the Untold story of a ConsUmer nation

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					Kabbalah Today
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APR - MAY 2008, #14   A PUBLICATION OF THE BNEI BARUCH ASSOCIATION FOUNDED BY RAV MICHAEL LAITMAN, PHD                                                  

                                       the Untold story of:
                                                                                                                                                        Editor's Note
      MAN, WOMAN,
      AND THE SNAKE                                                                                                                                     FULFILLMENT—
      BETWEEN THEM                                                                                                                                      NOT COMPENSATION
    about the spiritual roots
     of men and women                   a ConsUmer                                                                                                     For this issue of Kabbalah To-
                                                                                                                                                       day, we decided to explore the
                                                                                                                                                       characteristics of our culture

                                           nat i o n                                                                                                   and civilization—from the
                                                                                                                                                       Kabbbalistic perspective, of

                                                                                                                                                       course. Here’s what we found:
                                                                                 »     page                                                            Whether it’s our consump-
                                                                                                                                                       tion-mania, the ever-growing
                      »   page   3
                                                                                                                                                       obesity problem, or the fact
                                                                                                                                                       that 50% of American couples
    OBESITY: A LACK OF                                                                                                                                 today are getting divorced,
     SPIRITUAL FOOD?                                                                                                                                   there is one thing that stands
    Kabbalah explains the                                                                                                                              out—real, satisfying fulfillment
      real hunger within                                                                                                                               is missing in our lives. Or, to
                                                                                                                                                       be Kabbalistically accurate, we
                                                                                                                                                       lack spiritual fulfillment.
                                                                                                                                                           “The Untold Story of: a
                                                                                                                                                       Consumer Nation” shows
                                                                                                                                                       that our never-ending chase
                                                                                                                                                       for more “stuff” has blinded

                                          G e n e r at i o n i
                      »   page   5
                                                                                                                                                       us to the only thing that Kab-
                                                                                                                                                       balists say would make us
        EXODUS—                                                                                                                                        happy—the realization of our
                                      in our generAtion—generAtion “i”—every person is uniQue.
     THE WORLDWIDE,                                                                                                                                    spiritual purpose.
                                             but the true Art is knowing how to be uniQue
  21ST CENTURY VERSION                                                                                                                                     But in the 21st century, our
 The true, Kabbalistic meaning                                                                                                                         spiritual need is growing bigger
   of the exodus from Egypt          by Chaim Ratz
                                                                         and more importantly, the way
                                                                         to market products to a genera-
                                                                                                                     The Spark                         than ever. “Obesity: A Lack of

                                             ack in the eighties,        tion that lives and breathes “I.”   “The quality of uniqueness extends        Spiritual Food?” shows that as
                      »   page   6                                                                           to us directly from the Creator, who      long as we don’t know how to
                                             Douglas Coupland pop-       Apple hit the nail on the head
                                             ularized the term “Gen-     by putting the consumer’s “i”       is single in the world, and is the        address our spiritual lack, we
     WE ARE ALL IN                   eration X,” referring to the        at the center of its marketing      root of all Creations.”                   try to compensate for it by any
                                                                                                                                                       means possible—one of them
 DEEP (DRINKING) WATER               new generation. This quickly        strategy.                                       Kabbalist Yehuda Ashlag
                                                                                                                                 (Baal HaSulam),       being food.
    The latest research on           became a hot topic, and a pop           Taking a longer view, it’s                     “Peace in the World”
  drinking water shows what          culture formed around the no-       easy to see that iPod and other                                                   A healthy relationship, for
  Kabbalah has been saying           tion, seeking to decipher the                                               In his article, “Peace in the         instance, is known to be one
                                                                         “i-Gadgets” are but examples        World,” Baal HaSulam explains
   for millennia: We are all         unique qualities of the new         of a much more comprehen-                                                     of the most fulfilling things
        interconnected               generation. Going beyond                                                that the feeling of uniqueness            ever, but today’s divorce sta-
                                                                         sive process that’s taking place    is present in the heart of each
                                     mere curiosity, interest in the     today. People are becoming ob-                                                tistics prove that our relation-
                                     new generation was fueled by                                            and every person. It’s because            ships lack something in order
                                                                         sessed with themselves, as evi-     human beings originate from
                                     giant corporations that endeav-     denced by the huge popularity                                                 to survive. “Man, Women and
                                     ored to find the right market-                                          the Creator, and just as the              the Snake Between Them”
                                                                         of daily reality shows. And the     Creator is One, Unique and
                                     ing strategy for millions of Gen-   “I” trend doesn’t just dictate                                                goes back to our spiritual
                                     eration X youngsters.                                                   Unified, we also feel that we are         roots—Adam and Eve—to show
                                                                         strategies for the mass media       singular and unique.
                      »   page   7       Today, we present “Gen-         and giant corporations; it also                                               us what that missing factor is.
                                     eration I”—a generation that is     appears in every other realm of         But we didn’t always feel this            Altogether, the above
                                     typically concerned with one        life.                               way. Originally, at the point of          articles and the rest of this
       LAITMAN.COM                                                                                           our creation, all of us were part
        “Kabbalah and                thing—itself!                           Why is this happening?                                                    issue explain that the fulfill-
                                                                                                             of one collective entity called           ment we yearn for is attained
     the meaning of life”—               iPod, iTunes, iPhone, iL-       Where does such an intense          “the common soul.” This was
       Michael laitman’s             ife, iPhoto, iDVD, iWeb and         feeling of uniqueness, charac-                                                through spiritual transforma-
                                                                                                             the Creator’s sole creation and           tion: Discovering the inter-
       new personal blog             iMovie all demonstrate that Ap-     teristic of our generation, come    was inseparably unified with              connection between us, and
                                     ple Inc. and its brilliant CEO,     from? And is there a way for us     Him through bonds of love.
                      »   page   8   Steve Jobs, have figured out the    to use it as a springboard for                                                thus rising to a new, fulfilling
                                     “I” trend of our generation,        positive change?                                  »   continued on page   2   level of existence.

       “  Each individual must accept upon himself love for the others, and hatred of selfishness.
                                                                                                                                                                    Kabbalist Baruch Ashlag (Rabash),
                                                                                                                                                                      “The Need for Love of Friends”

            »   continued from page   1                                             G e n e r at i o n i
But as this common soul be-                                                           At a Crossroads                   energy to the whole body. Each               We don’t need to repress our
gan to develop, it split into                                                                                           cell has its own self-interest, but      inherent quality of uniqueness
                                                                                     Is there anything we can do to
individual souls, sparks of the                                                                                         it values the common goal even           in order to become “healthy
                                                                                    change our egoistic, destructive
initial soul that “dressed” into                                                                                        more—and that’s why the body             cells” of the collective human
                                                                                    use of the quality of unique-
physical bodies.                                                                                                        stays alive.                             body; in fact, we couldn’t do
                                                                                    ness? Baal HaSulam says that
    This is how our reality was                                                                                             However, as soon as one              so even if we tried. We simply
                                                                                    there is.
formed, where every person has                                                                                          cell stops working for the sake          need to learn how to use this
                                                                                         He explains that the Cre-                                               quality the right way. This means
a unique, individual spark of                                                                                           of the whole body and be-
                                                                                      ator leads us to a crossroads                                              changing the intention behind
the common soul. This spark in-                                                                                         gins working only for its own
                                                                                      and lets us choose which path                                              our actions from “self-benefit”
spires us to reestablish our prior                                                                                      good, it starts a chain reaction
                                                                                      to take. On the one hand, we                                               to “bestowal upon others.”
adhesion with its source, the                                                                                           called “cancer.” The first can-
                                                                                      can channel our quality of
Creator. But until we become                                                                                            cerous cell infects other cells              By doing so, one becomes
                                                                                     uniqueness towards giving and
aware of this aspiration and                                                                                            with its “egoistic” tendency,            similar to the Creator, as the
                                                                                    caring for others. By doing so,
learn how to properly realize it,                                                                                       causing a disintegration of              Creator is pure bestowal. One
                                                                                    we use this quality the same
we only perceive it as a growing                                                                                        the whole body.                          begins climbing the spiritual
                                                                                    way as the Creator, and thus
quality of uniqueness.                                                                                                                                           ladder, returning to one’s
                                                                                    eliminate the gap separating us         And herein lies the problem
    “Since man’s soul extends                                                                                                                                    source. And the higher one
                                                                                       from Him.                        with our modern society: The
from the Creator—who is One                                                                                                                                      climbs, the more one attains
                                                                                           However, without even        “self-interest” disease is spread-       the Creator’s quality of be-
and Unique and all is His—there-                                                                                        ing throughout humanity’s col-
                                                                                        being aware of it, most of us                                            stowal, until becoming just
fore man, who extends from Him,
                                                                                       choose the other alternative:    lective body, even as we speak.          like Him.
also feels that all the Creations
                                                                                     using the quality of unique-
of the world should be under his
                                                                                    ness for our own good. In other               The Way                            Therefore, the quality of
governance and exist for the sake                                                                                                                                uniqueness is the most wonder-
                                                                                    words, we desire to be greater          “Indeed there are two sides to
of his own benefit... And all the                                                                                                                                ful thing that each of us has:
                                          use of our most exalted quality           than others, and by so doing,       this coin of uniqueness, for if we
difference between people is their                                                                                                                               When we endow it with the
                                          is actually the cause for all the         we increase the alienation          look at it from the side of its equiv-
choices: One chooses to exploit oth-                                                                                                                             intention to love and bestow
                                          evils in our world!                       between us. Baal HaSulam il-        alence with the world’s Unique
ers by attaining low passions, the                                                                                                                               upon others, we rise to a com-
                                                                                    lustrates the severity of this      One, it works only in the form of
other—by attaining governance,                “Although we have clarified its                                                                                    pletely new level of existence—
                                                                                    situation with the following        ‘bestowal upon the other,’ as the
and the third—by attaining honor.”        sublime and lofty reason: that this                                                                                    the level of the Creator.
                                                                                    metaphor:                           Creator is all bestowal, and has
            Kabbalist Yehuda Ashlag       quality extends to us directly from the                                                                                    and when man becomes
(Baal HaSulam), “Peace in the World”      Creator... nevertheless, since the sen-        Our body is made of bil-       nothing of the form of reception...
                                                                                                                                                                 like the Creator, he fulfills
    Baal HaSulam explains that            sation of uniqueness had settled into     lions of cells, where each cell         Hence, the uniqueness that ex-       the role of his individual
the problem is the way we use             our narrow egoism, its action became      operates autonomously, real-        tends to us from Him must also act       soul in the puzzle of the com-
our quality of uniqueness—for             ruin and destruction, to the extent       izing its own, unique purpose.      only in forms of ‘bestowal upon the      mon soul, and becomes one,
self benefit, ignoring how it af-         that it is the source of all ruins that   Although the cells operate as       other’ and nothing of self-reception     Unique and Unified.
fects others. Often we will use           were and will be in the world.”           individual units for “self-prof-    whatsoever.”
it deliberately at the expense                         Kabbalist Yehuda Ashlag      it,” they are united by one com-                Kabbalist Yehuda Ashlag
                                                                                                                                                                     web version & relAted MAteriAl
                                                                                    mon goal—to provide life and                                               
of others. In fact, the egoistic           (Baal HaSulam), “Peace in the World”                                         (Baal HaSulam), “Peace in the World”

 extras                           from generation “i” - to generation “we”
 Kabbalah suggests that the best way to get from Generation i, where we all feel alienated and
 hostile, to Generation we, where we feel connected and safe—is through a new kind of educa-
 tion. Believe it or not, one of the principal means of education is—children’s games!
 The games children play today, are all about winning by being the fastest or the smartest, or stated
 simply, “better than everyone else.” To go from this to Generation we, parents can encourage their
 children to play games where the winner is the one who is best at connecting with others.
 From a young age, children will realize the benefits of being connected with others and will develop a
 mindset that is harmonious with Nature—where everything is already harmoniously interconnected.
 In addition to showing children how we triumph by connecting with others, these games should
 also show that without such a connection, we fail. The games will show the child that being the
 best, triumphing, and winning, can only happen when everyone wins. This will help the children
 make that inner transition from i to we, and they will win—together with everyone else.
 Such games and educational systems can pave the way to a new, interconnected mentality,
 suitable for the 21st century. Our times—of growing globalization along with growing egoism—
 necessitate that a transition will take place from the “i mentality” to the “we mentality.” Through
 games that enable such a transition, children and parents alike will learn a fundamental truth:
 that winning can only happen together with everyone, not alone.

                                      |                       |         |
Kabbalah Today                            April - May 2008        #14

       “   Spiritual bonding is not intelligible at all in any way other than through sharing similar attributes, and, therefore,
           by shaping our attributes to resemble His attributes, we bond with Him.                          Kabbalist Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam),
                                                                                                                                                         “A Speech for the Completion of the Zohar”

m a n , wo m a n ,
and the snake
between them
For centuries, the story oF AdAm And eve hAs cAptured the
imAginAtion oF children And Adults Alike. it’s time to know
the true meAning oF the story, who thAt cunning little
snAke wAs, And oF course, how All this relAtes to the FAct
thAt 50% oF AmericAn couples todAy Are getting divorced
by Cheryl Hall

        hey’re the most talked           reality’s higher level, which is         receive, and the Creator could
        about couple in history.
        She is the seducer, the
                                         naturally concealed from our
                                         grasp. If we can learn to decipher
                                                                                  not shower it with all the abun-
                                                                                  dance He had in store. So in         ator—the quality of bestowal. In             Today, the Story
                                                                                                                       other words, the soul would fall
unfaithful and reckless one,             that language, we would discover
                                         our spiritual roots and our true
                                                                                  order for the soul to grow and
                                                                                  mature, the Creator took it          to a level where it was completely             Continues
who lured him to do the for-                                                                                           detached from the Creator, and
                                         roles as men and women. So let’s         through a “maturation path.”                                                  Adam and Eve represent the spir-
bidden. He is “the father of                                                                                           was entirely controlled by the           itual roots of our souls. Although
humanity,” the moral victim              start—with the beginning.
and the enlightened one, who                                                            Two Parts                      ego—the corporeal world.                 in the spiritual world, we are unit-
failed to restrain his insubordi-          In the Beginning                                                                At first, they successfully          ed as one entity; in the corporeal
nate wife and was lured to sin.          The wisdom of Kabbalah ex-                   of One Whole                     stayed away from the “forbid-            world we are disconnected, un-
                                                                                                                                                                able to understand each other.
                                                                                                                       den fruit”—until the Creator,
    Or, you may prefer the modern        plains that there is one all-inclu-      In order for the soul to reach                                                     What can we do about it?
                                                                                                                       once again, intervened. It’s
version. She is graceful, abstinent,     sive force operating in reality,         the state where it can be filled                                              First, Kabbalah says that spouses
                                                                                                                       because the soul needed to de-
and pure, filled with the agony of       called “the Creator.” The qual-          with infinite, eternal pleasure,                                              should realize the existence of that
                                                                                                                       scend to the corporeal world in
regret over what she caused Him.         ity of this force is that of com-        it first had to learn the meaning                                             snake between them. They have
                                                                                                                       order to fully develop, and the
He is rude, reckless, and vengeful       plete, unconditional love and            of both reception and bestowal.                                               to understand that the ego is the
                                                                                                                       Creator wanted to “accelerate”
because on that fateful day, he fell     bestowal, and hence its purpose          For this reason, the Creator                                                  only source of every problem in
                                                                                                                       the process. This time, He re-
for a woman’s charms.                    is only one—to give pleasure.            split it into two halves: “a mas-                                             a relationship. Usually, the snake
                                                                                                                       cruited the most devious of all
                                              In order to actualize His will      culine half”—the attribute of                                                 controls us so cunningly, we can’t
    No, we’re not talking about                                                                                        for the job—“the snake.”
                                                                                  giving, and a “feminine half”—                                                even see that it’s the root cause of
another celebrity couple on its          to bestow, He created a creature,
way to a fashionable divorce.            or a soul, that would receive all
                                                                                  the attribute of receiving.                     The Snake                     any alienation between us.
Ladies and gents, we give you            His abundance. This soul is called            Only by cooperating and find-                                                 Second, spouses should real-
                                                                                                                       This isn’t quite the familiar
Adam, Eve, and the Snake—the             “Adam HaRishon” (“The First              ing the proper connection be-                                                 ize that marriage is more than an
                                                                                                                       animal of the reptilian family.
first romantic triangle in history.      Man”), or simply “Adam”—man.             tween them can the two parts of                                               institution invented by humans.
                                                                                                                       “Snake” refers to the ego that
                                                                                  the soul—Adam and Eve—create a                                                It is part of a comprehensive, spir-
  Garden of Eden                              And that’s exactly what the
                                         Garden of Eden story describes.
                                                                                  whole, perfect vessel in which the
                                                                                                                       resides in each and every one of
                                                                                                                       us. In the Garden of Eden story,         itual process of reconnecting the
“These days, divorce statistics                                                   Creator’s abundance can reside.                                               two parts of the soul. Realizing
                                         It reveals how Adam, the soul,                                                the snake (the ego) coaxes Eve
are not looking good for last-           the single creature that existed,                                             (the soul’s will to receive) to en-      this will make it easier for spouses
ing marriages in the U.S. The            carelessly frolicked about in the        Tree of Knowledge                    courage Adam (the soul’s ability         to cooperate. However, we cannot
                                                                                                                                                                succeed if we try bridging our gaps
divorce rate is currently about          Garden of Eden, until the Cre-                                                to give, like the Creator) to taste
                                                                                  So what does “eating of the Tree                                              only on the level of this world, for the
50%, leaving millions of Amer-           ator decided to do something                                                  the forbidden fruit (to receive
                                                                                  of Knowledge” have to do with                                                 sake of our mundane goals.
icans wondering what to do               to speed up its development:                                                  all of the Creator’s pleasure),
                                                                                  all this? Kabbalah explains that
with the division in their fam-          “The Lord said, ‘It is not good that                                          even though they are not ready                If we want our relationships
                                                                                  “to eat” means to receive the
ily, home, and finances,” states         Man be alone; I will make him                                                 for it yet. As a result, they both       to survive, we must imbue them
                                                                                  Creator’s pleasure. And the Tree
Online Lawyer Source.                    a helper corresponding to him.’”                                              disconnect from the Creator.             with their true, spiritual mean-
                                                                                  of Knowledge is the complete
    Understanding the story of           (Genesis, 2:18).                                                                  The pleasure of tasting that         ing. And that can be done only
                                                                                  pleasure that the Creator wants
Adam and Eve can shed some                                                                                                                                      when both spouses are aware of
                                              As already mentioned, Adam          to give, however the soul was yet    forbidden fruit was so intense, it
much-needed light on the rift                                                                                                                                   their mutual, spiritual goal.
                                         was not a physical man, but a            unable to receive, and hence it’s    forced the soul to forget all about
between the genders. But to              spiritual entity, just like the “Gar-    called the “forbidden fruit.”        the Creator and the fact that this            This is what Kabbalists meant
do so, we must penetrate deep            den of Eden” was not a physical                                               pleasure came from Him.                  by “Man, woman and the Divine
                                                                                      The soul, now consisting                                                  Presence between them.” (Babylo-
into the true, hidden meaning            place, but a spiritual level of reali-   of Adam and Eve, hadn’t com-             As a result, Adam and Eve’s
of this famous story.                    ty. In fact, it was the best possible                                                                                  nian Talmud) The spiritual unity
                                                                                  pleted its process of develop-       relationship with the Creator
                                         state of existence, so why did the                                                                                     between the two separate parts of
    First, we must be aware that,                                                 ment. So by eating the “forbid-      was reversed. They were “ex-
                                         Creator intervene in this perfect,                                                                                     the soul is what creates harmony,
like all Biblical stories, this one is                                            den fruit,” (receiving all of the    pelled from the Garden of                and within that unity, the Cre-
also written in a special, symbolic      carefree existence?                      Creator’s pleasure), it would be     Eden”—they lost their spiritual          ator is revealed.
language. Every word alludes to               Because the soul had only           overpowered by the pleasure and      level and fell to the corporeal               web version & relAted MAteriAl
the processes taking place on            a small, undeveloped desire to           lose its connection with the Cre-    level, called “our world.”             
                                                                                                                              |          |                      |
                                                                                                         #14       April - May 2008               Kabbalah Today

       “   It is necessary to do every thing in order to bestow. Otherwise, we are found to be in the empty vacuum—empty of light,
           that this is called concealing and concealment... when one is involved in self love.                   Kabbalist Baruch Ashlag (Rabash),
                                                                                                                                           “What are the Powers which are Needed in the Work”

                         the Untold stor y of:
by Riggan Shilstone
                      a C o n s U m e r nat i o n
                                            stuFF. it Fills our closets, our gArAges, And our lives.

A                                                                                                                                                          Change Starts
         nnie Leonard, an expert                we gAuge success in liFe by the stuFF we own,
         in international sustain-
                                            And spend incredible Amounts oF time shopping For it.
         ability and environmental
                                           A new documentAry, “the story oF stuFF,” shows how our
                                                                                                                                                          Only From Within
health issues, spent ten years track-
                                                                                                                                                          Kabbalah explains that the way
ing “stuff” from its beginning as                entire lives hAve been tAken over by “stuFF.”
                                                                                                                                                          we run our personal lives, and
raw materials until it ends up in          the wisdom oF kAbbAlAh shows whAt we cAn do About it                                                           the way we run the whole plan-
the trash. Her documentary, The
                                            But there’s more to the sto-        that polls show that our national                                         et, is a direct outcome of our
Story of Stuff (www.storyofstuff.
                                        ry. Annie reveals that “It didn’t       happiness is actually declining.                                          inherent nature. So if we want
com), is as entertaining as it is
                                        just happen—it was designed.”                                                                                           anything to change on the
educational, and has been viewed                                                    Is this really how we want to                                                  outside, we have to break
by over two million people.                                                     run our lives and our economy?
    Annie states the problem              Why Shopping                          Do we really have to keep subju-
                                                                                                                                                                   free of the ego’s grip on
                                                                                                                                                                   our choices and values.
quite simply: “We have become
a nation of consumers. Our pri-          Has Become the                         gating our lives to a system that
                                                                                ruins people’s lives, destroys
                                                                                                                                                                 And Kabbalah provides us
                                                                                                                                                                with the way to do just that.
mary identity has become that of
being consumers. Not mothers,            National Pastime                       the environment, takes
                                                                                us completely out                                                                   Our purpose is far
                                        Perhaps the most shocking fact          of balance with                                                                   more exalted than be-
teachers, farmers—but consum-
                                        revealed by Annie’s extensive re-       nature and—at                                                                          ing slaves to our own
ers.” But her deeper concern is
                                        search is that our “throwaway so-       the end of the                                                                             consumption
that U.S. consumption-mania
                                        ciety” was carefully orchestrated       day—doesn’t                                                                                 system. Neither
destroys our balance with nature
                                        by the government of the United         really make us                                                                             does it amount
and ruins people’s lives. And all
                                                                                happy?                                                                                   to just a “green way
this happens away from the pub-         States in order to revitalize the
                                                                                                                                                                     of life” or a better use
lic eye. Here are just a few of the     economy after World War II. At
facts she uncovered:                    the time, retailing analyst Victor      Kabbalah                                                                        of resources. Kabbalist
                                                                                                                                                              Yehuda Ashlag (Baal Ha-
- In the past three decades alone,      Lebow proposed an ambitious
one third of the planet’s natural       plan: “Our enormously produc-             Explains the                       clueless he was about the real       Sulam) writes that “The purpose
                                                                                                                                                          of the whole Creation is to adhere
                                        tive economy demands that we                                                 meaning of this term.
resources have been consumed.
- 75% of global fisheries are fished    make consumption our way of              Will to Consume                         From Kabbalah’s perspective
                                                                                                                                                          to the Creator by the equivalence
                                                                                                                                                          of form.” (“The Freedom”)
at or beyond capacity. 85% of the       life; that we convert the buying        The Story of Stuff concludes         (or any other perspective), it’s
                                        and the use of goods into rituals;                                           crystal clear that no consumer           In plain English, this means
planet’s original forests are gone.                                             by talking about a variety of
                                        that we seek our spiritual satis-                                            goods will ever bring us spiri-      that man’s purpose is to bal-
                                                                                “green” strategies to improve
- The U.S. has only 5% of the           faction, our ego satisfaction, in                                                                                 ance himself with nature inter-
                                                                                the situation. However, Annie        tual satisfaction—or in simpler
world’s population, but uses 30%        consumption. We need things                                                                                       nally, to balance his inherent
                                                                                also realizes that “Things are re-   words—true, lasting happiness.
of the world’s resources and cre-                                                                                                                         egoism with nature’s inherent
                                        consumed, burned up, replaced           ally going to start moving when      Spiritual satisfaction can only
ates 30% of the world’s waste. If                                                                                                                         altruism, and thus sense the
                                        and discarded at an ever-acceler-       we see the connections, when         be attained by harmonizing
everyone consumed at U.S. rates,                                                                                                                          perfect, eternal level of reality.
                                        ating rate.”                            we see the big picture.”             with nature’s underlying quality
we would need 3-5 planets.                                                                                                                                    Once we make our inner
                                            And that’s how the consum-              As it happens, the wisdom        of complete love and bestowal.
- U.S. industry releases over four                                                                                                                        transformation, Annie’s vision
                                        erism ball started rolling. Every-      of Kabbalah is all about seeing          But since this quality is
billion pounds of toxic chemicals                                                                                                                         of a “greener, unified economy”
                                        one in the U.S. is inundated            these “connections.” It explains     hidden to us, what we feel is
a year. Over 100,000 synthetic                                                                                                                            will also come true. By attaining
chemicals are used in commerce.         with over 3,000 ads a day, tell-        that we have to delve behind the     just our lack of balance with        nature’s quality of bestowal, peo-
                                        ing them to buy more “stuff.”           scenes and reveal that the driving   it—reflected by all the troubles     ple will transform themselves,
- Toxics found in the products we       Companies design products to            force that motivates our “will to    we see around us, whether be-
use concentrate in our bodies. In                                                                                                                         and hence we will naturally trans-
                                        become obsolete as quickly as           consume” and the systems that        tween ourselves or between us        form our earthly systems as well.
fact, human breast milk tops the        possible. Shelves are constantly        nourish it, is no other than our     and nature. Kabbalists say that
food chain as having the highest                                                                                                                          But the change, says Kabbalah,
                                        loaded with disposable products         very nature—human egoism.            being balanced with nature’s         can only start from within.
level of toxic contaminants.            for our convenience. The result?            That’s why we so quickly ad-     quality of bestowal is the one
- Each person in the U.S. makes                                                                                                                               “As long as we do not raise our
                                            “We shop and shop and shop,         opted Lebow’s consumer strat-        and only way for us to be truly
4.5 pounds of garbage a day, twice                                                                                                                        goal above the corporeal life, we will
                                        keep the materials flowing! And         egy—it played right into our         happy. Moreover, acquiring
what we made 30 years ago.                                                                                                                                have no corporeal revival, because
                                        flow they do,” in Annie’s simple        egoistic nature! However, what       this quality will grant us a
                                                                                                                                                          the spiritual and the corporeal in
- Even if we could recycle 100%         words. Our entire lives are be-         he didn’t take into account was      whole new perception, and we
                                                                                                                                                          us cannot live in one basket.”
of the waste, it wouldn’t make a        ing narrowed down to working,           that one day we would start          will experience life on a com-                    Kabbalist Yehuda Ashlag
dent in the problem; for every          shopping, and then working              to realize our true, spiritual       pletely different level.                                  (Baal HaSulam),
can of garbage we put out on the        again to pay off for the stuff we       purpose. And expecting con-              But in order to do that, there                “Exile and Redemption”
curb, the equivalent of 70 cans         just bought. And with such an           sumerism to provide “spiritual       is one thing that we must change          web version & relAted MAteriAl
were made upstream.                     endless treadmill, it’s no surprise     satisfaction” shows just how         first—our egoistic nature.         
                                    |                      |         |
Kabbalah Today                          April - May 2008       #14

       “  The will to receive imprinted in every creature is in disparity of form from the Creator. For that reason the soul
          was separated from it as an organ severed from the body.                                      Kabbalist Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam),
                                                                                                                                                                         “The Freedom”

             KaBBalah ExplaINS ThaT ThIS EpIdEmIc IS yET aNOThEr SympTOm
            ThaT ThE mOdErN humaN BEING IS NOT GETTING hIS “SpIrITual fOOd”

by Asaf Ohayon
                                            losing due to their employees’ obe-
                                                                                            The Real
     t’s no secret that obesity and over-   sity-related illnesses.
     weight are increasing every year.
     According to The National Center
                                                In fact, the effects of obesity are         Hunger
                                            felt everywhere. A CNN special on
for Health Statistics, during the past 20
years there has been a dramatic increase
                                            November 14th revealed that airlines             Within
                                            are planning to charge a controversial          Undeniably, some
in obesity in the United States, and in     “fat tax,” because overweight people
2003, 66% of U.S. adults were either                                                    people are overweight
                                            mean greater fuel expenditures for the      because of inherited,
overweight or obese.
                                            airlines and less seating space for slim-   genetic factors. But
    “Even children have gained weight,”     mer customers. Some surgeons are re-        this accounts for
reports Live Science Staff. “The average    fusing to operate on overweight people      only 20% of the
weight for a 10-year-old boy in 1963 was    because of the increased risks involved,    overweight people,
74.2 pounds; by 2002 the average weight     and even Disneyland has been affect-        according to nutri-
was nearly 85 pounds. Among girls, that     ed—it has closed down and “renovat-         tionist John Tickell.
figure went from 77.4 to 88 pounds.”        ed” some of its rides because too many      The other 80% are obese or over-                                   That constant empti-
The World Health Organization estimates
                                            oversized customers are causing them        weight simply because they overeat—a          ness makes us look for compensation,
that by 2015, approximately 2.3 billion
                                            to malfunction—according to an article      trend that has been on a dramatic rise        and for some of us, that compensation
adults will be overweight, and more
                                            in Wired Network.                           for the past 20 years.                        is to constantly keep eating.
than 700 million will be obese.
                                                But perhaps worse of all are the            Why? Tickell thinks that “It’s all            But no matter how much food we
    This epidemic is not only costing
                                            health concerns involved. The Centers       in the attitude; it’s all in the human        consume, our inner void remains un-
people their self-esteem, well-being
                                            for Disease Control and Prevention states   brain.” This is what determines whether       fulfilled, and Kabbalah explains that
and health, but also loads of money.
                                            that the more overweight a person is,       a person will be fat or slim, and will eat    it’s simply because what we are yearning
According to The Surgeon General’s
                                            the more likely he or she is to have        healthy or not.                               for is, in fact, non-physical. Unknowingly,
Call to Action to Prevent and Decrease
Overweight and Obesity, the cost of         health problems. Australian nutrition-          EMedicine Health voiced a similar         a spiritual desire is evolving within all
obesity in the United States in 2000        ist John Tickell states that diabetes II—   opinion, stating that some of the rea-        people, and in the 21st century, this de-
was over $117 billion. The money is         a disease associated with obesity, is the   sons for overeating may be: “Depres-          sire is greater (and hungrier) than ever
spent on everything from diet meth-         fastest growing disease in the world.       sion, hopelessness, anger, boredom,           before, demanding its fulfillment. That
ods to the treatment of diseases            Other obesity-related diseases include      and many other reasons that have noth-        fulfillment can only be spiritual, or if
linked to obesity, not to mention           hypertension, coronary heart disease,       ing to do with hunger.” In other words,       you will, “spiritual food.”
the billions of dollars businesses are      strokes, and cancer.                        “People’s feelings influence their eating         So the wisdom of Kabbalah doesn’t
                                                                                        habits, causing them to overeat.”             tell a person to start a diet. Instead, it
                                                                                            Kabbalah narrows the culprit down         treats the root of problem, showing us
                                                                                        even further—it’s the feeling of inner        how to fulfill that spiritual desire—our
                                                                                        emptiness arising from our inability to       deepest and most profound deficiency.
                                                                                        fulfill our growing egoism. We are com-       When we finally address the real lack,
                                                                                        pelled to compensate for that inner void,     thoughts like, “I want something… but I
                                                                                        the lack of fulfillment and the feeling of    don’t know exactly what—maybe a pint
                                                                                        emptiness, by any means possible—one          of Ben and Jerry’s,” will simply disap-
                                                                                        of them being food.                           pear. As a result of engaging spiritually,
                                                                                            In other words, the obesity epidem-       a person starts thinking on a completely
                                                                                        ic, spreading worldwide today, is yet an-     different level. One starts to experience
                                                                                        other symptom of the emptiness felt by        life as an ongoing adventure, and at ev-
                                                                                        the modern human being.                       ery moment of life, one feels energized
                                                                                                                                      and fulfilled from within.
                                                                                              Fulfillment—                                Today’s accelerating rates of obesity
                                                                                                                                      and overweight are but a sign that peo-
                                                                                            Not Compensation                          ple are yearning for a fulfillment they’re
                                                                                            The rise of human egoism makes            not getting—spiritual fulfillment. If we
                                                                                        many of us today feel unsatisfied, no         realize this, and learn how to fulfill our-
                                                                                        matter what we do. We always keep             selves, we will no longer need anything
                                                                                        “wanting something,” and no matter            “extra” on the outside.
                                                                                        how many possessions we acquire, we                      web version & relAted MAteriAl
                                                                                        still feel empty inside.                           

                                                                                                                |         |                      |
                                                                                          #14       April - May 2008                Kabbalah Today

      “  …I find a great need to break an iron wall that has been separating us from the wisdom of Kabbalah since
         the ruin of the Temple to this generation.                                            Kabbalist Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam),
                                                                                                                                                    “Introduction to Talmud Eser Sefirot”

                                                                                            Sneak-a-Peek @ the book Path of Kabbalah

                                      KABBALAH:  EXODUS—
          ThIS IS NOT
                                     USER MANUAL THE WORLDWIDE,
         whaT’S IT all aBOuT?                    21ST CENTURY VERSION
                                                            aSKEd QuESTIONS
Although we often feel like isolated indi-      what is the relationship between kab-
viduals and see a world of schisms, Kab-        balah, red strings and holy water?            ThE dramaTIc STOry Of ThE ExOduS frOm EGypT IS much mOrE ThaN
balists say that we are all interconnected      There is no relation whatsoever. Red          a mIlESTONE ON ThE hEBrEw calENdar. accOrdING TO KaBBalah,
and interdependent. Much like the cells         strings, holy water and other products        IT dEScrIBES ThE lIBEraTION frOm EGOISm, aNd ThE whOlE Of
of a living body, we are all parts of a sin-    are a lucrative commercial invention          humaNITy IS aBOuT TO ExpErIENcE IT
gle entity called “the collective soul.”        created in the past two decades.
    Our individual souls are bound to-

                                                is kabbalah a religion?                             ll the worlds (this world in-
gether by an Upper Force that can only
be described as complete, uncondition-          No. Kabblah is a science—the physics of             cluded) are states that reside
al love and bestowal. This force not only       the overall reality. It is a wisdom that            within us. We will find them
connects us together, but all other parts       reveals the comprehensive reality that     nowhere outside us. In other words,
of Creation as well—it is Nature’s all in-      is normally hidden from our senses.        it is not we who are inside the worlds,
clusive force, “the Creator.”                   is kabbalah related to tarot cards, as-    but the worlds that are inside us. Out-
    Those who have developed the ability        trology and numerology?                    side us there is only the Creator, the
to perceive this force and the collective       No. Tarot cards, astrology and numer-      Upper Light.
human soul are called “Kabbalists.” They        ology are mystical practices which were        People in our world are convinced
explain that this ability lies within every     mistakenly associated with Kabbalah        that they are inside some kind of exis-
                                                                                           tence, a reality that was created before       state as “this world” implies that we
one of us, but remains dormant until we         during the past one hundred years.
                                                                                           we came inside it. But this is an illu-        are already aware that there is another
develop it. And from their perspective,         what is kabbalistic meditation?
                                                                                           sion. There is nothing outside us but          world. It is so low that in it, we cannot
it is evident that in the coming phase of
                                                There is no Kabbalistic meditation.                                                       feel any spirituality.
human evolution, all people will discover                                                  the Light of the Creator. That Light af-
that they are united, will connect to the       Kabbalah teaches a person how to           fects our senses in such a way that we             The Torah is not a historic epic,
Upper Force that unites them, and will          transcend egoism and connect to the        feel it as solid, liquid, or gas, as vegeta-   though there is a correlation between
thereby find true happiness.                    quality that prevails in Nature—uncon-     tive or as animate. Everything we can          the text and human history. But this
                                                ditional love and bestowal.                imagine and can see around us is built         is only because the construction of the
    To help us get there, Kabbalists gave
                                                are there any amulets in kabbalah?         inside our own senses, making us feel          worlds is based on the same principle:
us the wisdom of Kabbalah—a method
                                                                                           as though everything exists outside us.        everything that happens in one spiritual
by which we can develop our ability to          No. In our world, there are no physi-
                                                                                           But the truth is that there is nothing         world is reflected in its adjacent lower
perceive humanity’s collective soul, and        cal objects that bear any spiritual con-
                                                                                           outside, only the Creator.                     world, down to our own.
connect to the Creator—the Upper Force          tents. Amulets can only help a person
that enlivens the whole of Creation.            as a psychological support.                    This world is the lowest point that a          Everything that humankind will have
                                                                                           Kabbalist attains. It is the total opposite    to go through during its ascent through
                                                                                           of the Creator and is termed, “the exile       the worlds must be felt by each and ev-
                                                                                           in Egypt.” The natural power that works        ery individual in each of the worlds, es-
                                                                                           on us in this state, the power of our ego-     pecially our own.
                                                                                           istic nature, doesn’t allow us to advance
                                                                                                                                                The exodus from Egypt—the
                                                                                           anywhere except to care for ourselves.
                                                                                                                                            exodus from egoism—still awaits
                                                                                           This is called “the state of Pharaoh.”
                                                                                                                                            us all. And in the 21st century, we
                                                                                               Our egoism doesn’t let us feel the           are closer than ever before to mak-
                                                                                           sublime and perfect state. It is egoism,         ing this transition—from egoism to
                                                                                           man’s inner and vicious force called             a humanity of bestowal and love.
                                                                                           “Pharaoh,” that the Torah speaks of              Once we begin this transition, we’ll
                                                                                           at length, whereas the force that frees          start experiencing our connection
                                                                                           one of that state is called “Moses.”             to the spiritual, eternal level of re-
                                                                                           Pharaoh, Moses and everything that is            ality, which is only felt when we
                                                                                           written about the exodus describe spiritual      detach from our egos, or “come
                                                                                           states and emotions.                             out of Egypt.” The wisdom of Kab-
                                                                                               Our current state is the lowest pos-         balah explains that just by starting
                                                                                           sible. It is a state of absolute slumber         to think in this direction, we hasten
                                                                                           and even unconsciousness. We have                our course of development and save
                                                                                           no sensation whatsoever of who or                ourselves a lot of suffering, since
                                                                                           where we are. It is even a lower state           our thoughts become similar to the
                                                                                           than “this world,” since defining our            inclusive plan of Creation.

                                 |                      |         |
Kabbalah Today                       April - May 2008       #14

       “  …all the bodies in the world will unite into a single body and a single heart. And only then will all the happiness
          intended for humanity be revealed in all its glory.                                           Kabbalist Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam),
                                                                                                                                                                                   “The Freedom”

            accOrdING TO ThE laTEST rESEarch, wE caN STarT ThINKING Of Our waTEr faucETS, aNd EvEN
     STOrE BOuGhT BOTTlEd waTEr, aS aN all-purpOSE pharmacy. whEThEr IT’S aNTI-dEprESSaNTS Or aNTIBIOTIcS,
                    prEScrIpTION Or OvEr ThE cOuNTEr—If OThErS arE TaKING IT, SO arE yOu
by Keren Applebaum

     Connected                           drugs nevertheless remain in
                                         the water. “Even users of bottled
                                                                                   ture that does not fit within
                                                                                   the bounds of common sense
   Through Water                         water and home filtration systems         so easily: Another person’s           Beneath the

                                         don’t necessarily avoid exposure,”        consumption of drugs equals
          n Associated Press in-
          vestigation, published
                                         stated CNN.                               my consumption of drugs.             Water’s Surface
          on March 10th in a                 You      probably      already        The state of another person’s          As shocking as the new re-
CNN article called, “Prescrip-           know that medication isn’t                health directly affects my own,    search on drinking water may
tion Drugs Found in Drinking             always healthy. “Recent labora-           and what’s happening to the        be, it only shows us half of the
Water Across U.S.” unequivo-             tory research has found that small        body of another person direct-     picture: It shows how we’re ex-
cally states that “A vast array of       amounts of medication have affect-        ly affects what is happening to    ternally connected to each oth-
pharmaceuticals—including an-            ed human embryonic kidney cells,          my body.                           er. But in fact, we are only wit-
tibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood        human blood cells and human                   This time, we aren’t talking   nessing a physical outcome of
stabilizers and sex hormones—have        breast cancer cells,” explained           about uncertain psychological      our internal connection. We’d
been found in the drinking water         the CNN article. And obvi-                effects or abstract “intercon-     be much more surprised if we               Once we discover this con-
supplies of at least 41 million          ously, the drugs contaminating            nectedness” that people of-        knew just how internally inter-         nection, we will know and
Americans.”                              our waterways are also “damag-                                               connected and interdependent            feel that everyone in the world
                                                                                   ten relate to the globalization
    Although the study was               ing wildlife across the nation and                                           we are.                                 is dependent on everyone else’s
                                                                                   process. Rather, we have clear,
focused on the U.S., it made             around the globe...”                      undeniable evidence that says          Kabbalists explain that our re-     goodwill.
clear that the situation is simi-                                                  that our bodies and our health     ality is divided into two parts: the
                                                                                                                                                                  Hence, the drinking water
lar worldwide. In recent years,
drug prescriptions have risen to
                                              Try Drinking                         are directly interconnected and    revealed part and the concealed
                                                                                                                      part. And the greatest secret           crisis is just another step to-
                                                                                   interdependent on the bodies                                               ward realizing how closely we
record heights, and many un-
metabolized or unused drugs
                                                This Up                            and health of all other people
                                                                                                                      that awaits our discovery is the
                                                                                                                      true, internal connection among         are all connected within the
                                            We knew about globaliza-               living on Earth.                                                           single “organism” of our earthy
are being flushed into water                                                                                          us—our connection on the level
reservoirs. Even though the wa-          tion, and even about the but-                 So the next time you see       of our souls. There, all people         civilization.
ter is treated, cleansed and pro-        terfly effect, but with this new          someone taking medication,         are connected to each other liter-
                                                                                                                                                                  web version & relAted MAteriAl
cessed before it is sold to con-         research, what we have before             assume that you are taking it      ally as one—one spiritual body, of   
sumers, small amounts of the             us is an almost surreal pic-              together.                          which we are all cells.

 extras                           tranSPLanting oUr attitUDeS

  people who have received organ transplants often say that they suddenly
  have different preferences, behavior, and manners. a person may suddenly
  develop an interest in the arts, and a person who once had a fear of heights
  may become an avid mountain-climber.
  why does this happen? It’s because the cells of the implanted organ have
  their own “minds,” if you will, which remember the qualities they shared with
  the body of the organ’s previous owner. hence, the new recipient takes on
  certain qualities and habits of the person who had the organ before him.
  Kabbalah explains that humans—the individual cells of humanity—are just
  as tightly interconnected within the organism called “human civilization.” and
  just as qualities, habits and characteristics can pass from the whole body to
  an organ, and back from the organ to the whole body, so we all share our
  properties with one another and with the whole of humanity.
  hence, a change in any “cell” or “organ” of the human civilization will cause
  the entire body—humanity—to adopt the same changes. So if we want to
  affect positive change in the world—we must only change within. Even one
  person or one community that adopts the qualities of love and bestowal will
  immediately influence the whole world to move in the same direction.
  The method of Kabbalah was designed expressly for this purpose. It’s a
  method to develop a direct, personal contact with nature’s quality of love
  and bestowal, and hence to reverse the current attitudes that cause corrup-
  tion, exploitation, alienation, and other menaces.

                                                                                                                             |         |                      |
                                                                                                       #14       April - May 2008             Kabbalah Today
      Michael Laitman
                                                                                       laITmaN.cOm—rEad a KaBBalIST’S pErSONal ImprESSIONS Of ThE SpIrITual wOrld, hIS TaKE
      Founder and president of the Bnei Baruch
      Kabbalah Education & Research Institute,
                                                                                         ON currENT EvENTS, aSK whaTEvEr yOu lIKE, aNd much, much mOrE. hErE’S a SamplE...
      which is dedicated to teaching and sharing
      authentic Kabbalah. Professor of Ontology,
      PhD in Philosophy and Kabbalah,
                                                                                   let There Be light                                                               Economic crisis
      and MSc in bio-Cybernetics. Father of three                                  posted on april 9th, 2008 at 12:43 pm                                            posted on march 24th, 2008 at 8:57 pm FROM
      and grandfather of three.                                                                                                                     SPIRITUAL
                                                               Every person’s soul is like a mirror re-                                           IMPRESSIONS                 the ego driving us to          KABBALAH’S
                                                                flecting sunlight.                                                                                        increase profits at each
                                                                      A light beam descends, reflects                                                                    other’s expense is in complete
                                                  ASK THE           off a soul, and withdraws into space.                                                              contradiction to the balance
a question answered on april 6th:                                                                                                                                  between nature’s elements, which is
                                                 KABBALIST              Humankind, the civilization of egoists, is like a                                         vital to nature’s harmonious existence.
Why do you reveal all of this secret                               vast mirror array, reflecting light in different direc-
knowledge to the masses?                                          tions, making a sea of chaotic light.                                                               The events surrounding the American and global
                                                                                                                                                                  economy prove that this time it’s serious - the global
a question answered on april 4th: How                             However, merge the reflective light beams to be as                                              economy is in a deep crisis. What is causing this crazy
did man evolve on Earth? You wrote that millions of segments of one immense parabolic source, and what do                                                         turbulence and how can the erosion be curbed? Kab-
years ago a primitive man appeared on Earth. How did you have? At first, it looks like all beams are aimed differ-                                                balah provides an explanation along with suggestions
he get here?                                              ently, but as a whole, the light beams aim a common light                                               for solving the crisis.
                                                          at a common center. Their correct merger sparks a critical
a question answered on april 3rd: What do you temperature, brings about a new substance—plasma—and                                                                    Just as with any social system, interdependency is
mean by saying that sex is the root of all our desires? bursts into flames.                                                                                       the name of the game. Crises where one element “in-
What does Kabbalah have to say about everything                                                                                                                   fects” others and brings the market to the verge of col-
                                                              And this is how each person’s light arouses the fire of                                             lapse, are part of the signs of economic globalization.
that’s going on today surrounding sex, like pornogra-
                                                          love among friends. Their unity with one another, togeth-                                               This is why we are seeing credit and real estate bubbles
phy, prostitution, and so on?
                                                          er with their aim at a common goal, produces a new state                                                in the U.S. bursting and bringing about an infectious
a question answered on march 31st: Do you think that’s unimaginable and unreachable using our common                                                              collapse of the stock exchange, in banks, companies
increasing availability of information instantly over the sense: adhesion with the Creator, an ascent to the Cre-                                                 and hedge funds all over the world.
Internet and the advent of mobile devices such as the ator’s level. Such a state is unimaginable prior to achiev-                                                     Having said that, trying to solve economic crises
iPhone will increase interest in Kabbalah, and how do ing it, because it’s created only when everyone unites.                                                     using known models is destined to fail. It turns out
you perceive the future of human technology as a ve-          According to legend, Archimedes also set enemy                                                      that the economic system cannot be controlled or ac-
hicle for attainment of the Upper Light? Read more → ships on fire by aiming polished bronze... Read more →                                                       curately predicted, and that one move... Read more →

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Kabbalah Today                                     April - May 2008           #14