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September 23, 2019

Archive for July, 2015

VaEtchanan (And I Besought) Parsha – Weekly Torah Portion

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Deuteronomy, 3:23-7:11
This Week’s Torah Portion | July 26 – Aug 1, 2015 – 10 Av – 16 Av, 5775

In A Nutshell

The portion, VaEtchanan (And I Besought), repeats the prohibition that Moses was prohibited—to enter the land of Israel—and that Joshua is to succeed him and lead the people to the land of Israel. The portion deals with the commandment to keep the Torah and remember the standing at the foot of Mount Sinai, as well as with the concept of repentance, which appears here for the first time. Here appears the known text of Shema Ysrael (Here, O Israel).

Moses makes another speech, where he repeats the Ten Commandments. He also distinguishes three cities of refuge on the Eastern side of the Jordan River, warns of idol worship in the land of Israel, and instructs the destruction of the statues. He also reminds the people that the Creator is the one who led them into the land of Israel, the good land that they are destined to inherit.

Commentary by Dr. Michael Laitman

The portion, VaEtchanan (And I Besought), contains all the conditions for the dwelling of the people of Israel in the land of Israel. The people of Israel began its history with Abraham, who established in Babylon a group. That group distinguished itself from the rest of the Babylonians, who did not wish to unite “as one man with one heart,” meaning to be in the quality of Hesed (mercy), which is Abraham’s quality.

That group of people agreed to live in Arvut (mutual guarantee), and actually began the formation process of the people of Israel. Following the exodus from Egypt, the group took upon itself the commitment to be as one nation despite the problems and the egos of its people.

The formation of a single nation was conditioned upon a successful “passage” of the ordeal at the foot of Mount Sinai, which is a mountain of Sinaa (hate). On Mount Sinai, the people assumed the preparatory stipulation for climbing over that mountain—being “as one man with one heart.” Only by adhering to this condition is it possible to receive the Torah, the upper force that can unite everyone. That condition is met through the point in the heart of each person, a point named Moses, which draws the people onward into the desert and subsequently to the land of Israel. This is the point where everyone must unite.

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Devarim (These Are the Words) Parsha – Weekly Torah Portion

Devarim Parsha
Deuteronomy, 1:1-3:22
This Week’s Torah Portion | July 19 – July 25, 2015 – 3 Av – 9 Av, 5775

In A Nutshell

The portion, Devarim (These Are the Words) begins with a long speech that Moses makes before the people of Israel just before his death. The portion contains a historic review of the forty years in the desert, which Moses describes to the people of Israel.

The portion also deals with appointing the presidents of the tribes and the judges, the sin of the spies and the punishment, the relationships between Israel and Edom, Israel and Moab, and Israel and Amon, as well as the wars with Sihon and Og. Moses reinforces Joshua, son of Nun, as the next leader of the people of Israel, who is to lead them into the land of Israel.

Commentary by Dr. Michael Laitman

From the cascading of the spiritual degrees and what we learn about the perception of reality, we know there is no world outside of us. All that exists are the spiritual states we go through, states that are depicted within us. Everything is within us, as it is said, “man is a small world.”

We move from state to state. Each state emerges out of its predecessor and is included in it. This is called a Partzuf (face). Each state contains what exists in the previous one, the Reshimot (recollections), impressions, and memories out of which it is born, and which it must now implement. Nothing comes out of thin air; everything relies on what precedes it.

These are the stages by which one ascends from the degree of the desert to the degree of the land of Israel. The degree of the land of Israel contains all the previous degrees, from Adam HaRishon (the first man, Adam), with whom the Torah begins. This is why we find that the Torah always repeats states described in previous books and extends them to the next, higher degree.

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A Beginner’s Manual for Perceiving the Creator

A Beginner’s Manual for Perceiving the Creator

To Perceive or Not to Perceive the Creator

Much paper has been wasted by philosophers discussing the impossibility of comprehending the Creator. Judaism, as a doctrine founded on the personal experimentation of the Kabbalists, answers the question: How can we discourse on the possibility or impossibility of perceiving the Creator prior to perceiving Him?

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The Layperson’s Guide to Performing Spiritual Corrections

The Laypersons Guide to Performing Spiritual Corrections

Even for Spirituality, Habit Becomes Second Nature

Our bodies function automatically in accordance with the laws of their own egoistic nature and habit. If we constantly repeat to ourselves that we desire only spiritual ascent, then in the end we will desire it. The body, by virtue of these incessant exercises, will accept this desire as a natural one. It is often said that a habit becomes second nature.

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The Process of Developing Spiritual Qualities

The Process of Developing Spiritual Qualities

One Soul Divided into Many Parts

The Creator completely controls the process of bringing this egoistical part – He separated from Himself in order to give it free choice – to unite with Him. But this control from the outside is imperceptible. The desire of the Creator manifests itself (with His own concealed help) in the desire to merge with Him that emanates from the depths of the egoistic part.

For the sake of simplifying this problem, the Creator has divided egoism into 600,000 parts. Each of these parts resolves the problem of rejecting egoism gradually, by slowly arriving at the realization that egoism is evil through the repetitive process of gaining egoistic qualities and suffering from them.

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