Entries in the 'Rabash' Category

“He Is Always With Me”

 

Dr. Michael LaitmanFrom My Facebook Page Michael Laitman 10/2/21

For many years, students and friends have been asking me to tell them the story of my time with my teacher, RABASH. For many years, I felt that there was no need for it, that times were different and things work differently today.

But through my conversations with Semion Vinokur, many of the stories percolated to the surface nonetheless. Semion, who really feels me, managed to put them down on paper in his unique and captivating style, and all of a sudden, there was a book.

The book, which was titled Always with Me, begins with my childhood questions and my years as a young man. But these are but the prelude. The bulk of the text tells the story of my years with RABASH: how I found him, how I became his disciple, his assistant, and why I am committed to passing on his message of love for all of humanity.

Today’s Kabbalah students learn very differently from the way I learned with him. However, every student goes through a very similar internal process and can sympathize with the experiences described here.

Since times are different now, I cannot teach my students the way RABASH taught me. Although the way is slightly different, attaining spirituality still requires and will always require dedication and devotion to the goal.

RABASH passed away in 1991, but he will never pass away from my heart or from my mind. When I teach, he is always with me. When I rise in the wee hours to prepare for the next morning lesson, he is the one who guides my heart. When I speak with world leaders or with scientists, it is his legacy that guides my thoughts and words.

I hope that when you read the stories, you will get a taste of the greatness of the man who has made Kabbalah approachable to every person on this planet. RABASH’s teachings are a gift to humanity, and I do my utmost to see that everyone enjoys it.

What I have become, I have become thanks to him, because indeed, he is always with me.

And finally, a word of gratitude to Irina Rudnev and Mark Berelekhis for their meticulous translation into English.

Get a copy on Amazon:

A Messenger Of The Creator

961.2Today we celebrate the memorial day of my teacher Rav Baruch Ashlag (Rabash). There were thousands of Kabbalists who lived before him and millions of people who dreamed of revealing spirituality.

But now all this work is focused on us and we must try to bring ourselves to the form of the so-called last generation so that we reach the spiritual level through faith above reason, the first association with the spiritual world with its forces and possibilities.

All of humanity is beginning to feel its dependence on each other both in a bad and in a good sense, both its dependence on terrorist groups hungry for war and on people who strive to unite.

We are all part of humanity and we are increasingly aware of our connection with each other. So far, this dependence is expressed in unpleasant forms, the pandemic, for example. But on the other hand, we are advancing more and more because we see that our connection comes from above as a necessary condition for moving forward.

Two great Kabbalists: Baal HaSulam and his eldest son, Rabash, created a methodology designed for the last generation, for us. Therefore, we are extremely grateful to these two Kabbalists and to the Creator who sent them to us. Rabash writes that if a group of people united by a common goal gathers together ready to annul personal interests for the sake of connection, then such a group is able to achieve the sublime goal even here in this world.

The more a person values the group, the teacher, and the Creator, the more he approaches the force of bestowal and reaches faith above reason. There is one main principle that operates here called “The Torah, the Creator, and Israel are one.”A person seeks to join the ten, which he organizes so that it becomes a place for the revelation of the Creator in it.

We must act in this world as messengers of the Creator, fulfilling the desire from above and helping it to be realized in humanity. After all, there is no such connection between the Creator and humanity that would allow people to feel the Creator’s intention. Therefore, we need to implement this connection, to rise to the spiritual level of faith above reason, and at the same time be within reason, that is, to serve as a transition between the Creator, the force of Bina and Malchut for the whole of humanity.

In this way, we will be able to shift all our forces and intentions to humanity, which will join us and rise with us together as a supporting force, the AHAP of the spiritual degree.

Of course, there is nothing new under the moon, and the concept of faith above reason was known to Kabbalists even before Rabash. But it was not clarified and explained in such detail as Baal HaSulam and Rabash did in order to bring this technique to practical implementation among the masses.

Rabash explained the method of Baal HaSulam in detail and expanded it in his articles. In fact, he took the entire spiritual path that a person should go through and thoroughly explained it. All his articles are like one fascinating novel explaining the spiritual development of a person and his ascent from the animate to human level.

We do not even understand what infinite depth Rabash’s articles hide. Only when we climb the spiritual ladder to the final correction will we be able to assess how this man has prepared the whole path for us and what supreme degrees he describes in his articles.
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From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/12/21,”Day of Remembrance of Rabash”

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“Thirty Years Ago Today, My Teacher Passed Away” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Thirty Years Ago Today, My Teacher Passed Away

On a cold and rainy evening in February 1979, as I and Chaim Malka, my study partner of several years back then, were about to start studying our usual ancient Kabbalah books, I suddenly got tired of the endless and seemingly futile search for the truth. “Let’s go look for a teacher,” I said to Chaim. “Where would we go?” he asked. “Let’s drive to Bnei Brak,” I replied, “we’ve never looked there.” Chaim wasn’t keen on driving in this weather, much less to a Jewish Orthodox crowded city with narrow, semi-paved roads, and where kabbalists were unlikely to be found. I urged him nonetheless and he, reluctantly, agreed.

When we got to Bnei Brak, late that evening, there was no one on the streets. They were empty, wet, and cold. At a crossroads, I suddenly spotted a man about to cross the street. Hurriedly, I lowered the window pane and hollered toward him: “Where do they study Kabbalah around here?”

It was a very unusual question. In those days, no one spoke about Kabbalah, and among Orthodox Jews, the topic was a taboo. Even more unusual was the man’s response: He looked at me calmly and replied straight away, as if he had been waiting for me to come and ask him just that. “Turn right, go all the way down to the end of the road where the orchard begins,” he said. “To your left, you’ll see a house. That’s where they study Kabbalah,” he concluded and went on his way.

We drove as the man instructed, and indeed, the house was there. We got out of the car, and knocked on the door but no one answered. The house was nearly all dark. We tried the door and it was unlocked. We went inside and there was no one there except for one room that was lit and voices came from in there. We walked in hesitantly and found five or six elderly men reading in The Zohar and murmuring words in a language I did not understand (it was Yiddish). The elder gestured to us to take a seat, and we sat silently next to the men, on the benches around the old, wooden table where the men were studying.

The elder among them, who invited us to join them and was clearly the teacher, turned out to be Rav Baruch Shalom Ashlag (RABASH), the firstborn son and successor of Rav Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam), the greatest kabbalist in the 20th century and author of the acclaimed Sulam [Ladder] commentary on The Book of Zohar. Finally, after years of searching, I had found my teacher.

For the next twelve years, until his final breath, I stayed with RABASH, assisting him in everything I could, and learning from him all that he could give, and he had given me more than I could ever have imagined anyone could give. Thirty years ago today, he passed away in my arms, leaving me his notebook where he wrote all that he had learned from his giant father, and with a legacy: to tell the world about the true meaning of this great wisdom, and show them a path of light in a dim present and a foreboding future.

I wrote my first three books under the guidance of RABASH. Following his passing, I wrote another book, and people began to come to me in search of a teacher. I had no desire to teach. I wanted to seclude myself with the books and the wisdom I had learned from RABASH. But they insisted on coming and I realized that the times were changing and the doors to the wisdom of Kabbalah were opening.

Together with my first students, we established the first study group, and Bnei Baruch [Sons of Baruch], a group of students who strive to walk in the footsteps of my teacher, and of all the kabbalists before him, came to be.

Thirty years later, Bnei Baruch is no longer a group. Today, it is a worldwide movement that strives to help the world unite in love above all differences. Thanks to my students, the teachings of RABASH are learned and loved throughout the world. These students are fulfilling my teacher’s dream. Therefore, today I am confident that with the help of my teacher, and the dedication of my students and friends, the teachings of the man of light, whose love radiated from his every word, will spread far and wide, and illuminate our lives.

Development Of The Method Of Correction

958Baal HaSulam, “The Prophecy of Baal HaSulam“: Take this sword in your hand and guard it with your heart and soul, for it is a token between Me and you, that all those good things will happen through you, for until now, I had no such faithful man as you to give him this sword.  … And I said to myself: “May I grant all the dwellers of the world a drop of the purity of this sword, for then they will know that the pleasantness of the Lord is in the land.”

The Creator says that through Baal HaSulam He gives the world a method of correction that has never been passed on to anyone before.

My teacher was the eldest son of Baal HaSulam, and he took over the method of correction from him and passed it on to me. It is truly the most suitable for those souls who are now descending into our world. With its help, we can correct ourselves, correct the world, and achieve the goal of creation.

“I have chosen you for a righteous sage in all this generation, to heal the human suffering with lasting salvation. Take this sword in your hand, and guard it with thy heart and soul, for it is a sign between Me and you, that all those good things will happen through you, for until now, I had no such faithful man as you, to give him this sword.” 

Therefore, when the Creator says in essence, “You are a special person, and it is to you that I entrust this sword, this technique, the key of salvation,” they are not empty words.

Comment: It is known that the Creator told Moses the same thing upon his exit from Egypt.

My Response: At that time, it was necessary. But the Torah that Moses established is not enough for our generation because souls have gone through a lot of egoistic changes since then, and in our generation, they need a new approach.

Not even a new approach but a development of the previous technique to make a real method of correction out of it. This is what Baal HaSulam added.
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From KabTV’s “The Power of The Book of Zohar” #5

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“My Teacher And I”

Dr. Michael LaitmanFrom My Facebook Page Michael Laitman 9/22/20

One cold, rainy evening in February 1979, as I was doing my usual delving into Kabbalah books with my friend Chaim Malka, I realized that it was hopeless. “Chaim,” I said, “we are going to find a teacher right now.” We got into the car and drove off to Bnei Brak, an Orthodox city where I had heard that people study Kabbalah. As the rain poured down the windshield; I drove almost blindly, in zero visibility. But I was driven from within; I had to keep going.

Once inside the city, we had no idea where to go. Suddenly, I saw a man standing on the sidewalk waiting to cross the street. In the pouring rain, he was the only one around. I rolled down the window and hollered through the torrent: “Where do they study Kabbalah around here?!”

The man looked at me nonchalantly and said, “Turn left and drive toward the orchard. At the end of the street you’ll see a house across from it; that’s where they study Kabbalah.”

In that house by the orchard, I met my teacher, Rav Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag (RABASH), the firstborn son and successor of Rav Yehuda Leib HaLevi Ashlag, the greatest kabbalist of the 20th century, who was known as Baal HaSulam (author of the Sulam) after his Sulam (Ladder) commentary on The Book of Zohar.

During the next twelve years, I served as RABASH’s personal assistant and became his prime disciple. I studied with him three hours in the morning and two hours in the evening with everyone else. I also studied with him while we were alone as I took him on his daily outings to the beach or to the park. I studied with him every other weekend when the two of us spent weekends in each other’s company, and I studied with him when he was hospitalized for a month on two occasions. I asked him all the questions that I could about spirituality, whether during lessons or while driving, or at any other opportunity. I asked him because I needed to know. I knew he was the last of the Mohicans, the final link in a lineage that goes back millennia, and I knew I would have to keep that teaching going. I recorded every lesson and took notes of his words. I absorbed from him everything I could, the outer and the inner meaning of the words, so I could pass them on when the time came.

After some years, when RABASH told me that I needed friends with whom to practice spiritual work, I brought him forty students. To them he started writing his priceless essays about one’s progress from a regular person to a kabbalist—who knows the innermost subtleties of human nature and one’s relationship with the Creator.

The essays of RABASH paved the way not only for his students, but for all of us, every single person. Now these essays are a lighthouse that shows the way to anyone who wants to achieve spirituality. They teach us how to relate to one another and how to relate to the feelings and states we discover within us along the way. RABASH, much like his father in his own way, was a pioneer, a trailblazer of endless courage, compassion, and love for humanity.

After his demise in 1991, people asked me to start teaching. RABASH had encouraged me to teach while I was still with him, so when people approached me I consented and formed a study group we called Bnei Baruch (sons of Baruch). Indeed, we aspired then and aspire now to merit the name and be my teacher’s spiritual children.

Today, as we commemorate the 29th anniversary of his passing, it is my hope that we will continue to merit the name Bnei Baruch, to walk in his path of love and unity, and to spread the authentic wisdom of Kabbalah throughout the world to every thirsty soul.

“And once I have acquired a clothing of love, sparks of love begin to shine within me, the heart begins to long to unite with my friends, and it seems to me that my eyes see my friends, my ears hear their voices, my mouth speaks to them, the hands embrace, and the feet dance in a circle, in love and joy together with them. And I transcend my corporeal boundaries and forget the vast distance between my friends and I … and it seems to me that there is no reality in the world except my friends and I. After that, even the ‘I’ is cancelled and immersed, mingled in my friends, until I stand and declare that there is no reality in the world but the friends” (RABASH, Letter No. 8).

Rabash Park

Dr. Michael LaitmanFrom My Facebook Page Michael Laitman 3/3/20

Always with him

Spiritual Geography, Part 3

laitman_740.03A Kabbalist’s Sensitivity 

Question: You often went with your teacher to the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee). Does this somehow have to do with Bina?

Answer: He and I traveled almost all over the country, and at each place we indeed felt different influences.

We had a small house at the Kinneret where we came and lived for several days. We did that periodically, once in a fortnight.

Question: Can a Kabbalist feel any forces that influence this Earth? Can he somehow draw these forces?

Answer: Of course, we drew strength from there, a lot of strength.

Question: Can you do this in Siberia or in New York?

Answer: No. Firstly, nowhere except Israel. Secondly, in the north near Tiberius, at Mount Meron there are vast spiritual spaces where you just fall into certain spiritual forces.

However, only people who are predisposed to this, who have developed such sensitivity within them and can tune in to the same frequency, can feel them.

This is not mysticism or meditation. We are talking about those who study Kabbalah. They feel and understand the difference in these forces.

Conversely, to those places that ordinary people consider spiritual, Kabbalists are quite prosaic, do not pay attention to them and do not refer any spiritual forces, influences, sources to them.
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From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah,” 1/28/19

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Rabash Opens The Way For Us

laitman_962.4Baal Hasulam, Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot: Therefore, come and see how grateful we should be to our teachers, who impart us their sacred Lights and dedicate their souls to do good to our souls. They stand in the middle between the path of harsh torments and the path of repentance. They save us from the netherworld, which is harder than death, and accustom us to reach the heavenly pleasures, the sublime gentleness and the pleasantness that is our share, ready and waiting for us from the very beginning, as we have said above. Each of them operates in his generation, according to the power of the Light of his Torah and sanctity.

Our sages have already said, “You have not a generation without such as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

On the memorial day of the great Kabbalist, our teacher Rabash, we do not indulge in memories and do not grieve about his passing as is customary in the corporeal world, which is far from the truth. We perceive this day as an opportunity to connect even more strongly, to cleave, to get closer to our root.

Rabash is the revelation of the Creator to us in a certain form and with a certain strength.

We want to thank the Creator for sending us such a messenger through whom He opened up the possibility for us to approach the upper force, to correct ourselves, and bring ourselves into resemblance with the Creator. Through Rabash, we attach ourselves to the Creator because he is an intermediary step between us and the Creator. Due to Rabash, we exist spiritually, and through Rabash, we receive everything necessary for our spiritual ascent.

Rabash is revealed to us as a system connecting us to the Creator through which we can realize ourselves and approach the truth. Therefore, we do not recall the external image of a person and his earthly habits, but consider him first and foremost as a special revelation of the Creator who manifested Himself in this form to us. The more we honor Rabash, the more we approach the Creator, cherishing the special revelation that the Creator made through him. Thus, the higher force called “Rabash” becomes important for us, connecting us with the Creator, and bringing us closer to Him.

To some extent, this revelation of the Creator manifested itself in an external form and then disappeared. Despite this external disappearance, this purification, we need to purify ourselves and reach a connection with Rabash, with this spiritual root as our higher level, through which we can connect with the Creator.

The Creator acts through special souls upon a certain number of lower souls. It is as if the brain sends an order to some important organ so that it sends out signals to various bodily cells under its control, guiding their behavior. Rabash, Baal HaSulam’s successor in our generation, has become a turning point for us, a source of a modern practical method of spiritual ascent.

Therefore, we need to understand the loftiness of this gift we were given: the opportunity to contact him, to absorb from him the method suitable for our time, and to realize it.

How grateful should we be to our teacher Rabash whose soul, his part of reality, was so great that it was able to form and pass the whole method of correction to us? Without Rabash, it would be extremely difficult or even impossible to reach the spiritual world.1

The upper force spreads in the system of Adam HaRishon, revealing itself from top to bottom by animating more and more parts of the soul. And when the light must spread to the lower layers of the system in order to revive the next organs of the body of Adam HaRishon in the chain, then there is a need for the special upper parts of the system to be included in this work.

The development takes place from top to bottom; therefore, when a certain lower stage develops, it causes changes to all the upper stages. Any correction is intended only for the awakening of the lowest souls, called “the last generation,” in order to also bring them into similarity with the Creator.

Rabash symbolizes a huge global force acting on our entire generation. All that remains for us is to implement Baal HaSulam’s method, which Rabash transmitted and explained to us. Therefore, we study Rabash’s articles in order to imagine the world as a general system and to correctly realize it, and Rabash leads us to it in the most practical form.2

Baal HaSulam is revealed to us not as a guide but as a scientist who attained the entirety of creation, from its beginning to its end and beyond. Rabash takes our hand, like an adult takes a child’s hand, and leads us along this path until the very end of correction. He opens the way for us and walks next to us.

The heavy, coarse souls that are revealed in our generation would be unable to merge with the Creator without the method revealed to us by Rabash. After all, he explains how to achieve the states that Baal HaSulam writes about.

Baal HaSulam writes about the upper levels and the upper states as a scientific researcher. Rabash speaks more not about the steps themselves, but about the inner work that a person must do to achieve them, that is, about the means: the environment, unification, and self-annulment.

In his books, Baal HaSulam describes the whole upper system, but these are not textbooks with which you can rise. He is like a composer who wrote a symphony. We first need to learn the musical notations and master the technique of playing scales before we can read this score and play it. To do this, we need another person, a teacher, and Rabash has become such a teacher for us, leading us all along the way.

Without his explanations, we could be confused by Baal HaSulam’s teachings, incorrectly interpreting them however much our imagination allows. Yet if we implement Rabash’s instructions, which let us achieve such an attainment, then we will start understanding Baal HaSulam’s writings.3
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/3/19, “Memorial Day for Rav Baruch Shalom Halevi Ashlag (Rabash)”

1 Minute 6:10
2 Minute 8:30
3 Minute 19:30

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Dr. Michael LaitmanFrom My Facebook Page Michael Laitman 10/5/19

In loving memory of my teacher, Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag (The Rabash)

The Rabash

Dr. Michael LaitmanFrom My Facebook Page Michael Laitman 10/5/19

In loving memory of my teacher, Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag (The Rabash)