Entries in the 'Israel Today' Category

“Why Israel Needs To Center Its Discourse On The Need For Unified Leadership” (Times Of Israel)

The Times of Israel published my new article “Why Israel Needs to Center Its Discourse on the Need for Unified Leadership

On the aftermath of the third round of elections to elect members of the 23rd Knesset, we need to center our discourse on the need for unified leadership in Israel.

Ultimately, Israel needs a unity government that focuses on unifying above all differing voices and opinions.

The need to unite above our differences is a tendency of utmost importance not only to the government, but to society at large.

If the government could provide a unifying example, especially when faced with a situation that appears as its direct opposite, then such unification would have the power to transmit positive forces of connection dwelling in nature through to Israeli society, as well as to humanity at large.

Why and how this works depends on understanding the role of the people of Israel.

A Unified Leadership Should Assemble the Nation’s Leaders with a Common Unifying Responsibility

As the Hebrew word for “Knesset,” the name of the Israeli parliament, is the same as the word for “assembly,” then the government should indeed assemble the nation’s leaders with a common responsibility toward spreading unity in the nation.

A sense of responsibility toward bringing about unity in the nation should override the leaders’ urges to curse each other and put spokes in each other’s wheels.

There thus needs to be constant dialogue around the topic of how to bring about unity to the people of Israel.

Why Should We Be So Concerned about Unity of the People of Israel?

The current divisive atmosphere in the Knesset is one of many examples we witness around the world, where we see a clear need for more social cohesion, mutual consideration and respect among human society.

Without more connection among human society, and Israeli society in particular, we will let ourselves get carried down a miserable path.

We’re on that path now. And while humanity accumulates more and more blows on personal, social, global and ecological scales, more and more people will subconsciously feel that the people of Israel are to blame for their misfortunes. Likewise, we see the rise of anti-Semitic sentiment, crimes and threats together with the rise of many other problems in the world.

Why Do So Many People Feel Dependent on the People of Israel?

It is due to the original ideological root of the nation of Israel, unity above division, or as it is written, “love will cover all transgressions,” that so many people hold an innate expectation on the people of Israel to unite, and not remain as a divisive example, which is currently the case.

Until we start acknowledging our role to unite above our differences in order to spread a unifying tendency to humanity, we then have no idea as to what being “the people of Israel” means.

What Does It Mean to Be “the People of Israel”?

Being the people of Israel means being a positive example of a unified people above differences.

We are a nation that needs to function in order to correct itself, i.e., to positively connect, and also to pass that unifying ability to the world. Our current behavior, however, is far from being a positive example of unity to the world.

The Uniqueness of Our Time in History

We need only turn our head a little to the side, and see how we are not on a one-way track, but at a crossroad.

Our time in history is fundamentally different to all others in that we have a connection method available at our fingertips, ready to guide our way forward to a harmonious, eternal and perfect existence, here and now in our world.

Today, we no longer need to unwillingly accept what the world throws at us. We can instead be a free nation, leading ourselves and the world in a positive direction of increasing unification above all differences.

The complex divisive entanglement we find ourselves in today shows us how if we can overcome such differences, we would indeed be a shining example of what the world needs most: unity above division.

By uniting above our differences, we become “a light unto the nations,” the role that made us a unified nation to begin with (the Hebrew word for “Jew” [Yehudi] comes from the word for “united” [yihudi] [Yaarot Devash, Part 2, Drush no. 2]).

Through our unification, we pave the way to a future of goodness, happiness, freedom, peace and love for humanity, balancing our connections with nature’s connected form.

Unity above division will save us from more of nature’s blows. Also, in addition to cushioning us pleasantly within nature, unity above our differences creates a necessary natural balance that lets us experience nature in a pure and harmonious way. Since we enter nature above the human ego that shatters and divides the sensation of nature’s wholeness, we then discover a completely new unified, eternal and perfect reality, all while alive in our world.

Therefore, society’s sheer need for unity today should be enough to make us prioritize the discourse of the need for a unified leadership, which aims at positive unification of the whole of human society above today’s blazing social and political divisions.
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Development Of Egoism And The Method Of Connection, Part 2

Laitman_115.05Babylonian Period of Development of Egoism

In ancient Babylon, people lived in harmony with each other, worked, and enjoyed life. Suddenly their egoism began to work so that they started to envy, steal from, kill, subjugate, and compete with each other. As a result of the growth of egoism, they began to hate each other so much that they did not even know what to do next.

Abraham, as the spiritual teacher of the Babylonians, investigated this phenomenon and discovered what was wrong. He believed that it was necessary to transform people, to change them because his role as a priest was to educate them.

He propagated this method in his speeches and spread it among the inhabitants of Babylon. However, people disagreed with him because no one wanted to change themselves, everyone wanted to get what they wanted. No one wanted to do what they disliked. Abraham began to feel that not only the population of Babylon was against him, but also king Nimrod himself, the Babylonian monarch.

In principle, Nimrod was not a harsh king. At that time, the system of communal dormitories flourished. However, when there was an outburst of egoism in Babylon, it required a different force, a tougher hand. Nimrod became the first king in whom a desire to rule completely was awakened.

Comment: In addition, in Ancient Babylon, people had one language; they understood each other and were like one family. However, after the surge of egoism, a strong separation began to appear between them.

My Response: In principle, egoism had been developing since the time of Adam. However, back then it was on an individual level, and in Babylon it became public.
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From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah,” 7/1/19

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Long Way To The Temple, Part 2
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Development Of Egoism And The Method Of Connection, Part 1

115.06Egoism as a Destroyer of Society

Question: The great Kabbalist of the Middle Ages Ramchal (Rav Moshe Chaim Lozzatto) wrote, “There is no other creation that can do harm like man. He can sin and rebel, and the inclination of a man’s heart is evil from his youth, which is not so with any other creature.” (Daat Tevunot, 154, 165)

This speaks about the growth of egoism. What is this quality that was revealed even in those times?

Answer: Usually a desire to enjoy, to be filled, to provide for oneself is manifested in people. It is the same as in animals, only in a more expanded form.

But if animals have mutual rejection to ensure security and safety, and  the desire to provide themselves with necessities, this is their instinctive urge; a person has no limit to his huge egoistic desire to absorb everything, to capture, and to subjugate.

Even if a person does not need this, the quality of envy does not release any person in the course of their development from the desire to absorb everything, to pick up everything and add it to oneself. This is earthly egoism. There are higher manifestations, but this earthly egoism exists in everyone.

Therefore, human egoism is not as instinctive as that in animals which moves them so that they would maintain themselves in a normal, natural state. The person’s egoism pushes him to do everything, and wants to suppress and subdue everything.

We do not call the desires of animals “egoism” because they kill and eat their own kind only when they are hungry. In a person, however, this manifests beyond all of his animalistic needs.

From one generation to the next, human egoism grows unlike that of the animals. Therefore, it comes to a state where it is no longer possible to do anything with the ego, which begins to destroy the connections between people in society, and even in families. Egoism becomes vicious, not an engine that moves us forward, but a destroyer, as it initially was in ancient Babylon.
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From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah,” 7/1/19

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“Would A Liberal, Progressive Iran Be Better For Israel?” (Newsmax)

My article in Newsmax: “Would a Liberal, Progressive Iran Be Better for Israel?

Could a more liberal and progressive Iranian rule or neutralized Iranian threat bring peace to Israel in the Mideast?

A popular leaked video shows an anti-regime demonstration where a group of protesting students in Iran carefully avoided stepping on United States and Israeli flags on the ground as they walked by, suggesting their different views to their rulers.

Besides this video, the world has trouble peeking into the populist revolt brewing in the heart of the Islamic Republic, because the Iranian regime blocks access to various networks, and churns out deceptive media.

However, the Iranian economy in crisis, rising unemployment, declining morale, and rebellion of the younger generation, become increasingly apparent. Iran’s youth flood the streets in protest over their economic situation and the rule of Ayatollah Khamenei.

The Untapped Potential of Iran’s Youth

30 years ago, I was in contact with a number of Iranians.

I was impressed by their intelligence, sensitivity, wide-ranging education, and their attraction to enlightenment, culture, science, literature, music — everything marking progress and development.

When Ali Hosseini Khamenei assumed the position of Grand Ayatollah, he took for granted that the younger generation would submit to the same draconian rule that has been dished out since 1979, especially since such rule is the only kind that they would be raised with.

However, such rule fails to take into account the global nature of our world with its ease of access to information, and the extent of the younger generation’s awareness of its restrictive conditions compared to the rest of the world.

Young Iranians, who feel that they host immense unrealized potential, have become envious and inspired by Westerners, wanting similar kinds of opportunities.

Not markedly religious and certainly not extremists, they realize that they could find success in any field given the chance.

Therefore, they harbor a lot of pent-up energy with which to come out and demand change.

They disagree with the billions of dollars being spent on weaponry while seeing no hatred or enemy threat from the West, questioning why they should suffer because of the ruling faction’s unrealistic aspiration to control half of the world, which falls short year after year. As they see an increasing number of civilians being killed, as well as tightening sanctions on the country, they see a bleak future.

Where Is Israel in This Picture?

If the protesters were granted their wish, a more liberal and progressive Iran, would the Iranian threats on Israel also become old news?

No. There would still be no meaningful change in the Mideast.

According to the wisdom of “Kabbalah,” reality consists of multiple layers. At the deepest layer we are all inextricably linked together, in our every thought and desire. Furthermore, the people of Israel, as written in “The Zohar,” have a non-negotiable role to play in this network.

The balance of forces in the world rests upon the people of Israel, on whether or not we perform our role: uniting with each other in order to pass the unifying tendency onto the rest of the world. Our unification has the power to open the door to a harmonious reality in the Middle East and the world. In other words, as is written about our role, we must become “a light unto the nations,” and until we do, we will find no peace.

When we unite above the naturally-surfacing divisive tendencies, we draw a positive force dwelling in nature, called “light” in the language of Kabbalah. A peaceful, safe, calm, happy and loving global atmosphere needs such light, a radiating positive energy fueling a willful joint effort to unite above division. Without it, no regime change will help.

When divided, we provoke a negative force. It severs our positive ties and makes us agree to divisive ideas and opinions. The more we continue letting our divisive drives surface, the stronger the hatred grows against us, haunting us with portrayals like the Iranian nuclear threat.

In the meantime, the Iranian threat, together with other anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli expressions running rampant in today’s world, are necessary to ensure that we do not become complacent and indifferent, and instead actively seek a solution to the growing discomfort. In other words, the intensifying negativity toward us from the world forces us to face questions about our identity, responsibility, and what we need to change.

Jewish unity is the answer.

There is untapped potential in our unity that would bring about nothing less than a perfect life for everybody — the Iranians and ourselves included. I thus hope that we start waking up to the call for our unity sooner rather than later, and by so doing, spare ourselves and the world much suffering.
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“The Cause And Solution To Israel’s Poverty According To Kabbalah” (Times Of Israel)

The Times of Israel published my new article “The Cause and Solution to Israel’s Poverty according to Kabbalah

Nearly one-third of Israel’s children and nearly one-fifth of Israel’s elderly are in poverty, according to a recent poverty report by Israel’s National Insurance Institute. When the country’s citizens make no effort to strive for a warm, family-like sensation, they let a high tension atmosphere develop that chokes its citizens from one day to the next. Such relations give rise to a country with great wealth and amassing poverty.

The Cause of Poverty: Not Sensing Each Other as Members of a Single Family

Israel’s “rich country, poor citizens” state is bigger than merely an economic situation, and thus cannot be solved at the economic level alone. It requires the implementation of connection-enriching programs through its education and media systems, regularly explaining how all Israeli citizens are members of a single family, and which aims to pass a family-like sensation among everyone.

It might sound like a socialist idea, but it’s not. We saw such examples in history, and they all failed. The reason was because they did not to take nature’s laws into account.

The laws of nature are integral laws of interconnectedness and interdependence. They guide us toward more and more connection, and in our times, the connections we need to form are at the level of our attitudes to each other: that we develop a feeling toward strangers as if they are members of our own family. By aligning our attitudes to each other accordingly, we guarantee ourselves a harmonious future.

2 Steps to Solve Poverty: Disagree With Division and Promote Connection

The first step toward a change of attitude to each other is disagreeing with our present separation. Social division is the principle cause of poverty, and our disagreement with this situation makes room for a new desire to appear—a desire to change our relationships so that we feel ourselves connected like members of a single family.

By activating and encouraging the desire for family-like connection to spread among society via educational and promotional means, we would then start seeing the erasure of our emotional remoteness, and likewise, its symptoms of poverty.

The Kabbalistic Explanation as to Why There’s a Growing Gap between Rich and Poor

According to the wisdom of Kabbalah, the state of imbalance between rich and poor takes place due to an imbalance between Ohr Hochma (light of wisdom) and Ohr Hassadim (light of mercy), i.e., when there is a lot of Ohr Hochma and only a little Ohr Hassadim.

What are these two lights in relation to this current situation? Ohr Hochma signifies spiritual abundance and wealth, while Ohr Hassadim expresses the desire to give that abundance and wealth. Ohr Hassadim is a condition that prevents the desire to keep receiving more and more for personal benefit to imbalance our systems. In other words, Ohr Hassadim can be thought of as a regulating device that warms the heart, which otherwise becomes continually colder in an encasement of egoism without such conditioning. Therefore, when we apply Ohr Hassadim upon our instinctive desire to devour everything for self-benefit, we build a new sense, a tool that gives us the ability to receive the Ohr Hochma in a balanced manner. In this way, we can have a country where all its citizens experience spiritual abundance and wealth. Without such a regulator, we then continually head in an egoistic direction and bear witness to the “rich country, poor citizens” situation we are in today.

Moreover, without the Ohr Hassadim regulator that aims to give the abundance to others in society, then not only the poor citizens feel as if they are deficient, but also the rich feel a constant lack. More wealth is never perceived as enough wealth, and thus they continually seek how to increasingly fulfill themselves. This is how the pressure of the Ohr Hochma is felt. When we aim to receive for self-benefit alone, then pleasures we receive ultimately encounter an empty space within us, like a black hole that extinguishes any self-aimed pleasure we absorb.

Therefore, whether or not we have a little or a lot depends on our attitudes to each other.

Abundance Reaches Everyone When Society Becomes as a Single Family

We can organize our relationships in order to create an abundance that fills the space between us. When we open ourselves up to others, we become conductors of that abundance, like hubs and nodes in a network that pass signals to each other, and then our lives becomes rich and diverse.

Therefore, the more the idea of our need to connect as a single family upon our innate division spreads among society, both rich and poor, then the more we will find that there is plenty to go around for everyone.
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“Beyond Statistics: A Way Out Of The Wave Of Violence Against Women In Israel” (Times Of Israel)

The Times of Israel published my new article “Beyond Statistics: A Way Out of the Wave of Violence Against Women in Israel

Globally, almost 4 in 10 murders of women are committed by a male intimate partner, and Israel is no exception. In the last few days, crimes against women at the hands of their sentimental partners have shaken Israeli society, which is wondering how could it be that women are safer in the streets than in their homes? Without a deep scrutiny of the causes of such a phenomenon, people can just wait until the next victim is added to the list of domestic violence fatalities.

Recently, Esti, 70, was shot at her home in Talmei Eliahu, Southern Israel. The alleged killer, her husband, is an Israeli doctor who worked at John Hopkins and Sinai Baltimore hospitals in the US and volunteered in multiple international charities. Similarly, Maria, 29, was found lifeless in her home at Kiryat Bialik, in the northern part of the country. Michal, 32, a mother of an eight-month-old baby girl, was found stabbed in her home in Moshav Beit Zayit in Jerusalem.

What do all these cases have in common? It is that they were allegedly killed by their husbands. The list of the women murdered this week joins the names of Dianna, Susan, Lily, Zinav, Vivian and nine other women murdered since the beginning of this year. Additionally, 21 women were killed in 2018 and 14 killed two years ago. The list of victims gets longer every year. The reasons for the murders may vary, but at their root is one essential reason: egoism, the human desire to enjoy harming and humiliating others in order to feel superior. The more the ego grows, the greater the satisfaction to exploit and take advantage of others for personal gain.

Our egoistic nature has overblown to colossal proportions over the generations and continues growing at every moment. The ego doesn’t let us consider other people. It creates a barrier between our inner world and society, gradually paralyzing our healthy common sense and emotions. When the malicious ego bubbles inside an entire society, shutting us off from each other to deal with our own concerns and be left alone, it is only a matter of time before it will explode.

People with weak mental stability, or people influenced by violent content in the media or by domestic violence experienced during their upbringing, will be the first to tear down the thin veil that shrouds “sane society.” When the pervasive tension increases, when the spirit in society projects extremism and promotes polarization, when the discourse becomes aggressive and raging, the frustration felt by a person breaks an inner balance, explodes in an instant, and those closest to such a person commonly get the brunt of the blow. Therefore, we need to understand how murderers are not solely responsible for their crimes. They are largely the result of the violent atmosphere permeating the environment.

The world out there in the street, on television, and in social media molds our consciousness more than those with whom we share the same roof. The artificial and staged examples of relationships supplied by the media, fed to us by greedy executives who prioritize their own profit margins over society’s benefit, are opposite to natural relationships and the daily reality.

The defective content that aims to shock and get ratings undermines our opinions and, whether or not we pay attention to it, we act in our relationships as if we were momentary actors. When we find ourselves in stormy situations with people who live in the same home, although we are capable of honestly and directly expressing our inner truth, society’s influences are stronger, causing us to alter our natural behavior. Without a choice, we adopt and imitate the behaviors of characters we saw on the Internet, the TV or at the movies. This is the most evident sign that we have lost direction.

We cannot censure the content in the media or close this means of communication and thus solve the problem. Silencing our voices will only bring new distortions in the worst case, or will postpone the outbreak of the disease for one decade in the best of cases. As long as we fail to deal with the phenomenon of malicious egoism and not bring forth a fundamental change, we will degenerate into a situation where each person will do as he pleases, and society will suffer an irreparable crash.

Our education to be considerate of the other, to set clear moral limits and to overcome our egoistic nature should begin from a young age. Our duty should be to transmit to people in every possible way practical examples of how to be connected in a healthy and reciprocal way to the surrounding society: among family, friends and to the whole of society. We must teach ourselves and the coming generations how to change our attitude to reality and demonstrate how mutual consideration is the foundation for any healthy system of relations.

Education toward balanced relationships, meaning relations built above our self-interest with the intention of benefiting others, is the move that will calm the negative human impulses and balance our surging ego with its opposite positive force.

Education, however, is not intended to excuse a person from a heavy punishment. Rather, it is a significant step toward a healthy society. Let us start preparing ourselves for a life where we consider other people. The media can be a tool that helps us establish values calling for taking others into consideration. Influencers and decision makers should be called on to perform beneficial examples for society, and then instead of experiencing a dramatic increase in the number of murdered women, we will aspire to see headlines of supreme heroic stories that glorify examples of social contribution and benefit that lead us to a harmonious coexistence.

“Jewish Post-Trauma: The Cause, Diagnosis And Cure” (Times Of Israel)

The Times of Israel published my new article “Jewish Post-Trauma: The Cause, Diagnosis and Cure

Post-trauma from recurring anti-Semitic incidents, the Holocaust and the pogroms has permeated entire generations of Jews. In Israel, anxiety and traumatic events are part of the daily reality affecting children, adolescents and the population in general. The average Israeli has experienced or knows someone victim of terror or war. Drugs may numb symptoms of this phenomenon, but the real cure can only come from our unique capacity to build a safety net when we connect as a Jewish nation.

Israel has the strongest army in the world, yet it provides no immunity from the trauma of losing a friend in combat, or the constant gray cloud of threats from enemies inside and outside the country. Loads of combatants at various levels are exposed to anxiety, from adults and seniors who have participated in Israeli wars in the past, to young men who have completed combat service.

The phenomenon, however, is much broader than merely the Israeli army. It includes all of us. We are a nation living in trauma on a daily basis. It is not only due to the permanent threat that has engulfed the State of Israel since its establishment, and not just because of the hidden fear of occasional violence and terror. We are constantly traumatized for being Jewish.

The trauma that grips us—from the threatening future, the hostile present or the haunting past—permeates all avenues of the nation. Children attend kindergarten in areas attacked by rockets, breathe hidden panic in the atmosphere, quickly drop everything and run to shelters whenever warning sirens sound nearby, and shiver whenever the alarms sound on their phones that another rocket has penetrated a more remote part of the country. The trauma is already within us, whether or not we’re conscious of it.

We tend to take pride in our Israeli roughness, the outward toughness. But those who feel safe do not need such armor. They can afford to be outwardly sensitive as well. This is another symptom of Jewish trauma: the need to defend, fortify and play tough so as to not get hurt.

Why is this happening to us? Who are we Jews? Where did we come from and where are we headed? What is it all for? What is the purpose of this world? What is our role toward the world?

We must answer these questions distinctly, and reach the realization of our important role in humanity, even if it seems like a heavy weight on our shoulders. On the contrary, the implementation of our role will make our current difficult reality become lighter and more pleasant.

The prophet Jonah, whose story we read on Yom Kippur, also suffered from trauma. His story, which describes our experiences, began with the mission he received from God: to warn the people of Nineveh to turn away from their evil ways and begin to act as reality requires—with mutual affection.

Jonah tried to flee from his destiny. He boarded a ship that sailed far into the sea, and his escape caused a storm. The sailors on board realized that the cause of the storm, which created much hardship, was the “Jew” on their ship. Thus, they threw him out to sea. A whale swallowed Jonah. While in the whale’s stomach, Jonah underwent an arduous self-scrutiny until he agreed to carry out the role assigned to him. Afterward, the whale brought him to safety, to the city of Nineveh.

The story of Jonah is the story of the people of Israel.

We have a role that has always accompanied us: to establish unity among us, and serve as an example to the world. However, we try to avoid this role. Therefore, every time the world suffers from a given crisis, minor or major, it marks us Jews as guilty for the trouble. Also, every accusation we face becomes a trauma that accumulates over and over in our Jewish experience, whether or not we feel it.

Our destiny is inevitable. It is the result of rigorous laws of nature written in the Kabbalah books. We must learn them in order to understand what we have to do, otherwise we will continue experiencing amassing blows from the nations of the world.

It is correct to treat the entire Jewish nation as suffering from trauma. We should not blur the problem, but accelerate the understanding that healing such trauma depends on developing an upgraded, unified approach to each other and reality as a whole.

Yom Kippur is a time of introspection, both for individuals and for the Jewish nation as a whole. We can use the time for self-examination at Yom Kippur to positively affect our destiny if we also agree to realize our role, unite and become “a light unto the nations.”

By raising awareness and working on uniting among each other, we will satisfy humanity’s demands upon us and radiate a positive light to the world, as it is written, “for they are life to those who find them and health to all their flesh” (Proverbs 4:22).
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My Thoughts On Twitter 9/20/19

Dr Michael Laitman Twitter

For the first time in history, an obsolete model of society, although dysfunctional since the 90’s, has not been replaced by a new one as has been happening in all times. #Kabbalah: This is because our progress has always been in the development of egoism. And now it must change its foundation—#development of the opposite to egoism.

We have no choice. We are all egoists. But the situation with the safety of #Israel requires a broad coalition—all right-wingers must unite and lead the country. Now every person must show that they are rising above their private interests for communal, for everyone’s sake.

There’s no need to cancel or hide our differences. We don’t need to flatter or agree with other’s opinions. We must bridge the gap between us, spread an umbrella of love over the disagreements, because “Love will cover all crimes.” Love makes us a nation. Love is the right choice.
#love #israel 🇮🇱

We have to recall a single source, a single law of nature—unity of people according to the great law of #Torah—“love your neighbor as yourself.”
#Bible

🇮🇱 A choice that is truly free should be renewed at any moment in time, and not be dependent on the earthly government. At any moment it’s worth pausing for a second to ask: What do we live for? Why do we exist? Who controls our life? Who is really at the head?
#IsraElex19v2

🇮🇱 We are one people. We must regain our sanity and destroy our main enemy—fighting with each other. We cannot depend on the mercy of any leaders. We need to depend on the strength of the society, the power of our connection—this is where our salvation lies.
#IsraElections2019
#israelelections2019 #israel

🇮🇱 We must put an end to the struggle for the “throne,” the games of vanity and pride, and choose the only unifying force that dominates all powers of our world—the Upper force. We must emphasize the main part of being Jewish, the reason we became a nation—the importance of unity.
#IsraElections2019 #Jewish #unity

Confusion is in the air after the end of #IsraElections2019. After 70 years of existence of the state of #Israel 🇮🇱, we have reached a dead end. The best solution now is to unite the forces of Likud, Kaḥol Lavan, and Israel Our Home. These three parties have clear national goals, and are conceptually similar to each other.
From Twitter, 9/20/19

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“Israel: United We Stand, Divided We Are” (Times Of Israel)

The Times of Israel published my new article “Israel: United We Stand, Divided We Are

What the recent elections revealed about ourselves and our future

We have no nation. Division stands in our midst. Those are the results of an X-ray scan of Israel after its 22nd election.

How can a nation constantly in conflict and under threat let its every sector care only about its own backyard and personal interests?

The dead heat between the two main parties and round-the-clock deal-making expected in the coming weeks to form a governing-capable coalition further stresses the great divide in Israeli society. However, discovering the wretched state we are in opens up the perfect opportunity to realize that we have no alternative but to cast a vote for unity and elect the force that connects us as a nation.

How could our nation unite above its divisions? Could politicians put their egos aside and strive instead to rise above their personal benefit for the sake of a common goal? Clearly, no one is interested in doing so, but the fact is, we have no choice.

We have entered an era where the nation is up against grave threats, the most vivid being Iran. Wealthy and powerful Iran is gaining support from Russia and China, and it is convenient for Iran to tag Israel as its enemy. As Iran holds a strategic position in the heart of the Middle East, its beef with Israel lets it flex its muscles in the global sphere, as well as show its readiness to escalate pressure toward that goal.

After 71 years of statehood, instead of becoming stronger, we suddenly reveal that Israel is in an unfounded state. Our legs are stuck in quicksand, and we cannot pull ourselves out. We are a stubborn, powerful, enduring and unequivocally creative people, but in 2019’s second national election, we are left again with polarization and partisan manipulation instead of choosing our good future together.

Why does Israel’s political spectrum look like rough patchwork, where the loose threads fray in detachment to each other? It is because we have failed “to elect” the one and only force that governs all aspects of nature: the upper force. Once again, we have neglected the only Jewish element that justifies our existence as a people: the value of our connection.

In order to come to terms with the urgent call for unity and put it into practice, Israel needs competent leadership that prioritizes rebuilding the social fabric. It will require a gradual educational process that should be led by a national-unity government made up of Benjamin Netanyahu, ex-military chief Benny Gantz, and Avigdor Liberman, with Netanyahu acting as prime minister until the rest acquire the necessary skills to govern. The job of heading a nation requires learning experience just like any other profession, but we have no academy for governing the nation, and the volatile internal and external pressures we face leave no room for trial and error. Ruling the country demands a completely different mindset than ruling the army.

Although organizing our political leadership is important, we will not return to sanity until we realize that our main goal as a nation should be to eliminate our biggest enemy: our war with each other.

The principle of unity that we inherited from Abraham, the father of the nation, has completely escaped us. It is a principle by which we became a nation in ancient Babylon. In its absence, we have dismantled into a loose collection of peoples and “tribes.” The principle of brotherly love built the Temple—the connection between us—and its absence, unfounded hatred, kicked us into exile and persecution.

Therefore, regardless of who will form the next government, we should certainly not depend on the guidance of a flesh-and-blood leader that will be replaced in four years or less. We need to depend on the power of society, the strength of our connection. This is and always has been the root of our salvation as a nation.

In other words, it is important to cast our votes and choose our leaders as in any democracy, but our real free choice should be made on a daily basis, renewed regularly and not subject to the considerations of any government in office. At any given moment, it is worth stopping for a moment to ask: “What are we living for?” “Why do we exist?” “Who runs our lives?” “Who runs the society we live in?” “Who governs us?” “Who is really in control?”

The upper force in nature drives humanity. It emerges from its hidden state when society functions harmoniously in mutual guarantee (Arvut), showing us how we live in a unified system where all parts are interconnected as a singular and integral unit.

Disagreement is part and parcel of our Jewishness. There is no need to eliminate or obscure our differences and divisions. Nor do we have to flatter and agree with the views of others. But we do have to bridge the abyss between opinions, to spread an umbrella of love over our differences, because “love will cover all transgressions.”

As our ship sails forth into unknown waters, it is time to persistently emphasize the positive qualities of others and create a more harmonious society where mutual care, consideration, understanding and support prevail. By doing so, we will be able to realize how our disunity drills a hole in our ship’s keel, whereas our cohesion strengthens our ability to navigate to a safe port of a bountiful land.

That is the election vote we need to cast regularly for the ultimate positive outcome.
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Memorial Day And Independence Day

laitman_294.3Why does Memorial Day come immediately before Independence Day [in Israel]? Everything stems from the upper roots, and in the spiritual work, it is impossible to come to connection, to the good spiritual force, without rising above the evil force, overcoming troubles, problems, and burdening of the heart. The advantage of the light is attained only over the darkness. If we want to get closer to the truth, we should be ready for the revelation of the darkness, then: “and it was evening,” it was night, and after that: “and it was morning, one day.”

Evening, night, darkness, with all its inherent attributes are an integral part of the day. That is why Memorial Day traditionally comes right before Israel’s Independence Day. Independence Day symbolizes the coming of the light and a great correction. Before that we must discover that we are in darkness, in the midst of evil and war, and we must fight and win this war to come to Independence Day.

“Love covers all transgressions.” Since we, the created beings, attain everything only from contrasts, before Independence Day there has to be Memorial Day. Everything we went through was intentionally sent to us from above and all the suffering has its goal and explanation; therefore, we have to relate to it as something necessary.

Yet, if through our connection we discover this necessity in a positive way, we even do not have to suffer from darkness, troubles, and misfortune. If we are prepared for the darkness, we hasten it and can go through it as a necessary part of our development so that evening and morning will be as one day, that is, the night and the darkness will be included in the day, in the Light.

Kabbalists understand that everything that happens is a part of the process of development, so they justify it as sent by the single upper force that brings us good in every state. If we try, we will discover there is only good and there is no evil. The angel of death will turn into a holy angel. With the correct preparation, we can go through all the difficulties with understanding and agree with them because in the darkness and in the Light we will discover the good attitude of the Creator toward us.

There are no days of mourning and states of sorrow because everything becomes connected at the end of correction: all the darkness, troubles, and misfortunes, together with the Light that opens above them, in general unity and love.

If even before the problems and troubles are revealed we ourselves search for the deficiencies and for shattered desires as necessary tools for the revelation of the Creator in order to bring Him contentment, we rejoice at the wicked being revealed. After all, the concealed wicked definitely exist as a result of the complete shattering; therefore, we rejoice at all the revealed deficiencies and regret that we have not revealed all of them.

If we reveal evil in the light of the day, “darkness shines as light.” It means that there is no darkness and everything depends on my attitude. If I reveal a disagreement between a friend and me in order to eliminate this disagreement by connecting above it and covering it with love, then I rejoice at the revelation of deficiencies no less than at their correction. The entire work depends on the correct preparation in the group.1

Memorial Day is a sad day. However, from the past bitter experience, we must understand that we can prepare ourselves for the revelation of evil so that we will not see the evil! Evil will be revealed only on the internal level as a lack of connection, not as evil in this world, war, and hatred of enemies. As it is written, “looked at him and turned him into a pile of bones.”2

We must understand that our enemies have power and they can cause us a lot of troubles. Indeed, the Creator works through them, pushing us to correction. We will have to find a way to correction, and it is only in our inner connection with the people of Israel through which the Light will flow into the world.

Let us try, let us arrange a “truce” within the state of Israel for even one month: We will not quarrel with each other; we will not hate each other; rather, we will try to get closer to each other. The love of Israel will protect us from enemies. Let us try to allow this love to reign among us, recall what our mothers used to tell us “Be good children, stop fighting, be friends!”

Let’s see what happens after a month of this experiment. Then it will be easier for us to continue because the habit will become the second nature. Let us try and see how the attitude of the world toward Israel will change, how our shares will rise in the stock market, the army will strengthen, our children will become better, the number of accidents on the roads and the number of divorces will decrease—everything will begin to improve. Let us declare a month of unity and then check the statistics: what happens to the people of Israel when they are not in internal conflict.3
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/7/19, Memorial Day & Independence Day
1 Minute 0:20
2 Minute 16:15
3 Minute 1:54:20

Related Material:
New Life #553 – Holidays: Independence Day – The National Symbols
Epilogue To The Holocaust Memorial Day, Part 7
Evening And Morning In Spiritual Work