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 27434
Spiritual Holidays, Part 8

laitman_294.4What do Purim’s Characters Represent?

Question: What do the characters of the Purim holiday represent: the King, Queen Esther, Mordecai, and Haman?

Answer: Haman is our great egoism without which we could not achieve the complete correction.
Esther, from the word “concealment,” represents Malchut, which acts in concealment and around which everything revolves.

Mordecai (Mor-Dror) is a quality of Bina, the righteous man who needs nothing. He is only waiting for the state where he can really serve.

Ahasuerus is a king, above whom is the Creator.

The people represent all our desires. This whole group of actors acts out Purim.

Question: Indeed, we perceive Purim as a children’s holiday when everyone wears costumes and puts on masks. Why is there such a custom?

Answer: People put on masks because we do not fully know the essence of this holiday: who each one is really acting, who is hiding behind what, and why all this is necessary.

If we try to act out this story correctly within ourselves, in the soul, in the connection between us, then in the end we reach a state called “Purim.”

Pur, Goral—the lot is cast in such a way that is absolutely unclear why. In the end, everything should have been on the side of the villain Haman, who wanted to destroy the people, but it turned out in the opposite way: he was hanged on the same gallows that he prepared for Mordecai.
[261197]
From Kab TV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah,” 1/29/19

What Do We Do In A State Of Ascent?

laitman_261Question: What do we do in a state of ascent?

Answer: In an ascent, you must help everyone; that is, you need to give, to realize this desire on others. This is how you will prolong your ascent, continue rising even more because by absorbing the desires of others, you will be able to climb upon these desires.

Question: Is there a way to stay in this state?

Answer: If you constantly absorb the desires from others and pull them along, rise above yourself in their desires, then your ascent will become continuous and there will be no fall.

Question: If people who have been studying for several years in their respective tens suddenly experience the ten’s descent? What should they do then?

Answer: If their ten is in decline, this means that the Creator specially placed them in such a state. They then need to look for another ten that would pull them out of the fall or do it with the help of a leader because a person will never rescue oneself. As stated previously, a prisoner can’t release oneself from prison.
[261599]
From Kab TV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah” 3/27/19

Signs Of Soul Growth

laitman_939.02Question: What are the external and internal signs of your soul growing?

Answer: When we start connecting, we give the light an opportunity to spread inside of us. We are beginning to sense and perceive it as fulfilling. In that we see the system of connection between us, in other words, we attain the structure of the soul. This is the most important part because as we gain insight into the structure of the soul relative to how it comes to life influenced by the light flowing through it, we begin to sense the Creator talking to us: how in a wavelike pattern He changes the relationships between us and how by altering the connections between us we can respond to Him. This is our contact, our communication, with the Creator.

Question: Does a person whose soul is growing feel that he is changing?

Answer: Very much so. It all happens absolutely realistically through mutual contact between a person and the Creator.
[261329]
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah,” 2/9/20

In Everything There Is Only The Creator

laitman_276.02Question: “In everything, the Creator, You are my light and my veil before my eyes.” Do I not see the Creator but only my own properties through a veil and nothing else?

Answer: You always see the Creator, not yourself. We just say that a person seemingly sees himself. In fact, he sees the Creator but in the opposite, negative form, as much as he is dissimilar to the Creator. Therefore, it is said that the person is the Creator’s shadow. 

Question: But when I look at myself in the mirror, do I see the Creator?

Answer: I mean your actions, thoughts, and feelings, not what you see in the mirror. It is better not to look in the mirror.
[261767]
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah,” 2/9/20

“We Entered The 2nd Stage Of The Coronavirus Pandemic. What’s Next?” (KabNet)

KabNet published my new article: “We Entered the 2nd Stage of the Coronavirus Pandemic. What’s Next?

We have passed the initial shock of the coronavirus pandemic, and now have entered what could be considered its second stage.

We now understand that it is here to stay for a while, that it spans the entire globe, and many of us have become used to sitting at home and not working.

There are still many unanswered questions in relation to the pandemic, for instance, how long it will last and how our lives will look afterward, but the fact is that we have detached from our previous lives and we are getting ready for a new life.

The coronavirus came like a tsunami that cleansed our lives from surplus and excess in order to let us focus on what is truly necessary and important in life.

“Other than supplying for our needs, we would do wisely in this period to equip ourselves with the wisdom of connection.”

Also, I am happy to hear that many people around the world already see the great need for human civilization to be cleaned from the dirt that it was accumulating.

I am also certain that our lives will be different to what they were before the coronavirus impacted us. We will simply be unable to reestablish them the way they were before.

We are still unaware of the extent to which this virus is changing us. In addition to washing away our life’s redundancies—everything that our egoistic human nature forced us to create in order to benefit ourselves at the expense of humanity and nature—it also “washes” us internally, i.e., our attitudes to each other and to nature, and we will come out of this period as different people.

Also, after this initial tsunami wave of the pandemic washing away the excesses that our overblown ego urged us to create, we are developing greater awareness of the need to exit our ego’s enslavement, i.e., to stop being under the demands of our desires to exploit others for the sake of self-benefit, and start building our lives anew, where all surplus would be contributed to the construction of a positively-connected society.

Many people sitting at home during this period are waking up to the meaninglessness of running after self-serving, consumeristic and materialistic goals.

Thus, there is greater awareness today of how much simpler and clearer life can be when we consider the need to provide for our basic needs, and in addition, consider what is most important in life. That is, when we stop saturating our lives with garbage that we are advertised to overload ourselves with, we can start thinking about how to fill our lives with what is truly important.

What, then, is truly important in life?

If we start connecting to each other in a more supportive, encouraging and considerate way around the world, seeing ourselves as equal in the face of nature, then we would start preparing ourselves with new “tools” that we could use in order to rise above the level of our egoistic and exploitative relationships, and enter into a different life.

What is this different life? How would it appear?

If we implement our connections properly, we would realize achievements the likes that we have never experienced before, nothing less than eternal life, a life that is followed not by death, but which is whole and perfect.

We once thought of our universe as infinite, but we eventually reached the understanding that, albeit existing for billions of years, it has its own limit. Yet, by realizing our connections in a positive way—through rising above our egoistic attitudes to each other—we can discover a limitless world, the eternal spiritual world, one that is independent of physical time, space and motion, and which exists solely in our change of attitudes to each other: from egoistic to altruistic, exploitative to supportive, manipulative to encouraging, self-serving to mutually considerate, and individualistic to mutually responsible for one another.

Therefore, other than supplying for our needs, we would do wisely in this period to equip ourselves with the wisdom of connection—the wisdom of Kabbalah—that provides us with a time-tested method in order to help us develop this change of attitude to each other.

In addition to providing the method for realizing positive connections among each other in order to discover a whole new eternal reality, the wisdom of Kabbalah also explains the deeper causes behind all problems and phenomena unfolding in our lives.

This is why our organization applies great efforts during this pandemic to explain how and why the virus appeared, and where it leads us, all in the broader context of human development within nature’s plan.

We thus hope that, especially during this unique period, humanity’s awareness of how nature acts toward us all as equals will rise, and that if we related to each other the way nature relates to us, we would unlock a completely new, harmonious and perfect reality.

“The Post-Coronavirus World” (Thrive Global)

Thrive Global published my new article: “The Post-Coronavirus World

We will definitely be living in a new and different world after the coronavirus pandemic.

Dave Heinzel installs one of his handmade signs with the saying “Everything Will Be Ok” along with a 3D red heart that he he handmade in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in front of a home on West Lawrence Avenue, Wednesday, March 25, 2020, in Springfield, Ill. Heinzel started taking requests for the signs on social media and the demand soared to over 200 requests. “I really think everything will be okay,” said Heinzel. “It’s going to get worse and it’s not going to be fun and we’re going to lose people we know, but it will be okay.”Usp News Coronavirus A Usa Il

Before discussing the post-coronavirus world, it helps to understand that the deeper cause of the virus was that it was a nature-sent reaction to the egoistic, competitive and exploitative way we were living our lives.

Nature sent us this virus in order to clean away the excess waste we had been accumulating in our paradigm of each one trying to maximally profit off of others in a race to individual success.

Our overinflated egoistic approach to life would have eventually led to major suffering, such as a world war. However, the coronavirus came along instead. It somewhat purifies us in a much calmer way than if we had let our tensing relations reach an explosive peak.

There Is Nothing Detrimental in Nature

Many perceive the coronavirus as a major catastrophe, but when we gain an understanding of nature’s laws and modus operandi, we see that there is nothing detrimental in nature.

We were causing harm to each other in our mutually inconsiderate and divisive attitudes, and then the coronavirus came along in order to distance us from each other, giving us a chance to review how and why we live our lives the way we do.

Now that nature has caringly and ingeniously discarded of the garbage that we had been gathering, we have an opportunity to fill our relations with love and kindness—to reestablish human society in a much brighter and more positive way for our children and grandchildren.

I thus hope that we will successfully utilize this coronavirus period to impact a positive shift in our attitudes to each other, and in the social constructions that we build herein.

I also hope that we will leave behind all the social division, hatred, xenophobia, exploitation, manipulation, abuse, depression, stress and anxiety of the old egoistic world, and make a significant leap into a new and opposite world of positive connection, love, equality, support, encouragement, happiness, confidence, altruism, care and mutual responsibility.

Reject the Old Egoistic World. Seek a New Mutually-Considerate One

Billions of dollars are currently being invested by governments in the hope that we will revive the rat race we were running before the coronavirus struck us. It would be very unfortunate if we do. I greatly doubt that doing so would be positive for anybody.

While we are now in a widely acknowledged state of crisis, we hear very little about how before the coronavirus, we were in another crisis. Our intensifying divisive relations in societies and between countries—especially between America, Russia, China and Europe—as well as various other factions, were leading us to war, and to financial and industrial collapse.

When we understand the extent of the crisis we were headed toward, we then view the coronavirus pandemic as a life buoy that nature threw out to us.

Therefore, we would be wise to realize that there was nothing positive in our old world, and thus nothing worth returning to. It was a world being devastated by our extraction of every resource we could get our hands on.

Also, the irony of our old world is that it was based on us all trying to enjoy ourselves, yet finding that it became harder and harder to enjoy ourselves. In the end, if we made a precise calculation of how much we enjoyed compared to how much we were dissatisfied and suffering in one way or another, we would find the scales tilted heavily to “dissatisfied and suffering.”

We deceived ourselves that we were doing well. What was so positive about our old world? Did anything we do leave us with a sense of lasting happiness and joy? Also, whether we were ordinary people just trying to get by and serve our families, or people who strove for more wealth, respect, power and knowledge—we would all merely ever experience momentary fulfillment, only to be left empty again needing to once again seek more fulfillment.

Ultimately, we were all equal in the way we lived our lives: We were in a perpetual chase after enjoyment that always slipped through our fingers the moment we started contacting it.

The Coronavirus Washes Away Egoistic Waste and Gives Us Room to Create a Better World

Therefore, now we have entered a cleansing period that is washing away the egoistic, competitive and socially divisive waste that was accruing. As we were filling our oceans with plastic and radioactive waste, so we were making a mess of human society.

At this juncture, our best move would be to build a new and much more positive world.

The coronavirus and all its consequent social distancing conditions around the world has given us time and room to contemplate on how we were driving our past egoistic society to ruin. Moreover, if we would compare the current coronavirus to past pandemics, then we would see that the amount of deaths is relatively small. That is, nature has brought about this opportunity for a positive transformation with relative mercy and gentleness.

Therefore, we would be unwise if we returned to our old world of 10-to-12 hour work days, with big chunks of those days spent in traffic jams, multiple crises on personal, social and ecological scales, as well as perpetually-increasing debt.

Our optimal use of this transitional era is to help each other take a step forward into a new world: to think about how we can repair our relationships, rise above any differences we had, and implement new relations of mutual consideration and responsibility among human society.

I thus hope that when the social distancing conditions are lifted and the coronavirus era comes to an end, then we will also continue along a line that we now start: one where we value positive human connections that benefit the whole of humanity over any self-serving goals. Doing so would ensure our balance with nature, reveal a new world of happiness and confidence for everyone, and protect us from any further harm that we would bring upon ourselves.

Published on March 29, 2020

“The Passover Seder In The Coronavirus Era: A Means For Spiritual Connection” (Times Of Israel)

The Times of Israel published my new article “The Passover Seder in the Coronavirus Era: A Means for Spiritual Connection

How are we going to spend our first Passover under the social distancing conditions brought about by the coronavirus?

What will the Passover Seder look like?

As a first, many families will be using the Zoom video conference tool to connect virtually over the Seder. Yet, while the coronavirus detaches us physically from each other, we have a unique opportunity to not only connect virtually, but to exercise what it means to be in more spiritual connection.

What Is Spiritual Connection?

Spiritual connection is when we want to feel each other in our hearts. It is when I accept the desire of the other person as my being my own, wishing to fulfill it as if it were my own desire, and the other person does the same to me.

Therefore, while feeling physically distant from each other, internally, in our common attitude to each other, we can feel ourselves as one.

If we had a broader view on why certain events befall our world, we would then see that the coronavirus pandemic—in how it has brought the world to a halt and physically isolated us all from each other—has come precisely so that we revise our attitudes to each other, and ultimately realize more positive and spiritual connections.

If we fail to actualize more spiritual connections to each other during this crisis, then we can expect worse problems to transpire, whether more elaborate mutations of the coronavirus or others.

Why? It is because our positive connections bring us into balance with nature’s interconnected and interdependent form, and the more we develop, the more there is an expectation on us from nature to make conscious steps toward our positive connection.

Our incongruence with nature, on the other hand, brings about the many forms of inconvenience and suffering that we experience, in order that we eventually positively and spiritually connect.

A New Dimension of Perception and Sensation Where We All Exist as One

We would do wisely to welcome the conditions that the coronavirus brings us, and actualize the spiritual closeness that nature wants us to wake up to, feeling each other in a new dimension of perception and sensation where we all exist as one.

By doing so, we would then feel no craving for the usual Passover Seder that we became used to, where we see each other sitting close by around the same table. In our spiritual closeness, we would feel a whole new kind of energy as if illuminating and filling the space between us—a new sensation of joy revealing itself in our common effort to overcome physical distances with attitudes of mutual consideration, love, support and encouragement.

Moreover, if we connect spiritually, we will also feel no need for virtual connection through our computer screens or mobile devices. We would have a much deeper and more genuine sensation of each other. It is as my teacher, Rabash, writes in his 8th letter:

“Once I have acquired this above-mentioned clothing, sparks of love promptly begin to shine within me. The heart begins to long to unite with my friends, and it seems to me that my eyes see my friends, my ears hear their voices, my mouth speaks to them, the hands embrace, the feet dance in a circle, in love and joy together with them, and I transcend my corporeal boundaries. I forget the vast distance between my friends and me, and the outstretched land for many miles will not stand between us. It is as though my friends are standing right within my heart.”

I thus hope that we make optimal use of the special conditions we find ourselves in, that we will realize our connection as a single system, “as one man with one heart,” above the social distancing.

We would then see the coronavirus not as a crisis, but as an opportunity and a loving gift from nature in order to let us realize a whole new, more positive and spiritual connection to each other.

The Land Of Israel: Dispersion And Assimilation, Part 6.

laitman_746.02The Split of the Jewish People.

Question: The famous rabbi, the Maharal of Prague, wrote about the spiritual descent of Israel: “The Second Temple had special quality: Israel wasn’t divided, they had only unity between them.

“Therefore, the First Temple was destroyed due to sins, that is, filth, and the Creator cannot dwell among them in filth. However, the Second Temple was destroyed due to unfounded hatred.”

What is the reason for the destruction of the First Temple?

Answer: The reason, in principle, is that during the First Temple, the division of the people into different groups and estrangement, alienation began, and during the period of the Second Temple the people already reached hatred for each other.

Question: Baal HaSulam writes in one of his letters: “And maybe our sages had this in mind when they claimed about the destruction of the Second Temple that there was no idolatry there and were experts on the Torah, and said: ‘Because of unfounded hatred.’” Could it be because they could not fulfill the basis of the Torah, which is love your neighbor as yourself?

Answer: They could carry out any actions, but they could not observe the intention to unite, to love their neighbor.

Question: As Baal HaSulam wrote, the conflict between the Sadducee sect and the Pharisees led to the final fragmentation of the people. The Sadducees were a wealthy corrupt elite: judges and priests who worked in the Temple. The Pharisees were the spiritual leaders of the people.

The Pharisees were for peace between dozens of sects who fought among themselves. But this was already the peak of the Jewish discord, after which there was a long exile of 2,000 years?

Answer: The problem is that it still had to collapse.

We see that the whole story is the development of egoism, which destroys everything as it grows. The people continuously work to rise above it, but the ego is again growing and destroying what is built.

To date, we have gone through all four exiles: Egyptian, Syrian, Babylonian and Roman. And now we are ready for liberation.
[260512]
From KabTV’s “Systematic Analysis of the Development of the People of Israel,” 7/8/19

A Complicated Preparation Process

laitman_219.01Question: How does the order of creation impact every individual’s ability to feel the Creator as a friend?

Answer: We must convince ourselves of this. In order to do so, we need to listen and to attain what Kabbalists write about, and to try to absorb it as much as we can, which is quite complicated.

It takes years before we gradually begin to agree with what Kabbalists write, and then a few more years in order to accept it because we relate to it rather passively. It takes years to perceive this seriously.

It seems to us that closeness and connection are like child’s play and that there is actually nothing to be done, and what is this wisdom of Kabbalah in the first place? What is it about? Is it meant to quiet down noisy children?

It is only then that a serious process of repulsion begins, and if a person overcomes it, he goes for it in order to reach closeness.
[259830]
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah” 1/12/20

What Is Absolute Rest?

laitman_537Question: In spirituality, everything is in absolute rest. What is absolute rest if there are ascents and descents?

Answer: A spiritual state is a state of peace. If we exclude our movements, then the whole spiritual world, the upper light, is in absolute rest. This means that it is perfect and does not change. We change in it.

The effect of the light on us is constant. Everything depends on how we subject ourselves to it.

Question: It is said that the sensation of light comes from the sensation of darkness. What does it mean?

Answer: In our world, we cannot feel something as a single phenomenon. We must grasp everything in comparison, in contrast.

I cannot feel black or white. Black will look black on a white background, and white will look white on a black background. I do not feel the phenomenon itself; I can only feel it relative to something.

Therefore, the whole creation consists of two opposite properties: light – darkness, bestowal – reception. I must master both of them and build my world from these two properties.

Question: Is absolute peace when my egoism is balanced by the altruistic power of the Creator?

Answer: The balance of my egoism and the quality of light, when they totally complete each other, is called the final correction, the end of all development.
[261877]
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah,” 3/27/19