Entries in the 'Suffering' Category

The Cause Of Anti-Semitism

Dr. Michael Laitman

Question: The Jewish people do a lot of good things and good deeds. But I see that non-Jews view it negatively, and instead of seeing us as good, they see us as bad. Why?

Answer: What good did we, the smartest and most educated people, do for the world? Did we perform our mission to be the light for the nations? Why should they love us?

Humanity feels intuitively that we bring harm and hatred into the world. We cannot imagine how this could be possible, so ask, “What are we doing wrong? We do not wish anyone any harm! Why does everyone hate us and not the people who seek to destroy others? For what?” Start to investigate this and try to find the true cause of this phenomenon.

Why does North Korea, with whom we have never had any relationship, hold first place in the world for anti-Semitism? Why such hatred?

Because anti-Semitism exists inside nature, is its law, and there is nothing we can do about it. No amount of logic will help us. If this phenomenon has been observed for thousands of years, then we should take it seriously, and not on the level of feelings. We must get to the bottom of why we occupy one place in nature and the rest of the world another.

I have been studying laws of nature for the past 40 years. Prior to that, my specialty was bio-cybernetics. But over these 40 years I have come to realize that unity is the cardinal foundation that exists in all of nature, and there is nothing one can do about it because we cannot go against a law of nature.

Abraham was not a Jew, but an ancient Babylonian who worshiped idols. But yearning to understand why there was such disconnection in his society, he revealed that in nature, there is a law of unity and that humanity needs to come to unification. All of nature strives for oneness within itself from the time of the Big Bang until final correction, and having revealed this law, Abraham began to teach it to anyone who wanted to learn.

The most sensitive, developed, and responsive people joined him. With them he went out of Babylon. They started calling themselves Yehudim, from the word “Yichud” (unity) or Ivrim from the word “Laavor” (to cross over).

Prior to the destruction of the Second Temple, this group fulfilled its mission. But since the time when the last exile emerged, they have not. And until we come together and understand our mission, until we grasp it and announce it to the whole world, we can not expect anything good.

Because ultimately, all the Babylonians, i.e., all humanity, must arrive at unification. And it is we who have to bring this unity to the world.
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From a public lecture in New York, 7/20/15

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A Stream Of Goodness

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe weekly chapter of the Torah “Bambidar” tells us how the Israeli army was built. We learn how they gathered around the Tabernacle and what was displayed on the flags of each camp, etc.

This speaks about the building of the general soul: about the forces, intentions, and attributes of which it is made. The structure of the general soul reminds us of the structure of an atom, where only those parts that can withstand the radiation of the nucleus, the radiation of bestowal, can be close to the nucleus. It is according to this principle that the camps gather and are classified.

It says that it is forbidden to come close to the Tabernacle since one can die (“the stranger that approaches will die”). This means that your vessels, your desires, may not be able to hold on, and so become egoistic, causing you to die spiritually.

Comment: But all of humanity accepts these words as rigid laws and a threat of physical death.

Answer: The laws of nature are indeed rigid because the system that governs the world is very tough and uncompromising, but everyone still follows the stream of goodness.
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From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 12/31/14

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Processing The Emptiness In The Desert

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Torah, “Numbers” 1:52 – 1:53: The children of Israel shall encamp, each man by his own camp and each man by his division. The Levites shall encamp around the Mishkan of the Testimony, so that there be no wrath upon the congregation of the children of Israel and the Levites shall keep the charge of the Mishkan of the Testimony.

It says in Midrash Raba that when Moses counted the Jews, dividing and classifying them according to the tribes, the Creator taught him how to become one camp and how to advance, which means how to put the ruined vessel back together.

Four types of egoism on three lines make up the 12 tribes, the 12 parts of the spiritual vessel. The shattered vessel must be corrected by uniting all the parts into one as the people advance in the desert, which means according to the revelation of the ego in every camp and in every tribe.

The Creator teaches the nation how to gather everyone so that each time they absorb new corrupt emptiness, process it internally, and correct it into the attribute of bestowal. This is the advancement in the desert in 40 years (levels). This is how the corrected part from Malchut to Bina must be the accurate unity of the nation and thus conclude the building of their connection with the Creator.

The movement of the camp in the desert symbolizes the processing of the emptiness. This is actually a very unpleasant movement forward since the desert is swarming with scorpions and snakes, the sun is burning, there is no food or water, and everyone is covered with sores. In other words, the desert symbolizes a person’s growing, burning egoism. People feel the connection between them like a sore that touches another sore, and the pain will not let them unite. They must ascend above it, and although the Light that comes doesn’t heal the sores, it formats them into one general, healthy body. The pain and the sores turn into one unified vessel in which pleasure is revealed.
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From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 12/24/14

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Turning Away From The Path Of Suffering

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Torah, “Leviticus” 26:36 – 26:37: And as for them that are left of you, I will send a faintness into their heart in the lands of their enemies; and the sound of a driven leaf shall chase them; and they shall flee, as one fleeth from the sword; and they shall fall when none pursueth. And they shall stumble one upon another, as it were before the sword, when none pursueth; and ye shall have no power to stand before your enemies.

If the Israeli nation doesn’t choose to correct itself voluntarily, there is a need for a very tough external force that will suppress the ego and force it to behave properly. This is called the path of suffering. Along this path people realize what they have been through, how far they have diverted from their goal, and that they need to fully understand this in order to return to fulfilling their duty. But in order to do so, their eyes have to be opened so that they become aware of the two forces in nature and how they operate.

You can only demand something from a person according to his level of development. When does a child begin to understand that he is in a certain framework? First he goes to kindergarten where he is taught what is allowed and what is forbidden. This continues in school. It is only at the age of 14-15 that he becomes responsible for his actions and understands that there are certain laws of behavior that if he breaks, he can be arrested by the police. After the age of 18 he is an adult, although he is not yet fully mature.

In any case, we have to bring a person to the recognition of what he is required to do and so he must fulfill that requirement. Only then will it be possible to hold him responsible. This is the reason that we undergo such a long preparation period of thousands of years. The problem today is that even the sufferings we have undergone don’t help us.

The question is if they were enough. At the end of the 19th century for example, the first settlers arrived in Israel. They were ready to live under difficult conditions such as a hot dry climate, swamps that needed to be drained, and the suffering of malaria in order to build the Kibbutzim. In 10 to 20 years, people began to forget all that. The second Aliya (wave of immigration) began and then the third, but they were different people because the ego kept renewing itself. A person doesn’t believe that what happened to him yesterday can be repeated today. It is not even his fault that it is all erased from his memory since he is a new person each day. Therefore, the main thing is education and the teaching of the principles of national and global unity.
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From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 12/10/14

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You Cannot Escape Yourself

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Torah, “Leviticus,” 26:36: And those of you who survive I will bring fear in their hearts in the lands of their enemies, and the sound of a rustling leaf will pursue them; they will flee as one flees the sword, and they will fall, but there will be no pursuer.

This is about a state of absolute lack of confidence. No one in the world feels fear, uncertainty, and worry like the Jews. We have very special feelings of inferiority, fear, humiliation, dependency, and I would even say, guilt. These attributes are revealed in us in a very distinct manner because our mission and goal is to make the nations of the world feel that they are connected to one another so that the Creator can be revealed among them. Imagine how a person feels who constantly causes others harm by his inaction!

This is how everyone feels! A few years ago, my grandfather’s brother, who emigrated from Russia before the revolution, came to visit me with his family. He and his descendents have been living in England for almost 100 years. They are very well off, but there is something that they feel the same. If we dig a bit more deeply, we will discover that they all share the same feeling of guilt. It does not depend on our circumstances.

In an interview with Larry King, a famous American television journalist, I was asked why anti- Semitism is again rising in the world. This was the issue he found most painful. He is in his 80s, has Russian roots, and although he has been living in America his whole life, he feels that he came from Russia. It seems that it has been so long, all long forgotten, but he instantly understood me. The recognition of our responsibility for the world doesn’t disappear and the Creator will not let us escape it. We have to fulfill our mission, our goal.
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From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 12/10/14

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How Can We Prevent Another Holocaust?

Dr. Michael LaitmanI am a son of Holocaust survivors who were among the few of the Laitman family who survived the Holocaust. Two thirds of my relatives were slaughtered in the death camps. I was born in 1946 and was raised under the dark shadow that the war left on my family and on the Jewish population in all of Eastern Europe.

For me the Holocaust isn’t some distant memory, but a painful reminder of what might happen to us. It is this thought that brings up the constant troubling question in me: How can we prevent another Holocaust?

I feel an ocean of hatred closing in on us. The external signs have never been clearer and international reports indicate an upsurge in anti-Semitism. On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a question was brought up on the BBC as to whether the time has come to cease talking about the Holocaust, and about a month ago, there was supposed to be a scientific convention in England about the legitimacy of the State of Israel. If this is not enough, an agreement regarding the use of nuclear weapon has recently been signed with Iran, which is more evidence as to why we must not rely on our allies.

It is hard to ignore the clear warning signals as to what is expected. So how can we prevent another Holocaust? In addition to lamenting about the past, we must make room for close scrutiny, examination, and the correction of our current state. We live in a closed system of forces that operate according to the law of connection. When we are compatible with that law, we feel good, and when we are divided and separated, this system, like any other system in nature, forces us to balance ourselves. Sometimes correcting this direction can involve great suffering.

I am aware of how difficult it may be for Holocaust survivors and their families to read what I say, but still the truth must be said. The Holocaust took place because the Israeli nation didn’t keep the law of connection. Why us? Because we have a special responsibility to keep this law. We have a role that was given to us back in the days of Abraham. When egoism tore the people of ancient Babylon apart, our forefather discovered the law that governs our reality, which is the law of connection. The few that learned the method of connection from him became the nation of Israel.

Keeping the law of connection is our life’s goal, and passing on the method of connection and unity is the only justification for our existence as a nation. At the beginning of the 20th century we received an opportunity to return to the land of Israel, not in order to build a home for the Jewish people, but in order to connect within it. The Jews didn’t take this opportunity and preferred to isolate themselves in their communities in Europe or to integrate within general society. The reaction of the upper system to these actions was the Holocaust. A moment before the world drowned in blood, Kabbalists still cried out that we had to return to our land and unite, but the Jews didn’t listen. Instead of willingly moving closer, the terrible afflictions of the Holocaust brought us closer to one another, and it was as a result of the Holocaust that we received a country.

With all due respect to the United Nations, the real mandate for the existence of this country is our role. The county we received, as Kabbalists say, is only an opportunity to keep the law of connection, which is exactly what the world demands of us. Subconsciously, the world wants us to unite and to also pass Abraham’s method on to them. But we refuse to connect, and this is the source of the hatred they feel towards us.

Holocaust Remembrance Day and Independence Day have to become days in which we all engage in our role as a nation, and they must also be days of reexamining the essence of our existence. During these days, we have to gather in tens of thousands of roundtables throughout the country and talk about the only way of being truly independent—independent of our ego and connected to one another through love of others. This is the only way we can secure our future and our children’s future.
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Everything Is Accommodated To A Goal

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe weekly portion, “BeHukotai,” talks about the entire world being reciprocally linked and that the system of creation was determined strictly and precisely. We are found within it, and its influence on every person depends upon his deeds and whether or not he accepts the laws of this spiritual universe upon himself.

The spiritual universe is not just what we see around us. Rather, it includes all of the forces and systems that are hidden from us, with only a fraction of them being revealed.

If we become familiar with its laws and maintain them, then everything will be all right. If not, it will begin to whip us through blows.

The system is arranged and constructed such that it takes into account the same object upon which it acts and influences. We partially see this in our world. For example, the system relates to a small child more mercifully and gently than to a mature person, enveloping the infant with concern. He falls, and this is not so bad, whereas, if an elderly person falls, he is liable to break his bones.

In other words, the system is arranged and constructed such that it relates to each one of us uniquely, according to the level of the person, his destiny, his fate, and who and what he is.

Question: In other words, if the person thinks that the system has given extraordinary suffering to him, does it only seem that way to him, whereas the system, in fact, gradually gives him what he can endure in stages?

It could be that he also cannot endure it, but everything has been considered absolutely precisely, according to his fate, his purpose, and the same conditions in which he is found. Everything is accommodated to the same goal that all of us must attain.

Essentially, everything is very simple because there is a beginning and an end, and from beginning to end, everything has been considered in each stage in relation to everyone. On every level, a particular freedom of choice is given to us and we operate within these precisely defined frameworks.

All of us exist and are connected within a single system that manages us. There are those who feel this and those who don’t feel it, those who already have discovered its laws for themselves and have attained some kind of levels, and those who are only beginning or have not even begun to understand the goal of creation.
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From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 11/12/14

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Do Not Quarrel In Vain

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: There are factions among the people of Israel who are involved in separation from the people and demonization of the nation, including even those values that make up the consensus. How do we deal with this; how is it possible to achieve unity in the face of this?

Answer: We don’t need to be involved with people and their actions, even if they represent the government. It is said in Proverbs 21:1: The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD Even if they are those who in our world are considered to be knowledgeable or influential, they are basically only carrying out the actions that are imposed upon them by the upper force. Each of them is just a puppet.

We must turn to the upper force that manages them and not take the people themselves into account. We pay attention to them only because through this, we are examining whether or not we are correctly building our relationship with the Creator.

According to this, we examine if we are correctly or incorrectly constructing our relationship with the Creator. In addition, the principle from Exodus 10:1: Come to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart… is operable here.

So here we simply need to work more on unity, connection, and dissemination.

We have nothing to work on besides connection within the group in order to influence the Creator. We should not relate to anything external unless they come up against us in war. War requires a response and we must influence everything else through the Creator.

Nothing influences a person directly. Disputes are useless. Discussions help in clarifying certain points so that they will be more understandable to everyone. That is another matter and for that purpose, I am ready to speak with a person, not to convince him, but to bring the message to other people.

Only the Upper Light can correct. And so we have no need for arguments; they don’t work. It is possible to persuade someone solely and only through the higher power. The Creator manages everything. The upper force, the Light, influences everyone, and at each and every moment, arranges the present state of the world among people in all kinds of forms and relationships.

So it follows that we need to turn to the Upper Light and not to the world. We also see that nobody is prepared to influence or convince anyone. Even the world leaders really discover their insignificance in the understanding of what is happening and their own abilities. They are arguing like children on the street.

Unlike them, we can influence the upper force, and through that, the correction of the world. This is our mission.

There is none else beside Him, and by turning to Him, there is none else besides you. If you want to organize the world beautifully and correctly, and prepare it for revelation of the Creator, then you are running along with the Light in the right direction.

Question: What does it mean to “influence the Elyon (upper one)?”

Answer: This means creating all the conditions for Him to be revealed. Through this I give Him contentment. And these conditions are bringing the powers of bestowal, Ohr Hassadim (Light of Mercy) to this world. After all, the Creator is Ohr Hochma (Light of Wisdom), which after Tzimtzum Aleph (first restriction) can be revealed only if Ohr Hassadim precedes it. That is what I must bring to the world.
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From the 5th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/01/14, Writings of  Baal HaSulam

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The Route To Bestowal

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What drives a person to advance, impurity or holiness?

Answer: A person who is still in the intention of in order to receive, which is called Egypt, is driven to advance by impurity. After all, he does not as yet, have any desires in order to bestow. He doesn’t value bestowal since it doesn’t seem attractive, and so he advances only because he sees a corporeal loss and a spiritual gain.

I can tell you how wonderful spirituality is indefinitely, but you cannot feel it because you don’t have any flavors of it. So you will agree that it sounds very tempting, but you cannot perceive it in order to understand that it is attractive according to the pleasures you are used to: food, sex, family, money, respect and knowledge, or at least part of it!

The-Route-To-Bestowal

So a person is given troubles in order to push him to spirituality, but they are intentional. Eventually it is Pharaoh who undergoes the blows, but before that, the nation of Israel suffers during the seven years of hunger. They are not give bricks, but are  forced to prepare them by themselves and work from morning till night without a rest. Everything is according to the path of suffering and everything depends on the sufferings that we choose. The spiritual sufferings are a result of my drawing away from spirituality. The more we advance, the more qualitative the sufferings become until eventually we reach the exodus, but these are still sufferings. A person cannot advance by living a comfortable life. If he feels pleasure, the pleasure immediately fills him and stops him. This happens all over the world. Give people abundance and they will live without thinking about anything, like animals.

It is only if the deficiency in them grows that they are forced to look for a way to fill it or escape the pain that they not only lack something but that it really hurts. In that case they will reach the filling. Guiding the created being by blows and sufferings is the safest way, because the nature of creation is a desire to receive and not to bestow.

We have to either increase the feeling of deficiency in the desire to receive or increase the temptation to receive. A person is a machine that feels emptiness in its belly. Instead we can prepare a table full of delicacies and thus awaken a person’s appetite, even if he isn’t really hungry.

This means that we can increase the deficiency in two ways, but they both operate from the aspect of receiving and not from the aspect of bestowal. We can draw a person by the force of bestowal only through the group. If I am incorporated in the group, I begin to understand that my progress doesn’t depend on the emptiness I feel in my belly and not on the wonderful dish before me. The progress takes place on a more sublime dimension and begins from lack of bestowal and advances towards an increasingly greater ability to bestow.

So I begin to work with the group, ignoring what I feel in my belly or the plate that is before me, and move on to a new dimension. So far I have advanced on one dimension according to the route on the low level. I escaped from the emptiness I feel in my belly towards the filling.

The gates of impurity, of receiving, are on the lower level and the gates of holiness, of bestowal, are on the upper level.
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From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/28/14, Writings of Rabash

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Descendants Of Holocaust Survivors Have Altered Stress Hormones

Dr. Michael LaitmanIn the News (Scientific American): “A person’s experience as a child or teenager can have a profound impact on their future children’s lives, new work is showing. Rachel Yehuda, a researcher in the growing field of epigenetics and the intergenerational effects of trauma, and her colleagues have long studied mass trauma survivors and their offspring. Their latest results reveal that descendants of people who survived the Holocaust have different stress hormone profiles than their peers, perhaps predisposing them to anxiety disorders.

“Yehuda’s team at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the James J. Peters Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Bronx, N.Y., and others had previously established that survivors of the Holocaust have altered levels of circulating stress hormones compared with other Jewish adults of the same age. Survivors have lower levels of cortisol, a hormone that helps the body return to normal after trauma; those who suffered post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have even lower levels.

“This finding echoes the results of many other human epigenetic studies that show that the effects of certain experiences during childhood and adolescence are especially enduring in individuals and sometimes even across generations.

“With low levels of cortisol and high levels of the enzyme that breaks it down, many descendants of Holocaust survivors would be ill adapted to survive starvation themselves. In fact, that stress hormone profile might make them more susceptible to PTSD; previous studies have indeed suggested that the offspring of Holocaust survivors are more vulnerable to the effects of stress and are more likely to experience symptoms of PTSD. These descendants may also be at risk for age-related metabolic syndromes, including obesity, hypertension and insulin resistance, particularly in an environment of plenty.”

My Comment: If you take into account the 20 centuries of systematic oppression, then it is not clear how these people can still experience joy, bring up children, and love humor.
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