Entries in the 'New Publications' Category

“Different People, Different Worlds” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Different People, Different Worlds

One sees white where another sees black. One thinks that something is good, and another is certain that it’s bad. Different people, different worlds. How can we collaborate when we are worlds apart, closed inside our shells, and with completely different viewpoints? And, why are we built like this to begin with?

Why is our view so important to us? Our view represents who we are; it is the expression of our self, our ego. If someone disagrees with me, it undermines the foundation of my being, makes me feel unworthy and insignificant, and therefore insecure.

Each person is born with a unique set of traits and qualities. Each person grows in a certain family, under certain conditions, receives a certain upbringing, and lives through different experiences. Each person is influenced through media outlets and social media networks, and all those factors make us who we are.

Because of all those factors, we see the world through different filters, unique glasses that each one wears. This is why it is so difficult, or actually impossible, for us to understand other people. As a result, we find ourselves in constant conflicts. As we try to prove that our view is correct, we forget that each of us is unique, and we end up engulfed in endless ego-wars that lead nowhere but to frustration, despair, and depression.

Why is our view so important to us? Our view represents who we are; it is the expression of our self, our ego. If someone disagrees with me, it undermines the foundation of my being, makes me feel unworthy and insignificant, and therefore insecure.

As long as we are taught that we must compete with each other, we will keep harming one another and regard each other’s uniqueness as a threat. In order to turn our individuality into a socially constructive factor, we must add another layer to our education.

That layer has to do with nature’s complementing contrasts. We have to remind ourselves that all of life consists of contrasts that complement one another and enable each other’s existence. Just as there would be no birth or growth without death and decay, there would be no growth in opinions and ideas without conflicting views. In nature, opposites do not destroy one another; they complement one another, embolden one another, and guarantee each other’s existence. This is nature’s integral formula, and unless we understand its importance and apply it to society, we will destroy each other instead of strengthening each other.

Walking a long journey to reach one’s goal does not happen by hopping on one leg. It happens when we use both legs, left and right, to get to our destination. Human society should be likewise. Our destination is unity, and the only way to get there is by fostering a bond between us. That said, we will have no impetus to bond unless we feel that we are separated and hateful of each other, and must bolster our unity in order to rise above our hatred.

Therefore, when we come across a person whose views we despise, we must keep in mind that that view is there not for us to patronize, but as a basis for building a stronger connection. This remoteness that I feel is my impetus for building closeness, and there will never be another impetus besides the opposite of what we need to build.

People who feel no conflicts with others have no reason to unite; they are content as they are, uninterested and largely indifferent. Only people who are different, who are worlds apart, can ever build true unity, a strong connection, and, ultimately, true love.

“Criticism – A Progeny Of The Ego” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Criticism – a Progeny of the Ego

To an extent, we’re all critical of others. In fact, criticizing others is a treat few can pass up. Regrettably, criticism is actually our own ego adoring itself. Self-righteousness and righteous indignation give us such a sense of superiority that most of us cannot resist.

We always compare ourselves to others. Whether we’re aware of it or not, this is how we develop self-esteem. Therefore, the lower I view others, the higher I view myself. And if I can’t elevate myself, I will engage solely in lowering others. This is the reason for our tendency to patronize and belittle other people. Just as people once believed that the Earth is at the center of the universe, we, too, feel that we are the center of Creation this way, even if we don’t admit it to ourselves.

Currently, our egos have grown to a point where they wish to destroy others. It is evident primarily in international relations, but if you consider the rising social tensions between ethnic groups, cultures, religions, and political views, it is clear that we are heading for a clash. The only way to prevent it is to realize that we are dependent on each other. Without the existence of the opposite view, my own view will become null and void.

However, like all other inherently negative traits, we can turn criticism into a constructive force that brings a lot of good. Envy is a potent and tormenting emotion. When we see others succeed, it arouses in us both envy and fear for our position. Naturally, we will criticize them passionately. However, had it not been for envy, we would not have created civilization. Envy creates competition, and competition creates progress. If we understand this, we will realize that our own development depends on the development of others. The trick is to keep the envy and the competition balanced, and not go overboard, as is happening today.

Currently, our egos have grown to a point where they wish to destroy others. It is evident primarily in international relations, but if you consider the rising social tensions between ethnic groups, cultures, religions, and political views, it is clear that we are heading for a clash. The only way to prevent it is to realize that we are dependent on each other. Without the existence of the opposite view, my own view will become null and void. Moreover, we wouldn’t even think in the direction we are thinking now, since our view is a reaction to the opposite view.

Take Socialism, for example. Without Capitalism, the whole idea of Socialism would not have emerged, and the noble ideas about society it has contributed would never have appeared.

We therefore see that criticism, the progeny of the ego, is ruinous unless we realize that precisely thanks to the matter or the person being criticized, there is merit to our criticism and our own ideas. If we keep this in mind, criticism will lead to growth and prosperity. Otherwise, we’d better keep it to ourselves, for our own good.

“Advancing From Conflict To Conflict” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Advancing from Conflict to Conflict

Last week, a water dispute between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan led to armed clashes that resulted in the death of more than 30 people, scores were injured, and more than 10,000 people had to flee from their homes. Those clashes were the worst in many years between the two countries, and while the fire has subsided for now, the situation is still very tense. Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are only the latest in a string of clashes that are becoming increasingly frequent and more intense, not only between countries, but also between factions within countries, as well as domestic violence. The world is clearly becoming a more violent place.

As intolerance grows, these conflicts are bound to grow even more frequent, and spread to countries that have so far been very calm and peaceful. Western Europe, Canada, and many other places that currently enjoy relative calm, will gradually lose that status and will become hotbeds of aggression, too.

As intolerance grows, these conflicts are bound to grow even more frequent, and spread to countries that have so far been very calm and peaceful. Western Europe, Canada, and many other places that currently enjoy relative calm, will gradually lose that status and will become hotbeds of aggression, too.

The culprit behind the escalation is, of course, the human ego. The more interconnected our world is becoming, the more the ego-driven conflicts in one place fuel conflicts in other places and the overall level of violence increases. Already, the violence has pervaded every level of society the world over. Unless we reverse the trajectory, it will come to the state that our sages described as “Man’s enemies are the dwellers of his own home” (Mishnah, Sotah, 9:15), and life will be unbearable.

Nevertheless, there is a purpose for our conflicts. If we understand it, we will be able to reverse the trajectory before we sink into the horrors of another world war, which many already regard as a plausible option. The purpose of the ego-driven conflicts is to impel us to rise above our ego, reject it, shun it, and choose unity despite our inherent dislike.

This may seem counterintuitive: Why must we hate each other first if the whole idea is to eventually love each other? The reason is that unless we experience hatred, we will not want to love one another and will therefore never come to it. We experience everything only through contrasts. Without the opposite of love, we wouldn’t be able to know what it is, much less want it. Just as we wouldn’t know the meaning of words such as “day,” “warmth,” “gentleness,” and “life” without knowing their opposites, we wouldn’t know the meaning of “love” without knowing its opposite.

Therefore, conflicts make sense only if they yield the opposite. If they only fuel more conflicts, they will end up destroying all of us. This is where humanity is going at the moment. We have no time to waste; we must start using the hatred that has already erupted as a lever for building its opposite.

If we think it is impossible, it is only because our egos tell us so. After all, living under a constant threat of violence is not possible either; we’d better get going.

“No Calamity Comes To The World But For Israel” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “No Calamity Comes to the World but for Israel

“No calamity comes to the world but for Israel.” These poignant words of our sages (Yevamot, 63a) capture the reason for all the tragedies that afflict us. Not only the Talmud warns about the reason for Israel’s blows. The Book of Zohar also states that when the people of Israel veer off from the right way, “with these actions they bring about the existence of poverty, ruin, and robbery, looting, killing, and destructions in the world” (Tikkuney Zohar, No. 30).

Our nation was formed through a vow to unite “as one man with one heart,” and unity has always been our strength. “The prime defense against calamity is love and unity. When there are love, unity, and friendship between each other in Israel, no calamity can come over them” writes the book Maor VaShemesh.

In the days following the Meron disaster, where 45 people, many of whom children, died in a stampede, the people of Israel proved once more that in crisis, the nation unites. For a short while, we’ve put aside the vociferous, spite-filled arguments, and united in mourning over the pointless loss of life. But tomorrow, when the headlines change and the heart-wrenching pictures give way to new fiascos, the malice will return more intense and venomous than ever. While the circumstances that allowed for this disaster to happen must be examined, we must also not miss out on the opportunity that this tragedy has given us to reconstruct our social relations in this country because this, in the end, is our real source of strength.

In his essay “The Nation,” Baal HaSulam laments our lack of internal unity and ephemeral coalitions. “We are like a pile of nuts,” he writes, “united into a single body from the outside by a sack that envelops and unites them. Their measure of unity does not make them a united body, and each movement applied to the sack produces in them tumult and separation. Thus, they consistently arrive at new unions and partial aggregations. The fault is that they lack the inner unity, and their whole force of unity comes through outside incidents. To us,” concludes Baal HaSulam, “this is very painful to the heart.”

Our nation was formed through a vow to unite “as one man with one heart,” and unity has always been our strength. “The prime defense against calamity is love and unity. When there are love, unity, and friendship between each other in Israel, no calamity can come over them” writes the book Maor VaShemesh.

Moreover, when Israel unite, they are “a light unto nations,” setting an example of love and unity to the world. The Book of Zohar writes that when the people of Israel unite above their hatred, they bring peace to the world. In the portion Aharei Mot, The Zohar writes, “‘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.”

The onus of unity does not lie on one faction, but on all parts of the Israeli society. It is time we began a national reflection on our conduct as a nation. We can blame each other all we want for the disasters that land on us, but they will not stop until we realize that they reflect not our incompetence, but our division. Naturally, incompetence and recklessness are accomplices in every disaster, but these vices, too, are the results of our callousness and indifference toward each other. If we are content with finger pointing, we’d better get ready for the next blow.

Some of us openly admit their feeling that “we are not one nation.” However, if we use it to justify our alienation from each other, we will suffer more blows until we realize that we are meant to rise above our hatred, not embrace it and brag about our candor. Only when we rise above divisions are we regarded as a nation, and only then does the world welcome us. The book Sifrey Devarim details how in antiquity, people from other nations would come to Jerusalem during the pilgrimages to witness the brotherhood among Jews. They would “go up to Jerusalem and see Israel … and say, ‘It is becoming to cling only to this nation.’”

Indeed, as we embrace the grieving families, we should also embrace the message of unity. As our sages wrote, this is “our prime defense against calamity,” and the only way we can realize the vocation of our nation in this world.
[281874]

“Why There Is Hatred” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Why There Is Hatred

Wherever you look there is hatred. It’s no longer a matter of international relations, but within countries, societies seem to be splintering into smaller and smaller pieces, and each piece thinks it’s got a monopoly on the truth, making it entitled to deride, mock, but mainly hate everyone who thinks otherwise. However, there is a reason for this alarming intensification of hatred: Without it, we will not want to change ourselves.

Hatred is our inherent nature, as it is written, “The inclination of a man’s heart is evil from his youth” (Gen. 8:21). At the same time, the rest of nature also consists of a good inclination, and the two are balanced everywhere except in humanity. The reason we are created “handicapped” is that this is the only way to compel us to want the good inclination consciously, of our own volition, and choose to balance our inclinations rather than remain in our inherent wickedness.

Hatred is our inherent nature, as it is written, “The inclination of a man’s heart is evil from his youth” (Gen. 8:21). At the same time, the rest of nature also consists of a good inclination, and the two are balanced everywhere except in humanity. The reason we are created “handicapped” is that this is the only way to compel us to want the good inclination consciously, of our own volition, and choose to balance our inclinations rather than remain in our inherent wickedness.

On the one hand, it’s true that had we had both inclinations to begin with, we wouldn’t do all the damage we are doing to each other, to animals and plants, and to Earth. On the other hand, understanding the workings of reality would be impossible since we would naturally behave correctly with each other and with nature, without giving it a second thought. That would create perfect human animals, but we would never become human beings, which is the goal of our existence.

Now that the hatred is evident among us, we can, and actually must begin to cultivate the opposite quality. We must, because if we don’t, we will destroy our species, and possibly everything else on the face of the Earth, and we must, because this is the only way we can learn how reality works, the balance that exists throughout the universe and all of reality. Only if we develop the quality of goodness and love, the opposite of hatred, we will be able to witness firsthand how all of nature operates, and we would learn how to manage our lives successfully.

And the way to build this opposite quality is with each other. Just as now we hate each other, we should start building the opposite feeling. Just as nature doesn’t suppress anything but lets everything be in perfect coexistence, we should build this love among us on top of the hatred without suppressing it. In other words, we should feel the hate, and then make love more important to us than the hatred we feel, and strive to act accordingly.

The hatred is not redundant; it is essential to the process. We can build the opposite feeling atop the initial hatred if we realize that without feeling the hatred, we will never need or want to love, and we will therefore never know what love is.

Once we overcome a certain level of hatred, another level will emerge, a deeper, more sinister one. But it will appear only so as to cover this one, too, with love. And because the level of hatred will be stronger than before, so will the level of love we will build atop it.

Gradually, we will become grateful for feeling the hatred, since its reward is the increase of love. We will realize that we cannot love unless we hate first, and if we use it as an incentive instead of succumbing to it, we will become more loving human beings.
[281833]

“IMF: Covid Scars The Vulnerable The Most” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “IMF: Covid Scars the Vulnerable the Most

On the homepage of its website, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) writes that it is “an organization of 190 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world.” In a report the IMF published recently, titled After-Effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic, the organization concludes that “The degree of expected scarring varies across countries, depending on the structure of economies… Emerging market and developing economies are expected to suffer more scarring than advanced economies.” As usual, the rich and powerful get away with everything, and the exploited weak bear the brunt. We don’t need an organization of 190 countries to know that this is the case, but to change it. When it does nothing to change it, it means that its purpose is not to change the situation but to perpetuate it, mask the ploy from the vulnerable, and if possible, collect a few compliments on its great service to society.

The pandemic is a blessing for the rich and powerful. They use organizations like the IMF as lip-service, and I have zero expectations from them. When they act, it is only in order to gain even more wealth and power. When you bring them an idea, start with what benefit they will get out of it. If you don’t, don’t waste your time or theirs. Things won’t change until the poor raise an outcry that they can no longer survive. Then, things will get interesting. But the clash will be short-lived. In the end, nothing will change because the ego has not changed.

The pandemic is a blessing for the rich and powerful. They use organizations like the IMF as lip-service, and I have zero expectations from them. When they act, it is only in order to gain even more wealth and power. When you bring them an idea, start with what benefit they will get out of it. If you don’t, don’t waste your time or theirs. Things won’t change until the poor raise an outcry that they can no longer survive. Then, things will get interesting. But the clash will be short-lived. In the end, nothing will change because the ego has not changed.

If the rich can get away from the crowd by hopping on a private jet to a resort in the Maldives, what incentive will they have to change anything? It looks like things will change only when humanity is lying face down in the gutter. As long as heads of states can get away from it all, and get away with it, nothing will change. On the contrary, there will be “world peace” based on a global economy where people have equally nothing, and a global moral system that says, “Steal as much as you can, however you can, and wherever you can.”

You would think that there is no point talking about the situation, but that is not the case. A change will come, but it will happen only when the lie is exposed to the whole world, and the world cannot ignore it. When this happens, humanity will not sit idly when more than 400,000 people are diagnosed with Covid every single day in India alone, and 4,000 people die there for lack of oxygen and basic medical treatment or adequate facilities. A few weeks ago, this disgrace was happening in Brazil, now it is happening in India, in a few weeks it will happen elsewhere, and we don’t care until it hits us in the face. It isn’t just “aid” organizations that are indifferent; it is all of us.

If we cared, they wouldn’t dare. They wouldn’t have the audacity to contort their faces in phony frowns of sympathy.

Sincerely, I have no hope that a change will come from suffering. People will continue to ache until they feel that death is better than living, but they will still not change. The only thing that will eventually change us is the realization that our only strength is in each other. Then, when people turn toward each other, they will realize that they cannot unite, that their hearts are frozen, and this is why they’re suffering. Only when people try to merge their hearts will they realize that their egoism is their enemy, the cause of their afflictions, and that all along, it has been fooling them into thinking that it is someone else’s fault.

When we try to form a bond, we will finally find the strength and gumption that we need in order to overcome our ordeals. The horrific future on our path will materialize only if we remain oblivious to the solution of unity, the only solution that can work.

Human suffering is not written in stone; it is written in our hearts of stone. If we turn our hearts toward each other, it will soften them, and this will soften our fate.

Nature isn’t cruel. No animal suffers as much as we do, unless we afflict it on them. The only thing that’s cruel in nature is human nature. If we change it, by reaching out to one another and forming a bond that is similar to the bonds among all parts of nature, nature will cease its lashing at us. Then, and only then, we will begin to heal, and start living for real.
[281840]

“Who Comes To Study” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Who Comes to Study

People often ask me who is the most likely person to become a Kabbalah student, and why some people take interest in it, and some do not, or even reject it. Well, the first thing I mention are the known words of Baal HaSulam, the author of the Sulam [Ladder] commentary on The Book of Zohar, who wrote that Kabbalah is for anyone who asks about the meaning of life. However, many people ask about the meaning of life but don’t end up studying Kabbalah, so while most everyone who comes to study Kabbalah had frequently asked about the meaning of life, not everyone who has asked about the meaning of life end up studying Kabbalah.

Especially today, when the ego is destroying every part of human society, and every person individually, it is especially important to know how we can rein the ego and use it constructively.

Covid has increased the level of people’s anxiety dramatically. Many of them even started to ask about the meaning of life. However, this in itself is not enough to become a serious Kabbalah student. People have gone through all kinds of states during the pandemic: They’ve suffered blows for no apparent reason, felt powerless to deal with them, were forced into an endless struggle for survival, and often had very little support from friends, family, or authorities. Such circumstances can easily drive a person to ask why they deserve the punishment, what is wrong with this life, and how come others are happy and they are not.

However, people entangled in the midst of a crisis are (usually) not the best candidates for studying Kabbalah. Kabbalah is a long process that requires commitment on the part of the student. Therefore, I would say that the best candidates for Kabbalah studies are those who are not in the midst of a crisis, but have experienced one (or more) before, and have since stabilized their lives. Nevertheless, the question about life’s meaning does not let up. When this happens, it is a sign that the question is deep enough to make a person a serious and committed student.

When a person begins to study Kabbalah, new horizons open up. The expanded perception of reality transcends the familiar norms and boundaries that the student was accustomed to or grew up on. This takes away much of the burdens of life, and many “guilt trips” that we all have are lifted because the realization of how things work reveals that we are all ego-driven and therefore cannot really help being selfish.

At the same time, it does not make a student reckless because the wisdom of Kabbalah also teaches how we can become masters of our egos. We do not destroy it or suppress it, but rather harness its powers for positive purposes and make it work for the common good. This is why Kabbalah students are on the one hand very individual, but on the other hand are highly committed to society and collaborate enthusiastically for everyone’s success.

Especially today, when the ego is destroying every part of human society, and every person individually, it is especially important to know how we can rein the ego and use it constructively. Therefore, those who are ready and willing to learn Kabbalah seriously have much to gain from their studies, and society will gain from their learning even more than they themselves will gain.
[281785]

“Dozens Of Reasons To Unite” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Dozens of Reasons to Unite

“The prime defense against calamity is love and unity,” writes Rabbi Kalman Halevi Epstein in the book Maor VaShemesh. “When there are love, unity, and friendship between each other in Israel, no calamity can come over them. …Even if they worship idols, but there is bonding among them, and no separation of hearts, they have peace and quiet, and no Satan or evildoer, as by this [unity], all the curses and suffering are removed.”

The Book of Zohar, the seminal book in the wisdom of Kabbalah, was written in that spirit, the spirit of love and unity. In the portion Ki Tissa, the book writes, “All those friends who do not love each other depart the world before their time. All the friends in Rashbi’s time had love of soul and love of spirit among them. …Rabbi Shimon would say, ‘All the friends who do not love each other cause themselves to stray from the right path.’ …Abraham loved Isaac; Isaac loved Abraham; and they were embraced. And they were both gripped in Jacob with love and brotherhood… The friends should be like them and not blemish them, for if love is lacking in them they will blemish their value above.”

“The prime defense against calamity is love and unity,” writes Rabbi Kalman Halevi Epstein in the book Maor VaShemesh. “When there are love, unity, and friendship between each other in Israel, no calamity can come over them. …Even if they worship idols, but there is bonding among them, and no separation of hearts, they have peace and quiet, and no Satan or evildoer, as by this [unity], all the curses and suffering are removed.”

Last night, a tragedy of historic proportions struck the people of Israel, as dozens of people were crushed to death on the tomb site of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai (Rashbi), author of The Book of Zohar. They came there because last night, some nineteen centuries ago, Rashbi and his disciples completed the writing of this book of love and unity. But there, instead of love and unity, thousands were crushed in the stampede, and dozens lost their lives.

The pain and shock are indescribable. It is a time of deep sadness for the whole nation. But when we rise from the grieving, we must take the one and only action that can prevent such tragedies from reoccurring. We must do what our sages throughout the ages have advised us: unite above all our different colors, cultures, beliefs, and opinions.

Masechet Derech Eretz Zuta (Chapter 9), written at approximately the same time as the Talmud, is one of numerous statements in that spirit: “Even when Israel worship idols and there is peace among them, the Lord says, ‘I have no wish to harm them.’ …But if they are disputed, what is it that is said about them? ‘Their heart is divided; now they will bear their guilt.’” Similarly, Rabbi Shmuel Bornstein writes in the book Shem MiShmuel (VaYakhel): “When they [Israel] are as one man with one heart, they are as a fortified wall against the forces of evil.” But perhaps the most fitting on this mournful day are the words of the Talmud (Taanit 23a): “This is what people say: ‘either friendship or death.’”

“Force, Matter, Do They Really Exist?” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Force, Matter, Do They Really Exist?

The other day, I had an interesting conversation with physicist Dr. Meir Shimon. He said that while it’s been known for a long time that matter consists of particles, such as electrons, protons, and neutrons, until the development of quantum theory, it was not known that forces, too, come and bits, called “quanta” (pl. for quantum). When I asked how can something not be divided into bits, Dr. Shimon replied that physics is an empirical science, and there was no empirical evidence that forces, too, come in quanta.

While science deals with what we perceive, Kabbalah deals first of all with why we perceive what we perceive, how we can change the way we perceive, and then talks about what we perceive if we change our qualities, our senses. At the very root of reality, the wisdom of Kabbalah has found that there are no forces, but rather dispositions, tendencies. Here, too, they are opposite: a tendency to give, and a tendency to receive, simply, egoism and altruism. When these opposites interact, they manifest as intermittent giving and receiving, which is why everything we see seems intermittently present and absent, light or dark, warm or cold, and so forth.

The conversation was very interesting, but it also highlighted the limitations of science. Science, as Dr. Shimon stressed later in the conversation, deals with revealing laws, but never asks about the reason for the existence of the laws.

Precisely here is where the wisdom of Kabbalah fills the void. Kabbalah deals not only with how things happen, but first and foremost with why they happen. For this reason, Kabbalah sees very clearly why energy comes in quanta, and it has to do not with the light, the force, but with our perception of it.

Kabbalah explains that we cannot perceive anything unless it stands out on a background that’s markedly different from it. We cannot perceive something if it’s always there, unchanging. Therefore, to detect the existence of anything, we must also detect its opposite, or at least changes in the presence of the thing detected. Whenever something manifests, it does so on the backdrop of its opposite. This is why everything in our perceived universe is divided into quanta, bits, levels.

The wisdom of Kabbalah opens up to us the forces that set in motion everything that we perceive with our physical senses. While science deals with what we perceive, Kabbalah deals first of all with why we perceive what we perceive, how we can change the way we perceive, and then talks about what we perceive if we change our qualities, our senses. At the very root of reality, the wisdom of Kabbalah has found that there are no forces, but rather dispositions, tendencies. Here, too, they are opposite: a tendency to give, and a tendency to receive, simply, egoism and altruism. When these opposites interact, they manifest as intermittent giving and receiving, which is why everything we see seems intermittently present and absent, light or dark, warm or cold, and so forth.

In truth, however, there is none of that. All that exists are the two dispositions that create forces, matter, and everything that happens between them.

“Why It Is Suddenly “Open Season” On Israel” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Why It Is Suddenly “Open Season” on Israel

This week Human Rights Watch (HRW), an international non-governmental organization, headquartered in New York City, was “the latest watchdog to accuse Israel of perpetuating a version of the racist legal system that once governed South Africa,” according to The New York Times. The HRW 213 page report, “A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution,” claims to present “the present-day reality of a single authority, the Israeli government, ruling primarily over the area between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea, populated by two groups of roughly equal size, and methodologically privileging Jewish Israelis while repressing Palestinians, most severely in the occupied territory.”

We need to understand that the world wants to get rid of the Jewish state. Therefore, the hiatus we were given while Trump was in office was only a temporary pause. This pause has ended, and the world will use every pretext to portray the Jewish state as evil.

The position of HRW has not changed for years, and this report is nothing new. What has changed, however, is the world’s response to it, embracing the report as solid truth. The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (the equivalent of the State Department) lambasted the report as baseless and biased, but no one really cares what Israel is saying. For years, the Israeli government’s strategy has been to state the fact that it has offered the Palestinians sovereignty over 97% of the territories three times over the past twenty years, but the Palestinians rejected all of them. Israel reminds the critics that Israeli Arabs are equal citizens and are represented in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, and even if they speak explicitly against the existence of the State of Israel, they are not silenced because of the democratic principle of freedom of speech.

But facts and reason do not matter. When it’s “open season” on Israel, everyone joins the hunt. Israel’s apologetic strategy will not abate the animosity toward it, and it doesn’t even matter if it’s guilty or not. When there is hatred, some blame will always be found to place on the hated one. Especially now, when the dweller in the White House has changed and Israel is no longer the favored country there, it is as though the world has been given a green light to attack, and this is exactly what it does.

We shouldn’t be surprised. We should be very worried, but most of all, we should get very active. Unless we act now, things will become worse, and soon. We need to understand that the world wants to get rid of the Jewish state. Therefore, the hiatus we were given while Trump was in office was only a temporary pause. This pause has ended, and the world will use every pretext to portray the Jewish state as evil.

Since it is useless, we should stop focusing on others and start focusing on ourselves. It is time to work on our inner solidarity, our social cohesion. The division we project sends a clear message to the nations: Get them now while they are weak!

If we were united, they would not only stop accusing us of whatever evil they can concoct, but they would finally see some benefit from our existence. After all, the only purpose of our being in the State of Israel, Jews from all the exiles, is to set an example of uniting all the cultures and ethnicities. If we unite, it will reignite the latent feeling within every person in the world that the Jews have a purpose in this world: to be “a light unto nations.” When our ancestors joined Abraham’s company, they were strangers who joined him only because they subscribed to his teaching that unity above hatred is the right way to live. When the offspring of those strangers united under Moses’ leadership at the foot of Mt. Sinai, they pledged to bond “as one man with one heart.” Only then, when they achieved this level of unity, were they given the task of being “a light unto nations.”

Our current disunity, our unfounded hatred, tells the world that we are not a light unto nations. In fact, we are the opposite of it: sending a constant message of division and mutual derision. This is why they hate us.

Here is a great example of the transformation that will take place if we unite. Ukraine born Vasily Shulgin was a senior member of the Duma, the Russian Parliament, before the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. Openly and proudly, he proclaimed himself an anti-Semite, and often reiterated that statement. In his book What We Don’t Like About Them, he analyzes over many essays his perception of the Jews and what he thinks they are doing wrong. For instance, Shulgin complains that Jews are “very smart, effective, and vigorous at exploiting other people’s ideas. However,” he protests, “this is not an occupation for ‘teachers and prophets,’ not the role of ‘guides of the blind,’ not the role of ‘carriers of the lame.’” In another essay, Shulgin becomes almost poetic as he describes where the Jews can lead humanity if they only unite and rise to the challenge: “Let them … rise to the height to which they apparently climbed [in antiquity] … and immediately, all nations will rush to their feet. They will rush not by virtue of compulsion … but by free will, joyful in spirit, grateful and loving, including the Russians! We ourselves will request, ‘Give us Jewish rule, wise, benevolent, leading us to the Good.’”

The writing is on the wall; we can unite of our own volition, or we can be pushed to it against our will. If we refuse to do it either way, it will not end well. In 1929, Dr. Kurt Fleischer, the leader of the Liberals in the Berlin Jewish Community Assembly, stated that “Anti-Semitism is the scourge that God has sent us in order to lead us together and weld us together.” In 1929, we would not listen. I hope this time we will.
[281741]