Entries in the 'Quora' Category

Do You Believe That We’re Nearing The Time When Israel Will Be Destroyed? (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Do you believe that nearing the end of the day Israel will be destroyed?

Indeed, we are in an era of growing hostility toward Israel running parallel with an exponential rise in anti-Semitic crimes and threats around the world.

However, the extent of destruction, or its opposite, a bright and blossoming future, for Israel depends solely on the people of Israel.

If we determine a goal before us, where we want to reach unity of the people of Israel in order for a spirit of unity to spread worldwide, then we’ll see all negativity toward Israel disappear, and in its place, witness a refreshingly new positive response from the world.

We cannot imagine what such a change would look like. For instance, world leaders who currently hold anti-Israel stances would suddenly start feeling the need to help Israel. The effect of this critical mass of people uniting would shift the tectonic plates of human consciousness into a positive “click,” and everyone would think, feel and interact more harmoniously. Moreover, the people of Israel would be felt as hubs in the human network of this newfound harmony.

Therefore, destruction or progress of the people of Israel depends solely on our behavior. If we take steps to unite, it will work to ours and everyone’s favor, and if we reject such steps, hatred and resentment toward us will continue rising to extents that could be far worse than the Holocaust.

Despite our widespread recognition as a smart and progressive people, we also have a distinctive foolish side: we forget our past. After the end of the Holocaust, we should have made a summary on how to never reach such a terrifying state ever again, but we did nothing of the sort.

While we make egoistic strides in the world, behaving as any other nation does, we fail to recognize that we’re actually in a coma-like state in relation to the ideology that made us the people of Israel to begin with: “Love your neighbor as yourself,” which our ancestors achieved under the guidance of Abraham some 3,800 years ago. After uniting for a brief period, our relations soon after shattered into unfounded hatred, and from the ruin of the Temple onward till today, we experience mutual rejection—our Achilles heel.

For the time being, there is mercy on us. We can still maneuver our lives in Israel and around the world relatively peacefully, regardless of the increasing anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic sentiment. It is my hope that we make the most of the time we have left to unite and become a positive example of unity for the world. Otherwise, the tides could turn very quickly, and we could suddenly find ourselves trapped on a road to destruction.

How Should The Israel-Palestinian Conflict Be Solved? (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: How should the Israel-Palestinian conflict be solved?

The solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is in the people of Israel’s hands.

In order to understand how Israel holds the solution, we need to understand who are the people of Israel, what is their role in the world, and how the world responds to Israel in relation to the fulfillment or lack of fulfillment, of their role.

The nation of Israel was founded as a group who gathered from all parts of ancient Babylon under a common unifying concept: “love your neighbor as yourself.” Since this nation was based on an ideological foundation, not a biological one, then the world feels it as a strange phenomenon.

As the nation of Israel once attained unity above the growing divisions in ancient Babylon, so it is today: there is a subconscious expectation from the nations of the world toward Israel that they usher in the same positive force of love and connection that they once attained, and pioneer an example of a new society led by values of love, unity, mutual support and consideration. The more human society feels torn apart by division and hatred, the more it feels the people of Israel responsible for the world’s misfortunes.

Therefore, Palestine is only one of many characters frowning at Israel. Accordingly, Israel needs to respond to all of its enemies the only way it ultimately knows how to: by turning to its long-ignored power of unity.

First, the people of Israel need to understand that beneath all the surface reasons the world points out its hatred to us, whether it be oppression of Palestinians or too much power in countries we have assimilated into, there is fundamentally a much more significant and subconscious demand upon us.

It is a demand for our unity.

Neither Jews nor non-Jews know about it, because it is an ideological foundation that was lost around 3,800 years ago, and while we were all born and raised through a range of egoistic desires, we have no idea what it means to live in a unified state. Since we lack any feeling or experience of the kind of unity that our ancestors once attained, then we feel no lack for unity like we feel no lack for a sixth finger on our hand. We simply fail to see that if we unite, we will solve not only the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but our unity will have a positive rippling effect throughout humanity, solving myriad other problems too.

The people of Israel have no ears for this message. Those who understand it, Kabbalists, are very small in number, and so there is no solution in sight on any mass scale.

The solution is solely that the nation of Israel listens to what the nations of the world want from them: to implement the unity that the nations of the world are crying out for behind all the surface anti-Israelism and anti-Semitism. We will then all live in peace.

What Will Israel Look Like In 2050? (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: What will the state of Israel look like in 2050?

No one can answer this question definitively because we’re in a process of free choice.

What does it mean that we’re in a process of free choice?

It means that we can either move forward unknowingly into traps and blows that will force us to examine the way we live our lives, or we can build a society that will let us carry out what depends on us: to unite with each other, balancing our relations with those of the integral and interconnected laws of nature. Ultimately, if we fail to progress the latter way, then we can consider ourselves done for.

Let’s say that by 2050, we need to have transitioned to a much more unified society, with a certain amount of disclosure of nature’s quality of love and bestowal dwelling among our relations. To the extent that we tried to unite, we would experience a positive reaction from nature, and to the extent that we failed to make efforts in the direction of unity when we could have, then we would experience suffering. And the suffering would be in order to show us that we’re going the wrong way if we’re not trying to unite.

Nevertheless, what can be said is that the nation of Israel will continue living on. Why? It is because the nation of Israel needs to carry out the above-mentioned correction of the world, i.e. unification in order to be a conduit for global unity.

The nation of Israel carries the method of the world’s correction at its foundation. It received the method of correction from Abraham in ancient Babylon, based on the premise of “love your neighbor as yourself,” and in order spread its unity to humanity at large (to be “a light unto the nations”).

We thus need to consider what depends on us, how we can realize the correction—to awaken a spirit of unity among each other in order for a sense of connection to ripple throughout the world.

Therefore, I cannot say what will happen in 2050. What will happen is what we will decide—the extent to which we will implement our unifying function in the world.

Why Should We Respect Elders? (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Why should we respect elders?

The elderly represent the layer of society that holds a reservoir of wisdom and experience.

We see that people with more developed desires, such as scientists, who seek knowledge about our lives and the world develop more in their practice the more they age.

When scientists reach their elderly years, they don’t simply stop their scientific work, go on pension and relax for the rest of their lives. After spending a major portion of their lives accumulating knowledge and experience, the older they become, the more they improve in their scientific work. There is no age to seekers of science, knowledge, and wisdom.

We should respect the elderly because we very much need them and can highly benefit from the wealth of their wisdom and experience.

What would happen if all elderly people were removed from the planet? We don’t feel it, but the world would lose an immense amount of richness and depth.

One of the problems today is that it has become normal to live until the age of 90 and over. When I was younger, over 60 was considered old, with 70 being the peak. Now it’s over 90. Unfortunately, however, society has yet to realize how to make best use of people in this age group. It is a sign of us failing to best realize what nature has given us.

It’s common to envision our elderly years as those where we detach from the daily grind, go on pension, and find ways to relax and enjoy life till we die. Unfortunately, however, we fail to see how such an approach separates us from the vitalizing spring of human activity that comes from being contributing members of society. Numerous studies today show the physiological and psychological benefits of human contact, and it is no different for the elderly. In addition, death doesn’t come as a result of old age, but as a result of people losing engagement with life.

We should therefore, first and foremost, understand what elderly people lack most, which is to express themselves. Moreover, in order to let elderly people express themselves, we would need to setup systems that activate their contribution to society.

For example, currently in Israel there is an experimental project that pairs 80-year-olds with 4-year-olds for 2 to 3 hours a day in an effort that aims to mutually benefit the elderly and the children. I support such an initiative. In general, in the structure of a family spanning 3 generations—grandparents, parents and children—the children can receive a rawer kind of emotional connection from the grandparents than from the parents, one that is pressure-free and more heartfelt. Likewise, the elderly can find plentiful ways to express their many insights from life in sharing with the children, and the children can learn and gain a special kind of attention from their elders.

We should thus respect elders for their wealth of wisdom and experience, and instead of letting the elderly detach and wither away from society, we should rather seek ways to offer them self-expression by being contributing members of society.

What Are Your Thoughts On The Halle, Germany Yom Kippur Shooting? (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: What are your thoughts on the shooting in the German city of Halle that took place outside of a synagogue on Yom Kippur?

The shooting attack near a synagogue in Halle, Germany was yet another dreadful act of anti-Semitism on the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. However, it could have been much worse if the 27-year-old attacker, who identified with the far-right, had broken the synagogue’s doors and slaughtered the 80 worshipers who were conducting the Yom Kippur prayers.

In a video he shot leading up to the shooting, the attacker denied the Holocaust, denounced feminists and immigrants and stated outright that “the root of all these problems is the Jew.”

Following the attack, there were cries, prayers and warmth given to the victims’ families, but also a clear demand for a significant shift to take place against the anti-Semitism that has rapidly spread worldwide.

For example, upon news of the two people who were shot to death, condemnations came one after another, from German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas tweeting that “shots being fired at a synagogue on Yom Kippur, the festival of reconciliation, hits us in the heart,” and “we must all act against anti-Semitism in our country,” through Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commenting for a “call on the German authorities to continue taking determined action against anti-Semitism.”

However, other than desperate words, there is an air of helplessness in the face of the growing phenomenon.

Helplessness. Desperation. They sound like very undesirable feelings. But could it be that such sensations are actually a positive outcome of the exponentially rising anti-Semitic crimes and threats?

Perhaps when we are repeatedly stunned by an irrational phenomenon that has haunted our people for generations—one which makes no differentiation between genders, between Yom Kippur and a weekday, and between synagogues in Berlin and Pittsburgh—then maybe this is what will goad us to look into what the Kabbalists have been trying to tell us for generations?

Whether in The Zohar or other Kabbalistic texts, what have the Kabbalists been trying to communicate to the Jewish people? Simply put, if we Jews unite with one another, we invite a positive force dwelling in nature to spread not only among each other, but among all humanity. By awakening nature’s positive, unifying force through our unity, we can bring peace to the world. On the contrary, if divided, where every Jew remains within him- or herself in his or her own prayers, then we provoke the opposite: hatred and conflict. As Kabbalist Rabbi Yitzhak Isaac Haver wrote, “Creation and choice, correction and destruction of the world—all depends on Israel” (Siach Yitzhak. Part 2, Likutim 1).

Hours after the deadly shooting attack, German chancellor Angela Merkel attended a vigil to identify with the victims at a historic synagogue in central Berlin. She stood with the Jewish community as they together sang, “Ose shalom be Meromav” (“make peace in His heaven”). Ironically, sometimes the answer to our toughest questions can be found right under our noses. Sometimes we need only open our ears and listen to the words we’re singing…

  • Ose shalom be Meromav” (“make peace in His heaven”). It means that in our unity and our common prayer, we can make the upper force bring peace above;
  • Hu yaase shalom aleinu” (“He will bring peace upon us”), i.e. the upper force will bring peace to the whole of humanity;
  • Ve al kol Yisrael” (“and upon all of Israel”), i.e. where the role of the people of Israel is to unite;
  • Ve al kol yoshvei tevel” (“and for all the people in the world”), i.e. our role is not to receive the light of unity for ourselves, but to be a conduit for the light to spread to the world, i.e. to be “a light unto the nations.”
  • Ve imru amen” (“and say Amen”), i.e. then we will all—Jews and the nations of the world—be truly grateful for reaching the long-awaited peace.
    Amen.

How Does One Become Wholly Jewish? (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: How does one become wholly Jewish?

Anyone can become a Jew, no matter whether one is French, Italian or any other nationality, because Jewishness is not via lineage.

To become a Jew means to adopt a certain way of thinking, an attitude toward life and its purpose, when you realize what it actually means to be a Jew.

What does it mean to be a Jew? It means to bring the method of correction and connection into the world, and to become a contributing member toward the world’s unification.

In other words, to become a Jew means to unite all people, to be the force that elevates them toward the quality of bestowal, love and unity. It means reaching such communication between all people in the world so that they will be as one. Being Jewish has nothing to do with whether or not one’s mother is Jewish.

Therefore, ultimately, the goal of every person is to become Jewish, i.e. to transition from the egoistic and divided perception of the world into its opposite, altruistic and united perception. Such an action is considered as crossing (“Laavor,” from “Ivri,” which means “Hebrew”) the barrier between this world and the spiritual world. Those who currently identify as Jews have been given an opportunity to pioneer this process before it reaches humanity as a whole (the Hebrew word for “Jew” [Yehudi] comes from the word for “united” [yihudi] [Yaarot Devash, Part 2, Drush no. 2]).

It is thus my hope that us Jews will, sooner rather than later, recognize our responsibility toward the world, to implement our unity “as one man with one heart” and by doing so, witness the harmonious effect of our unity ripple out to the world at large, as “a light unto the nations.”

Why Does It Seem Like Everyone In The World Is Protesting Right Now? (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: [Serious] Why does it seem like everyone in the world is protesting right now? Hong Kong, Lebanon, Chile, and many others are all in the news for serious, widespread, and often violent protests. Why now?

To start with, most of the world is heading into winter now, and there is always more illness, depression, and problems with living conditions and supplies in winter than in summer. It’s felt in every family and small business.

Other than that, with the increasing entanglement of existential threats, whether it be cyberattacks, bio-weaponry, artificial intelligence, climate change, and nuclear warfare, to name a few, it’s a wonder that nothing has already triggered a chain reaction of mass devastation around the world.

Perhaps such a critical situation can show us how a higher intelligence is sustaining us throughout the positive and the negative, wishing to teach us how to relate to life?

We cannot say that we’re surviving and continuing to somehow make our way through life according to our own intelligence. If it were solely up to us, we would have finished ourselves off a long time ago.

Humanity has trouble understanding that most of its produce is surplus to its real needs. We live in a game where one player profits off of the other player, who buys and disposes of all kinds of unnecessary things.

Why do we agree to live like this?

It’s all in order to give ourselves a false sensation of enjoyment, and nothing will come of it. In other words, human nature constantly demands pleasure, but all pleasures we receive dissipate and we’re always left emptier and emptier.

In the meantime, we’re given time to understand where we are, who we are, how nature works, and how we can reach harmony and balance both among human society and with nature.

The current protests will likely fritter away at some point, and then they’re expected to reignite. However, all in all, we can expect a lot more protests heading into the future because life continues becoming increasingly difficult.

We are being cornered from all sides in order to ultimately consider that our lives require a fundamental transformation.

However, where is the solution? Protests and riots will erupt. Governments and leaders will get replaced one after another. It will all serve only to show us that nothing can solve the increasingly complex puzzle of our times.

Moreover, I’m very optimistic about this situation.

I’m optimistic because such an intensive mesh of complications serves to lead us to the awareness of our own egoistic nature as standing behind all the problems, that our nature is basically evil and negative.

In other words, we’re gradually being led to a correct diagnosis of what’s wrong with the human condition: that the egoistic human nature, which wants only to consume pleasure for its benefit alone, is the cause of all our problems.

Once we reach a widespread realization of this common cause to all our problems, we can then start fixing it.

When we reach such an awakening, we’ll realize that there is no person, no leader, no good or bad people, no right-wing or left-wing political orientations to blame. There is only our very egoistic nature, dwelling sneakily within each and every one of us.

How can we then correct human nature if it is the cause of all our problems?

We can’t. Or at least, we can’t correct human nature directly.

To correct human nature, we need to demand from the people who possess a method for the ego’s correction, that they will implement the method, and by doing so, change themselves and the world for the better.

Who are these people? Who holds the solution for the increasingly complex web of problems on personal, social, economic, ecological and global scales that we face?

It is none other than the Jews.

It appears as if the protests in Hong Kong, Lebanon, and Chile have no connection to Jews. However, it only appears this way in the present moment. In the near future, we will see the connections.

People still feel that they can fix something through protests. However, soon it will become evident that there are no solutions in protests, but only in correcting human nature, a process that the Jewish people have been given the ability to pioneer. Simply put, the Jews’ correction of human nature and their establishment of positive relations would ripple out to all nations, bringing about the required correction of the human ego. We thus need only demand such correction from the Jews.

I see us in an excellent situation. The world is nearing mass awareness of the true cause behind all of its problems—the egoistic human nature—together with its treatment—the method of correction, which the Jews need to set off—in order to undergo a major shift to a harmonious existence.

For more info about the role of the Jews, I recommend reading my article that I once had published in The New York Times,Who Are You, People of Israel?

What’s The Best Schach?(Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: What’s the best schach?

The best Schach is the inner Schach that we build out of “waste of barn and winery,” i.e., what our ego considers wasteful, ideas of love, unity, brotherhood, and concern for others. We raise this Schach above our heads, making it the roof of our temporary dwelling, the Sukkah.

Meanwhile, our temporary Sukkah structure made with rickety materials becomes sturdy, safe and secure when we cover it with a common wrapping of love and unity.

Therefore, the best Schach is the one through which we penetrate our egoistic mental and emotional makeup, and discover the upper world.

In the language of Kabbalah, the Schach is the Masach (screen) that we build and that is granted to us: an ability to think toward others as nature itself thinks toward us—with absolute love and care.

The Schach thus represents the most significant boundary in our lives: the boundary between corporeal life and spiritual life, between egoism and altruism, human nature and nature itself, creation and Creator.

In the shade of the Shach are our egoistic desires. We’re grateful for the ego because it leads us to a realization of the need to rise above itself. Above the Schach, i.e., above our egoistic and corporeal reasoning, where we cannot picture any self-benefit, are the altruistic desires. In our altruistic desires, we can reach true harmony in balance with nature, united as a single entity.

Why Should We Not Use Plastic? (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Why should we not use plastic?

This evening, I was approached by a newer student who stated that perhaps we would be a better example of a positive force in society if we wouldn’t use plastic, since plastic is considered as bad for the environment.

I explained to him simply that Kabbalah doesn’t relate to the topic of plastic. Kabbalah deals with pinpointing the base cause of all evil phenomena in nature—our egoistic desire to enjoy—and correcting this desire, i.e., inverting its intention from “for my own benefit” to “for the benefit of others.” As a result of the work at the level of desire, the causal point of any phenomena in our world, nature corrects all man-made distortions.

Therefore, if we correct the plastic in our hearts—the desire to benefit ourselves alone—it will all work out, I promise you.

What Would It Take For Israel To Get Involved In Syria? (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: What would it take for Israel to get involved in Syria?

Israel should not get involved in Syria. It makes no sense for Israel to get involved in such conflict zones.

Israel is not a superpower. It’s a small nation, and it’s finding it hard enough to survive as it is.

Against Turkey, the current attacking force against the Kurds in Syria, Israel is powerless. Turkey is very powerful, boasting an extraordinary population of over 79 million people.

For the time being, Israel needs to be neutral. The world needs to understand that Israel is in a situation where it needs to be concerned about itself. It has no need to show itself off to other nations as “holy,” i.e. involving itself in different places to try and portray a positive image of itself to the world.

Just as every individual has the right to exist, every nation also has the right to exist. We can say it openly, that every nation has the right to exist, but it does not mean that we need to enter into war with everyone in the process.

If Israel would really like to offer its help to the Kurds, the Syrians or any other nation, it needs to realize the role it assumed when it was given the name, “the nation of Israel”: a role of a people who aim Yashar Kel, i.e., straight to the higher force of unity and love.

By uniting above differences (“love will cover all transgressions”), the nation of Israel’s unity would have a positive rippling effect throughout humanity as a whole, softening conflicts and calming the world by inviting nature’s unifying force in between the multitude of people and nations (i.e. to be “a light unto nations”).