Entries in the 'New Publications' Category

“The Purim Holiday: The Emergence Of A Renewed World” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “The Purim Holiday: The Emergence of a Renewed World

Every new state is born only under the condition that the former state completely exhausts itself. The holiday of Purim symbolizes the turning point the world is immersed in now as a result of the pandemic. Thus, this year’s celebration is particularly meaningful, not only to the Jewish people, but to all of humanity.

The events described in the Purim story are hints at the corrections the world needs to go through. The global virus outbreak has marked a deep transformation in all levels of our lives; it makes evident how interdependent we are and the pressing need to change our selfish attitudes and more considerate behavior toward others, that is, a shift from our egoistic approach to a more altruistic outlook. It will help us close the gaps between us and will unleash a positive common field, a unified and integral reality. And in order to achieve this goal, the people of Israel can play a pivotal role.

Haman represents today’s divisive mindset we need to tackle, the social division caused by the desire to seek money, honor, control or power in spite of everyone and everything. This shuts us off from each other, separates and harms us. Today’s tumultuous social atmosphere is a calling for us to seek our common voice as a humanity that shares common values and purpose. If we use this calling to connect, we can create a much more peaceful and friendly society for us all.

The traditional reading of the Megilat Esther (Scroll of Esther) during this celebration describes a time in ancient Persia when Jews found themselves under existential threat. The leader who inspired these persecutions was the personal assistant of King Ahasuerus, Haman.

Haman knew that the Jews were in a state of division and that this weakness would enable him to eradicate them, as it is written “There are certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the peoples” (Esther 3:8). Haman said that in his view, the Jews could be destroyed because they were separated from one another.

However, Mordechai, the hero of the Purim tale, worked to bridge the Jews’ division, which is what eventually saved their lives. “The Jews gathered themselves together to stand for their life” (Esther 8:11). The moment they began to get closer to each other, a great force appeared among them. They began to feel their upper goal; they became confident, had power, and managed to destroy their enemies and rid themselves of all their troubles.

Haman represents today’s divisive mindset we need to tackle, the social division caused by the desire to seek money, honor, control or power in spite of everyone and everything. This shuts us off from each other, separates and harms us. Today’s tumultuous social atmosphere is a calling for us to seek our common voice as a humanity that shares common values and purpose. If we use this calling to connect, we can create a much more peaceful and friendly society for us all.

Whenever the Jewish people were at risk of ruin, unity proved to be the only possible means to be saved. We can use the example of the Purim story as an eternal reminder that our cohesion can extricate us from the worst situations, and that by uniting, we set a constructive and positive example for the rest of humanity.

The Jewish nation has an innate commitment to set the standard for choosing unity over separation, but this call is for humanity as a whole to make the same strides toward unification before heading into greater turmoil and crises. Our good destiny depends on us, on the choice we make.

Happy Purim to all!

“The Hypocrisy Of Sex Scandals” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “The Hypocrisy of Sex Scandals

Every once in a while, and today more often than before, a sex scandal explodes in the media and everyone is shocked to hear that this or that celebrity, who used to be a role model we all grew up on and admired, is really a monster in disguise. When this happens, moralists click their tongues in disapproval, and quickly turn to social media to express their righteous indignation and disbelief that this person, the idol of our youth, was actually a sex predator, a villain of the worst kind.

When we talk about climate change, pandemics, power outages, or even a traffic jam, we don’t realize that these are manifestations of our connectedness. The only reason they are here is that we are unaware that our thoughtless and careless attitude to one another causes them.

I think they’re hypocritical. First, when such a scandal blows up, you will always find people who knew about it but kept silent, or would have known about it had they not tried so hard not to see the obvious. Second, there is nothing new about this phenomenon; sex perversions have been an inseparable part of human perversions throughout the ages. In ancient cultures, such as in Egypt, Greece, or Rome, some perversions were permitted and acceptable, and others were regarded as an abomination. In more puritan times, such as the Middle-Ages, one could find oneself tied to the stake for having done the same thing others did in antiquity, without anyone making a fuss over it. It is not that the condemning puritans did not commit the same “crimes” they had accused others of committing; it’s just that they hid it better, and were mainly better connected to the authorities in charge of exposing such “immoral” behaviors.

The truth about these scandals is not that such misdemeanors are burgeoning, but that they are used more often than before against their perpetrators. In other words, today, accusations of sexual misconduct are a weapon that politicians use in order to destroy their rivals. Exposing sex crimes will not prevent the next crime or make potential victims safer. It will, however, affect the accused, even if the accusation turns out to be false. Therefore, the next time a sex scandal breaks out, check who benefits from its exposure.

If we want to prevent sex crimes, we needn’t focus on punishment, but on educating the public. I’m not saying we should not punish sex offenders; I am merely pointing out that if we want to prevent such crimes, the way to do it is not by intimidation but by education to consideration.

We are brought up in a social environment that teaches us nothing but to focus on our own wants and needs, and ignore those of others. With such a narcissistic upbringing, people are bound to be inconsiderate and apathetic to other people’s suffering; they will not cringe at the thought of hurting other people.

But the truth is that such behaviors hurt the offender too, and not only the victim. In truth, we are connected and dependent on each other even if we aren’t aware of it. We could become aware of it; we could know how to conduct ourselves in a way that’s satisfying to us and to everyone around us, but we must first be taught to see ourselves within the bigger picture of humanity.

When we talk about climate change, pandemics, power outages, or even a traffic jam, we don’t realize that these are manifestations of our connectedness. The only reason they are here is that we are unaware that our thoughtless and careless attitude to one another causes them.

If we were educated about our interconnections, we would know how to conduct ourselves so as not to inflict pandemics on ourselves. Moreover, there would be countless benefits to such awareness: We wouldn’t hurt each other since we would feel, not just intellectually, but truly feel it in our hearts that we are all connected. And just as I wouldn’t hurt myself, I wouldn’t hurt anyone else.

Can you imagine how living in such a society would feel? We wouldn’t have to worry about sex crimes, or any crime, for that matter, since people wouldn’t dream of hurting other people; they would feel connected!

It turns out that the true knowledge we all need is not the next tech gadget, but the awareness that we are all connected and affect each other in myriad ways. If we knew this and lived by this awareness, we would treat each other humanely, the way human beings should treat other human beings, and there would be no scandals of any kind.

“The Way The Pandemic Has Strengthened Religious Beliefs” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “The Way the Pandemic Has Strengthened Religious Beliefs

When one cannot come to terms with a somber reality, looking towards heaven is an instinctive reaction. In the US, half a million lives have been lost in the COVID-19 pandemic in a year since the outbreak of the virus. A recent survey by the Pew Research Center reveals that people from economically developed countries claim that the eruption of COVID-19 has boosted their religious beliefs, particularly in the US where nearly three out of ten American adults say the coronavirus plague has strengthened their faith.

The coronavirus is a reaction to humanity on the part of the harmonious nature, a sort of catalyst for re-bridging the gap that has been created between humanity and nature. Therefore, what we urgently need are positive connections between us—in other words, the religion of love.

The development of civilization has distanced us from nature; therefore, we are unaware of its conduct and feel more vulnerable to it. Thus, despite our tremendous technological capability, we stand helpless in the face of global epidemics, climate change, and other crises. We do not know where to flee, how to cope, and certainly do not see a bright future on the horizon.

The uncertainty of these times, the lack of clear answers, and the fading of hope sends people searching, as they have since time immemorial, for a higher power they hope might be guiding their fate. They begin to grope in the dark and ask: Where is this power that is creating this evil in the world that we see around us now, how can we survive the next blow, and in general, what is the meaning of this world? As we hear of more and more people dying from this plague, our sense of security is undermined, fear for our loved ones grows, and life takes on an unfamiliar, ambiguous gray tone. On the other hand, living conditions have drastically changed in the past year. Work has moved into home, children have become immersed in distance learning, and the framework of life has been reduced to within family boundaries. Our world has shrunk.

With reduced choices in the search for some ray of light that provides security now when people really do not know what to count on or where to pin their hopes, religion becomes an anchor, a source of stability. One may not necessarily find in it an answer to every question, but at least it gives some sense of relief from the frightening reality people face.

It is not a sign of a backward trend or a tendency to a more religious and conservative world. Instead, it is a sign of humanity seeking, in a time of turmoil and crumbling foundations, for the meaning of life, and a growing desire for a confident connection to the future in closeness with the Supreme Force that governs life. But in this quest, those who find religion insufficient for providing lasting calm and fulfillment will keep searching for answers.

Even before the main religions expanded to the whole world, numerous beliefs, rituals, and idolatry practices existed. The human being has always needed a sense of security and answers for the inexplicable. This notion prompted the controversial Karl Marx to claim that “religion is the opium of the people,” while Voltaire said “if God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.” As a matter of fact, it is good for a person to seek a connection to a higher power. It manifests throughout our historical axis of development: tribes danced around bonfires to honor their goddesses, bowed to statues, and worshiped the power of nature in different ways until such practices evolved into structured religions and systems of belief.

The strengthening of religious belief in the recent days of the pandemic, as the latest survey shows, actually indicates a broader developmental process that humanity is going through. The global COVID-19 plague is teaching us that we are one small worldwide village, and we are all interdependent under a supreme force that controls every detail in reality.

We are all in a single harmonious natural system, connected in all its parts, and a person, as a result of one’s opposite egoistic nature, time and time again severs the threads of connection between himself and others, thus violating the laws of nature and tearing human society from the feeling of the supreme power surrounding us. The coronavirus is a reaction to humanity on the part of the harmonious nature, a sort of catalyst for re-bridging the gap that has been created between humanity and nature. Therefore, what we urgently need are positive connections between us—in other words, the religion of love.

There is nothing wrong with the temporary tendency to return to the embrace of traditional religion, it contributes to our progress. Firstly, it connects people and hints to them about the good found in unity. Although in the meantime it is an egoistic connection, later it will be corrected to become altruistic. Secondly, religion reveals to believers their weakness in relation to integral nature and brings about dependence on the Supreme Force.

Such a deep relationship does not conflict with any religious practice, custom, or tradition, but goes with them in one turn. Foremost kabbalist Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag, Baal HaSulam, wrote in The Writings of the Last Generation, “Apart from ‘loving your neighbor as yourself,’ each nation may pursue its own religion and traditions, and one must not interfere with the other.” Because when you love, there is a place for everyone, for each and every one. That is the biggest strength of every society.
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“ Is Nature Sentient?” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “ Is Nature Sentient?

People who believe in God the way religions relate to Him attribute to Him feelings and thoughts, and communicate with Him the way we communicate with any powerful individual who determines our fate: We aim to please Him, and in return seek His favor. But what about nature? Is nature sentient? Should we please nature? And if we should, how can we do it?

The wisdom of Kabbalah does not distinguish between nature and God. In the essay “The Peace,” the great 20th century kabbalist Baal HaSulam explained that nature and God are synonymous, so when we speak of nature, we are actually speaking of God, and when we speak of God, we are actually referring to nature.

This mechanism is evidently intelligent. Everything within it is intricately and wisely tied to everything else, and all parts of creation are moving in synchrony toward increasing merger. Just as ants or schools of fish think and act as one, guided by their synchronized intelligence, everything around us operates in congruence; everything but man.

However, in the wisdom of Kabbalah, nature is not a “bookkeeper” who checks our balance of good deeds or bad deeds and rewards or punishes us accordingly. Nature is a super intelligent mechanism that creates everything, conducts everything, and guides everything to its purpose of complete unity and harmony with all of reality. Nature continually develops creation toward greater complexity, from the atomic level through the mineral, vegetative, animate, and human levels.

On the human level, we evolve the way all of nature is evolving. We first huddled in clans, which grew into villages, villages into towns, towns became countries, and today, when the entire world is one global village, people, animals, plants, and minerals are all part of one, interdependent system. We have become a single mechanism threaded and laced throughout the world.

Moreover, this mechanism is evidently intelligent. Everything within it is intricately and wisely tied to everything else, and all parts of creation are moving in synchrony toward increasing merger. Just as ants or schools of fish think and act as one, guided by their synchronized intelligence, everything around us operates in congruence; everything but man.

Humans are the only element in nature that has been denied the instinctive knowledge of right from wrong, and when to do what. But this, too, was done for a purpose. The only element missing in the perfect creation around us is the awareness of our life’s purpose. Awareness cannot be pre-installed; it has to be acquired. This is why we are born devoid of any knowledge about our world. In fact, we are born so helpless that at first, we cannot even reach our mother’s nipple for food, or defecate without making a mess of ourselves. No animal young is as helpless as a newborn baby. However, it is done on purpose, so we will learn everything from scratch, and at the end of the process reach the zenith of creation and become as intelligent as the system that has created us—nature (or God).

Since the “nature” of nature is harmony and merger, and since we must acquire the awareness of the goal, when we are born, we are completely opposite from it, so we will learn every aspect of harmony and merger. The problem is that while we are opposite from nature, we are nothing but a menace, destroying everything around us like senseless children. But as we learn to work in unison, as we become aware of the vitality of unity and solidarity to our understanding of creation, we also learn how to conduct ourselves more wisely, in line with nature’s disposition, and the conflicts we feel among ourselves and with nature become tailwinds that push us forward.

As long as we are obstinate, we suffer. We pollute the sky, the water, and the soil. We deplete the abundance that nature has given us in order to achieve power and control; we use and abuse each other, kill, rape, and denigrate each other as though only we are entitled to enjoy life, and we leave nothing for the future. We behave like grownup children, with bodies of grownups but the mind of a child.

If we focus on connection, we will find the right track and clean up the mess we have created. If we keep demanding for ourselves and shun nature’s disposition toward harmony and merger, our escalating conflict with nature will inflict on us worsening adversities. We may be smart, but we are very unwise. If we truly want to do good for us, we must first learn what we know, what we don’t know, and how we can learn what we must do to help ourselves. If we listen to nature’s intelligent mechanism, go along with its trajectory toward increasing cohesion, life will be much easier and simpler than the havoc we have wreaked upon ourselves.
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“The Cold Spell – Nature’s Cold Shoulder” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “The Cold Spell – Nature’s Cold Shoulder

The extreme cold spell that the US is currently experiencing is truly historic. But then, so is everything these days. The American society has never been so divided, at least not since The Civil War, gaps between the haves and the have-nots have never been so wide, the Covid pandemic has forced historic closures on America that have not been implemented at least since the Spanish flu, and the level of violence, substance abuse, food insufficiency, and depression are all skyrocketing. In light of all that’s happening, and keeping in mind the historic fires that burned for months throughout the West and Mid-West all summer and fall, the cold spell, as bitter as it is, seems more like a natural continuation of the trend of extremism overtaking the US than an unexpected disaster. From the human level to the inanimate nature, everything is breaking records of intensity, and it is to no one’s favor.

If America wants to survive, it must reverse course. Just as it indoctrinated its people to overconsume, enshrine self-indulgence, become fanatic over privacy, individuality, and entitlement, now it must do the opposite. Now it must teach its people how to see each other—with their hearts, not with their eyes. It must teach its people that they are all dependent on each other, and that their fate is sealed unless they all work shoulder to shoulder to pull the nation out of the swamp.

The math is straightforward, the more extreme the egoism, the more extreme the climate—both social and environmental. America has put egoism on a pedestal, called it “individualism,” and enshrined it in its constitution. No country has put itself more at odds with nature than the US, and turned this approach into its core ideology.

Since America has turned itself into a role model of individualism, of going against the mutuality in nature, the harmony in it, the coexistence, nature, in turn, has made America an example of the consequences of inconsideration with nature’s most basic law of harmony, achieved through mutuality and balance. What you give to nature is what you get in return. When you give nature a cold shoulder, it gives one right back.

If America wants to survive, it must reverse course. Just as it indoctrinated its people to overconsume, enshrine self-indulgence, become fanatic over privacy, individuality, and entitlement, now it must do the opposite. Now it must teach its people how to see each other—with their hearts, not with their eyes. It must teach its people that they are all dependent on each other, and that their fate is sealed unless they all work shoulder to shoulder to pull the nation out of the swamp.

The menace that is Covid-19 is just the harbinger; many other perils will follow in its wake, and they will be far worse than their “little brother.” The only way America can “dodge the bullets” is if it unites as one nation fighting for its life.

But nature isn’t punishing America; it is merely balancing the extreme egoism America imposed on it. If America reverses course, so will nature, and all the storms will calm. Nature speaks the language of balance and harmony. The more we are like it, the more we understand it, and the better it relates to us. If America stops fighting and starts reciprocating with it, it will discover that it doesn’t need to conquer nature in order to build a good life for its people; nature itself will do it for them.

“Have We Seen The Last Of Covid?” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Have We Seen the Last of Covid?

The State of Israel is quickly approaching the fifty-percent mark of population that has received the second shot of the Covid vaccine. The country is reopening schools, gyms, movie theaters, malls, and hotels. Have we seen the last of Covid? I understand that people have been on edge and their patience has run out, but if I look at what experts are saying, I don’t see that they are so excited over what seems like rash behavior.

If we want to see the end of Covid, we have to focus on two things: 1) Let the health professionals hash out the solution among themselves, without interference from politicians and other interested bodies, and then follow their directives. 2) Unite our ranks, enhance our solidarity as a nation.

Children, for example, are not vaccinated. If we send them back to school, we know what will happen. The virus today is not what it was when it first appeared. It is affecting children, and even embryos, so how can we let children huddle up in cramped classrooms where they will certainly infect each other? And if they become sick, how will it affect their parents? How will it affect their siblings? Once again, decisions are made according to political interests and not according to medical considerations, and everyone is paying the price.

I understand that people want to have fun, but since when is this a factor in a government’s decisions? In the summer, people love going to the beach and swimming in the water. But if the water is contaminated, and dipping in the water puts people’s lives at risk, would people still go in the water? Would the authorities allow them to risk themselves and get in the water? In an orderly country, authorities have the authority to do what is right for the public; this is why they are called “authorities.”

Regrettably, the fact that politicians endorse policies that score them points in the public opinion because of the approaching election, regardless of the public’s safety, only proves that their interest is not our health, but the promotion of their own political careers. We should be more adamant in what we demand from our elected officials.

If we want to see the end of Covid, we have to focus on two things: 1) Let the health professionals hash out the solution among themselves, without interference from politicians and other interested bodies, and then follow their directives. 2) Unite our ranks, enhance our solidarity as a nation. We cannot erase our many differences, but we can, and must, elevate the value of unity above any personal opinion. These are the only tools we have to beat the virus. In fact, the latter tool will solve not only our Covid crisis, but all the crises we are facing now or will face in the future.

“Envy – When The Engine Of Growth Becomes The Agent Of Destruction” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Envy – When the Engine of Growth Becomes the Agent of Destruction

When we are little, we grow by looking at others and imitating them. We don’t want to harm them or deny their desirable traits or possessions, but rather to have what they have and do what they do. This is healthy envy; it develops us and drives us forward. When we begin to want to have more than others, control others, or deny others what they have, this is when envy, the engine of growth, becomes the agent of destruction.

Envy that is attached to a desire to destroy others is the egoism that is destroying us. Throughout history, countries have been competing with each other, driven by this ruinous force, and have wrought pain and anguish on each other out of their desire to be at the top of the world.

We cannot uproot this force; it is inherent in our nature. What we can and should do is harness it the same way children use it to develop themselves.

In order to learn how to use it constructively, we first have to realize that when we maim or harm others, we are harming ourselves. We have to come to feel the truth of our interconnectedness, that we are all parts of a single system, a mechanism whose units are perfectly intertwined and balanced. It is like a complicated machine with billions of pieces, all necessary for the smooth operation of the machine. When you maim one unit, you have maimed the entire machine, of which you yourself are a part.

Think of the human body. There are approximately 10 trillion cells in the human body. These are organized into numerous tissues, organs, and organ systems. Can you imagine what would happen if these tissues and organs turned against each other? This is exactly what we have been doing to each other every day for thousands of years. Is it a wonder that the world we live in can barely sustain us?

My teacher’s father, the great 20th century Kabbalist Baal HaSulam, wrote extensively about the need to send people back to school and reeducate them. He meant that we should learn how to work with our egos. At the moment, we use the knowledge that we have to harm others, and in so doing, we harm ourselves. The coronavirus is just the first example of the type of global blows that will become increasingly frequent until we realize that we cannot harm others since it hurts us, too. Our ruinous envy of our neighbors on the personal, social, and international levels is destroying us. We must reeducate ourselves and cater to our envy only when it motivates us to grow, but not at the expense of others. This is what Baal HaSulam meant when he wrote that we must go back to school.

Education seems like a slow and gradual process, but there are shortcuts we can take. Because we’re all connected, parts of one machine, when we contemplate a notion, others begin to contemplate it, too, even if they don’t hear it from us. When we convey that thought to others, we convey it far beyond the people we communicate with, as the idea begins to spread throughout the human web, throughout the system. Merely thinking about our interdependence and the need to stop our ruinous envy sends ripples through the system that generate that thought in others, too. All of a sudden, people will start talking about it, as if it is their own idea. They won’t know it, but it will have come from you. When we learn how to work with envy constructively, then our path to success is paved.
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“The Healing Force In Physicians Hands” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “The Healing Force in Physicians Hands

When I see the tremendous pressure that medical teams are under in the COVID-19 fight, I am filled with great sympathy. I know the world of physicians closely. My parents were doctors, and I too started my studies in medicine but very quickly left because I realized it was not for me. Instead, I switched to medical bio-cybernetics, my first profession.

The fate of every patient, every health team, and all of mankind depends on the revelation of the healing force of unity between us.

So who am I to turn and speak to doctors and nurses when they need to deal with decisions that may make the difference between life and death on a daily basis? They know how to cooperate and work together as knowledgeable experts treating their patients. However, too often now, they find themselves helpless to deal with the situations they face.

The year of the coronavirus has put extreme pressure on the health care system. Morbidity is rampant, mutations erupt at an alarming rate, and the vaccination campaign is at its peak. In this demanding scenario the medical teams are on the front lines of the battle. They have had to adapt to rapidly-changing conditions and new challenges as they strive to save human lives—all of this while covered head to toe in cumbersome, hot, protective suits and learning to read facial expressions through masks. The circumstances are unparalleled.

In this unprecedented situation, there is one recommendation for overwhelmed medical teams: Connect between yourselves more, not just in a professional connection or a temporary closeness forced by the plague, but with an earnest and deep connection. This will produce great positive forces. Medical professionals will receive the much needed fuel that will motivate them to work harder in times of fatigue and to rise to the task in spite of worsening situations.

When I speak of connection, I am not referring to ordinary mechanical cooperation. I speak of a continuous warm connection characterized by interdependence, support, and mutual recognition at work.

Certainly, these emotional efforts to connect require a great deal of inner energy because they demand care and consideration for others, which are unnatural for the human ego. But it is precisely these efforts that generate the strength and vigor that will reduce stress and bring the team to a common sensation of feeling each other without words, and the ability to identify together their next joint action.

A subtle internal tendency to connect will turn the team into an integrated unit with a spirit of one for all and all for one. Each member will seek to complete the other, to fill any possible void or concern, to be a guarantor for the other, and to open up their heart.

This sensation of perfect collaboration will crystallize their desires into one finely focused will aimed toward an indivisible unity that embraces every teammate.

This deep connection will recharge team energy and draw a special power to the medical staff from the force of nature, a power which is available when people unite. This is the force that fills the entire universe. It will not only strengthen the team, but will also help patients heal physically and emotionally. Both the healers and the healed will experience great benefit and satisfaction.

And even when conflicts, disputes, and outbursts erupt in their relationships—and such situations are expected and worthwhile—they are nothing more than a call to gather and talk for a few minutes, open a fresh page, and reconnect to their common goal to warm their hearts. Such moments are the time for reminding each other that everything that happens comes from a supreme source in order to reveal the sickness of hatred and ruthless competition between us that needs curing.

Thus, every predicament and ailment should be seen as an opportunity for connection, a place to overcome our difficulties in order to acquire greater strength together. The fate of every patient, every health team, and all of mankind depends on the revelation of the healing force of unity between us.
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“Medicine As Nature Would Have It” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Medicine as Nature Would Have It

A few days ago, an Israeli doctor wrote that after more than 20 years of practicing medicine, he finds himself too many times having to say he doesn’t know. He says Covid has upended everything in his profession, and he and many of his colleagues find themselves clueless all too often.

If we want to become healthy, we must heal our social attitude. This will heal our society, which, in turn, will heal our bodies, and the world will be a healthy, happy place to live in.

It seems as though reality is catching up with us in every aspect of our lives. Everything we’ve put on a pedestal is crumbling, including, if not first and foremost, modern medicine. We’ve turned being healthy into a business, and in business, money matters, and not people.

Worse yet, in the past year, the struggle against Covid-19 has become a political power struggle, and decisions that cost lives and livelihoods of millions cater to party interests rather than to the interest of the people. As with everything else, Covid has exposed our nature, and it is not pretty.

We have forgotten that in the end, the human body is that of an animal. Just as animals get their healing from nature, so could we, if we only stayed attentive to our nature. Instead of an attitude of cutting open, replacing, and stitching back, we could have known how to maintain our health and how to heal ourselves easily and quickly when we need it. But being healthy isn’t lucrative, so we are taught to stop listening to ourselves and we become ill.

I am not advocating veganism; I am simply pointing out that we have become deaf to the natural needs of our body, which, by the way, are very few and cost almost nothing. If we were more attentive, we would know what plants are good for what problem, and how to keep ourselves more generally healthy.

We are living within nature; nature has engendered us, sustains us, yet when it comes to our health, we have no clue how to use it to maintain or regain our health. It is as if we’ve cut off the umbilical cord that nourished us, and now we’re trying to survive disconnected from our nurturing mother.

Sadly, where our disconnection is most apparent is with each other. We have not only disconnected from nature; we have, first and foremost, disconnected from each other. We are suffering from moral narcissism—thinking about how our actions make us feel about ourselves rather about their consequences for others. Just as we treat every organ in our body as though it is a standalone system, we treat ourselves as standalone individuals, regardless of the society we live in. The same approach that sickens our society sickens our bodies; we are ill from within and from without.

So reconnecting to nature means reconnecting to every thing and every one, feeling that we are all parts of one system, which tends to all its parts, including us. But it does so only if we, too, tend to it. If we want to become healthy, we must heal our social attitude. This will heal our society, which, in turn, will heal our bodies, and the world will be a healthy, happy place to live in.

“Shaming Offenders Achieves The Opposite Result” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Shaming Offenders Achieves the Opposite Result

Recently, there has been an initiative to show the names and faces of murderers and sex offenders on billboards in Israel in order to shame them. Raising awareness to crime is great, but giving notoriety to criminals will achieve the exact opposite of the intended goal: It will make them proud of what they did and will inspire other potential offenders to act.

Because our society is growing increasingly narcissistic, and narcissism, as Time magazine correctly observed, is a leading cause of such actions, we must deal with the narcissism in society, if we are to prevent future perpetrators from acting. To do that, we must foster social solidarity.

Steve Chapman of the Chicago Tribune wrote in a piece titled “Deprive mass murderers of the fame they seek,” that “The more their names are known, the more likely they are to inspire imitators pursuing similar recognition. A 26-year-old man who killed nine people on a college campus in Oregon in 2015 had previously written of another killer, ‘A man who was known by no one, is now known by everyone. … Seems the more people you kill, the more you’re in the limelight.’”

Time magazine also wrote about the problem with giving notoriety to criminals, focusing on how criminals use social media to gain fame by hurting other people. In a piece titled “Why Facebook Live Tempts Fame-Seeking Criminals, Adam Lankford wrote, “According to Pew Research Center surveys, 51% of Americans aged 18–25 say that ‘to be famous’ is one of their generation’s most important goals in life. Similarly, as part of their professional ambitions, many adults now compete to grow their Twitter base and promote themselves online. Unfortunately, this widespread desire for fame has been accompanied by an increased blurring of the distinction between fame and infamy.” Additionally, and this is very important, Lankford adds that “Given this social context, it is not surprising that some people who cannot get fame legally will commit crimes to get fame instead. This risk is especially high for people with narcissistic tendencies, because they are so desperate for attention, and they lack empathy for those they have to trample upon to reach their goals.” Dr. Scott Bonn referred to such people in a Psychology Today article as “celebrity monsters,” and added that some “serial killers actually seek out public notoriety and actively engage in the creation of their public image.”

Clearly, giving offenders the fame they seek will not shame them. On the contrary, it will make them proud and encourage other offenders to act, and act more boldly than they would have had they not seen the fame that other offenders receive. Instead of fame, we must deal with the problem on a more systemic level. Because our society is growing increasingly narcissistic, and narcissism, as Time magazine correctly observed, is a leading cause of such actions, we must deal with the narcissism in society, if we are to prevent future perpetrators from acting.

To do that, we must foster social solidarity. As Lankford noted, people with narcissistic tendencies, which is most everyone today, are “desperate for attention,” and “lack empathy for those they have to trample upon to reach their goals.”

In a society where there is solidarity, everyone receives the attention they need. The members of such a society feel that they are dependent on each other, and therefore cultivate warm relations. The mutual dependence engenders group awareness, where people cater to the needs of their group no less than they cater to their own needs. As a result, they will be careful not to trample on others since it would pain them as if they harmed themselves.

Once people develop group awareness, it becomes easier for them to absorb the idea that their group depends on other groups just as they are dependent on their own group. That would expand their social awareness and broaden their range of social solidarity beyond their immediate group and into the community, or school, or city. Gradually, the circle of awareness will grow until it encompasses the entire country, and eventually, contingent upon the readiness of other countries, it will encompass the entire world.

Crime doesn’t happen because people feel no shame; it happens because people feel no affinity. Nurture affinity, and you have eliminated crime. This should be our main goal in all our education systems the world over. If we achieve this, we will have a safe present and a happy future. If we do not do this, no shaming, warnings, or technological gadgets to ward off criminals will help.
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