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 27050
“Is Another Holocaust Inevitable This Time In The USA?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Is another Holocaust inevitable this time in the USA?

The signals of an extremely dangerous situation for Jews similar to the time preceding the Holocaust are definitely visible in America, where historically high numbers of violent anti-Semitic attacks are reported every day. Deliberate assaults upon Jews only for being Jews have become particularly recurrent in New York. Hate crime monitoring groups call the state an “epidemic.”

In fact, 2019 was the worst year on record for anti-Semitic incidents in New York City: around 214 complaints compared to 182 cases the previous year, according to police data. These make up roughly half of all hate crimes reported in the city.

The “Slow-Rolling Pogrom” in New York

In a recent letter sent to New York City Governor, Andrew Cuomo, four Jewish lawmakers urged him to declare state of emergency amid the spate of anti-Semitic offenses, expressing great concern that “it is no longer safe to be identifiably Orthodox in the State of New York. We cannot shop, walk down a street, send our children to school, or even worship in peace.”

They described the menace against the American Jewish community as a “slow-rolling pogrom,” and added, “anti-Semitic hate crimes have grown to frighteningly high numbers over the past several months…. identifiably Orthodox Jews in and around areas we represent have been targeted with a rash of violence unseen in modern history. Orthodox Jews are being regularly assaulted, menaced, stabbed and murdered in increasing numbers.”

I cannot view the current situation heedlessly. During the last decade I’ve warned through media
articles and books about the threat of a potential new Holocaust on American soil in light of the growing anti-Jewish sentiment from multiple fronts. Only a few years ago, when I met Jewish leaders to express my concern, they reacted with incredulity.

Now their perspective has changed. Former Democratic New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind has
questioned, “Why are Jews being assaulted in a way they were assaulted in pre-Nazi Germany?” and
said, “if you were to ask Jews 20 years ago if a Holocaust could happen in America, you would get a uniform answer: ‘it’s impossible, not in America.’ Well, that’s not the case anymore.”

The increased recognition of American anti-Semitism is a positive first step toward addressing the problem and unearthing its solution. I expressed this in my new book
The Jewish Choice: Unity or Anti-Semitism (p. 190) as follows:

“Clearly, the 20th century marked a new level in the cruelty of humankind, especially toward Jews. Having experienced the Holocaust, we cannot be certain that it will not happen again. If it happened once, it can happen twice, or thrice, and the globally mounting hatred toward Jews and toward the State of Israel proves that the fear of a second Holocaust is well-founded. This, once again, reminds us of the necessity to return to Abraham’s method of uniting above our differences, and of our duty to set an example to the world by so doing.”

As foremost Kabbalist Rav Yehuda Ashlag wrote in the early 1950s:

“The world erroneously considers Nazism a particular offshoot of Germany. In truth, it is the offshoot of a democracy and socialism that were left without … manners and justice. Thus, all the nations are the same in this, and there is no hope at all that Nazism will perish with the victory of the Allies, for tomorrow the Anglo-Saxons will adopt Nazism, since they, too, live in a world of democrats and Nazis.” (The Writings of the Last Generation)

The Jewish Duty to Prevent a New Tragedy

Our Jewish nation was forged upon the ideology of mercy and brotherly love, when strangers agreed to unite and bond as equals. We became a nation when we pledged to be “as one man with one heart.” Since then, it has been our duty to maintain this connection and pass it on, namely to be a “light unto the nations,” not out of entitlement, but to serve others. Therefore, the duty of the Jewish people is to execute and set an example of love of others to the world.

Over time, we have abandoned the unique connection we once cultivated and became self-centered. But now that globalization has made us interdependent, humanity is seeking a way to live together peacefully but cannot find one. Until Jews relearn how to be as united as before, the world lacks access to the knowledge of how to do this and will continue to blame us for its woes. Their unfulfilled demand is unfailingly projected as anti-Semitism, as a mounting pressure, until we change our course of action toward cohesion rather than division.

So being a light unto nations is a practical assignment: make peace among ourselves and the world will also be at peace.

Unity for Good

The world is always examining what we do, so whenever we display disharmony, it serves as a bad example that becomes reflected in the world. If we quarrel among each other, we project this disharmony onto other nations and they also begin to fight. But deep within they sense that their fight somehow originated with us, just as they express in the forms of mounting rancor toward us.

Our problem is that we unite only when a common enemy threatens us. If we would turn unity into a conscious process, we would require no dark outcome of a new Holocaust to direct us toward it. Thus, the pressing times we face will decisively demand us to make a fateful decision. Our Jewish choice is whether to remain divided and at odds and suffer the consequences, or to reverse our attitude toward one another, develop mutual responsibility and care, and spread it to the world. If we wisely choose the latter, a new reality of trust, friendship, and mutual support will unfold before us, in America and worldwide.

The Goal Of A Kabbalistic Group, Part 3

749.02The Highest Desire—Israel

Question: Evolution constantly separates some parts of nature. It turns out that a group of people called “Israel,” which has a certain path of development, is selected by evolution. Then, all kinds of small groups called “tens” comprise that group.

Why is it impossible to work with the whole of humanity? Why is it necessary to be locked in a small group of people?

Answer: The fact is that the soul, that is, the general desire created by the Creator, is divided into many different levels and sublevels. For example, if we take its highest, most sensitive level, then, it is, in turn, the most egoistic and at the same time closest in its effect to the light back and forth. That is, it is directed to the light and the light is directed to it. Light is the Creator’s influence on a desire.

Therefore, in the first place, it is this highest desire that begins to develop, which because of its aspiration for the Creator is called “Israel,” meaning “directly to the Creator.” Being closest to Him, it must first come into contact with the Creator and then through it the influence of the Creator passes on to other desires.

Remark: We know that it is unrelated to nationalities since the group of Israel was assembled from the least egoistic representatives of various tribes of ancient Babylon.

My Comment: I would not say that they were less egoistic. On the contrary, they felt more detached and more susceptible to all kinds of bad states. As a result of this, they felt that they were obliged to attain the meaning of life, or, allegorically, that they must attain where it comes from, who rules them, and how they can change their lives.

Therefore, they gathered around Abraham who called them to spiritual attainment. He explained to them that this is possible only if they begin to work together on unity among themselves.
[257876]
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah,” 3/6/19

The Method Of Correction, Part 10

laitman_944When One Follows the Laws of Nature

Question: If I take care that my like-minded friends reach the Creator and this is the best thing I can do for them, is that enough? Does that mean I shouldn’t worry about fulfilling their many other desires?

Answer: No. It is said that the material aspect of a friend is more important than your spiritual one.

Remark: I can’t even provide for my own material desires, and even less so for my friend!

My Comment: This refers to a society that exists only in order to attain the Creator. Then, all of its members will be in a state of mutual guarantee (Arvut) among themselves when they live by this only.

Everything else they need for food, for life, called “conditions necessary for existence,” they obtain together. They help each other in this. They will always have enough of everything because they will comply with the laws of nature.
[257093]
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah,” 2/7/19

“Rekindling Black-Jewish Relations In America Through Jewish Unity” (Newsmax)

My article in Newsmax: “Rekindling Black-Jewish Relations in America Through Jewish Unity

From rhetoric to actions, anti-Semitism from certain sectors within America’s black community has set off an alarm as a new disturbing phenomenon causing deep distress among U.S. Jews. As surprising as it may seem, the most effective solution lies among Jews themselves.

In the last few months, a sharp increase in unprovoked violent attacks against Jews by black individuals took place in cities with large Orthodox Jewish communities, particularly in New York and New Jersey, including the killing of three people at a Jersey City kosher market and a machete attack at a rabbi’s home in Monsey. Those officially-defined hate crime incidents were the most violent of recent links in a chain of harassment, beatings, and vandalism against Jews in those areas.

Anti-Semitism From All Fronts

We are familiar with extreme right-wing anti-Semitism from white supremacists, which blames Jews for helping immigrants, among other accusations. We have begun to address anti-Semitism from the Left, among the most prominent being the BDS movement, but lately we are becoming increasingly acquainted with a new kind of anti-Semitism from parts of the black community.

To further complicate the division, among African Americans there appears to be two distinct types of anti-Semitism. The first type arises from the Black Hebrew Israelites, a group whose members define themselves as “the original Jews,” as opposed to white Jews who are blamed for stealing their legal heritage. The second type seems to be arising from the melting pot of communal life in the U.S., where developing hatred against Jews claims that they want to take over their property and neighborhoods and “bring us back to the miserable slavery days.” It is a view that has even found sympathizers among members of the Jersey City Board of Education, the media has recently revealed.

Embracing Humanity’s Melting Pot

It is important to understand that original Judaism had no interest in exclusive ownership of the Torah. On the contrary, it was intended to reach everyone in the world, particularly anyone who longs for unity and mutual guarantee. Anyone who wanted to live according to the great rule of the Torah, “love your neighbor as yourself,” was welcomed and we would all unite and embrace one another in great joy. As Kabbalist Rav Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam) wrote: “It is certain and unequivocal, that the purpose of Creation lies on the shoulders of the whole of the human race, black, white or yellow, without any essential difference.” (The Arvut)

Therefore, the claims of those from the first group who claim that “Judaism is mine” and “I fit but you do not” are basically discriminatory. Such an attitude, from whoever it originates, does not derive from real Judaism which calls for love of the other. The second type of anti-Semitism in the black community mentioned earlier belongs to the exclusionary anti-Semitic line of thought just described.

As we have seen throughout history in every period, some particular groups of people hold a grudge against the Jews and find their rationale for hatred. Baal HaSulam wrote about it as follows: “The hatred precedes all reasons, but each merely resolves its loathing according to its own psychology.” (The Writings of the Last Generation)

Therefore, it is quite easy to incite any oppressed group into believing that Jews are responsible for their bleak situation and that they have to act against them. Undoubtedly, the members of such a group will gladly espouse hatred for the Jews.

It is important to remember that the people of Israel were composed of representatives of numerous clans from ancient Babylon, which had extended to become “the 70 nations of the world.” Abraham the Patriarch established one overarching rule: unity above and beyond differences. It might seem like the people of Israel are like any other people, but they are in fact unique. The people of Israel have a particular role: to be united and serve the rest of the nations of the world.

Jews Paving the Way to Unity

When the people of Israel overcome their differences, they attain a degree of spiritual unity that reveals the upper force. At this time, a positive force emanates from them. They then spread “light unto the nations” and become a beacon of peace for all. On the other hand, when Jews make no motions toward unity, but instead let their differences separate them, the nations of the world feel it subconsciously. This is because everyone is connected in a single network. In the absence of the positive upper force, the negative force begins to bubble through. Instinctively, the world manifests hatred toward the Jewish nation, holding it responsible for the lack of balance between the two opposing forces. This is the underlying reason for the increasing anti-Semitism.

We can engage in all kinds of efforts that do not primarily focus on our unification in order to try and palliate this phenomenon, but they will bring about no meaningful and lasting positive changes. Anti-Semitism will only continue increasing unless we tackle it at its root through the only possible antidote: unity of the Jewish people, first and foremost, and then unity of the rest of the world. Such an intervention will neutralize all animosity toward us, and will bring about a peaceful existence and cordial relations among all people.

The Creator Is Within Connection

laitman_938.02Question: During the convention we went through many things. How can we keep this so that we will not live from one convention to the next, but will multiply the experience every day?

Answer: At the convention, I tried to prove to you that when you connect you get closer to the Creator. You must clearly remember this, engrave it on your heart.

Only by connecting with each other do we approach the Creator because to begin with He is inside of our connection. That’s all.

Question: In both concealment and revelation?

Answer: Everywhere, always.
[255716]
From the World Kabbalah Convention in Moldova 9/8/19, “Collecting All the States Toward the Creator,” Lesson 7

The Method Of Correction, Part 9

laitman_938.02Caring about Each Other

Baal HaSulam, “The Love of God and Love of Man”: It is clear beyond doubt that if 600,000 men have no other engagement in life but to stand guard and see that no need is left unsatisfied in their friends, and they even do it with true love, with all their soul and might, there is absolutely no doubt that there will not be a need in any person in the nation to worry about his own sustenance, for he will have 600,000 loving and loyal people watching over him so not a single need is left unsatisfied.

Question: We are speaking about some kind of society since one person cannot do this?  A person needs to see such examples, and not only examples, but these kinds of relationships among people?

Answer: Naturally. Mutual guarantee is when everyone backs each other up, mutually guaranteeing for each other when each one thinks of others rather than of oneself, this is the law of mutual guarantee.

Question: Baal HaSulam later writes that a certain number of people is required to carry out the law of the mutual guarantee. Why is that?

Answer: It is because one person cannot provide himself with all that he needs. However, if a certain number of people are concerned about it, which depends on the time we live in, our lifestyle, and so on, then we have nothing to worry about. Only if we care about others do we not need to worry about ourselves.

Remark: However, Baal HaSulam writes that even if a single person falls into egoism and starts thinking only about himself, everyone else also stop caring about each other.

My Comment: Here we are talking about a perfect system, as Baal HaSulam describes absolute laws. In general, this is how it should be.
[257076]
From the KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah,” 2/7/19

Life And Death, Part 7

709Becoming a Human

Question: Kabbalists say that “The task of a person is such an existence when there is no sense of life and death. If this feeling exists, it means that one has not yet risen above his animalistic level, has not yet become a human. A person is someone who exists forever and feels like that.” What does it mean?

Answer: If a person does not feel this world around him, it means that he or she is one degree above it. However, one uses the whole world for the sake of moving toward spirituality.

The spiritual world is our connection with each other when in our unity we reveal a common, mutual force of bestowal and love called “the Creator.”

Question: What is this human degree?

Answer: The human is Adam, from the word “Domeh” (in Hebrew), meaning “similar to the Creator.” He is like the Creator in the quality of bestowal and love. In this measure, we can already talk about who among us and to what extent someone is a human.

Question: Do I understand correctly that a person who has reached a certain spiritual level dies and then has to be born again in a certain body?

Answer: This refers to the desires and intentions, but not the body.

Question: Let’s say a Kabbalist dies, then he is born again and goes through a few stages. The first stage, like any other person, is unconscious development. After a few decades, he quickly becomes a Kabbalist, and then he already helps others. Is that right?

Answer: This is very primitive. After all, there is Ibur Neshamot, separation, mutual adhesion of souls, their movement, and combination, and therefore, we cannot say that everything happens in this way. Everything is much more complicated because it is a single system.

As soon as we leave our world, we immediately become included in the upper world, where there are very different states. There is no separation between souls as in our world where they are as if separated by bodies. When our bodies, that is, our earthly egoism, do not exist, then the relationship between the qualities of bestowal and love is completely different.
[255022]
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah,” 1/14/19

An Opportunity To Reveal The Creator

laitman_221Question: When encountering obstacles that cause suffering along the way, how do we apply the knowledge that there is none else besides Him?

Answer: This, in general, consists of the revelation of the Creator. When we perceive all manifestations in our life as negative, we cannot imagine how life can be perceived as a manifestation of the Creator.

Here, a person has a direct opportunity to start identifying the Creator as acting correctly, with goodness, directing a person with His negative influences to the goal.

And the goal is for us to perceive all actions in the world as there is none else besides Him and thus gradually uncover the Creator as good who does good. In an exact way, all the negative influences that we feel push us in the shortest way to His revelation.

Proceeding from them, try to be directed to “there is none else besides Him,” that it is He who gives them to you, for what, why exactly the negative feelings, why do you need to rise above them, what does it give you, and how far do you separate yourself from your ego and precisely by rising above it get closer to the Creator? Try to act this way. These are the best conditions.

It is said: whom the Creator loves, He sends problematic conditions. But this is not as presented in religions, but in order to reveal the Creator as good in these states, as guiding us correctly.
[258123]
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah,” 12//1/19

Freedom Of Choice, Part 7

laitman_560“Fate” from the everyday point of view

Question: If we consider fate not with respect to the final correction, but from the everyday point of view: who to become, whom to marry, what kind of children will I have, what problems, etc., can this be changed?

Answer: It is very difficult because for this we must educate future couples in advance in understanding the meaning of life, the purpose of life, the realization of this purpose, and how much they are ready for it.

To select these couples as they become ready, understanding what they should sacrifice, what they should let go of,  than, on the contrary, what they should help each other with and how they should mutually support each other to achieve this goal. A lot of work has to be done here.

I hope that if not in our generation, then in the next, people will do it because humanity will come to a state of separation from any solution to family problems. People will stop marrying and having children. They will not understand why they need it! Up to the point that even sexual instincts will “freeze” in them. This is a problem that will be addressed through the matter of suffering.

Question: But on the other hand, why should I change anything if, let’s say, I understand or believe that there is some upper force, and it leads me to the goal of creation?

Answer: It leads you by the way of suffering. However, you do not realize yourself as a person. If you go with the flow, then you are an animal.

Question: If I do not make conscious efforts to change myself, then does the upper force act on me in the form of suffering?

Answer: Like on any animal. At that moment you are called an animal. And you are called a man only in those moments when you yourself see the goal and exert forces to get closer to it.
[257080]
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah,” 2/4/19

Attaining The Creator In The Center Of The Group

laitman_938.04Question: On our path, we should go through moments of hatred. If hatred is not revealed, is it a sign that we are not advancing?

Answer: We should not wait for any negative feelings. If we do not have them so be it. We just need to move toward the center of the group and persistently look for the Creator in it.

Our work is very simple. As Baal HaSulam writes in the article “Arvut” (Mutual Guarantee), the Creator brings a person to the group, places his hand on the correct path and says “Take it.”

Now in the group, we just need to increase the influence of the environment on us until we will attain the Creator in the center of the group. That’s it! There is nothing else!

We will see that the world around us is all fiction. All of it is the illusory world (Olam ha Medume). There is only the ten and the Creator within the ten. I want you to leave the convention with this thought, with this truth.
[255563]
From the World Kabbalah Convention in Moldova 9/8/19, “Collecting All the States Toward the Creator,” Lesson 7