December 5, 2013
What is the spiritual root of Hannukah? Why do we light candles, and who were the Maccabim, anyway?
Hannukah candles symbolize the Light of Mercy one attains when one has reached the spiritual world. The light gradually increases during the holiday, hence the lighting of an extra candle each day.
The festivities we celebrate stem from a complex relationship between varying situations in our soul.
The Greeks are the desires that oppose the person’s spiritual development. They tell the person that it is unreasonable to go beyond the law of nature, to commune with the upper world. They claim it has no rationality. The Greeks weaken Israel’s strength using logical arguments that originate in one’s accumulating experience in this world.
The Israel in the person must recruit the struggle of the power of faith against the Greeks’ arguments. Israel tell the Greeks that it is correct from a logical point of view, but Israel believes that it is possible to go beyond the barriers of reason, to the world of the causes. The stronger the Greeks grow, the more powerful Israel’s faith becomes. This war goes on and on until it takes a miracle for Israel to win. But then the miracle occurs and a beautiful, enchanted world appears, far more wonderful than one can imagine. Then one realizes just how true Israel’s road had been and why it is good to stick by it from now on.
The victory over the Greeks is the foundation of any person’s path in the spiritual realm. It allows one to perform corrections that will lead to the final frontier, that of Purim, the fight in which one succeeds in attaining the endless, eternal bounty that the Creator has prepared for all.
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We’re happy to announce the 3 winning entries of the $50 gift voucher at KabbalahBooks.info in the ‘Share Your Experiences with Kabbalah’ contest!
The winners were chosen at random among a pool of very inspiring entries we received. One prize winner’s entry by Daniela Mitrovic has already been published here.
Here are the 2 other prize winning entries:
Eric and Alex Soto – Schiller Park, IL
A 41 yr old father and his 13 yr old sons’ journey together… ERIC (Father): “Why am I here and why do I feel like I’m searching for something?” This question has haunted me throughout high school and my marriage. I looked into religion, new age, family, my career, and many books for this answer with no success…until I stumbled on a video from the Kabbalah Revealed series with Anthony Kosinec on a spiritual website that had nothing to do with Kabbalah! Once I finished the series I found the hunger inside me for answers explode with delight! The Bnei Baruch website offered to continue my search for more with a complete library of books and videos online that would answer questions I didn’t even know I was yearning to know. This led me to sign up for free courses in authentic Kabbalah…which in turn led me to search for people to share my feelings with, both within a physical and virtual group. Now less than one year later I am sharing the love I have gained from Kabbalah with my family, who has supported my search, and have the honor to share my studies with my middle son, Alex, who is just beginning his studies this winter on the EC website after attending the last Congress of North America in Nov 2013 with me. If I were to give someone just one reason for ‘Why’ to take advantage of all the Bnei Baruch website has to offer (especially the online courses), it would be… “ANSWERS”!
ALEX (Son, age 13): Just like my father, I too felt a need for answers to questions like “What is the meaning of my life?” I felt this nagging feeling of confusion that I knew I needed to solve. Then after aimlessly roaming on the internet in hopes of figuring life out, I came across some of my father’s PDF books on his E-Reader about Kabbalah. Even though my father never pushed his ideas onto me, I was still curious to read some of his books, and from the moment I started reading, I knew this was something that made the most sense about why I am here and the meaning of my life. After talking more with my dad, I decided to accompany him to his physical group and shortly after, to the North American Congress. My experience with the Congress helped me connect on a personal level with many of the EC instructors and staff, which encouraged my choice to join the Fundamentals class this Dec 4th an easy one. Together we are walking the path of authentic Kabbalah, each at his own level, but together united with a newfound love that surpasses any race, language, sex or age. We both ask you NOT to believe our testimonials alone, but to SEE for yourself what authentic Kabbalah is all about and let your heart decide! – Eric & Alex Soto (father & son)
Cindy Hatok – Pittsburgh, PA
I was brought to Kabbalah through a class, it was a subtle introduction but it interested me because I was going through a lot of turmoil in my life. My only child had died, my boss at work was hassling me, I was becoming more depressed and wound up hospitalized for my depression. I knew that I had to change something, despite all the problems I had experienced I was here for some reason, but what was that reason? This was a question I had asked myself my whole life. I’d studied other religions, but never found a satisfying answer. I was lost. Then I began taking the courses on the Education Center. None of it was the scary stuff I had heard about, no weird number stuff, no red strings or anything like that. There was a real structure and explanation for why I am here. I’ve found a home, a place where others have felt the same feelings as I do, who accept me and have the same goal as I do. It’s been the best thing for me. Everyone around me has noticed the changes in me.
The entries we received were incredibly inspiring and moving, and we will publish many more of them in future Kabbalah Blog posts. You can subscribe to future Kabbalah Blog posts here if you haven’t already, to make sure you don’t miss out on these inspiring stories of us spiritual seekers finding what we had been looking for – a path to attain spirituality.
Also, if you haven’t already, sign up to the Kabbalah Fundamentals course starting this coming Wednesday, December 4, and we’ll look forward to seeing you in our new course with 1,000s of seekers joining from all around the world!
This Week’s Torah Portion | December 1 – December 7, 2013 – Kislev 28 – Tevet 4, 5774
In A Nutshell
In the portion, VaYigash (Judah Approached), Joseph asks his brothers to leave Benjamin, having discovered the silver goblet that he himself hid in his belongings. Judah explains to Joseph that he cannot leave Benjamin behind because he is responsible for him and he promised his father to bring him back safe. Judah tells Joseph that they had already lost one brother, not knowing that Joseph is the one managing the event behind the scenes.
Joseph decides to expose himself to his brothers. He tells them how his selling for slavery turned out for the best, and that now he can support his family because he is in charge of all of Egypt. After the reconciliation, Joseph sends the brothers to Jacob with carts and goods, and asks Jacob to come to Egypt.
At first, Jacob cannot believe the story. But once the brothers present him with Joseph’s gift, he is delighted and wants to go to Egypt to see Joseph before he dies. On the way to Egypt, Jacob stops and offers sacrifices. The Creator appears to Jacob and promises him that his descendants will be a great nation in Egypt, and that eventually they will all return to the land of Israel.
Jacob and the brothers arrive in Egypt, in the land of Goshen, where Joseph meets them. He bursts in tears when he sees his father after all those years. Joseph tells them that Pharaoh wants to meet them.
To prepare for the meeting Joseph tells the brothers and Jacob to say that they are shepherds and wish to live in a separate place from the Egyptians, in the land of Goshen. Joseph introduces his father and brothers to Pharaoh, who agrees that they will live in the land of Goshen.
The hunger continues and Joseph provides for everyone. The Egyptians and all the others give up their money and eventually themselves as slaves to Pharaoh.
At the end of the portion Joseph establishes a system of taxation by which Pharaoh holds all the assets; he provides the Egyptians seeds for their crops, and they give him one fifth of the crop.
Commentary by Dr. Michael Laitman
The portion describes both the internal process of man’s development, and the general process in the correction of the world. Man and the world are one, the particular and general are equal.
This is a special portion, which is still pertinent. It deals with the spiritual force entering an ordinary person and beginning to correct that person.
For the purpose of connection, a person needs both the physical force and the spiritual force, like heaven and earth. The two forces—of the Creator and of the creature—conjoin, and the human will grow out of them. This is really the purpose of our development, to connect the material substance with the human form, which is similar to the Creator.
It is not simple to make those two forces meet. Creation consists only of these two forces—the giving force, the Creator, and the receiving force, the creature, which the Creator created on purpose as a replication of Himself.
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Crop is a plant that grows out of the still. It is the ability to rise from the will to receive, our egoistic desire, which is the still. If there is a seed in the still and you give it water, minerals, and the proper cultivation, a plant will grow out of it—the next degree in the evolution.
Everything emerges from the still. The will to receive is the general substance, and the forms that come out of it—vegetative, animate, and speaking—are forms of the desire to bestow together with the will to receive. The will to receive gives all the substance. If, for example, the form is vegetative, its next form will be an animal, followed by the speaking form.
The blessing is the upper force that comes from Bina. Bet is Beracha (blessing). Without this upper force, there is no growth. It is similar to water, which represent the force of Bina in our world.
This is the promise that Joseph was given that he would be able to come out of Egypt. The big problem is how to work with our egos and be certain that it does not “swallow” us down the line. This is why Joseph was told, “Go down to Egypt for a certain time and then return to the land of Israel with great substance.”
Weeping is a state of Katnut (smallness/infancy), when one shifts from state to state. In between, one must be “small,” like an embryo, or like a newborn baby that is crying. These are signs of Katnut. At that stage, a person still has no Mochin (Light of Wisdom); one still does not understand where one is or why one exists. Such a person is in regret, in plight, in a narrow place where there are insufficient Hassadim (mercies), hence the crying.
A slave is our desire. In general, we always speak only about the desire. The whole of creation is but one will to receive divided into 613 desires. A slave is one of those desires, which is under the complete control of below. It is below either on the side of Pharaoh or on the side of the Creator. that is, either it is a servant of the Creator or a servant of Pharaoh. It cannot be in the middle.
From The Zohar: Take Wagons … for Your Little Ones
Israel were under the rule of this heifer for REDU (Gematria, 210) years when they were in Egypt. …It was only in order to scrutinize that wagon, which is VAK of the left, that Israel were under the Klipa of Egypt for several times and several years, as more than this measure, called “wagon,” is forbidden to take out of Egypt.
Zohar for All, VaYigash (Judah Approached), item 112
Our exile was to last 400 years, like four Behinot (discernments), but we spent only 210 years in exile. This is the root of all the other exiles.
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