Entries in the 'Spiritual Teacher' Category

Rising To The Root Of The Soul

laitman_276.04Question: What path does Kabbalah offer for managing one’s fate?

Answer: First of all, it is necessary to rise to the root of your soul, at least to the minimum degree, from which it is already possible to understand what is happening with you to some degree. In order to participate in the management, you need to climb at least three steps: Ibur (conception), Yenika (suckling) and Mochin (adulthood).

After climbing only one step, a student gets at least some idea of how the control signals descend to him and operate him. He starts to understand from where he receives knowledge, desires, and different opinions, where the decisions are being implemented, and he already receives their results.

Otherwise, it seems to him that everything happens in him. Due to the lack of understanding of where all the signals are born, he thinks that it is inside of him.
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From Kab TV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah,” 10/27/19

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Tie Yourself Tightly To The Source

laitman_962.3The wisdom of Kabbalah differs from all other sciences in that this knowledge and attainment is delivered from generation to generation, from Kabbalist to Kabbalist, by the continuous chain that started from Adam HaRishon. Adam is called the first man because he was the first to receive the revelation of the Creator. After him, this knowledge was passed through all generations: twenty generations from Adam to Abraham and from Abraham onward. At each such stage: Adam HaRishon, Noah, Abraham, and so on, this wisdom was passed on and developed.

Kabbalah is special because the student receives not knowledge but a connection to the source. The student must connect to the teacher and receive everything through him. He has no other way because the teacher is in front of him in the chain that connects to the source of this wisdom stretching from Adam HaRishon and further to the world of infinity.

Conveying Kabbalistic knowledge depends on the connection between the student and the teacher. The main and highest conveyance is “from mouth to mouth” (“Peh el Peh“), that is, through the mutual screens that work between them. However, there should be at least the conveyance “from mouth to ear” (“Peh el Awzen“)—the first stage of training.

“Kabbalah” means reception of the reforming light and then of the inner light. Opening the path for the light is possible only through a mutual screen, through mutual efforts of the student and the teacher. Yet, by studying this wisdom by oneself, a student can receive only abstract knowledge. However, if we talk about the true wisdom of Kabbalah, that is, about delivering spiritual wisdom, then it is only possible through the transfer from teacher to student or group of students. Here it is necessary to form a special vessel (Kli), an instrument for receiving the spiritual message passed from a higher source to a lower one.

This does not mean that a student must be lower than the teacher in his spiritual attainment. An example of this is the Ari, who rose above all the Kabbalists who preceded him. It is unnecessary for each successive one in this chain to be lower than the previous ones. This refers only to the delivering of this knowledge, but its revelation in each Kabbalist corresponds to the root of one’s soul and the efforts one has made.

This thread of passing on the wisdom of Kabbalah stretches from Adam HaRishon through other Kabbalists, and everyone who wants to become a Kabbalist, that is, to receive attainment, must connect with the teacher. He cannot evaluate how high the attainment of the teacher is, and it does not matter. If this thread has cascaded down in such a way and was revealed to him, he has to tie himself as tightly as possible to the source, to the teacher, and try to receive the wisdom of Kabbalah from this source.

The most important thing in Kabbalah is: Who did you learn from? This is the first question: Who is your teacher? The main concern of the student is to clarify whether he is learning what he is taught. That is, he must be as close as possible to the message that the teacher wants to convey to him in order to connect to the teacher and through him to the whole chain stretching all the way to Adam HaRishon.1
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/20/19, Faith in the Rav

1 Minute 0:20

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Unite On A More Internal Level

laitman_962.5Before we get to ask, the question comes down from above and enters our mind and feelings. Only then do we sense it and proceed to ask. The Creator answers us through books and teachers.

We are completely controlled from above, and all that is left to do is to annul ourselves. Only by annulling can we feel that we’ve done something ourselves and not just received from the Creator. Annulment involves our participation, our freewill. We may not know how or what to do, but through faith above knowledge we chose to be a part of the neutral zone above reason. If not for this tiny, but most important part, we would not exist as creations but would be similar to the still, vegetative, and animal nature.1

In this world we are given the friends, the ten, the teacher, and the method. All together it is called my teacher, meaning that which ties me to the goal of creation, the purpose of my life.

The concept of the teacher includes the following:

· A person who studied longer than I have,
· A group of friends that I advance with,
· A method passed down to us by the teacher,
· The books that reached our days through many generations,
· The Creator that we aspire toward through our connection with the books and with the teacher.

All this I combine into one, so that through relating to it the right way and accumulating a certain amount of actions, I would reach a palpable result.

I must annul myself before the Creator in order to advance. This is where the teacher helps me by directing me not toward himself but toward the Creator, as well as the group that directs me not toward the group but toward the Creator. Thus, “Israel, the Torah, and the Creator” aim me toward the upper force. I can annul before the Creator by annulling before the teacher and the group that direct me toward Him.2

The teacher is comprised of two parts:

1. A man of this world,
2. The spiritual component.

It doesn’t matter which human image the teacher portrays to us in this world, for it all depends on the society he lives in and his culture. Each one of us is a product of their environment, we cannot make ourselves different. We need to discount our vision and perception of the outer image of a person and only account for the inner one.

We should treat each other the same way in the group and throughout the world, taking into consideration only their internal qualities, rather than external ones. There are many people from various cultures and nationalities among us. During the lesson on the screen I keep seeing Spain, Peru, the Baltic, Odessa, Plovdiv, Moscow, Kiev, and New York…  A multitude of cities on our screens and of course these are people with different mentalities, various standards of living and outlooks on life. We must erase all of that from our perception.

I don’t look at these differences and only see their connection with the Creator. This is the part I am looking for. I have to collect these connections with the Creator from everyone, as if I am gathering fruit. I want to join in their connection with the Creator, for they already have this connection or they would not be studying with me. I have to increase my connection with the Creator by means of connecting with this quality in every friend.

In order to achieve this, ten people are needed. If there are nine friends with me as the tenth, we can surely affect the Creator. As if we are ringing His doorbell and He opens the door. But on the condition that there are ten of us (Minyan), the minimum quantity that counts. Less than ten is not taken into consideration. In spirituality, ten is as one. This is the difference between this world and the upper world, where only the connection between the ten is felt.

And this is where we do not differ from each other anywhere in the world, and it makes no difference to me whether to unite with Spain or with Almaty, New York, Kiev, St. Petersburg, or Toronto. The main thing is to have ten people, and we will enter into contact with the Creator.

However, if we don’t have ten people, we have to seek them out, we must awaken the friends that stayed home to come to the meeting or to join in virtually. This is the only thing that’s important. We’ve built a virtual network of connections around the world between us, and I hope that we will develop a mechanism that will unite us on a more internal level. With the help of this tool we return to Babylon, but already in a corrected state. From the side of our nature the Babylonian breakage reigns between us, but above it we are united.3
From the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/10/19, “Baal HaSulam Memorial Day”

1 Minute 18:25
2 Minute 20:33
3 Minute 2:02:09

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Baal HaSulam—The Channel For Our Connection With The Creator

laitman_272Today is a special day—the anniversary of the passing of Baal HaSulam, our teacher, from this world. This is the soul that connects us with the Creator, the man who opened the gates of the wisdom of Kabbalah for the last generation in which we live. Without his teachings, we could not be rewarded with what we have already received and can still receive in the future. The knowledge, the whole approach and methodology, the stages of attainment—all this was prepared for us by Baal HaSulam. Of course, everything comes to us from the Creator, but through this great soul.

One of the reasons that the science of Kabbalah (receiving) has such a name is that it is transmitted from generation to generation. Each student must have a teacher. Only exceptional individuals can, with special help from above, directly reach attainment of the Creator by themselves. Therefore, we must always be connected with the sages who attained spirituality, the great Kabbalists, and thus advance generation after generation.

Here, everything depends on how much a person is able to follow the teacher. Everyone has their own difficulties in this and this is natural because this is how the steps from top to bottom are arranged. It is difficult for the lower ones to overcome their egoism and contact the upper ones. In our world at the animal level, there is no such problem because nature obliges a child to be dependent on adults. But at the human level on which it is necessary to study the science of Kabbalah, this is no longer easy to do. There, we need to bow down and maximize the greatness of the teacher in order to learn from him.

Of course, this is not in order to honor the teacher but only for the benefit of the student. If a student feels himself less than his teacher, then he will be able to lower himself more and receive from the teacher. In the sciences of this world, this requirement is not so categorical because the student must be critical of the teacher and test him. But in the science of Kabbalah, a person cannot attain anything if he has not bowed down before the Creator. And therefore, to the extent to which he bows down to what he receives from the teacher who teaches him from the primary sources that came from teachers of all generations, he gains attainment. Only in this form can a small one receive from a great one.

Therefore, we need to understand what an exceptional and great man Baal HaSulam was. We are obliged to accept all his works, all his legacy, without any criticism and then we can hope that we will begin to connect with his soul and receive through him the upper force from the Creator.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/10/19, Baal HaSulam Memorial Day

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Where Is The Kabbalist Teacher Hiding?

laitman_583.02Question: Dear teacher, where do you hide?

Answer: Within you.

Remark: I don’t feel it yet.

My Comment: That’s why it’s considered that I’m hiding.

Question: But what for? Help us.

Answer: This is precisely my help.

Question: I thought that you were somewhere between the ten and the Creator?

Answer: That is true. But it still means in hiding.

Remark: Thank you, this is already a revelation.
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From the Convention In Moldova “Day One” 9/6/19, “To Become Ready to Be Influenced by the Society,” Lesson 2

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Baal HaSulam

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

Yehuda Leib HaLevi Ashlag is known as Baal HaSulam (Owner of the Ladder) for his Sulam (ladder) commentary on The Book of Zohar. Baal HaSulam dedicated his life to interpretations and innovations in the wisdom of Kabbalah, disseminating it in Israel and throughout the world. He developed a unique method to the study of Kabbalah, by which any person can delve into the depth of reality and reveal its roots and purpose of existence.

Baal HaSulam was born in Warsaw, Poland on Sep 24, 1884. At the age of nineteen he was ordained as a rabbi by the greatest rabbis of Warsaw, and for sixteen years he served as a Dayan (Jewish orthodox judge) and a teacher in Warsaw.

Baal HaSulam’s teacher was Rabbi Yehoshua of Porsov. In 1921, Baal HaSulam immigrated to Israel and settled in the Old City of Jerusalem. The word of his coming quickly spread among Jews who emigrated from Poland, and he soon became known as an authority in Kabbalah. Gradually, a group of students formed around him, attending Kabbalah lessons in the wee hours. Later on Baal HaSulam moved from the Old City and settled in Givat Shaul, which was then a new neighborhood in Jerusalem, where for several years he served as the neighborhood rabbi.

Baal HaSulam spent the years 1926-1928 in London. During his time in London he wrote the commentary to the Aris Tree Of Life Panim Meirot uMasbirot, which he printed in 1927. Throughout his stay in London, Baal HaSulam conducted extensive correspondence with his students in Israel, which were assembled in 1985 in a book titled Igrot Kodesh (Letters of Sanctity).

In 1933, Baal HaSulam published the tractates Matan Torah (The Giving of the Torah), HaArvut (The Bond), and HaShalom (The Peace).

Baal HaSulams two major works, the result of many years of labor, are Talmud Eser Sefirot (The Study of the Ten Sefirot), a commentary on the writings of the Ari, and Perush HaSulam (The Sulam Commentary)on The Book of Zohar. The publications of the 16 parts (in six volumes) of Talmud Eser Sefirot began in 1937. In 1940 he published Beit Shaar HaKavanot (The Gatehouse of Intentions),with commentaries to selected writings of the Ari. Persuh HaSulam on the Zohar was printed in 18 volumes in the years 1945-1953. Later on Baal HaSulam wrote three additional volumes containing commentaries on The New Zohar, whose printing was completed in 1955, after his demise.

In his Introduction to the Book of Zohar, Baal HaSulam writes as follows (item 58): And I have named that commentary The Sulam (ladder), to show that the purpose of it is, as with every ladder, that if you have an attic full of goods, then all you need is a ladder to reach it, and then all the bounty of the world is in your hands.

Baal HaSulam wrote a series of introductions that prepare the student for proper study of Kabbalistic texts. Some of these introductions are Preface to the Book of Zohar, Introduction to the Book of Zohar, Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah, Preface to the Sulam Commentary, General Preface to the Tree of Life, and Introduction to Talmud Eser Sefirot.

In 1940, Baal HaSulam published the first and, as it turned out, the last issue of the journal HaUma (The Nation). The journal was shut down by the British Mandate authorities after having received malicious information that the journal propagated communism.

Baal HaSulam encountered enormous difficulties printing his books. We can learn of the importance he ascribed to printing and disseminating Kabbalah from the 2003 Israel Award laureate Prof. Shlomo Giora Shohams description of his meeting with Baal HaSulam in the early 1950s.

“I found him standing in a dilapidated building, almost a shack, which housed an old printing press. He couldn’t afford to pay a typesetter and was doing the typesetting himself, letter by letter, standing over the printing press for hours at a time, despite the fact that he was in his late sixties. Ashlag was clearly a tzaddik (righteous man) – a humble man, with a radiant face. But he was an absolutely marginal figure and terribly impoverished. I later heard that he spent so many hours setting type that the lead used in the printing process damaged his health.”

This excerpt was published on Dec 17, 2004 in Haaretz newspaper, in a story by Micha Odenheimer.

Baal HaSulam did not merely put his ideas on paper; he acted vigorously to promote them. He met with many leaders of the Jewish settlement in Israel of the time, leaders of the Labor movement and many public figures. Among these figures are David Ben-Gurion, Zalman Shazar, Moshe Sadeh, Chaim Arlozorov, Moshe Aram, Meir Yaari, Yaakov Hazan, Dov Sadan and the great poet Haim Nahman Bialik.

According to Ben-Gurion, he met with Yehuda Ashlag several times, and was apparently surprised:

“I wanted to talk to him about Kabbalah, and he wanted to talk about Socialism.”

(Ben-Gurion Archive, Diaries, Aug 11, 1958).
In his essay Three Meetings and In Between (Amot, Tel-Aviv, 1963, p.49), Dov Sadan writes:

“Rabbi Yehuda Leib Ashlag, among the greatest Kabbalists of the time, aimed at turning the fundamentals of Kabbalah into a historic engine of our generation. Through his socialistic perception, which is based on the above, he sought contact with the Kibbutz Movement.”

It might be surprising to think that Baal HaSulam sought connection with the Hebrew Labor Movement and its leaders, considering the mental and educational chasm between them. However, deep study of his writings reveals a fascinating and intriguing figure of an erudite who was very much involved in the events of his time, both in Israel and the world over, a figure whose ideas are considered revolutionary and daring even to this day.

Dvekut Unites Two Into One

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)

Rabash

Dr. Michael LaitmanFrom My Facebook Page Michael Laitman 10/3/19

On a cold, rainy night in 1979, I could not sleep, my thoughts troubled me. Suddenly I found myself at the wheel, driving without direction. A large sign cut through my thoughts: “Bnei Brak.” I went in. The streets were deserted. At the corner of “Chazon Ish” Street I ran into a passerby. “Where do you study here?” I asked. He looked at me and answered, “Drive to the end of the street, where you will see an orchard. It’s on the other side of it.”

This is how I came to meet my teacher for the first time, Rabbi Baruch Shalom Ashlag (the Rabash), the eldest son and successor of Baal HaSulam – the greatest Kabbalist of the twentieth century. From that moment on my life was never the same.

For the next twelve years I served as his personal assistant and disciple, and I absorbed from him everything that I know in the wisdom of Kabbalah. Every day he would lock himself up on the second floor and write. This is how his profound articles were born, which paved the way for anyone nowadays to carve the spiritual path most suited to them. No one before him had written in such a simple and practical manner. Like a father who guides his children along the path, he takes his readers by the hand and guides them until they discover the true meaning of life.

“And once I have acquired the clothing of love,” he wrote to his students at the end of the well-known letter “Love of Friends,” “Sparks of love promptly 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, the feet dance in a circle, in love and joy together with them…” (the Rabash).

After his departure in 1991, people who felt a burning desire in their hearts to reveal their purpose started coming together. Gradually, the “Bnei Baruch” Kabbalah Education & Research Institute was formed, named after Kabbalist Baruch Ashlag. Every morning we study the writings of the Kabbalists, such as The Study of the Ten Sefirot, The Zohar with the Sulam commentary and the writings of Baal HaSulam and the Rabash. We work to share the method with anyone interested, just as my teacher gave me the wisdom of his father.

Today we mark the 28th anniversary of the passing of my teacher, the Rabash, the greatest of the generation. I hope that we will succeed in following his path faithfully.

Kabbalah And Psychology: The Teacher-Student Relationship

Laitman_524.01Remark: In Kabbalah, the relationship between teacher and student is very important. As I understand it, it is not so in psychology.

My Comment: I think that even there a person gets attached to his psychologist. But in Kabbalah, a student’s connection with his teacher is simply essential. It is necessary for a student to listen to the teacher and try to implement his advice, even if it does not seem quite real.

A teacher in Kabbalah is sort of a problem for a student: he or she has to accept the teacher and follow him contrary to common sense.

In psychology, it is clearer. Both, the psychologist and the patient are on the same egoistic level, while in Kabbalah, they are on two levels: the teacher is on the spiritual level and the student is on the material. Therefore, a problem arises.

Question: Is it true that all the advice given by a teacher-instructor in Kabbalah is incomprehensible to a student?

Answer: Its inner meaning, of course, is not clear because a student is not yet at the same level as a teacher. Psychology, in principle, is possible to study by yourself and understand what comes from where, what great psychologists say about it, etc.

That is, psychology is within the framework of rational thoughts and desires, and Kabbalah, which is outside these boundaries, is in what is called faith above reason.
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From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah,” 12/13/18

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