Publications
Articles on current events, culture, popular science, relationships and more, presented from the unique perspective of the wisdom of Kabbalah

Results 1 - 10 of 26493
Is Israel The Solution To Anti-Semitism? (The Times Of Israel)

The Times of Israel published my new article “Is Israel the Solution to Anti-Semitism?”

“You Jews, Hitler should have finished you off,” screamed an attacker while he sprayed water in the face of a Jewish man in Crown Heights, NY. Another three Hasidic Jews were punched in the face on their way to the synagogue in Williamsburg in a renewed series of violent attacks against Jews in the US. In Germany, a rabbi and his two sons were spit on and verbally attacked as they left a synagogue in Munich. These are only a few examples of a vast list of anti-Semitic attacks against Jews during just the last few days.

One might ask what the Jewish response to this should be. Is the rise of anti-Semitism in the world a wakeup call for Jews to move to Israel? Clearly, the solution is not as simple as packing and moving. Our only lasting safety depends on becoming one unified people wherever we are.

Research organizations evaluating bigotry and hatred define the conditions facing Jewish communities worldwide, in light of growing anti-Semitism, as “a state of emergency.” Several surveys recently conducted across Europe reach the same conclusion: Jewish people in the region live in fear and experience increasingly frequent and more violent assaults and harassment only because of their religion.

In the US, the situation is no less alarming. A record number of 1,879 anti-Semitic incidents were reported in 2018, while so far this year, there are no signs of improvement. On the contrary, the trend is strengthening from every direction.

Is Israel a Safe Haven for Diaspora Jews?

I do not view the Israel of today as a fulfillment of our founder’s dream: a national home that would embrace and accommodate all Jews who wish to move to Israel. While it is clear that those fleeing from threat and with no alternative might want to follow their Zionist aspiration to move to the Land of Israel, receiving an official welcome into the country, the challenge of the absorption process into Israeli society can be very difficult.

Israel is far from being “the promised land… flowing with milk and honey,” as described in Exodus. Instead of milk and honey, Israelis face knives and rockets. In addition to constant external threats, deep internal divisions and frictions make Israel feel like a pot about to boil over.

Therefore, how realistic is it to expect a smooth integration of new immigrants into a deeply split society suffering from a lack of communication between its different factions? For example, although Jerusalem might be only an hour away from Tel Aviv, the two major cities are worlds apart. This is also applicable to the periphery areas vis-a-vis the center of the country. Their populations’ mindset and perception are significantly different and little common ground for mutual understanding has been built. Division is evident in virtually all areas of the Israeli social and political spectrum.

A Call to Unite

Massive immigration of all Jews in the world to the Land of Israel should not be considered the ultimate solution and purpose. The single reason for the Jewish people’s survival of persecution and hatred throughout history till today, is to fulfill the mission for which the Jewish nation was conceived: to unite “as one man with one heart” and by so doing become “a light unto the nations.” As long as we distance ourselves from this goal, the nations of the world pressure us through anti-Semitism to remind us of our role.

Put another way, the solution to anti-Semitism is not a matter of territory. The solution can be found in the connection of the Jewish people beyond consideration of physical frontiers. It can only be achieved by becoming closer to each other, heart to heart, through our mutual understanding, care and reciprocity. As Kabbalist Rav Yehuda Ashlag wrote in his paper “The Nation”:

“It is clear that the immense effort required of us on the rugged road ahead requires unity as strong and as solid as steel, from all factions of the nation without exception. If we do not come out with united ranks toward the mighty forces standing in our way then we are doomed before we even started.”

For this reason, the hatred against Jews that increasingly surfaces stresses the urgency for us to take action and come together “as one man with one heart.” When we achieve that state of unity and radiate this example to the rest of the world, it will be perceived as our ultimate and most valuable contribution to humanity. Then, and only then, the animosity against us will vanish.

Our Participation Is To Increasingly Annul Ourselves

laitman_595.05The lower one receives everything from the upper one: this world, the upper world, and all the means for the ascent, all the components of correction, and all the internal conditions. What is left for him is to scrutinize his attitude to his external and internal states, that is, to the group, to the world, to himself, and then integrate into the group and annul himself.

For now we cannot do anything other than annul ourselves. Even later, when we will be working with all our might, all our participation consists of increasingly annulling ourselves. For the time being, this is the entire correction: until the very end, until the coming of the Messiah, the light of Rav Paalim uMekabtziel. All our greatest actions are the actions of annulling ourselves because we are working on correcting egoism.

The annulment can be either passive or active, at different degrees, in constantly changing internal and external conditions. But the main experience we need to gain from all the states we go through is the ability to annul ourselves by our own choice. I must know why I annul myself, toward whom, how to do it, and by doing so, I find the ten, the group, and the entire world.

By annulling myself, I adhere to the annulment of the Creator and attain Him through His annulment. This is how a baby attains his mother through their mutual annulment. Otherwise, he will be attached to her only externally, using her because she serves him. However, by annulling himself for the sake of connection with her, he begins to understand how she annuls herself toward him, and he studies the upper one this way. Here, it is very important to annul oneself toward the right people and not toward the entire external egoistic world.

Passive annulment is bestowal for the sake of bestowal, and active annulment is reception for the sake of bestowal. I am in the upper one, I feel Him and understand what contentment I can give Him through my reception, helping Him to be revealed within me. To give to the Creator the pleasure of His revelation in the created beings is the work that until the end of correction is done in the ascent, with AHP de Aliyah, by adhering to the upper, that is, by annulling myself before Him through the annulment toward the group. As it is written: “From love for the created beings to the love for the Creator.”

This is how we advance step by step, rising and falling, and again rising and falling, as it is written: “And there was evening and there was morning, one day.” Every time we build a new state because we lose everything we received previously. If we remembered and kept the previous state, the exertion would be impure. I have to fall to the state of “Shimon from the market.”1

We are in the corporeal world in order to have an opportunity to organize systems here that do not depend on our spiritual ascents and descents. Therefore, we can remind each other about the intention, oblige ourselves to work according to a timetable, according to the corporeal states. This is why the one who does not come to the lesson every day is not participating in the common work. Every lesson is a new ascent, new participation, connection, and construction of the Kli.2
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/8/19, Writings of Baal HaSulam, “Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah,” Item 179
1 Minute 28:40 – 36:12
2 Minute 35:30

The Evolution Of Desires, Part 7

Laitman_024What Is Intention?

Question: What is intention and how is it related to desire?

Answer: Intention determines desire. If the intention is directly related to desire, then this is the most primitive kind of desire. If I cannot directly realize the desire, then I develop a whole program of its implementation in myself. The program of the realization of the desire is called intention.

Suppose I want to achieve some kind of goal. But for this I need to take a certain path, certain actions, to attract people to it, to do something myself. All this is invested in my intentions to achieve the ultimate goal. In fact, these intentions are also actions, but with respect to the ultimate goal, they are intentions.

Intention is the ultimate goal, which is present in all my intermediate actions.

Question: So a person has a desire, an intention, and a brain that processes information in order to serve these desires?

Answer: Yes. The brain controls the so-called heart—desires. It concentrates them, interconnects them in various combinations in order to achieve the final goal.
[248985]
From KabTV’s “Basics of Kabbalah”, 12/03/18

The Torah Of Israel: Unification

laitman_567.04Baal HaSulam writes in the article “The Messiah’s Shofar”: We have accepted that there is a precondition for the redemption—that all the nations of the world will acknowledge Israel’s law, as it is written, “and the land shall be full of the knowledge,” as in the example of the exodus from Egypt, where there was a precondition that Pharaoh, too, would acknowledge the true God and His laws, and would allow them to leave.

The Pharaoh himself opened the door for the exodus from Egypt, with intention for his own sake, and allowed people, especially the people of Israel, to exit egoism, the Egyptian slavery. Pharaoh did it himself; he is the opposite of the Creator himself, he is His reverse side. In the same way, we must spread the wisdom of Kabbalah as a prerequisite to redemption so that all nations will learn about the teachings of Israel and the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Creator.

Even Pharaoh is obliged to recognize the true Creator and His commandments, that is, the need to act not on the orders of Pharaoh for his own sake, but for the sake of bestowal, and allow the person to leave. This means that a person understands that this is right and true, there is no choice, and he must change. This understanding should unfold throughout the world as a result of the dissemination of the wisdom of Kabbalah.

Now the situation is exactly the opposite: anti-Semitism is growing, the people of the world want to eliminate the state of Israel. They have to be brought to the wisdom of Kabbalah until all nations hear and recognize that the wisdom of the Creator is in the midst of Israel. This is our task, otherwise we will not be able to advance. Our task is to begin this work and the upper force will finish it.

That was the condition for redemption from all their exiles and especially this one, the last one. The situation is developing at a catastrophic rate, becoming more and more threatening. We cannot escape from our mission, the Creator will force us to fulfill it by all means. After all, it is a law that the wisdom of Kabbalah must spread throughout the world so that all the people understand the method of correction. At least they should know that the people of Israel have a method to get rid of all problems and troubles in the corporeal world.

Every day the situation in the world pushes us to this more and more. It is already clearly felt that the upper force acts upon us and creates conditions that are illogical from the point of view of earthly representations. The closer the spiritual forces and laws approach our world, the more extreme the conditions become, the reality of which is simply impossible to believe.1

We are now in a transitional state between exile and liberation when it is so crucial to spread the wisdom of Kabbalah in the world and especially to the people of Israel. We came out of exile, but did not achieve redemption: we were just given this opportunity and this is the time to prepare for it. Therefore, we need to spread the wisdom of Kabbalah to the people of Israel through all possible channels. We cannot miss this moment.

People must understand that it is impossible to achieve the correction of the world by any other means except, first of all, through the unification of the people of Israel from which this unity will spread to the whole world. The world needs it more and more every day.

Unification is the Torah of Israel. The exit from the desire to enjoy for one’s own sake, that is, from mutual hatred, is called redemption.2
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/27/19, The Importance of Disseminating the Wisdom of Kabbalah to the World
1 Minute 1:30
2 Minute 8:50

Using the Power of the Keyboard for Good

Dr. Michael LaitmanFrom My Facebook Page Michael Laitman 8/17/19

“Which Side Is Right In The Israel-Palestine Conflict?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Which side is right in the Israel-Palestine conflict?

No side is correct because no side knows the truth. The question is: what is the truth?

The people of Israel alone determine the attitude that the nations of the world have toward them. The nations of the world have no free choice in how they perceive Israel. According to the wisdom of Kabbalah, Israel are people with free choice, because it was the people of Israel who were granted the ability to rise above the egoistic human nature—the desire to enjoy at the expense of others—that runs on autopilot within each and every person. If the people of Israel make the choice to rise above the divisive egoistic drives and unite, then an abundance of goodness will flow out to the world through them. Likewise, if the people of Israel fail in making that choice, letting egoism continue to grow unabated, then no agreements will help them: it will be bad for them and for the world.

Free choice is the choice to connect among each other and by doing so, reveal the upper force—the force of connection and love—here in this world. If we fail to make that choice, then the negative side of the force of connection and love—division and hatred due to egoistic desires growing without any effective regulation—will ripple out to all humanity in depth and width. This is the root of any positive or negative attitude toward Israel from the nations of the world.

Today, since the people of Israel are not making any effort to realize their unifying role in the world, then anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli sentiment—including denial of the State of Israel—grows in order to pressure the people of Israel to fulfill their duty in the world.

Therefore, Palestinians are not responsible for the way they think and behave toward Israel. The law of nature draws humanity to connection at the peak of its development, and those who resist and deny Israel act according to their function within this system, which is to pressure the people of Israel to exercise their free choice. I thus see in Israel’s haters simply the force of nature, which reveals itself to us in such a way. The people of Israel, however, have free choice, i.e. the ability to change themselves, as they have been given a method of the world’s correction. So who’s to blame? I can’t say that Palestinians or anyone in the world are to blame for any of their hatred toward Israel, since no one in the world other than the people of Israel have free choice. There is a statement in the wisdom of Kabbalah about this: “the heads of ministers are in the hands of God.” That is, those in ruling positions around the world have no free choice in how they think and act, since the demands of the system of nature operate on them in order for them to carry out what needs to unfold in nature.

i24 English News Channel

Dr. Michael LaitmanFrom My Facebook Page Michael Laitman 8/15/19

It was a pleasure having the i24NEWS English crew here today at our headquarters in Petah Tikva. They interviewed me about the uniqueness of Bnei Baruch, how we teach Kabbalah, and why it’s becoming so popular in our time. I explained the difference between authentic Kabbalah, and other teachings. We talked about how our organization welcomes individuals of all colors, genders and nationalities, from all over the world.

Evolution Of Desires, Part 6

laitman_263The Egocentric Orientation of Desires

Question: Do all desires have an egocentric orientation?

Answer: Absolutely! I do everything just for the sake of my beloved self. Even if I do something as if for the sake of someone else, it is only because he or she is dear and important to me.

Question: So our desires have a certain intention, which is aimed at filling these desires in a person? The program of our desires, as the Kabbalists say, is maximal pleasure with minimal effort.

Answer: This is a law of nature. In other words, optimization is when I want to enjoy as much as possible with a minimal cost, and so on at every level.

See how we sit, how we do something. Any movement, mental or physical, no matter what we think or do, is carried out in such a way that brings us maximum benefit, enjoyment, and fulfillment. Maybe, at the same time, we spend a huge amount of energy, for example, as when playing football, it doesn’t matter. The main thing is that I always try to optimize my efforts for my benefit.
[248982]
From KabTV’s “Basics of Kabbalah,” 12/3/18

How Do Anti-Semitic Ideologues Identify The Role of Jewish People?

Dr. Michael LaitmanFrom My Facebook Page Michael Laitman 8/18/19

One of the biggest anti-Semites of the 20th century, Henry Ford, wrote about a special influence on the world that Jewish people can have. Somehow, this fact calls out the nations of the world toward Jews. Why would it be so?

The wisdom of Kabbalah describes the cause and solution of anti-Semitism in a way that leads to peace for everybody, regardless of race or nationality.

It describes the Jewish people as those who gathered upon a common desire to unite, i.e. 4,000 years ago in ancient Babylon, during times of growing social division and hatred. Abraham’s group gathered out of 70 nations, connected around the principle “love covers all transgressions,” and later on became known as “the people of Israel” (from the term “Yashar Kel” – “straight to the upper force”), and “Jews” (the Hebrew word for “Jew” [Yehudi] comes from the word for “united” [yihudi] [Yaarot Devash, Part 2, Drush no. 2]). At that time, atop growing social division and hatred, Jews received the method of how to connect above the division, and its implementation brought about great improvements in society.

Unfortunately, through the centuries of exile, the Jews forgot about this method and attainment they once received. Therefore, as social division brews in our times, the nations of the world feel subconsciously that the Jews are to blame for all kinds of problems in their lives. Anti-Semitic sentiment thus intensifies as an alarm clock getting louder and louder, trying to wake up the people of Israel to realize their inner potential for unification above the divisions, above the growing urge to enjoy at the expense of others.

Humanity feels that its well-being depends on Jews, and if the latter fail to put some effort into making the correction happen, they experience its negative consequences in the form of anti-Semitism. Likewise, just a little effort toward creating a more united, positive, supportive and encouraging environment among the Jewish people will send positive ripples of unifying energy around humanity, and the lessening anti-Semitism would come about together with a happier, better connected world.

Preparation From Above And Our Work

laitman_258It is written, “Anyone who mourns for Jerusalem is rewarded with seeing its joy.” This means that we need to pray for the public, but what should we ask for? Does the public have a desire for spirituality? The fact is that all the desires existing in the public belong to a person working on correction. Desires are within people, and a Kabbalist must develop intentions. Desire and intention are two separate categories; they do not exist in the same place. When a Kabbalist works with a screen, restriction, and reflected light, the desires start falling into place and change according to the intention with which he wants to use the desires.

The intention is called Rosh (head) and the desire is called Guf (body). We work on the Rosh, on the intention, so that it will suit the Guf, and then we will be able to use the Guf, meaning the desire. The disappearance of such compatibility after it existed is called the destruction of the Temple. If such compatibility between the intention and the desire is restored, then it is the construction of the spiritual Partzuf, its birth.

The vessel is the intention to bestow. The entire correction consists of achieving the correct intention. The desires exist. They are just arranged incorrectly, unequipped with the correct intention. There are no new desires. The shattering, restriction, and concealment all happens so we can scrutinize desires and start connecting them. Like a baby, who was born and starts growing, we correct the shattering and grow our soul.1

We work on the intention to make it in order to bestow, directed to bringing contentment to the Creator. In order to bestow to the Creator, it is necessary to concentrate the correct intention and select from the shattered desires those that will be able to work under its control. By doing so, we build the spiritual Partzuf, the extent of our bestowal.

This is why there were breakages, preparations for the correction that occurred through no fault of ours. There is almost no work of the lower one in this. The Egyptian exile, the desert, the destruction of the First Temple, the Babylonian exile, then the Second Temple, which was also destroyed, and the exit to this last exile—how could all this happen?

It was just preparation from above. Now, all we have to do is make a final correction. Only the work toward the final correction is considered the person’s work; all the rest was preparation.2
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/11/19 “The Ninth of Av”
1 Minute 32:20
2 Minute 37