Entries in the 'teacher' Category

A Kabbalist’s Level Reflects Humanity’s Egoism

go aroundA question I received: What’s the difference between the books written by the Kabbalists of the past and the books written by modern Kabbalists?

My Answer: Baal HaSulam says that Rabbi Akiva certainly knew more than Rabbi Shimon, since he preceded him – he was his teacher. However, the level of Kabbalists before Rabbi Akiva was higher still.

It goes without saying that Baal HaSulam knew less than Rabbi Shimon and less than all the previous Kabbalists. However, in order to take care of us, he was given an opportunity to learn and express his degrees. This is what he writes about himself.

We evaluate a Kabbalist based on his books,“This is an amazing book! I understand everything in it! He is a great Kabbalist!” But if I understand his books, then maybe he is not so great after all.

In other words, we rate a person based on how close he is to us and to what extent he can descend to our level, not according to his elevation, but according to his ability to be a teacher. And in order to become our teacher, it is not necessary for him to be great.

Along with the historical development of egoism in each person and in society as a whole, the level of Kabbalists is becoming lower.

During the “times of the Temple” (the Temple is the soul of each person in the state of bestowal and love, and the fall of the Temple is the descent into relationships of hatred) people clearly perceived the spiritual, meaning they felt love and commonality, lived as one man, and were similar to the Creator. They understood and felt these things on their own.

We cannot imagine what that means. It is written that compared to them, we are like donkeys next to people. This is not an exaggeration or a beautiful expression; they had a completely different mind, vision, and sense.

(From a lesson on the article “The Essence of the Wisdom of Kabbalah,” from 10.28.09)

Only A Person With Spiritual Attainment Can Learn The Science Of Kabbalah

Connecting Through the WorldsA student studying the science of Kabbalah has a problem: in order to understand what the teacher is saying, he has to be on his level. The teacher may be talking about very high spiritual levels, but since all the levels are similar to each other and each has the same details as all the others, the student can at least understand what is being said according to his present spiritual level.

However, if the student still hasn’t ascended to any spiritual level and exists only in this world, then he cannot understand the language of branches. The language of branches means that a person attains the things existing in this world, the branches, as well as their roots on the spiritual level. Then he has a clear understanding of the connection between the two and he can attain what the teacher says.

But if the student does not attain the roots, then he cannot attain what the teacher is telling him. The teacher will be saying words that the student cannot identify. When a person attains only this world, he does not attain the branches because he does not know their roots. The branches are what descend from the roots. There cannot be a branch without a root or a root without a branch. The language of branches cannot even start unless one attains the spiritual essence, the roots of the branches.

Therefore, a student cannot understand the teacher until he attains the spiritual roots. Only then will he be able to attain all the connections between the roots and branches based on his teacher’s words. Unfortunately, this is a fact. Therefore, the study of the science of Kabbalah is only for those who possess spiritual attainment.

As long as a person doesn’t have spiritual attainment, he has to be clear on the fact that he is not studying the science of Kabbalah. He is only using its “wondrous quality” (Segula) in order to reveal the roots. This is the only reason we study.

Therefore, we shouldn’t get confused by trying to collect knowledge about “something,” but should focus only on the fact that we need the Light that Reforms, and we need it as fast as possible. If we attain the roots with the help of the Light, then we will understand what Kabbalah is talking about. Then, when we study the concepts described in the books, we will be studying this science. Currently, however, we are not studying it because we don’t know the connection between the roots and branches, since we haven’t yet attained the roots.

The science of Kabbalah starts with spiritual attainment, and not before that. Before it, you can only aspire to evoke the influence of the Light upon you (Segula).

Spiritual Knowledge Passes Through Adjacent Vessels

adjacentA student can receive spiritual knowledge from his teacher only to the extent that he strives to become like him. The spiritual knowledge then simply flows into him, like through adjacent vessels.

A famous law of physics states that if two vessels connect, then water flows from one vessel into another and rises to the same level irrespective of the vessel’s width. In spirituality, it happens irrespective of the soul’s initial capacity, which depends on its place in the system of Adam.

The teacher’s spiritual vessel may be enormously wide, while the student’s vessel may be very narrow (or the other way around), but if they unite, the student will receive the same fulfillment as the teacher. Everything depends on the height of the student’s connection to his teacher.

There Is No Magic In Kabbalah, Just Science

scienceA question I received: I have a question. The movie Nights of Kabbalah showed how Kabbalists could predict the future. But this was in reference to the Kabbalists of the past. You also mentioned that now there are no teachers equal to Baal HaSulam.

However, I’ve heard someone say that there are people living today who have special powers and can change the physical world around them. For example, they can turn stones into sand, and they can be in several places at the same time. But these magic tricks are not their objective; their goal is to know the Creator.

They are able to do these things completely naturally, without any spells, esoteric practices or mysticism. So, with all due respect, I would like to know: how is it possible that Kabbalah is the only truth? How can it be that only Kabbalists know the whole truth?

My Answer: There are no miracles in this world. See Baal HaSulam’s article, “The Essence of the Wisdom of Kabbalah,” where he explains that Kabbalah is a science, which means that it is based on data that was attained and revealed through the method of experiment. You should also read “The Introduction to the Book of Zohar,” where it talks about the limits of attainment – that one can only attain matter and its form, but not the abstract form and the essence.

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Lecture in Moscow State University

An Article About Me In The News

Here is an article about me that was published at Walla.co.il, a major Israeli web portal:

walla-co-il_w

Below is the translation of the article:

How did Rav Laitman become such a popular disseminator of Kabbalah and one of Israel’s foremost new-age ambassadors to the world?

Is there really anyone out there crazy enough to wake up at 3AM every morning in order to study Kabbalah? Turns out there are plenty of people who are, including a number of Israeli celebrities, who all rush to gather inside the study hall of their teacher, Michael Laitman.

In the past Michael Laitman was a researcher, scientist, philosopher and even a mechanic servicing military aircrafts. But his restless soul could never find peace. In the late 70s, on the outskirts of Bnei Brak, in a solitary one-story house, a group of sages sat and studied Kabbalah. One fine evening Michael Laitman entered the house and asked to join their study. The group was headed by the renowned Kabbalist, Rav Baruch Shalom Ashlag. Before long Michael Laitman became Rav Baruch’s personal assistant and merited to become intimately involved in the Kabbalist’s daily life, including his spiritual life.

After the death of his Rav and teacher in 1991, Michael Laitman undertook the mission of disseminating Kabbalah. Since then, he teaches Kabbalah in a reasonable, logical matter, as a science and a philosophy. For “normal” people everywhere who are living in times of crisis, and who take years of experience to upgrade their principles, the world only becomes more and more uncertain with every passing day, despite all the scientific achievements. In contrast to this approach, those who engage in the Kabbalistic wisdom develop concealed senses of perception. A Kabbalist is essentially a person who has revealed the purpose of his existence, and therefore, he has answers to questions no one else does.

Michael Laitman exerts tremendous efforts toward the dissemination of Kabbalah. He has founded the Bnei Baruch organization, which means, “The Children of Baruch,” named after his teacher. The organization is entirely focused on creating and upholding a vast, complex education system that illuminates the wisdom of Kabbalah to anyone. Just some of their offerings are a television channel, an Internet site translated to over 30 languages, a wide array of books and even a film company that produces video content.

Of course, Michael Laitman has his share of critics, who claim that the study of Kabbalah must be accompanied by an Orthodox, religious lifestyle, study of the Torah and rigid observance of commandments. They say that without these things, Kabbalah is disconnected from its holy roots and turns into just another new-age method. However, Laitman pays no mind to the critics and continues to bore his way ahead. Over recent years, he has gained massive popularity as a lecturer in the USA and Europe, published over 30 books and became a member of an organization called the World Wisdom Council. Michael Laitman is undoubtedly one of the most eminent and inspiring people living in Israel.

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Spirituality Is About Seeking A Better Future

does-charity-really-help-anyoneThree questions I received on spiritual progress:

Question: How do I find a Teacher and become part of a group? I have been taking the online course, but I really feel that I need a Teacher. I know I need help on this spiritual course.

My Answer: The most important thing is to participate in everything together with all the students. You should humble yourself, as if you are in a group of children, and be like everyone else. When you begin to understand the others, their knowledge will flow into you. It is only by uniting with them that you will be able to understand how the Creator becomes revealed, because He is revealed inside the unification of people’s desires.

Question: How can I become a part of a group to study Kabbalah, such as Bnei Baruch?

My Answer: Our website contains all the information about us, our groups, and so on. Welcome!

Question: When I had just discovered Kabbalah, I felt like I was feeling spirituality. It was a feeling of overwhelming happiness unlike any I had ever experienced. This feeling prompted my continuing study of Kabbalah, and in my mind I constantly return to that feeling. I know that it is forbidden to turn back, but what can I do if I always think about spirituality and about that “unearthly” state that I felt?

My Answer: Seek a better future, without turning back to your past.

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The Story Of Joseph Teaches Us About Hate And Brotherly Love

Mutual Guarantee in a Virtual GroupA question I received: What is the song we sing after every Yeshivat Haverim (Friends’ Assembly), called “Hineh Ma Tov”? It is very deep and very special. What is it about, and what is its Kabbalistic meaning and history?

My Answer: When Yosef’s brothers, who hated him, sold him to Egypt, he became the Pharaoh’s deputy. When the brothers came there to buy food, they did not recognize Yosef and he sent the Egyptians to pursue them, thus forcing them to repent for what they did to him. When this happened, he revealed himself to them, and together, in joy and love, they had a meal where they sang this song. The words are, “Hineh Ma Tov Ve Ma Naim, Shevet Achim Gam Yahad” – “How wonderful and pleasant it is to sit together as brothers.”

And it’s the same with us: at first we hate each other, but then we grow closer and become brothers!

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New Scientific Discovery: The Universe Is A Giant Hologram

The Reshimot Surfacing Today Demand Spiritual Ascent of All HumanityIn the News (from The New Scientist): According to physicist Craig Hogan, GEO600 [a detector of gravitational waves] has stumbled upon the fundamental limit of space-time – the point where space-time stops behaving like the smooth continuum Einstein described and instead dissolves into “grains.”

If this doesn’t blow your socks off, then Hogan has an even bigger shock in store: “If the GEO600 result is what I suspect it is, then we are all living in a giant cosmic hologram.” … Our everyday experience might itself be a holographic projection of physical processes that take place on a distant, 2D surface.

My Comment: According to Kabbalah, “The particular and the general are equal as two drops of water.” Everything consists of ten Sefirot, which in turn divide into an infinite number of parts, each of which repeats the same structure of ten Sefirot. This was even described by Abraham in his book, The Book of Creation (Sefer Yetzira), where he writes: “Ten Sefirot: Ten and not nine, ten and not eleven.” It’s the same in all parts and in the entire creation.

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Smoking Does Not Interfere With Kabbalah

smokeQuestions I received on smoking, evil, hell, and great desires:

Question: Does smoking interfere with spiritual development and the study of Kabbalah?

My Answer: No.

Question: Is the existence of Kabbalah related to the existence of evil?

My Answer: Kabbalah was given to us in order to transform evil to goodness.

Question: How can you explain it when a person desires to absorb everything that exists and constantly strives to feel the Creator?

My Answer: He is aspiring to the goal of creation!

Question: Is there a belief in Kabbalah that one who blasphemes God can go to hell after death?

My Answer: Hell is shame that “burns you up.” Everyone has to go through it in order to reach Heaven – the feeling of similarity to the Creator.

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The Great Sages Of The Past

Dr. Michael LaitmanThree questions I received on the great sages of the past:

Question: You quote writings from sages other than just Baal HaSulam, Rabash, and Ari, although Bnei Baruch’s teachings are founded upon these. Is it permitted to study other sages’ works beside those three? Are there any sages whose writings should not be studied?

My Answer: Before Shelah (Isaiah ben Avraham Ha-Levi Horowitz, also known as Shelah HaKadosh – the Holy Shelah, 1565 – 1630), all Teachers and authors of books were great Kabbalists, but not so after him. However, you won’t be able to understand any of the books by any author from any period, except the books of Baal Hasulam, Rabash and myself. Go ahead and try it! But be careful of wasting your time.

Question: Was Rabbi Moses ben Maimon (Rambam) a Kabbalist?

My Answer: Yes, he was a great Kabbalaist.

Question: Tradition says that Moses is the author of the Torah, the book where his own death was described in advance, and that the Jews were given the book containing a description of their future as well. Do you have any rational explanation of how it was possible that Moses and the Jews could get the book with a detailed description of far reaching future events, so they were able to know their destiny, but were not able to change anything about it!?

My Answer: It is written that Moses was writing the Torah while the events unfolded in the desert during their 40 year long journey. The Torah describes only those events, allegorically telling us about what happens inside a person during his correction. And because “the particular and the general are equal,” as both consist of ten Sefirot, we can also read what is written as a description of all humanity’s development.

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