Entries in the 'Israel Today' Category

Two Trends In The Life Of The Jewish Diaspora, Part 4

laitman_961.2Time of The Book Of Zohar

Question: In Spain, several hundred years before the exile of the Jews from there, The Book of Zohar was revealed, a book about the correction of all mankind, about the passing of the method of connection to the world.

Does the revelation of this book suggest that the sages had some opportunity to use this methodology?

Answer: No, there were no great Kabbalists in those days who could use The Book of Zohar to make a spiritual revolution in the Jewish people.

It was revealed in the 7th century and slowly began to spread, but there were a lot of problems with this. The vast majority of Jews and spiritual leaders of the Jewish people did not want it to be revealed because it caused a great deal of confusion in the minds and souls of Jews. In general The Book of Zohar did more harm than good at that time.

But gradually it’s time arrived. This happened in the 16th century in the time of the ARI.

Four hundred years have passed since the revelation of The Book of Zohar. During this time, the Jews have caught up a little. They had already been scattered in different countries and had experienced many problems. They were facing the question of why they were suffering, and so their attitude to The Book of Zohar, to correction, to the achievement of some goal, became completely different.

Moreover, great Kabbalists such as the ARI, Ramchal, and Moshe Cordovero appeared. This was the heyday of medieval Kabbalah in Safed [Israel].

Society was ready for it. It saw how much suffering falls onto each generation, how they constantly are subjected to exile, and so large masses of people began to welcome Kabbalah.

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From the KabTV’s “System Analysis of the Development of the People of Israel,” 7/29/19

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Israel Cannot Be Defeated By Missiles

laitman_960.1Comment: A forum in commemoration of 75 years of the liberation of Auschwitz was held not long ago. According to the statistics on the day that the forum was held, Israel curbed 800 cyber-attacks on airports and on the airplanes of world leaders.

My Response: This is actually the war of the future. What’s the use of killing people? It also costs much more money. A cyber-attack, on the other hand, is done quietly, because all the world leaders come here and the goal is to eliminate them. This kind of cyber war takes place every day, but not at this rate and not so intensively, not everyone together.

Comment: The hackers in different countries tried to disrupt the runway of as many as 60 planes at Ben Gurion airport.

My Response: According to the wisdom of Kabbalah, humanity can replay its faith and annihilate itself in a thermo-nuclear war and then be reborn thousands of years later and grow, like in Chernobyl, and history will repeat itself but in a better way, because after such an event the mutations will be better. They will preserve all the problems of the past internally and will not repeat them anymore.

Comment: This is a horrible script, of course, especially after Holocaust  Remembrance  Day.

My Response: But they will not repeat the problems of the past.

Question: There are many important meetings all over the world that world leaders attend. Why is it possible to see this now so clearly by Israel?

Answer: It is general love when world leaders come together and at the same time there are cyber-attacks.

Question: The outcome is a very romantic story, when all the world leaders come together, Israel reflects this attack; after all, it is Israel! So the attack must always be reflected. Does this mean that the hackers will never succeed?

Answer: They will never succeed.

Question: Why is this related?

Answer: It is because this nation, the nation of Israel, has a mission. It has a mission in this world. It is a mission that the whole world needs, and so nothing will happen to Israel. This is the reason that it is the safest place on earth. No matter which place in the world you visit, you may always think: “it is safe here, well, but…”, whereas in Israel, although it is not safe, and not so easy to live in, nothing will happen.

They need to find out through all their attempts that they will never succeed in any way, and ask themselves why they don’t succeed. Then they need to look for an answer. But if they don’t find an answer, they should get an answer which seemingly doesn’t make sense from a Kabbalist and accept it.

Question: What changes need to take place so that humanity will reach that?

Answer: This also depends on the nation of Israel and whether it will be able to explain this to everyone in the world: who it is, what it is, and what it exists for.

Question: And how can the nation of Israel want to do that?

Answer: It needs to listen to what the wisdom of Kabbalah says. All the people in the world need to know what the world exists for, for what purpose, and what each of the created beings must do in order to bring the world to the optimal state.

Question: And what law do they need to implement once they are all under “the hat” of Israel? Which laws do people need to keep between them?

Answer: Absolute, complete, mutual participation, unity, closeness, and understanding of each other, as one single whole, when all of humanity is as one family, when everyone together are like one man, an absolute feeling of the other as yourself. It should be as a woman feels the baby in her womb. This is how each one needs to feel everyone else inside him.

Question: Will Israel be like a warm blanket?

Answer: Yes, a warm blanket that covers the whole world and everyone feels warm, good, and safe.
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From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman,” 1/28/20

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Everybody Goes Their Own Way

laitman_222Remark: The development of the coronavirus gives a certain tool for making political, economic, and other decisions in the US and other countries. Even if it is not connected directly, it is the reason for a huge number of transformations that could be made in the world now.

My Comment: Of course. There are opportunities to act with a strong hand now.

Question: It is as if a show is being played out before us. The initial provocation is set, and we, as if, find ourselves in a situation where we don’t simply move by inertia in a boring process that we are, possibly, quite fed up with. Maybe it was comfortable, but not very dramatic, dynamic. Now the suspense is absolutely everywhere.

Societies and governments in many countries are at odds: What to do next? That is, the virus is already just a background.

How effective can measures for forced artificial stimulation of old sectors of the economy, employment, and consumer demand be? Will it lead to the exit from the crisis or, on the contrary, exacerbate it? There is an acute controversy in this regard.

Answer: I think that if humanity got rid of many useless economic sectors, we would, obviously, do the best for humanity, nature, and the virus so that it would calm down. But I am not sure humanity is ready for it.

Now the US will still follow its path anyway. Regarding Europe, I think the path will be different. The attitude toward the population is different there.

Even more so in Israel. Here the government cannot afford to treat the population as it pleases: the most important thing is the economy. Here, concern for people should be in the first place. Nobody would let the government do something for the sake of the state treasury or some economic prosperity statistics.

In Israel, there is a special attitude toward human life. It has always been this way with the Jewish people. That is why if the government makes a mistake and disregards the citizens’ lives, it will be doomed. The people will immediately rise up and replace it. The fact that human life is above everything is deeply ingrained in the nation.

Question: In other words, do you think that in this case, Trump has the right to a risky economic experiment that would not work in Israel?

Answer: I cannot even imagine this in Israel. As far as I know the people there, the government and everything that happens here, it is impossible to even think about it.

Any ruler in Israel, any governing party, and everybody else must constantly proclaim: “We are for human life!” Their criticism toward each other is based on this: Why do they care about people less?
Only we truly care! That is, everything revolves around the importance of human life. This is not the case with Trump. His reasoning is very simple: Competition is competition in everything.
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From KabTV’s “The Coronavirus Explodes the Old Economy” 3/26/20

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The Night Of The Exodus From Egypt

laitman_584.03Usually in Passover, especially during the holiday Seder [ceremonial dinner], there is a feeling of a common holiday throughout Israel, among all people, in all families. But this year, Passover feels different, like a dull, quarantine cloud descended on us and locked us in our homes.
We used to get ready for a Passover meal with the whole big family, and suddenly everyone had to stay at home.

But the fact is that we ourselves built this state. The coronavirus is just a way to uncover the truth and show our separation: as long as we are not one people, we do not sit at the same table and do not want to leave our Egypt today.

This year, the Seder just corresponded to the structure of the people of Israel, in which there is no unity. We did not leave Egypt, and therefore we have nothing to celebrate. We need to think about why we are in this state. Have we already left Egypt, our egoistic desire? Have we become one people of the Creator?

We think that this Passover is not real because we do not meet as usual with the whole family, with grandfather and grandmother. But just this Passover is real because it shows us how much we are not with our people.

The problem is not in the Passover Seder, but with the way we are every day, not in the relations within the family, but much wider throughout the entire Israeli society. All year we do not behave as one united people, and, accordingly, now we are forced to sit during Pesach alone at home.

We have developed to the point where it is not enough to sit with grandparents and celebrate the events that took place 3,500 years ago. The time has come to understand that we have not left Egypt.

The way out of Egypt is the way out of our egoism, a state in which we truly become united as one people, as one man with one heart and receive the Torah, the power that is revealed between us and binds us as one special people of Israel.

But we have none of this. And then a special symbol appears called coronavirus and explains to us where we are: We have not left Egypt, but live inside a huge egoism, even stronger than in other nations. We do not even have the right to be called Israel because it means directly to the Creator (Yashar-Kel), and we do not strive for the power of bestowal, for mutual love and unity.

So, we are sent to sit alone, without a grandmother, and think why we are alone and why quarantine is declared. The virus comes specifically to explain to us who we are and that we do not really relate to the Passover holiday and to the right to be called Jews who left Egypt.

Passover is celebrated in memory of the exodus from Egypt, but we have nothing to remember. Therefore, we are sitting at home with our immediate family, as before leaving Egypt, and we think what needs to be done to get out of it. This is only the night of the exodus from Egypt, but not the exit itself.

The quarantine shows that egoism left us alone in the desert: without relatives, friends, or our nation. Passover just symbolizes the desire to get out of this loneliness and connect with others as one man with one heart.

What is the difference between this night and all other nights? Not that everyone sits alone in his house, but because now we understand why we are sitting alone on this festive evening. And it is also different in that we finally thought about: Are we ready to leave Egypt? You have to face it.

Egypt is our selfishness, mutual hatred, competition. This is the essence of Passover night—it is night, but in an organized manner (seder) it prepares us to exit our egoism in the land of Israel (Yashar-Kel), that is, to a higher power, to bestowal and love. The Creator is the power of love.
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From KabTV’s “New Life-1220” 4/2/20

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New Life 1209 – The Root Of Social Divisions In Israel

New Life 1209 – The Root Of Social Divisions In Israel
Dr. Michael Laitman in conversation with Oren Levi and Nitzah Mazoz

Social division is more powerful in Israel because each Israeli feels free, equal to the others, and has an increasing desire to receive, a big ego. Israelis are a stiff-necked people who are unafraid of punishment. Our greatest enemies are ourselves because of the hatred between us. According to our root, we cannot exist unless we attain a tendency toward connection. If we fail to take care of the dangerous division between us, the nation will disintegrate and we will scatter in every direction.
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From KabTV’s “New Life 1209 – The Root Of Social Divisions In Israel,” 3/3/20

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“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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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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