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October 26, 2014

Lech Lecha (Go Forth) Parsha – Weekly Torah Portion

Lech Lecha2

Genesis, 12:1-17:27
This Week’s Torah Portion | October 26 – November 1, 2014 – Cheshvan 2 – Cheshvan 8, 5775

In A Nutshell

The portion, Go Forth, begins with Abraham being commanded to go to the land of Canaan. When Abraham reaches the land of Canaan, the hunger forces him to go down to Egypt, where Pharaoh’s servants take Sarai, his wife. In Pharaoh’s house, Abraham presents her as his sister, fearing for his life. The Creator punishes Pharaoh with infections and diseases, and he is forced to give Sarai back to Abraham.

When Abraham returns to the Canaan, a fight breaks out between the herdsmen of Lot’s cattle and the herdsmen of Abraham’s cattle, after which they part ways.

A war breaks out between four kings from among the rulers of Babylon, and five kings from the land of Canaan, Lot is taken captive, and Abraham sets out to save him.

The Creator makes a covenant with Abraham, “the covenant of the pieces” (or “covenant between the parts”), which is the promise of the continuation of his descendants and the promise of the land.

Sarai cannot have children, so she offers Abraham her maid, Hagar, and they have a child named Ishmael.

Abraham makes the covenant of the circumcision with the Creator and is commanded to circumcise himself and all the males in his household. His name changes from Abram to Abraham, and his wife’s name changes from Sarai to Sarah.

At the end of the portion, the Creator promises Sarah that she would have a son whose name will be Isaac.

 Commentary by Dr. Michael Laitman

All the stories of the portion before us happen within us. In the correct perception of reality, this world does not exist, and neither do history or geography, nor the story of the portion. All of them are occurrences that take place within us.

The wisdom of Kabbalah explains that perception of reality is a profound matter, relating to our innermost psychology, to our senses and to our physical structure.

The Torah speaks the truth about the way we developed, and all the people and events that it describes are our mental forces. Abraham, for instance, is the tendency to develop toward spirituality, the desire to approach and discover the Creator.

The story of Abraham in Babylon is really the revelation that only one force exists and manages the world, and the desire to discover that force. Anyone who feels the desire to discover who is managing one’s fate and why, or is asking, “What is the meaning of my life?” is at the same starting point of Abraham, and the force of Abraham is working within that person.

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Do You Want True Spiritual Attainment? Click Here

Development of Desires

How the Desire for Spirituality Begins with an Enormous Unclarified Desire

As soon as a spark of spirituality appears in you, even as an impulse that is still hidden from your eyes, you stop being satisfied with your life. You begin to search for something beyond money, honor, sex, food, power, and knowledge and don’t know where to find what you really want. This is the first time you feel that there is something beyond your surroundings in this world. That spark evolves later on to become the desire for contact and adhesion with the Creator.

All throughout this journey, a person is defined by his or her unique desire to cleave to the Creator, differentiating humanity from other life forms. People still have within them the desires of the still, vegetative, and animate degrees, but our specific degree is measured by the intensity of our desire for the Creator.

 

The Need for Spirituality Is the Final Level of Human Desire to Develop

In his introduction to the book Panim Meirot Umasbirot (Illuminating and Welcoming Face), Baal HaSulam writes that all the desires except the one called “human” are measured by the desired object:

  • In the still degree, desires are turned toward food, sex, and family, meaning bodily and beastly pleasures.
  • In the vegetative degree, desires are turned toward money and security.
  • In the animate degree, desires are turned toward power, control, and respect.
  • In the speaking degree, desires are turned toward spirituality. A person’s desires have by now evolved to such an extent that he or she desires something outside the physical world.

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Here Is a New Level of Consciousness That You Can Develop Today

Here Is a New Level of Consciousness That You Can Develop Today

To Change the World a New Level of Consciousness Is Needed

By now it is clear not only for people studying Kabbalah, but for everybody that unless the path the world is on changes, we are heading for disaster. The wisdom of Kabbalah teaches us that we can only change the world by changing ourselves.

In order for the world to change, there has to be a new consciousness among the public, one that is above emotions. There has to be reason as well as emotion in the way we relate to the world. We need reason to relate to good and bad critically and to realize that if we feel bad, it must mean that there is a reason and a purpose for it. The public is stuck in a cycle of merely “feeling bad,” or “feeling good.” It can take hundreds of years before people start asking: “Why is this happening to me?”

 

Rising Above Feelings of Subjective Good and Bad through Kabbalah

Our goal is to explain where our present state is leading us. As Baal HaSulam wrote, “Religion is not for the good of the people, but for the good of the worker,” meaning that the purpose of religion is not to benefit people, or to benefit the Creator, but to benefit those who are working to be corrected. The entire world was created for that ultimate goal. But if you judge what happens to you only by feelings of “good” or “bad,” you remain in the degrees of still, vegetative, or animate and never advance to the degree of speaking, the degree we need to complete our correction.

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How to Acquire the Limitless Qualities of Nature

How to Acquire the Limitless Qualities of Nature

A Kabbalist Is Someone Who Shares in the Management of Nature

All parts of creation, ourselves included, are sustained and managed by a force called nature, or Creator, whose attribute is bestowal (in Hebrew the word is Hashpaa, which comes from the root word Shefa, bounty). When a Kabbalist attains a certain degree of correction and has acquired a certain amount of will to bestow, meaning to give, he or she can join in the management of nature. Being in the degree of speaking, the Kabbalist can be included in the degrees of still, vegetative, and animate, according to his or her degree, add much bounty and change the laws of nature. Through the Kabbalist, nature becomes more merciful.

Depending on how corrected he or she is compared to them, a Kabbalist can raise other souls as well. The amount of influence a Kabbalist has on others depends on the degree of his or her soul and its uniqueness, meaning what part of the soul of the first man it comes from—Rosh (head), Guf (body), Raglaim (legs), or some other part. The Kabbalist’s degree of correction greatly influences the rising of the souls and their readiness for correction. This is one way the Kabbalists help the world.

 

Finding the Right Prayer that Will Bring You Closer to Nature

The stronger the illumination of the upper light, the more one is able to discern right from wrong. Just as when one walks using the light of a flashlight and can see only as far as the light reaches, so our egoism determines how well we can tell right from wrong. In other words, seeing our true nature, how evil we are, and feeling a need to correct those things only happens in proportion to the degree the Creator is revealed to us. Therefore, if we ask of the Creator to reveal Himself to us so that we can see ourselves for what we are and correct ourselves, and not for egoistic pleasure, then that is the prayer He answers.

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Discover the Amazing Gift That Kabbalah Can Give to Your Life

Discover the Amazing Gift That Kabbalah Can Give to Your Life

How the Study of Kabbalah Works On You in a Gradual Way

In truth our present perception of reality is very limited, undeveloped. Our sensors are very unrefined. We cannot feel much of what happens inside our own bodies, such as molecular collisions or the birth of new cells. Therefore, there are many changes that need to take place for us to start feeling anything. Before any feeling is created in us, millions of wheels must revolve inside, entire mechanisms have to perform many corrections before those corrections are felt by us.

The study of the Kabbalah works on various levels of our soul, in attributes of the will to receive what we cannot feel just yet. A person reads but understands nothing, and so feels no reason to continue to study. The person feels this way because the text is working on attributes below the threshold of his or her feelings. It is like a person filling a glass of water and wondering why the bottom part of the glass has to be filled first before he or she can drink off the top. There seems to be no reason to be concerned with the other parts.

 

For Kabbalah to be Effective a Special Intention Is Needed from You

Our will to receive is corrected through the study of the Kabbalah. The study deals with the different levels of the soul, the vessel and the desire, which are at the bottom of the glass. We don’t touch them, do not drink them, and do not feel their actual taste until they reach the top, where we actually begin to feel them.

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