do about it.

Everyone knows that the father of the Jewish nation was Abraham, whose lineage evolved into what we now recognize as Jews. However, although the Midrash wrote about it, Maimonides wrote about it, and countless other sages have mentioned it throughout the ages, we forget that Abraham formed the nation after he looked into reality, realized that the separation that has plagued humankind since its inception is contradictory to nature, and built his group according to the principles of mutual responsibility and kindness embodied in the words “Love your neighbor as yourself.” In this way, he formed a nation that operated in congruence with the rest of nature. Over the years, Abraham’s group had evolved into a nation, and this is how the Jews came to be.

The contradictory manner of connection among people continued to plague them and wreak havoc on humanity. Wars claimed millions of lives, and famine, abuse, and oppression were the norm. At the same time, the Jews, the descendants of Abraham’s group, developed a society based on mutual responsibility and love, and thrived despite countless attempts to destroy it. The world realized that the Jews had found the way to unity and wanted it, too. The Jews, too, felt that it was their onus to be “a light unto nations,” to set an example of unity for the rest of the world. As a result, whenever the Jews fell prey to division, the nations hated them, since they had no example to follow, and when Jews united, the world praised and admired them.

The onus on the Jews to exemplify unity is the reason that the nations do not let us forget who we are, blend among them, and vanish. This onus is also why we do want to blend and vanish, since we do not want to unite, and certainly not to be anyone’s model of unity.

But the world will not let us disappear. Our unique identity, which stems from our unique duty, has no expiration date. The more the world falls into enmity, the more it will blame us for it. It will not tell us that it is accusing us of not setting an example, but when we do it, we will see that we are welcome. As long as we do not set an example, nothing that we do will help us ease their anger. The more we turn away from each other and cater to the nations, attempting to appease them, the more they will hate us and despise us. The more we turn to each other and strive to unite above our hatred, the more they will praise us. This has been, is, and always will be the one rule dominating the fate of the Jewish people.