Entries in the 'Women' Category

A Special Message for International Women’s Day

Dr. Michael LaitmanFrom My Facebook Page Michael Laitman 3/8/23

Dear Women,

On this International Women’s Day, however much I can say “Thank you” to women around the world, I cannot express the true amount of gratitude for your consistent immense contribution.

While gray clouds gather over our world with divisive forces tearing away at every sphere of human relations, it becomes increasingly clear that if the world developed according to the will of women, then we would be living in a completely different world.

The Kabbalistic sources write that it is thanks to righteous women that we succeeded in exiting Egypt. “Egypt” in this context has nothing to do with the geographical location. Rather, it means the egoistic human nature behind our divisiveness, conflicts and wars. Therefore, I sincerely hope that your desire will help humanity overcome its egoistic nature and that you could impact a major positive shift in the world.

You have the special ability to understand what it means to care about the world’s future and the next generation of children and families. For the time being, we fail to understand the full extent of the world’s dependence on you, but the more we transition to an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world, the more we will see how much we all depend on you.

I thus hope that you will wish for everyone’s hearts to open up to one another until we discover how we can all live together in harmony and peace.

Eve—Just a Tool in the Creator’s Hands

Kabbalah & Women

An insight into women’s inner quest and spiritual development

Adam and Eve are two forces of nature that were tricked by the Creator to perform the sin.

 In the book of Genesis, Eve is depicted as treacherous, seducing and cunning, as breaking the laws. And Adam is a kind of martyr who is being led and tempted by a woman. Can we learn something from this about a man and a woman in our world?

As tempting as it is to say ‘yes,’ Adam and Eve do not describe a man and a woman of our world. They refer to spiritual forces which bestow (man) and receive (woman), meaning two forces of nature. This is, in fact, the Creator and the created being. The Bible talks about the connection between them, how the created being derives pleasure from the Creator, is filled by it and then becomes an egoist. This is the sin, the fall of the souls into this world and so on.

In other words, the story of Adam and Eve is about our highest spiritual roots and it isn’t about a man and a woman. We are descendents of Adam and Eve, but they are the spiritual forces that gradually materialized and reached this world after thousands of steps.

In Eden, the female part called Eve wanted to become even more sanctified and to rise even more. Therefore, it wished to copulate with the male part and to ascend to the level of the Creator. This is what is written and that is what these forces – these souls – understood. In this manner, they become close to the Creator, to bestowal.

Eve didn’t do anything wrong. She brought everything into development. Adam himself wasn’t able to perform this sin, but with her help it was done. They were tricked into it by the Creator so that they would sin, because the whole chain of events has to come down into this material world. And from it, we have to reach the highest spiritual level once again.

A Woman’s Spiritual Quest

Kabbalah & Women

An insight into women’s inner quest and spiritual development

How can a woman tell whether she is yearning for psychological or spiritual fulfillment?

 A woman who is looking for spirituality feels that her fulfillment comes from something higher than this life. She has a different kind of desire. She may have a husband and children, a family and a home. All this may give her warmth, but her yearning for spirituality is on a totally different level.

It has nothing to do with this world. It is a desire from the “point in the heart,” as Kabbalah calls it. It means that on top of all the physical and human desires, such as food, sex, family, money, power and knowledge, suddenly a new desire awakens in a person. This desire is beyond our world, and it appears both in men and in women.

It was always very common for men. Throughout history, many men embarked on spiritual quests. As for women, we see it only recently. And this search is definitely much more than looking for psychological fulfillment in family or social life.

Therefore, a woman can certainly study the wisdom of Kabbalah, even though it wasn’t the case earlier.

A Woman’s Spiritual Attainment

Kabbalah & Women

An insight into women’s inner quest and spiritual development

Nature obligates both women and men to attain spirituality while still living in this world.

 Women, by nature, are so involved with concerns of daily life that they sometimes wonder if it’s possible to reach spirituality. Kabbalah explains that both men and women – whether consciously or by force – need to attain their spiritual root, from which they descended into our world and acquired a material form.

During our existence on this planet, whether in this life or in the next one, we all need to attain our spiritual root and exist simultaneously in both worlds as one.

The sooner we do so, the better, simpler and happier our lives will be. The more we balk from this path, the greater suffering we will undergo, like a stubborn child, who resists his parents’ will, but at the end is forced to do what is required of him.

Our spiritual root is our goal, which we must attain. Kabbalah helps us recognize this root and the purpose of our existence on earth.

As soon as we discover this, we begin to gradually harmonize ourselves with the goal and our life immediately becomes far more stable, peaceful, and secure.

A Woman’s Lack of Fulfillment

Kabbalah & Women

An insight into women’s inner quest and spiritual development

A lack of fulfillment in women has a spiritual root, and can be satisfied only by spirituality.

 It is no secret that in our world, women suffer more than men. Every woman, be it a queen or a tribal woman in Africa, is somewhat dissatisfied with her life; she has some difficulty, feels dependent, or is somehow unfulfilled. She wants more warmth and love; she longs for more sympathy and support.

It is not that the world is built this way. This inner lack of fulfillment is embedded in woman’s nature, and since the reason lies in spirituality, it can be resolved only by spirituality.  A woman will never be fully satisfied or fulfilled except by spiritual attainment.

We see how much deeper a woman’s lack is as compared to that of a man in our world. A man derives pleasure just by looking at a woman. What woman derives pleasure by simply looking at a man? A man has multiple pleasures: football, women, beer, TV and adventures. A woman wants something deeper than that.

Kabbalah explains why our world is built this way. It says that in spirituality, the woman is the one who feels the lack of fulfillment first. She only needs to formulate it correctly and use it to propel a man to reach the spiritual goal, draw the Light from Above and bring it to her.

Presently, we don’t fully understand how it all works. But our task is to follow the recommendations of the Kabbalists and let them open our eyes. We will then see how this great lack that the Creator has given to women in this world – her despair and anxiety, her lack of satisfaction, support, security, lack of warmth and love – how all this can be used in a purposeful way to achieve the spiritual goal. It is from there that the Light comes and fills all the lacks that a woman feels.

The Power of Women

Kabbalah & Women

An insight into women’s inner quest and spiritual development

Women can change reality by fulfilling their spiritual role in the world.

 Women should realize that in their hands lies great power. They are the ones who can change the world. How? By understanding and fulfilling their spiritual role in the world, just as they understand their role in the family.

Women naturally know how to organize the family, how to make it all work, how to care for children, husband, and kitchen. They should understand equally well that they have an inner ability to know how the world has to be organized according to its spiritual root. They should also know that they have the power to make the men execute their will.

We see that humanity is becoming a small house, a small village. Men have tried numerous times to lead it, but it hasn’t brought us much good. So the problems that are surfacing today make the women feel that they must come forward. Let us hope that men will listen, yet it is essential that women will know what to say.

A Woman’s Happiness—Today It’s More Than Family and Career

Kabbalah & Women

An insight into women’s inner quest and spiritual development

Women demand the spiritual status equal to that of men.

We are living in a very special time. Children leave home at a young age; relationships between couples are not as close as they used to be. Today, women are in the same social circles and have the same power as men and in many cases even more. As a result, the feeling of emptiness and attempts to find fulfillment and happiness are no longer related to family or even a woman’s professional life.

Although it is still important to a woman to be content with her husband, children or grandchildren, as well as with her professional life, this is not enough for her. Her ego is so developed that it breaks through the fences of the family, the work place and even the nation. It wants spirituality.

This yearning for spiritual fulfillment has increased during the last 15 – 20 years. Before the current generation, there were a few cases here and there, but it did not occur by the thousands as it is today.

These days remind us of the times of Abraham, who formed the first Kabbalistic group in ancient Babylon. In those ancient times the women who attained spirituality were by the men’s side. They were on a spiritual level equal to that of the men. The great prophetesses, such as Dvorah, Hulda and others reached spiritual levels even greater than the men’s. People lived in realization of Godliness, and children were taught these truths from an early age.

But after humanity’s decline from spirituality, we rarely saw women Kabbalists. There were a few who reached spirituality, from the times of the destruction of the Second Temple until our generation, but they were a limited number.

Today, however, whether we like it or not, we are going back to that same early state in which humanity was united as one man in one heart. Because of this women have to be on the same spiritual level as men. In other words, the spiritual downfall of humanity that led to the devaluation of the woman’s spiritual status has to be remedied in our days.

Hence, today, we have to answer the demand that comes from so many women. It isn’t just a demand but a true need.

Conditions for Women’s Spiritual Advancement

Kabbalah & Women

An insight into women’s inner quest and spiritual development

Women need fewer conditions to advance spiritually than men do.

 Kabbalah states that if a man wants to advance spiritually, he is obliged to marry and have a family. It is his responsibility to fulfill these obligations. Otherwise, he cannot advance spiritually.

A woman, on the other hand, can advance spiritually even if she is not a mother or a wife. Moreover, if she has the means for existence, she may also choose not to work. That is, in comparison to a man, a woman is relatively self-sufficient and can grow spiritually without many external conditions that apply to men. Thus, from the spiritual point of view, she is a considerably more perfect creature than a man.

A man has to overcome himself, to constantly convince himself that it’s worth staying on the spiritual path. He is less susceptible to spiritual advancement than a woman, who naturally aspires toward everything spiritual. She is ready to accept, feel and understand all of the spiritual transformations that are happening in her. She yearns for this.

The need for the spiritual ascent is manifested much more in a woman. She feels unsatisfied with our world, disappointed in family and work. A man looks for foolish passions, such as football, beer, friends and so on, and then gets lost in them. He lives pursuing false goals. A woman is unable do this. She perceives emptiness more internally and acutely. She cannot appease herself with such petty goals and temporary painkillers. More often she embarks on a spiritual search and comes to study Kabbalah.

We see this happening all over the world. More than half of the 1.3 million students studying within the framework of the Kabbalah Institute are women.

Coming Together—The Real Meaning

Kabbalah & Women

An insight into women’s inner quest and spiritual development

The men draw the Light and the women provide them with the desire for correction.

The phrase “man and woman coming together” brings up images for all of us that have absolutely nothing to do with what it really signifies. To us, we see corporeal men and women relating to each other as their bodies, minds and emotions direct them.

In Kabbalah, the coming together of man and woman is not about Adam and Eve or even about men and women. It is about a part of humanity that is masculine and a part that is feminine. The reason for their coming together is to complete one another and bring about the general correction of mankind. When the men study the wisdom of Kabbalah and draw the Light, the women provide them with the need, the desire, the fuel to fire their energy for this correction. Each has their part, neither is more important than the other, and neither can do without the other.

Women Who Regret Having Children: The Deeper Cause and Solution

Kabbalah & Women

An insight into women’s inner quest and spiritual development

The reason there are women who regret having children is due to a major transitional process taking place in our era. Likewise, the countermeasure to this feeling of regret is to understand the nature of this transition and learn how to optimally adjust to it.

Regret for having children. It’s a taboo subject difficult for most women to open up about. However, in recent years, Internet discussions, bestselling books and sociological studies have helped place it into the public spotlight.

Why do some women regret having children? Also, is there something that could be done to redirect that feeling of regret?

The reason there are women who regret having children is due to a major transitional process taking place in our era. Likewise, the countermeasure to this feeling of regret is to understand the nature of this transition and learn how to optimally adjust to it.

Where we once lived to fulfill basic, instinctive, animal-like desires to hold a stable home and raise a family, today a new desire belonging specifically to humans emerges. This new desire demands a completely different kind of fulfillment: Instead of fulfilling our instinctive animalistic desires for food, sex, shelter and family, and earning enough money to supply for those needs, today’s new desire seeks a sense of meaning and self realization.

By weaving childbirth and motherhood into the fabric of fulfilling the desire for meaning and self realization, feelings of regret would be replaced by feelings of motivation and purpose. This is because the fulfillment of this new desire brings about the discovery of a higher reality.

Women Who Regret Having Children

While taboo, women regretting having children has been a phenomenon increasingly coming out of the closet. Online discussions like Reddit’s “Have you ever wished you didn’t have kids? If so, why?” and Quora’s “What is it like to regret having children?” have hundreds of comments. The Facebook group “I Regret Having Children” has grown to over 7,000 members. Sociologist Orna Donath analyzed the accounts of 23 Israeli mothers who regretted having children in her analysis, Regretting Motherhood: A Sociopolitical Analysis, which quickly gained popularity. Also, two bestselling books appeared on the topic, Corinne Maier’s No Kids: 40 Good Reasons Not To Be A Mother and Sarah Fischer’s Regretting Motherhood. Fischer also reported getting 80 emails a day from mothers thanking her for her work.

Recurring themes to the regret include feelings of restriction: less time for oneself, less time for socializing, an inability to pursue career and/or travel ambitions, and the comparison to non-parent peers who seem to be doing a lot more with their lives.

Identity crisis emerges as the birth of the child gives “birth” to the mother. She feels her new identity as a lifelong burden. Moreover, the beautiful little baby quickly becomes a commanding little manager. The woman’s individual potential appears to become overshadowed and suppressed by her role as mother.

Why Does This Regret Appear in the First Place?

Regret appears due to the onset of a new desire surfacing in more and more people. It’s a desire characteristic specifically to us as humans, which neither exists in animals, nor in our past animalistic phases of development.

In the past, our desires were more animalistic, i.e., they were closer to us simply surviving. A woman typically felt in control by running her home. She had a husband who would go out to work and make money for the family. She knew that she would manage her home and raise her children. Moreover, society at large supported this traditional family structure.

Today, the traditional family structure has largely declined. Our desire has outgrown our ability to be fulfilled by its traditional means. The desire for meaning and purpose in life is far greater in scope than our past instinctive desires (food, sex, family, shelter) and social desires (money, honor, control, knowledge).

Firstly, our new desire finds its expression by us wanting something completely new and different, detached from our past frameworks and boundaries. Career and travel ambitions emerge due to society being engaged in this search, but not knowing what it wants other than to explore beyond its past limitations. However, career and travel ambitions are detours that will soon also exhaust themselves. That’s because the fulfillment of this new desire cannot be found in any of the ways we currently fulfill ourselves: after any kind of fulfillment comes another lack.

Instead, this new desire is leading us to the discovery of something entirely different: a higher reality, balance and harmony with the creative force that sustains and develops life. In other words, today’s new desire is demanding contact with the meaning of life, which is in essence, above and beyond everything in our world… including our children.

How to Replace Regret With a New Fulfillment

Escaping from traditional family structures has not made us any happier. On the contrary, the decline of traditional family structures has been shown to have negative psychological, physiological, relational and economic effects on children, parents and society.

Traditional family structures are embodiments of the animate level. Like how animals naturally live within certain boundaries, humans too shouldn’t seek to break away from their traditional frameworks as a means of becoming happier and more successful.

Instead, we as humans need to rise to the level unique to the human. That is achieved through a change in our social relations: more human connection, growth in our attitudes to each other, so that we would become more supportive, loving and considerate. By doing so, we would discover a whole new fulfillment.

The woman/mother who simultaneously undergoes two processes—the process as a mother who cares for her family, and the process where she elevates herself above the animate level to attain the meaning of life—would see her actions in childbirth and motherhood as part of her ability to achieve her full potential: becoming like the Creator.