Entries in the 'Unity' Category

“What Einstein Knew And Jews Refuse To Acknowledge” (Times of Israel)

Michael Laitman, On The Times of Israel: “What Einstein Knew and Jews Refuse to Acknowledge

“We have no other means of self-defense than our solidarity,” wrote physicist Albert Einstein in a letter to a NY Jewish philanthropist in June 1939, to express gratitude for his help to Jewish refugees who had managed to escape from the Nazis shortly before the outbreak of World War II. Today, as then, Jewish solidarity is the only way to combat antisemitism, but we seem not to have learned the lessons of the past, as division and internal strife prevail.

In Einstein’s thank you letter, recently released, the scientist addresses American businessman Fred Behr and shares with him his deep concern about the rise of Nazi rule in Europe and the impending danger to the Jews: “The power of resistance which has enabled the Jewish people to survive for thousands of years has been based to a large extent on traditions of mutual helpfulness. In these years of affliction our readiness to help one another is being put to an especially severe test.”

Much like antisemitism led to establish the State of Israel, today we are witnessing a sharp rise in antisemitic sentiment, both directly against Jews and disguised as delegitimization of Israel, in many countries—but especially in the United States and Europe. It is now imperative that we embrace the values of unity and mutual responsibility to guarantee our survival.

But today, these values have become less important in the eyes of most Jews, currently we are like a collection of separate groups—left versus right, religious versus secular, Ashkenazi versus Sephardic, to name just a few divisions—engaged in a constant struggle against each other.

Thus, in order to return to our united roots and re-establish ourselves as a united Jewish people, we must place our original values of unity and solidarity at the center of our common discourse. What would motivate us to reunite as a single nation? Why is this even important? It is so because the alternative is extinction. Only a tightly knit model can guarantee our survival. As our sages put it, “All of Israel are each other’s guarantors [responsible for one another], meaning that when all are together, they see only good.” (A Broadcasting Voice). And as it is written in Shem MiShmuel, “When they [Israel] are as one man with one heart, they are as a fortified wall against the forces of evil.”

Solidarity and unity are the most important Jewish values, originally instituted by our Patriarch Abraham and his group some 3,800 years ago. Guided by these principles, this group became the “people of Israel” and learned to live harmoniously as one cohesive nation.

By following the principles of mutual responsibility and cohesion, we can strengthen bonds that transcend people, groups, factions, ages, and genders, and aim to unite all people, without exception, across all differences.

Moreover, by realizing such a vision, we will serve as a model for a perfect society of fulfilled and successful people who share the most important values of life—love and connectedness. As a result, the world will absorb the unifying atmosphere we project, and antisemitism in all its forms will subside.

“Why We Are Silent Over Antisemitism On Campus” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Why We Are Silent over Antisemitism on Campus

Despite the growing number of antisemitic incidents on campuses all over the US, American Jews are almost completely mute about it. Either they are afraid or they underestimate the danger. Avoidance is the least desirable solution, but the real remedy for Jew-hatred is solidarity.

The past two years have seen record breaking numbers of anti-Jewish incidents in the US, particularly on campuses. Yet, Jews have largely been silent over this facet of the hatred. There can only be two explanations for this apparent abandonment of Jewish youths to fend for themselves in the face of organized and often institutional Jew-hatred: not realizing the gravity of the situation, or fear that “making waves” will make matters worse.

Antisemitism on campuses did not begin this year. When I was on a speaking tour in the US in 2014, I spoke with Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, head of the AMCHA initiative to combat anti-Semitism in US colleges and universities. Although she was well aware of the deteriorating situation of Jewish students precisely because they are Jews, it was clear that she was unaware of how quickly things could deteriorate and to what extent.

Worse yet, when I mentioned this problem in a lecture I gave the following evening in Los Angeles, people left in protest. Now there is at least some understanding that not enough is being done, though there is no understanding what we can and should do about the problem.

The Jewish people are the people who gave the world such noble notions as loving others as yourself, and not doing to others what you would hate if it were done to you. We gave the world such values as mutual responsibility, mercy, and almsgiving. We did all this under the obligation we had taken upon ourselves at the foot of Mt. Sinai when we became a nation: to be “a light unto nations.”

Yet, for centuries, we have been plagued by internal hatred and division that have brought our nation to ruin. Divided, we cannot be the example of mutual responsibility and solidarity that the world expects of us. If we cannot show solidarity, the world cannot have solidarity, and division and hatred prevail. The result is that the world blames us for its wars. This is what is happening today.

Antisemitism on campus is a sore spot. It hurts us where we are most vulnerable: our children. Naturally, we tend to suppress it and pretend that it does not exist.

We should do the opposite. To neutralize antisemitism on campus, Jews, including Jewish students, should acknowledge the hatred and do what all Jews are required to do – unite with each other, no matter how far and how hateful we are to each other. They must do this not for themselves, but for their children, who will not see a relief in hatred toward them until American Jewry unites, and for America, whose society will continue to disintegrate until Jews lead by example toward unity.

If American Jewry rises to the challenge, it will not be the most despised community in the US, but the most venerated. I hope that American Jewry makes 2022 their year of unity. It will benefit them; it will benefit America; and it will benefit the world.

“The Happiest Sad Birthday” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “The Happiest Sad Birthday

Let me tell you a true story that sends an important message to all of us. Halleli, a 4-year-old girl from Jerusalem with special needs, wanted to celebrate her birthday with her friends from kindergarten. Her loving parents arranged for everything: the place, the food and sweets, a clown to entertain the kids, and various fun activities that all the children enjoy doing. All her friends from kindergarten had promised they would come, and Halleli couldn’t wait to celebrate with them. But in the end, only one girl showed up. The candy, the clown, and the games just stood there, untouched and unwanted.

The next day, heartbroken, the girl refused to go to kindergarten. Her parents were beside themselves with sorrow and worry for their child and didn’t know how to comfort her. In his distress, Halleli’s father posted on social media what had happened, and matters took a sharp turn for the better.

A man from the neighborhood read the post and was overcome with emotion. “I have kids too,” he thought. “What if she were my daughter?” He felt he had to do something to give that girl an experience that would wash away her sadness. He decided to throw her the birthday party of her life.

He combed the neighborhood and told everyone about Halleli and that he was organizing a birthday party for her and asked everyone to come. A few days later, Halleli had her party. This time, hundreds of children and their parents showed up to make the little girl happy on her special day. Her parents were overjoyed and grateful beyond words to the kind stranger, and as for Halleli, her face beamed brighter than the sun.

This story doesn’t only tell us about human kindness. It is a warning sign. It demonstrates how heartless, perhaps even cruel, we can be if we are not organized and galvanized into positive action. It also proves the immense potential that lies in establishing mutual responsibility in society. When people who don’t know each other help each other because this is the value they live by, there is no end to what such a society can achieve.

The Jewish people became a nation when complete strangers found the words of their teacher, Abraham, compelling enough to implement. His teachings about kindness and mercy as the key to solving society’s problems struck a chord in the hearts of his listeners and they joined his group. This is why mutual responsibility and “love your neighbor as yourself” are the tenets of Judaism – social laws that relate not to God but to our fellow person.

Today, when alienation permeates every corner of human society, we desperately need mutual responsibility and care for others. These are the only qualities, the only values that can keep human society from collapsing altogether. Just as Abraham had found that the remedy to his homeland’s social ills were care for others, all of us must now realize that the cure for heartlessness has not changed since ancient times. The only difference is that alienation has now spread throughout the world.

Humanity must do today what the ancient Hebrews did – unite across divisions and establish love of others where today there is nothing but hatred. Perhaps such moving stories as the one about Halleli’s birthday will help us realize that mutual responsibility is not a noble but unrealistic notion, but an imperative step we must take to ensure our survival as a functioning society.

Fear Comes To Us For A Reason

627.2Comment: Tanya Mararu writes to you: “How can we overcome the fear that tomorrow there will be no money, nothing to eat? At the same time, everyone is alive and well. I am on maternity leave and only my husband works. And I am afraid.”

My Response: It is a natural feeling, and I understand it.

How to overcome fear? Be more connected with those people who think about the future. Calmly, dispassionately, they try to be connected with each other and try to find a connection with the upper force that determines everything in the present and in the future.

Question: Why does fear come when everything is fine?

Answer: It is all purposeful, it is all very good. Without fear, man would be a wild animal.

Fear limits our ego. Fear is a very good feeling that protects us, otherwise we would just go insane. We need to learn how to use it properly. And then we will not be afraid of it, but will bless it.

Question: What is the purpose of fear?

Answer: The purpose of fear is to correctly direct us toward the true path of development, to find the highest force of bestowal, love, and connection in the relationship between us. And then we will really not be afraid of anything.

Question: And you are referring to an ordinary person?

Answer: Today, it is already for an ordinary person. We see that the whole world is in fear. And only a person who does not understand where he is at all can claim with bravado that he is not afraid of anything. It is not from having a big mind. And that is why we need to bless the fear, because it correctly directs us toward the right goal.

Question: Toward each other, you mean?

Answer: Yes. We need to understand that fear is given to us on purpose. It is a very good asset.
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 8/12/21

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“Digging Under Our Own Feet” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Digging Under Our Own Feet

Regrettably, I don’t think that the series of debacles that enabled the escape of six terrorists with blood on their hands from imprisonment will teach us any significant lessons. For years, the Israeli society has been on a decline. For years, we have been growing alienated from each other and indifferent to the country that was established for a very meaningful purpose. The Arabs already know they don’t have to fight us; they can wait and let us disintegrate from within until there is nothing left.

The corrosion does not begin with the Israel Prison Service, and it certainly does not end there. Therefore, I am not at all impressed by the celebrations of the media at the capture of four of the six terrorists. They need to fuss over something; it is how they make their money, but in the end, it is meaningless.

The crux of the problem lies in our unwillingness to be what we are supposed to be. Instead of assuming our responsibility for ourselves and for the world, and unapologetically asserting our position, we cater to the interests of enemies who want our destruction, who bribe us with phony smiles of affection. But they feel no affection for us, only contempt.

Indeed, how can anyone respect a nation that does not respect itself? When Jewish Israelis pride themselves in being activists against the existence of the Jewish state, and believe that they are morally superior because of it, can we blame anyone for holding similar views? We are digging under our own feet, and then we are alarmed by our falling.

The Jewish nation has a unique legacy, unique values, and a unique way of life. If we follow them, just as every nation follows its own values, we will be what we are meant to be—a nation whose members love each other as themselves, and set an example of unity in a world torn by division and hatred. This is what we are supposed to do in the Jewish state, the State of Israel, and setting this example is the meaning of being “a light unto nations.”

When Israelis declare that the brutal terrorists who escaped are their “men of the year,” it does not testify to their moral superiority; it testifies to the depth of their hatred for their own people. If anyone can glorify a murderer of women and children for the sole reason that those women and children were members of his own nation, it testifies to that person’s hatred for his people. When the world sees that the Jewish nation has such people within it, can it view Jews in any positive light? Can anyone appreciate a nation that hates itself that much?

In his paper, The Nation, the great 20th century kabbalist and thinker Baal HaSulam explained what it means to be an equitable nation: “The only hope is to thoroughly establish for ourselves a new national education, to reveal and ignite once more the natural national love that has been dimmed within us … for two millennia… Then we will know that we have a natural, reliable foundation to be rebuilt and to continue our existence as a nation, qualified to carry itself as all the nations of the world. … [However] Here I must stress concerning the above-mentioned national education: Although I aim to plant great love among the individuals in the nation in particular and for the entire nation in general, in the fullest possible measure [due to our vow to set an example of unity], this is not at all similar to … fascism. I loathe it, and my conscience is completely clear of it. …To easily perceive the difference [between national love and fascism] … we should compare it to the attributes of egoism and altruism in a person. … Clearly, the measure of egoism … is a necessary condition in the actual existence of the creature. Without it, it would not be a separate and distinct being in itself. Yet, this should not at all deny the measure of altruism in a person. The only thing required is to set distinct boundaries between them: The law of egoism must be kept in all its might, to the extent that it concerns the minimum existence. And with any surplus of that measure, permission is granted to waive it for the well-being of one’s fellow person.”

Regrettably, we are not doing the minimum to establish national love in order to secure our existence. In order to do that, we must know how we were created, what for, and how we can achieve our goal. If we realize our legacy, that people will appreciate us only when we set an example of solidarity and cohesion, and that under any other circumstances they will hate us, perhaps we will be more attentive to our duty. If we do this, it will make us Israel. Even more importantly, it will make us an example, the only example that the world needs in order to overcome its countless, deepening rifts, which are the only reason for humanity’s afflictions.

“It’s Been A Year Of Learning” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “It’s Been a Year of Learning

According to the Hebrew calendar, Monday evening marks the end of the previous year and the beginning of a new one. If I had to describe the past year in a couple of sentences, I would say that it was a very good and productive year, that nature began to teach us in a way it never did before. It taught us that one force acts on all of humanity and we are all its subordinates. This realization is a very positive change that gives us some confidence for the future.

The past year taught us that we are all in one pot, “cooked” by nature’s blows. It is affecting everyone, and we all need to reflect on what is happening to us. What gives me the greatest hope is that we see how dependent we are on one another. It makes me hopeful that we will understand that we are all responsible for one another. This also brings us closer to understanding how we should relate to nature as a whole.

Although we have much more to learn from the upheavals we are going through, the blows have nevertheless been good lessons. There will be several more blows, but we will go through them and learn. Still, the sooner we realize that we are all threaded in a single fabric, and accept that in addition to our own wants, we must take the fabric into account in what we do, the better off we will all be.

The blows that we had suffered over the past year were not punishments, but lessons. Had we learned the lessons, they would have vanished. They are not nature’s response to our “sinful” past; they are its directions for our good future. Just as a parent’s admonition aims to direct a child toward a better future for the child, nature’s wrath diverts humanity from the wrong path to the right one. The sooner we reroute, the sooner nature’s “tone” toward us will change for the better.

We should not regret anything that happened in the past year. Nature is good, and all that it did, it did in order to help us. If we dwell on the past instead of correcting the future, we are certain to repeat the past mistakes and force nature to scold us once again.

Therefore, our gaze should always be forward looking; we should only focus on improving our connections with each other. If we establish good connections, we will become similar to the rest of nature—threaded like the fabric of reality, but of our own volition. If we become like nature, we will feel that nature is kind to us and our lives will be easy, calm, and good.

“Time To Shift From InterNet to InnerNet” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Time to Shift from InterNet to InnerNet

It’s been a little over thirty years since the internet has been made available for everyone. It has already been said that since the invention of the wheel, no technology has revolutionized our lives so fast and so profoundly like the internet. None of the things we take for granted today would have been possible without it.

Yet, the internet has not made us happier. So after thirty years of attempting to find happiness in virtual connections between us, it is time to progress. It is time to shift from the inter-net to the inner-net—a network of hearts that feel one another and care for one another.

When the internet dawned on us, it promised to liberate humanity from the shackles of physical location, to take us to faraway lands and exotic places from the comfort of our own desktop. It promised to bring together people from across the world, help us make friends across the world, and bridge gaps between nations and civilizations.

In reality, we are lonelier now than ever, and many of our physical friends have dissolved into the virtual universe. Thanks to the internet, it is much easier to communicate, but far too often, communication is used for bullying, sex-trafficking, slave-trafficking, censorship of views (how ironic), intimidation, or simply to sell us things we probably don’t need.

It is not the fault of the internet. We thought that it would make life great, but we installed in it the reason that makes us unhappy in the first place: our bad nature. The internet isn’t bad or good; it merely reflects who we are. Since we are bad, everything that we create turns against us and eventually harms us. The only possible solution is to change our nasty nature, and we couldn’t begin too soon.

I would not recommend avoiding the internet. I myself use it all the time. In fact, I realized its huge positive potential as soon as I had learned about it. Four years after it was made available, I set up my first internet site for teaching how to bring people’s hearts together through the wisdom of Kabbalah.

Although I recognized the enormous commercial potential of the internet from its onset, I made it a point that the authentic content on my site would be available for everyone, free of charge. Over the years, and with the help of my students and friends, we have made our internet site by far the largest content site on the wisdom of Kabbalah, where all the content—text, audio, and video—is still free for all. We translate all the content we can into dozens of languages, including live lectures and daily lessons, and offer it at no cost.

We have no interest in controlling the internet; we are striving to build an inner net: a network of hearts connected by mutual care and empathy. This is what the world needs; it is the only remedy for today’s multiple crises. However, we can only administer this cure to one another. One cannot heal oneself with love; it takes at least two, and usually many more.

Evidently, no regulation helps curb the hatred that is oozing from today’s mobile devices and computers. The relative anonymity of the internet helps expose our nature more than we would dare display it in a physical setting, so the ugly truth is gushing out, and we can finally acknowledge it.

Were it not for this recognition, we would never believe that this is the real nature of humanity. Now that we have placed a digital mirror into the depth of our hearts, we can see what lies there in the dark. It is as the scriptures write about human nature: “Every intent of the thoughts of his heart is only evil all day long” (Gen. 6:5).

Therefore, now that we have become interconnected, it is time to become inner-connected. It is time to realize that we are all dependent on each other, and unless we place unity as our top priority, we will inflict irreparable harm on ourselves.

If we are still here, and if we can still write and talk about it, it means that it is not too late to fix it. More than anything, we should be thankful to the internet for showing us our true selves. Now we should roll up our sleeves and get to work on mending our broken human ties.

Hiroshima-Day—A Warning For The Future

293Hiroshima Remembrance Day commemorates the victims of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima that occurred 76 years ago; it makes one think and feel horrified at the possibility of a new nuclear war. Baal HaSulam writes that if we do not come to unity through which we would draw a positive force into the world from above, then third and fourth world wars may break out and at least one of them will be nuclear.

There are many movies about what would happen if nuclear war breaks out: a world in ruins and a handful of people miraculously survivor and wander the earth and don’t know where to go.

If it comes to such a collapse, people will loose their human appearance and will turn into animals. They will use all the strength they have left only to survive and suffer less. And they will behave toward each other accordingly. I do not envy those who survive such a war.

Many countries today possess nuclear weapons, and what can be done to prevent those weapons from falling into the hands of terrorists? There is only one solution: connection and unity between all.

For example, if the United States, Russia, and China could unite, then these three major powers could keep the whole world in order and prevent anyone from starting a war. But today such connection is impossible because everyone is in their own egoism. We need a “virus” that will destroy our egoism, and then no one will think about war but will only dream of a quiet life.

Unfortunately, no one is interested in such a “virus,” but each seeks to raise their egoism as high as possible. Israel is obliged to give such a method of correction to the world, but so far, this is impossible because it is moving in the opposite direction. Therefore, the world is gradually sliding toward nuclear war.

If Israel does not bring people to connection, which is its duty, then it will cause their separation, which will become more and more aggravated until it explodes in a war.

We must change direction and take a course toward unity. In Israel, people who understand that it is necessary to lead the world to unity must awaken. We can only hope for such awakening.
From KabTV’s “ A Look from the Inside” 8/9/21

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“National Unity Day – An Alibi For More Division” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “National Unity Day – An Alibi for More Division

A suggested National Unity Day is garnering support on all sides of the political spectrum in Israel. The day, which started as an initiative to commemorate the memory of three teenagers who were kidnapped and slain by terrorists, has evolved into emphasizing the value of unity, giving, and mutual responsibility throughout the country and with all Jews all over the world. I am happy to see that unity is on the agenda, but in my eyes, dedicating a day to unity is nothing but a permit for division for the rest of the 364 days. Unity must be our daily work. Every day when we do not try to strengthen our unity is a day when we are not the people of Israel.

Unity is our motto. We forged our nationhood by agreeing to unite “as one man with one heart,” and all our struggles from the inception of our people to the ruin of the Second Temple were efforts to unite the people. Our nation did not arise the way other nations do. We started as an aggregate of strangers who followed Abraham because of his idea that kindness and love of others are the keys to a good life. Over time, as we practiced these qualities among ourselves, we forged unity. Gradually, the assortment of strangers became a nation.

But it was a nation like no other: Whenever unity prevailed among us, we felt as a nation and our unity shone as a beacon of hope that all of humanity might one day be united, just as we succeeded in doing despite our different origins. Whenever division took over, we became a throng of strangers pressed together against their will, and we reverted to mutual hatred that no other nation exhibited. In those times, we were the epitome of evil, the nations loathed and despised us, and wanted to do away with us. In the end, we succumbed to hatred and the Romans destroyed the Second Temple and exiled us for the next two millennia.

Now that we are back in the land of Israel and have established a Jewish state, it is our duty to work on unity every single day. It is our obligation to the world to reignite the beacon of hope, to show that strangers can form a bond that is stronger than any other connection, and that peace is not an empty slogan but a feasible aspiration. Dedicating one day a year to this most sacred task, to the vocation of our people, is a mockery of our calling. What will we do the rest of the year, hate one another as we do today?

A National Unity Day is an alibi for more division; we need the genuine article. Anything less than true bonding of hearts will not do. Unless we strive to be “as one man with one heart,” as our vocation mandates, we will not be the authentic people of Israel, the nation that hallowed the motto “Love your neighbor as yourself,” and which the entire world is anxious to see arise.

My Thoughts On Twitter 7/24/21

Dr Michael Laitman Twitter

…if only a certain number of #Jews would desire a good connection, to be as one whole – this would be enough for EVERYONE to feel a good change of all their desires…

From Twitter, 7/24/21

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