Entries in the 'New Publications' Category

“Why Societies Change” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Why Societies Change

In an essay titled “Critique of Marxism in Light of the New Reality, and a Solution to the Question Regarding the Unification of All the Factions of the Nation,” published in June 1940, while the world was engulfed in the flames of World War II, the great kabbalist and global thinker Baal HaSulam offered this explanation as to why societies change. “The duration of every political phase,” he wrote, “is just the time it takes to unveil its shortcomings and evil. While discovering its faults, it makes way for a new phase, liberated from those flaws. Thus, those impairments, which appear in a situation and destroy it, are the very forces of human evolution, as they raise humanity to a more corrected state.”

In the wisdom of Kabbalah, the process that Baal HaSulam described is called “recognition of evil.” In this process, the faults of one state gradually manifest until they galvanize individuals and nations to change their lives, governments, or whatever it is that has become intolerable in their lives. These days, humanity is going through such a stage on a global scale. The flaws of human society, in all its forms of governance, are manifesting more and more openly, and people are growing increasingly disillusioned with the existing systems.

I don’t think that we are already at the point where matters have become intolerable, but we are moving in that direction.

For now, it seems as though people are still willing to endure the flaws of the existing social and political systems, but hardly anyone still believes that there is any system that is genuinely good for people, since there are no leaders who genuinely have the benefit of the citizens in mind. In other words, people are realizing that no regime can be a good regime as long as the people at the top are not good people.

But governors emerge from the people. If the people aren’t kind to one another, can we expect kindness from the leaders? Governors are simply those who excel in exploiting the system to their benefit; they use it as a level to lift them above the rest of the people. Consequently, in a society of selfish people, the governors are the most selfish; this is why they were able to climb to the top of the heap. Why should we even expect them to have our benefit in mind?

Therefore, to make the forces of human evolution raise humanity to a more corrected state, as Baal HaSulam put it, we must correct the people. If we establish a society of considerate people, its leaders will be the most considerate. If we establish a society that esteems mutual social responsibility, its leaders will be those who best promote mutual responsibility. So, before we complain about our leaders, we should look in the mirror. We may not like what we see, but we will know it is the truth, we will know if we have come to sufficient recognition of evil, and if we are willing to build for ourselves a society whose merits create meritorious leaders.

“A Lesson From Ben & Jerry’s Old And Foul Flavor” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin A Lesson from Ben & Jerry’s Old and Foul Flavor

A few days ago, on July 19, the multinational consumer goods company Unilever, which is also the parent company of Ben & Jerry’s, announced that “it is inconsistent with [their] values for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).” Although officially, Ben & Jerry’s belongs to Unilever, in truth, the company maintains its own policy when it comes to political issues. According to an essay in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Cohen and Greenfield, the progressive Jews who founded the Vermont based company, “attempted to achieve [political autonomy] by negotiating the creation of an independent and robust board for the post-acquisition subsidiary.” Indeed, to date, Ben & Jerry’s Independent Board of Directors has complete freedom when it comes to political statements, even when these affect the company’s commercial activity, as in this case.

Moreover, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA), “The board’s chairwoman, Anuradha Mittal, was furious with Unilever’s response, telling NBC that Unilever was ‘trying to destroy the soul of the company. We want this company to be led by values and not be dictated by the parent company.’” Mittal was not mad at Unilever for banning a part of Israel. On the contrary, according to The Jerusalem Post, “Ben & Jerry’s Independent Board of Directors wanted to boycott Israel in its entirety, but was stopped from doing so by the ice-cream maker’s CEO and the British-based parent company Unilever.”

In other words, Ben & Jerry’s old and foul flavor is “hatred of the Jewish state.” They don’t think that Israel has a right to exist, and they cloak their agenda with a mantle of “social justice.” But this is not about justice; it is a reflection of the objection of many Jews, particularly in the US, to the existence of a Jewish state.

In my view, there are two levels to relate to the company’s declaration. The first level is the superficial one: The contract with Ben & Jerry’s has no item that specifies restrictions of sales in particular parts of the country, for whatever reason. Therefore, this demand is a breach of contract, and the State of Israel should respond resolutely by banning the sales of Ben & Jerry’s products throughout Israel. Instead of the franchise to manufacture and distribute the ice-cream in Israel, the Israeli licensee will sell its own ice-cream or sign a contract with another multinational company. In short, if they go political against Israel, Israel should go political against them.

But the deeper level is the more important one. The fact that two Jews are leading a campaign against Israel is actually natural; it’s a reflection of their aversion from their duty to the world. It will not help them. German Jews held the same views before Hitler came to power, but it didn’t help them whatsoever once the Nazis came to power. Now, too, the anti-Israel agenda will not help American Jews; the local antisemites will deal with them the same as the Nazis did under Hitler.

There is nothing that Jews will not give to the nations of the world in return for some sympathy. They will give up their identity, tradition, history, sovereignty, anything to get the world to like them. But all those “gifts” that the Jews are willing to bestow upon the world increase the division within the Jewish people and intensify the world’s hatred toward us. If we could rise above our differences and unite for just one day, we would see that this is what the world actually wants from us: our own unity, and not any other gifts.

Moreover, if we united, the world would understand why the Jews need their own country: to create a place where they can unite above their rifts and set an example of love that covers all the crimes, as King Solomon wrote (Proverbs 10:12). The reason that some Jews don’t want a sovereign State of Israel to exist, even if it were established in a completely undisputed territory, is that subconsciously, they don’t want the onus of being a role model nation, a trailblazing enterprise that unites people of all cultures, ethnicities, and faiths under an umbrella ideology of unity above all else. This was the ideology that forged the peoplehood of our ancestors, this is the reason why “Love your neighbor as yourself” is the motto that encompasses the whole of the Torah, and this is the onus of the Jews: to set an example by implementing this most sublime creed in existence, the system of uniting complete strangers “as one man with one heart.” Those Jews who deny Israel’s right to exist are trying to avoid endowing the world with this most precious gift.

For more on this topic, refer to the book The Jewish Choice: Unity or Anti-Semitism, Historical facts on anti-Semitism as a reflection of Jewish social discord.

“Why The World Laughs When Jews Cry” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Why the World Laughs When Jews Cry

A student from Israel asked me why it feels like whenever someone says something bad about Israel, the whole world joins in chorus. My answer was simple and concise: We are misbehaving toward the world, and this is why the world feels this way about us.

I would like to elaborate on that. We, Jews, must set an example of good relationships among everyone, but first and foremost among ourselves. We need to display bonding, peace, and friendship. The people of Israel are supposed to be responsible for one another. If we do this, the world will respect us. Because we’re not doing it, it treats us with contempt.

Currently, the relationships among the different factions in the Israeli society are horrible, nothing less. Also, we cannot separate what is happening within the Israeli society from how the world treats us, since we are part of the world; we were made of “representatives” from all the nations. Our ancestors came from all the nations of the world and assembled an ideological group that believed in King Solomon’s motto (Prov. 10:12), “Hate stirs strife, and love will cover all crimes.” Those early representatives of humanity formed a nation that realized a sublime idea that to this day seems eccentric: peace among all the nations.

Those ancestors fought hard to maintain their unity above the differences and hatred that erupted on occasion; they tried to remain true to their duty to be “a light unto nations,” to set an example of unity. They even coined the motto that virtually every religion and belief system has adopted in one form or another: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Indeed, is there anything higher than that? Although eventually we collapsed into hatred and were dispersed throughout the world, the legacy of unity and the duty of the Jews remain entrenched in humanity’s subconscious.

Just as nations are proud or ashamed of their athletes, who are competing these days in the Olympic Games, and just as people feel connected to great leaders, explorers, novelists, composers, scientists, and other renowned people from their nation, even if they lived many centuries ago, they also feel connected to their representatives among the ancient people of unity, the Jewish people, though on a more subliminal level. This is why when Jews succeed in their duty to unite the “delegates” of the nations, namely the Jews themselves, into a cohesive nation, they get the world’s applause. At the same time, when they fail and fall into disputes and division, they draw the world’s ire toward them.

This onus of the Jews is why the world’s attention will always be given to the Jewish people, why the Jews will always be judged by a stricter standard than the rest of the people, and why humanity pins every misfortune that befalls the world on the Jews. In his book Orot HaKodesh [Lights of Sanctity], Rav Kook, a great spiritual leader and the first Chief Rabbi in the Jewish settlement in Israel, wrote about the duty of the Jews toward the world: “Since we [Jews] were ruined by unfounded hatred and the world was ruined with us, we will be rebuilt by unfounded love, and the world will be rebuilt with us.”

I hope and pray for our unity, for our sake, but most of all, for the sake of the world.

For more information about the ideas in this post, please read Like a Bundle of Reeds: Why unity and mutual guarantee are today’s call of the hour.

“Is Privacy Overrated?” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Is Privacy Overrated?

A new law proposal in Israel wants to place face detecting cameras in public spaces. The goal of the initiative is to help police reduce crime and violence levels. On the other hand, human rights organizations say that such cameras severely breach people’s right to privacy since they’ll effectively allow police to track us anywhere.

When I was first told about the idea, my gut reaction was “So what?” And indeed, what can the state find about me, that I’m human? I admit that I don’t find it scary since I think this is how we have to relate to people to begin with: as complete egoists. “The inclination of a man’s heart is evil from his youth” (Gen. 8:21) is not a Biblical adage; it is the truth; this is really who we are, so what can the police find, that we are who we are?

In fact, it is not that we are afraid of our secrets being known; it is that we don’t trust the people who will know them. Several times in my life, I found myself lying stark naked while ten or more doctors stood around me, looked at me, and discussed what to do with me. I didn’t feel any shame from them; I knew that they wanted my best. The problem is that since we don’t believe that the government wants our best, we don’t want it privy to information about us. And since we are evil from our youth, we have good reasons to want to keep our actions hidden from the public eye.

So, how do we solve a situation where the police want to prevent crime, and therefore need better means of surveillance, but in order to track criminals, they also install instruments that allow them to track regular civilians? To solve it, we need to change both the government and the citizens. In other words, the government needs to work for the citizens, and the citizens need to develop a nature that is not inherently negative and detrimental to others.

Since the citizens elect the government that represents them, it means that it reflects them. In other words, the fact that the government does not want our benefit is because we don’t want each other’s benefit. Not surprisingly, we elect representatives who are made in our own image: evil from their youth.

For the most part, we still deny that we are like that. The world around us is crumbling, societies are falling apart in the free world and in dictatorships alike, a global plague is running amok but we are reluctant to cooperate in order to defeat it, nature is raging throughout the world and threatens to drown us, burn us, melt us, and devastate our economies until we starve, yet we don’t feel that any of it is our fault.

Perhaps if we do place cameras in plain view, and place them everywhere so we can see our behavior for what it is, we will see who we really are. Perhaps then we will realize that we have no choice but to change, that we must become better people, kinder to each other, more considerate, and less imposing. Perhaps then we will choose leaders who have our best interest in mind, instead of their own power and wealth. Then, for sure, we will have nothing to hide.
[285195]

“Tu B’Av, More Than A Jewish Valentine’s Day” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Tu B’Av, More Than a Jewish Valentine’s Day

How is it possible that love is the motive of almost every activity people engage in, and yet, what we see around us is endless hatred, separation, and quarrels? Let’s rethink what true love is.

The best explanation of this concept can be found in the meaning of Tu B’Av (the 15th of Av), the day of love. It happens right after Tisha B’Av (the 9th of Av), the day of destruction. Only after this unparalleled crisis where evil is revealed, the hatred between us, are we able to correct ourselves and reach true love. Then a new period of balance begins. In order to attain it, however, we needed first to recognize that our present state is completely opposite to it.

In other words, the recognition of an unfounded hatred that dwells in our heart is the precondition for the attainment of unconditional love between us. As it is written, “Tu B’Av is the correction and mitigation of Tisha B’Av.” (Likutey Halachot).

It is also written in the Mishnah, “No day was as good for Israel as the 15th of Av—a day when the tribes were permitted to mingle and impart each one’s goodness to one’s friend.” (Tifferet Shlomo)

Tu B’Av was the greatest of days when, according to tradition, the young women of Jerusalem would go out dressed in white to the orchards and vineyards to sing. The young men would join them to choose their bride. These are the images that characterize this holiday.

In spite of the romantic imagery, it is not the earthy love of young men and women in the vineyards that Tu B’Av speaks of, but a totally different kind of love: one built atop the egoism (self-interest instead of concern for the wellbeing of others) that destroyed the First and Second Temples on the 9th of Av, which we have just finished commemorating. The dark days between the 17th of Tammuz and Tisha B’Av remind the Jewish people of the destruction of the two Temples, as well as other problems and afflictions that we have undergone. Later on, when the unfounded hatred is gone, a new period begins during which we search for correction.

We search for a spiritual partner to help us accomplish this transition we desire, and the spiritual partner for both men and women is the higher force of love and bestowal, the Creator. We connect with Him and together receive absolute fulfillment, the pleasure and enlightenment—the revelation of the real world—existing in that sublime and whole reality and not only in the tiny fragment of it that we know as our world. The entire process of the Tu B’Av unification symbolizes our ultimate correction, the rebuilding of the Temple, and our transformation from hatred to love.

Therefore, the festivity of Tu B’Av alludes to the time in which we will build the Third Temple. However, the allusion does not refer to a physical edification but one we build in our hearts, between us. It speaks of a state in which humanity is connected positively, and in which the unifying force that maintains the world and all reality becomes revealed between us.

What is true love? True love, not the love on the corporeal level that we usually think of, is a special feeling of connection between us which elevates us to the heights of eternity, wholeness, and an infinite expansion of our feelings and thoughts. We begin to sense that we exist in total fulfillment when we relate to one another with this ultimate love.

In our current state, even when we feel we love someone, it is because we love how that person makes us feel. As a result, we stop loving when we derive no joy from the relationship, so in truth, there was actually no true love there to begin with. To truly love another means to only want that person’s happiness, to want to give to that other person.

However, there is one special condition required before we can achieve true love. Love unfolds only after first revealing a state of fragmentation— the present state—and then collecting all the shattered pieces together in a spirit of mutual concern and reciprocity.

The new state of consciousness, this new understanding and feeling, elevates us to the higher level of the perfect reality above the limitations of our earthly life. Tu B’Av propels us to the unique state of “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

“England’s Freedom Day Reflects The Sorry State Of The World” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “England’s Freedom Day Reflects the Sorry State of the World

Despite nearly 50,000 new confirmed cases daily and a rising pace of infection, despite 1,200 physicians backing a letter to The Lancet medical journal warning that “this decision is dangerous and premature,” and “provides fertile ground for the emergence of vaccine-resistant variants,” and a call “to pause plans to abandon mitigations on July 19, 2021,” the UK government went ahead with what was dubbed the “Freedom Day,” where nearly all Covid restrictions have been lifted. People in the UK are now permitted to cram bars, restaurants, entertainment halls, sports events, and gather however and wherever they want without any limits. Even masks are no longer mandatory in Covid-ridden England (albeit with few severe cases).

I have been to bars on the British Isles; I know what it’s like there. These places are jam-packed, and people literally stand shoulder to shoulder because there is no room. Without masks, these places will undoubtedly become Covid hotbeds.

I understand that it is tough to avoid things you like for so long, and people need to unwind. But what if Covid does not go away? What if, as the physicians’ letter warns, a vaccine-resistant variant appears, with a high mortality rate, and there is no vaccine to protect from it? What would the government do? Would it not impose restrictions, and probably far worse than Britons had to bear until a few days ago? The government would have no choice but to cut out people’s joys and freedoms slice after slice, until none of it is left. Eventually, it would have to give money to people just so they can get the bare minimum to sustain themselves. Bar and restaurant owners will end up with nothing, and they will also have no future since there will be no vaccine to give them hope that at some point, they will be able to reopen their businesses. For this reason, I see no benefit in this decision.

But there is another, more important issue here: Such a move reflects the poor state of solidarity in the world. The virus may have started in China, but since then, it has mutated several times and now we’re being infected with a strain that first appeared in India. Covid knows no borders; once it appears, it is omnipresent. We may not like it, but we are responsible for one another. Currently, we think of other countries only in terms of how we can exploit them, harm them, and govern them. This has to change because if it doesn’t, that ill-will that’s emerging from within us will put us all to death.

Covid-19 is a sign that we must begin to make decisions with other people’s benefit in mind, and not just the benefit of some people, but of all the people, since, as we already know, an infection anywhere is an infection everywhere. There needs to be a governing body of world experts that will keep in mind the benefit of the entire world, and this body will decide what is right for the planet, and what is not.

The current time is special; we need to work with it correctly. We need to seize the moment and begin to be more considerate, to decide together what to do against our common foe. And once we decide, we must act on it together.

We can wait; we can be doubtful, but the result will be our own demise, if not in this wave, then in the next. Nature is leaving us no options but to band together and fight for our lives. We can achieve this, but only if we give this government of experts the required authority to do what it takes to save humanity from Covid, and basically from our own ill-will toward each other.

In the current situation, we are worse than any animal. When there is a forest fire, animals stop hunting one another and everyone focuses on escaping. You might even see natural enemies running side by side away from the flames. Not so are people: We try to demolish other people and nations even while we’re running from a common threat, such as a virus, and even when doing so may put us in danger, such as the case with the “Freedom Day.” We are devoid of the instinct that keeps animals alive, so unless we develop it ourselves, we will not survive. It’s as simple as that, and the sooner we understand it, the fewer unneeded casualties we will have to mourn.

“Israel Won’t Buy Ben & Jerry’s New Flavor: Bitter Taste” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Israel Won’t Buy Ben & Jerry’s New Flavor: Bitter Taste

What is the connection between ice cream and politics? None. Except Ben & Jerry’s, the Vermont based international ice cream producer, has entered the fray. In a new lick of hatred towards Israel, the company announced that it would no longer sell ice cream in Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem, places they call “Occupied Palestinian Territory.”

We do not need Ben and Jerry’s products, but we Jews do need each other to create a united front to stand strong and stop our enemies. That will be the only way to avoid being erased from the map, which is the ultimate goal of those who want to boycott us.

The company’s decision to ban the sales is not surprising though. Ben & Jerry’s, whose Jewish founders are not shy to show sympathy with progressives’ causes linked to the BDS (boycott, divest, sanction), easily surrendered to the pressure of Israeli foes. Can we consider Jewish self-haters as part of our people, the people of Israel? Why should we? They would be the first to march against Israel across America.

However, it shows exactly our main problem as a Jewish nation: the separation between us; it weakens our foundation and has gloomy ramifications for our future. It is our internal division that gnaws at us and invites attacks and boycotts against us. We must unite and oppose those who seek to harm parts or the entire Land of Israel. We need to respond, to put an end to their actions before they end us.

Israel is one body and any injury to one of its organs requires the mobilization of the entire body.

It is good that the Israeli franchisee of Ben & Jerry’s opposed the decision of the global company, but his success will only materialise if he takes advantage of the momentum and establishes his own Israeli made fine ice cream, and not ask the public to continue buying the same brand. Similarly, American chains have decided to stop selling Ben and Jerry’s products.

It is possible that we will be also singled out by other companies in the world, but we will stand on our own, and more importantly, we will feel the need to connect and become one. We cannot allow an ice cream manufacturer to dictate our policies or decide about our sovereignty. This should be a political decision at the highest level in government rather than a business ruling.

Today the aggression against us is over dessert, tomorrow other foods, clothes, wine, and the arts may become weaponized. Our enemies find any excuse to spread antisemitic hatred under the false umbrella of justice.

The positive side of these actions is that they pressure and push us to unite and defend ourselves, which is exactly what we are intended to do, since the method of unity was handed down to us since ancient Babylon. In the first stage we will unite against those who rise up against us, and in the next stage, we will connect for the sake of others, to fulfill our role as Jewish people, to be a light unto the nations. The cherry on top will be to spread harmony to the entire world and by so doing, we will set an example which the whole world can follow.

“Is This Awful Summer The Best Summer Of The Rest Of Our Lives?” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Is This Awful Summer the Best Summer of the Rest of Our Lives?

I am not afraid of the pandemic; I am afraid that nature has started to relate to us the way we relate to it. It seems as though chaos has taken over the world. Natural disasters of unprecedented magnitude are occurring in multiple places simultaneously: unheard-of floods in some places, unparalleled fires in other places, sometimes a few hundred miles apart, and scorching heat in still other places. At the same time, the coronavirus is spreading once again with the Delta variant, and threatens to hamper humanity’s efforts to recover from the pestilence, while international relations are growing increasingly tense and volatile. But worst of all is the trend: it’s negative. Things are not only bad, but quickly worsening. If this trend continues, this awful summer will be the best summer of the rest of our lives.

We need to think things over. It makes no sense that so many crises are happening all over the world at the same time, that a virus is spreading around the world and disrupts the lives of every person in humanity, and all of these are unrelated incidents.

Perhaps you can blame climate change for natural disasters, but you cannot blame it for countries threatening to destroy one another. There is a deeper cause to our woes, and we can find it only in ourselves. When we analyze all the crises, we find that the one common element in all of them is man. If we are the common element, then the reason for the crises is within us.

More precisely, the reason for the crises is how we relate to nature and to one another. Nature is a perfect system. It maintains a dynamic balance we call homeostasis. Contrary to nature’s balance, we seek only to take and overtake. We have forced our winner-take-all attitude on a system that operates in a manner that guarantees everyone’s sustenance and well-being. We injected hatred, violence, and meanness into a system that contained none of it before. Now it seems as though that system is paying us back in our own coin: the currency of hatred.

If we wish to avoid unimaginable catastrophes, we must abandon the currency we’ve used so far and adopt nature’s currency of mutual responsibility and consideration. We have to start respecting each other’s right to lead healthy and safe lives, without trying to subjugate them, but for this, we must feel that we are all parts of one, global system.

Our sages knew all this thousands of years ago, and talked about this with anyone who wished to listen. The Jerusalem Talmud, for example, offers a beautiful allegory about our connectedness: “If the writing warns about habitual mistreatment, vengeance and bearing a grudge should be forbidden also toward those who are not from among your nation. Also, how is it possible for one to forgive an affront? [Suppose] one is cutting meat, and the knife descends into his hand; would he consider avenging his hand and cutting his other hand for cutting the first? So is this matter … the rule is that one does not take revenge against one’s neighbor, for it is as though he is taking revenge against his own body” (Nedarim 9:4).

We really haven’t any time to waste. Nature is clearly signaling that it is losing patience. If it erupts in all its wrath, Covid will be the least of our worries. Therefore, to save ourselves, we must start treating each other, and all of nature, as we would like others to treat us.

“The Uniqueness Of Human Development” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “The Uniqueness of Human Development

Physically, humans are very similar to other species of apes. In fact, we’re far less capable than other species: We’re much weaker, move slower, more susceptible to diseases, and we can’t climb trees. So how come we’ve become the “lords of the Earth?” The answer lies not in our abilities, but in a unique desire that only humans have: the desire to go beyond this world, the desire for the spiritual!

The desire for the spiritual causes us to ask questions, which develop our brains, which in turn make us smarter than all other species, which don’t question their condition or circumstances. But we don’t only ask how to make life more convenient or easy; we also ask, and this is the most important, what life is for. Everything we have developed, from art to technology, to industry, to science, to religion and philosophy, everything that makes us human pertains to the search for life’s purpose. This search has developed us to the point where we have become the lords of the Earth.

Yet, while the search for life’s purpose has developed us far beyond any other animal, it has also left us intensely frustrated. The inexplicable frenzy that the world seems to be going through these days is happening because of this craving to find the answer to the tormenting question about the meaning of life. In our frantic search for it, which is often an unconscious drive, we are running amok in every direction and destroying everything in our path.

Yet, gradually, we will come to realize that we can find our purpose not within us, but between us. The purpose of life is to lift us to a level where we understand how everything works, and why, namely that we understand the thought behind creation itself. To achieve this, we needn’t study each part in specific, but how all the parts work together to create reality. In other words, if we understand the connections between us, we will understand reality and understand ourselves. Only then will the world’s madness subside.

To understand our interconnections, we need to reconstruct the network that nature has created. This is why we have each other. If we build among us the same type of connections that exist in the rest of reality, we will understand the rest of reality. When we understand reality, we will realize that it is based on balance and harmony. Each part takes only what it needs, while the rest of its operations help maintain the system. In human society, this can be done only if people develop mutual love among. In that case, they will take for themselves only what they need, but more important, they will work wholeheartedly for the benefit of society.

Just as family members are considerate toward each other and help each other because they love one another, all of humanity can consciously develop such connections, and thereby understand all of existence, since all parts of reality are instinctively considerate and help sustain one another. Since what comes to all creations instinctively, comes to us laboriously and after much reflection, we will not be automated beings running on instincts, but conscious human beings, cognizant of their purpose in life and how they can achieve it.
[285049]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our sages have always known this to be true and wrote about this throughout our history. Ramchal wrote about it in his commentary on the Torah, the book Kol Mevaser stressed it, too, but perhaps one of the most eloquent writers about the role of Israel in modern times was the great Rav Kook. In Orot HaKodesh, he wrote, “Since we were ruined by unfounded hatred, and the world was ruined with us, we will be rebuilt by unfounded love, and the world will be rebuilt with us.”

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

For more on this topic, refer to the book Like a Bundle of Reeds: Why unity and mutual guarantee are today’s call of the hour.
[28504]