Monday, August 21, 2017

Jpost:“Is It Too Late For American Jewry?”

The Jerusalem Post published my new article “Is It Too Late For American Jewry?

It may already be too late for American Jewry, but uniting the Jews above all the disagreements is still the only thing that can save them from a catastrophe that is now vividly in the horizon.
For more than a year now I’ve been warning that American Jews are putting themselves in danger. I said back then that when America becomes fascist, it would blame it on the Jews. Now that fascism is rising on both sides of the political map, instead of wising up, “Many Jewish leaders,” to quote commentator Isi Leibler, “concentrate more on vilifying Trump than securing and promoting their communal interests. They unashamedly abuse their Jewish institutional roles to promote far-left and liberal agendas, even labeling their opponents antisemites to achieve their goals.”
Jewish leaders and celebrities are racing one another to condemn President Trump for his initial reaction to the Charlottesville ramming. Instead of standing up for unity, they are fueling division. Actress Debra Messing quoted Holocaust survivor and activist Elie Wiesel: “We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” So, speaking of taking sides, I would like to quote a comment that one of Leibler’s readers posed: “Where was all of this Jewish American outrage when that leftist shot up a bunch of softball playing Senators and Congressmen a couple of weeks ago?”
“For they sow the wind, and they reap the whirlwind” (Hosea, 8:7), the Torah warns. The more American Jews fuel the hatred, the more it will turn against them. If Jewish American leaders think that the way to tackle alt-right fascism is to defame the President, demonize his electorate, and delegitimize his administration, they have only themselves to blame when the anger turns against them. They are playing with fire.
Judaism has never been about war, and certainly not about hatred. We pride ourselves in the wisdom of King Solomon, who said, “Hate stirs strife, and love covers all crimes” (Proverbs, 10:12). We coined the tenet, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” and our own Rabbi Akiva said that this is the whole of our Torah, our Jewish law. How can we call ourselves Jews as long as we exude such hatred?
We made unity above hatred our motto, our way of life, and now we are doing the exact opposite. The Mishnah tells us (Okatzin, 3:12): “God did not find a vessel that holds a blessing for Israel but peace, as it was said, ‘The Lord will give strength to His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace.’” The book Shem Mishmuel writes that “When Israel are ‘as one man with one heart,’ they are a fortified wall against the forces of evil.” So why are we fighting hatred with hatred instead of uniting like our sages suggest? Does anyone really think that patronizing half the US population will diminish anti-Semitism? What kind of lame policy is this?
The only thing that Jews must focus on is unity among themselves. And by unity, I don’t mean that they should unite their ranks against the President, but that they unite all factions of American Jewry: all the denominations, the non-affiliated, the intermarried, the LGBTQ, every single one. If Jews, who are always at the center of attention (and today more so than ever), show America that unity is possible, they will be a positive role model to follow, and everyone will thank the Jewish community for proving it.
The book Likutey Etzot (Assorted Counsels) specifies how we should relate to those with whom we disagree: “The essence of peace is to connect two opposites. Hence, do not be alarmed if you see a person whose view is the complete opposite of yours and you think that you will never be able to make peace with him. Also, when you see two people who are completely opposite to one another, do not say that it is impossible to make peace between them. On the contrary, the essence of peace is to try to make peace above two opposites.”
If American Jewry wants to create that “fortified wall against the forces of evil,” they must remove the walls they have erected toward their brethren. I’m not sure American Jewry has not missed the last train, but the approach of uniting the Jews above all the disagreements among them is the only approach that can save American Jewry from a catastrophe that is now vividly on the horizon.

Age In Our World And In Spirituality

laitman_565.01Question: Are we considered older or younger in the spiritual world compared to our age in this world?
Answer: It is incomparable. A person can be old in this world but may not even exist in the spiritual world; he may not even be considered an embryo and not even a drop of spiritual semen from which he is supposed to develop.
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 3/19/17

When You Attain, Then You Will Know

laitman_547.03Question: How is it possible to know to what part of the soul a person belongs?
Answer: When you will attain, then you will know. If a person is drawn forward and understands that there is nothing else in the world for him besides the attainment of the Creator and his place in creation, this is a sign that everything is in order with his soul.
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 3/12/17

The Basis Of The Future Society, Part 3

laitman_942Practical Kabbalah Tools
A Kabbalistic group is a laboratory for the study of nature as one single system. Thanks to the fact that we are building new altruistic desire in the laboratory—that is common to all of us—we see another world: not in the Light of reception, but in the Light of bestowal.
Man ceases to feel himself as a separate individual, but connects with a group of people, and within this connection feels reality as one single system—great and perfect.
Question: What tools can we use to make this change?
Answer: To do this we need to implement the methodology of Kabbalah in practice. Kabbalists discovered this method almost 6,000 years ago and wrote a lot of books about it. There is a clear program that we need to accomplish in ourselves. When we enter this “laboratory,” we get complete instructions and books—everything we need to do this experiment.
This technique is unique and only the people of Israel have it. They used it many thousands of years ago, but then they forgot about it. And today it is time to update this method, not only within the Jewish people, but also to pass it to the whole world.
After all, the world has evolved to such states when it needs this technique. The next stage in the development of humanity is to achieve connection in tens around the world.
Question: How and by what means does our connection take place?
Answer: We go to a group and with the help of all sorts of exercises, we begin to move closer to each other. We understand that it is impossible to break through into a new dimension alone.
After all, we remain egoistic, and to rise above an egoistic nature into the opposite, other nature, which apparently exists as a plus against the minus, can only be achieved by uniting in a group. Only in the group can we discover the power of bestowal.
Question: What are these exercises that enable us to reveal the power of bestowal?
Answer: My teacher, the great Kabbalist Baruch Ashlag, wrote articles about the work in the group. By studying these articles we understand what needs to be done. All exercises are directed to uniting in a circle. The circle means that everyone is equal. Everyone tries to annul his egoism and serve others. Everyone cares about the common connection and tries not to think about themselves but about the friends.
Together we study Kabbalistic books to understand how to become more connected and close to each other. In essence, these are very simple practical exercises; you just need to follow the Kabbalists’ advice and work on it every day.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” 7/4/17

The Great Goal – To Bring Enjoyment To The Creation

Twelve Tribes In One Nation, Part 1Torah, Deuteronomy 26:8 – 26:11: And the Lord brought us out from Egypt with a strong hand and with an outstretched arm, with great awe, and with signs and wonders. And He brought us to this place, and He gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. And now, behold, I have brought the first of the fruit of the ground which you, O Lord, have given to me.” Then, you shall lay it before the Lord, your God, and prostrate yourself before the Lord, your God. Then, you shall rejoice with all the good that the Lord, your God, has granted you and your household you, the Levite, and the stranger who is among you.
“Brought the first of the fruit of the ground” means to bring intention for all. By bestowing to all, I bestow to the Creator.
Naturally, the Creator, in fact, does not need any fruit. In the corporeal world, they were brought to distribute among the people.
Question: But man exists to enjoy…?
Answer: The Torah does not address a person who wants to enjoy. It requires a completely different attitude.
One can refer to it only if one wants to reach the meaning of life. Otherwise everything is useless, one will only distort it! If one starts interpreting it in his own egoistic manner, he will receive a completely different Torah.
Question: So do I come to the Torah with pain, with a broken heart?
Answer: You do it only with a desire to comprehend the meaning of your existence and to reach its root—the force that guides you! Otherwise, you will “rewrite” it and you will end up having thousands of religions.
Question: Then what does the goal to bring enjoyment to the creation mean?
Answer: To bring enjoyment to the creation is a great goal of a person who knows what to do, how to help others, and how to lead them to adhesion with the Creator, with the quality of bestowal and love that will live in a person and guide his actions. Then a person starts to feel he is at the next level of existence in a completely different world: unlimited by time, life, or death.
Question: Is it hard work?
Answer: If you do it alone, then it’s incredibly hard work, but if you do it together, then it’s very easy. Psychologically, a new approach is required here.
The most important thing is not the work itself, but the right attitude to this task. When a person comes to understand that everything is resolved only together, then everything becomes easy at once.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 11/9/16

Sunday, August 20, 2017

How To Come To Spiritual Love In The Family?

Laitman_201_01Question: It is written that “A man and a woman, if rewarded, the Shechina dwells between them, and if not, then it is a devouring fire.” What does it mean?
Answer: This speaks of spiritual states not about our corporeal life. It tells us how to combine two forces—positive and negative, that in Kabbalah are called “man” and “woman”—with the help of the middle line. And then they can complement each other and with the right connection achieve perfection and attainment.
If they do not oppose each other correctly, it will lead to a short circuit, and they “burn in the fire.”
Question: Is it possible to achieve such connection and love between two people?
Answer: If each person confronts his egoism, then the two unite in this power of resistance to their egoism and they take the egoism of the other as their own. We need to change: I care about your egoism and you care about mine.
Question: What allows us to annul our own egoism?
Answer: The importance of the goal, that is, the achievement of the connection.
Question: And so we come to spiritual love?
Answer: We are two egoists that want to achieve spiritual love. Each of us compromises his or hier egoism. Then I take my wife’s ego and she takes mine. Both of us care about one another. It turns out that there is something in common between us: a part of me in her and a part of her in me.

Question: What does it mean to take care of the partner’s egoism?
Answer: A husband is ready to praise his wife and she is ready to praise him. Everyone knows all their partner’s weaknesses and habits and accepts them. One has to love all his wife’s faults, her habits, and she should love his because it is important for them to come to love with this common action. The most important thing is the goal: to come to love. The importance of the goal should always be shining for us.
Spouses have to constantly show an example to each other of the importance of the goal. One has to show that he is doing it for the sake of his wife with the condition that he gets the same attitude in return. This becomes a mutual game where each thinks about the other and understands that as a result of this, he will receive from the partner such an attitude that he will never find in any other place.
And then one will feel that this is what he should do. After all, we are egoists, and we want to profit from everything we do. That’s why it’s important to make something beneficial from the marriage.
Question: And if a partner does not want to annul his egoism? What to do then?
Answer: One has to show an example of how he annuls his ego. The example is the most effective tool.
From the Virtual Lesson “The Time of Kabbalah” 6/20/17

JPost: “Will American Jewry Survive The Great Divide”

My new article “Will American Jewry Survive The Great Divide” was published in the print version of the Jerusalem Post

Ten Sefirot Of A Kabbalist

laitman_250Question: Does a Kabbalist possess the characteristics of the nine upper Sefirot?
Answer: Certainly. All ten Sefirot exist within him. The highest is Keter(the Creator). The lowest is Malchut (himself). The remaining eight Sefirot are the connection between him and the Creator.
Keter is the highest Sefira within which the Kabbalist attains the Creator.
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 3/12/17

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