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August 8, 2020

Archive for Kabbalistic Holidays

What Is the Meaning of the Bread of Affliction in the Land of Egypt in the Passover Haggadah?

What Is the Meaning of the Bread of Affliction in the Passover Haggadah?

“Here is the bread of affliction eaten by our forefathers in the land of Egypt” (Passover Haggadah). When we reside in our ego, we eat the “bread of affliction of the pauper” because we are beggars in relation to spirituality and receive only a tiny bit of Light, a minimal spark of life (Kista de Hayuta) or so-called “faint illumination” (Ner Dakik) that brings to life all of our world.

It is not the “bread” eaten in Egypt. In Egypt, there is lots of food. Our ego gives us everything: Please, do enjoy! However, as soon as we start desiring the spiritual world, long before exiting egoistic “Egypt,” we start tasting the “bread of affliction” since we don’t understand how one can reach bestowal and what good is in it.

I don’t taste any flavor in it. Everything is dry and insipid as this simple cracker made of only flour and water. That is how the spiritual world that I am walking to looks to me. Do I have to flee the prosperous Egypt, all the pleasure-pots filled with fish and meat, rich and delicious, in order to live on the bread of affliction in the desert? Is that what I yearn for?

However, it is indeed so. This is why it is written that “the commandment to eat unleavened bread (Matzot, the bread of affliction) was given to the sons of Israel long before their exodus from Egypt as a symbol of liberation that will come to pass in haste.”

“In haste” means that otherwise it is impossible to exit egoism. Spirituality looks so unattractive and repulsive that exiting into it must be rushed due to the aggressive, external force pulling from egoism. I, myself, am unable to step out of this marvelous world as it seems to me in my egoistic desire.

As for the spiritual world, it seems pitch black darkness to my ego. There is nothing attractive for my egoism there, and I don’t want to see it. Hence, the escape can be made only “in haste”; I am thrown out of there abruptly. Let’s hope the same will be done with us. [Source: Dr. Michael Laitman, “Your Own Passover Haggadah“]

 

The Spiritual Meaning of the Exodus from Egypt

“Here is the bread of affliction eaten by our forefathers in the land of Egypt” (Passover Haggadah). It follows that the Mitzva (commandment) of eating a Matza (unleavened bread) was given to them while they were still enslaved, and the aim of the Mitzva was for the time of redemption since then they departed in haste. –Baal HaSulam, article “This Is for Judah

This always occurs when we transition from state to state, leaving the degree we are presently in, i.e. the Egyptian bondage, ruled by our ego, Pharaoh, our stubborn “evil inclination” that holds us hostage and doesn’t let us rise above our jealousy, hatred, lust and ambition.

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What Is Passover?

What Is Passover?

 

The Pesach (Passover) holiday stands for Pe-sach (“skipping” or “selection”) – selecting only those qualities from one’s entire egoism that can be corrected and used for bestowal, for the benefit of others. [Source: Dr. Michael Laitman, “The Meaning of the Pesach Holiday,” Laitman.com – Michael Laitman’s Personal Blog]

 

What Is Passover?

The holiday of Pesach (Passover) is an exodus from our ego, called “Egypt.” Our ego locks us in a capsule called “this world” and prevents us from seeing the reality outside. In order to break free from this shell we must perform a “circumcision,” by drawing the Ohr Hochma (Light of Wisdom) from above. It acts like a sharp knife and removes our great egoistic desires that cannot currently be corrected. We are given the opportunity to rid ourselves of them and not use them, in essence, to become free.

To be a “free people in our own country” (the word “country” [Aretz] comes from the Hebrew word for “desire” [Ratzon]) means to escape the rule of our desire. When we become free from our desire and can rise above it, we are ready for the exodus from Egypt.

We then exit our ego, which is also called the “evil inclination” (“Yetzer Ra“) out of Egypt (MitzraimMitz Ra, i.e. concentration of evil) and toward freedom. Having been slaves to our desires, we now come out of slavery and become free of them, meaning we refuse to use them egoistically. [Source: Dr. Michael Laitman, “Escaping the Rule of Our Desire.” Laitman.com – Michael Laitman’s Personal Blog]

 

Now You Can Understand the Essence of Passover

Throughout the seven special days of the holiday of Passover, we must maintain a correct, uninterrupted intention, because this is a special time. We don’t celebrate religious rituals or customs. We are very distant from actions people carry out simply because they were taught to do so as children, or because they are driven by egoistic goals to receive a reward, either in this world or the next.

First and foremost, those who study Kabbalah want to reveal the Upper World and the spiritual actions, and only after they see their consequences (branches), are they prepared to also respect and observe them with the same intention as the spiritual actions above.

Abraham and his students were the first to attain the connection between the roots and the branches. But having revealed the spiritual world and its consequence in the corporeal, having discovered the forces that descend from the spiritual world into our corporeal world and having set it in motion, he created the language of branches. This language is a description of the Upper World, the roots, using words of this world, the branches.

That was when he revealed the whole reality, both the corporeal and the spiritual, as one whole, which is why both the spiritual and the corporeal actions merged within him into a whole, and that is how he taught his students. [Source: Dr. Michael Laitman, “The Source of Passover.” Laitman.com – Michael Laitman’s Personal Blog]

To learn more about how Kabbalah describes holidays and many other concepts at their root level, before they dress into the material world, it is recommended to take the Free Kabbalah Course. The reason is that many of the concepts and terms we have heard a lot about in our upbringing have completely different definitions in Kabbalah, and it takes a while to process them properly. Therefore, if you’re interested in this topic, then we recommend taking the free course and start learning about the world around you and inside you anew. Click the banner below to sign up for the free course …

Free Kabbalah Course

  

What Is Purim?

What Is Purim?

Purim is the holiday of opposites, which connects between happiness and despair, concealment and revelation, Mordechai and Haman, exile and redemption.

Purim (which stems from the word “Pur” [“lot”]) is the ideal spiritual situation, the final correction (Gmar Tikkun). It is a state where a person’s desires are corrected with the intention in order to bestow, and one becomes united with all desires, thus filling one’s desire with the Creator’s revelation (i.e. the revelation of the quality of bestowal and love that connects among all desires).

 

Table of Contents:

What Is the Spiritual Meaning of Purim?

Megillat Esther (The Book of Esther) describes forces that unfold in the person. These forces are what a person attaining spirituality discovers in connection with the Creator. They manage everything taking place in everyone’s lives, and have been given the names Mordechai, Esther, Haman, as well as many others.

The story of Purim unfolds before the construction of the Second Temple, soon before the Aliyah (ascent) to the land of Israel. It depicts the final battle before the final correction (Gmar Tikkun). At this stage, the people of Israel, the innermost desire within the person that aspires to spirituality, live calmly and peacefully in the kingdom of Achashverosh.

Mordechai, the spiritual desire that wants only to adhere to the Creator (the quality of bestowal and love), lived happily and the kingdom was at peace.

The people of Israel represent the majority of the desires that want to go straight to the world’s leader to learn the law of the universe (the word “Israel” comes from the words “Yashar Kel” [“straight to God”]).

Indeed, in the beginning of the story, the narrative suggests that there is something wrong: “There is one nation that is scattered among the nations.” This passage can also be read as “There is one desire that is scattered among the desires.” It is this nation, Israel, the desire for spirituality (a desire of bestowal and love), that is supposed to be united against all other nations, which are desires for self-gratification. The strength of the desire for spirituality (Israel) comes only from its unity, so when it is dispersed, it signifies that the person has not yet fulfilled his destiny, for only the people of Israel (the united desire for bestowal and love above all other desires) can lead the other nations (all other desires for self-gratification) to the common goal, adhesion with the Creator.

The evil Haman, who represents the egoistic desires in the person, wants to exploit the situation for personal gain. He eventually wants to overthrow the king from his throne. Haman believes that the fact that the people of Israel, the Jews, are dispersed testifies to their weakness, confusion and lack of faith. Therefore, he finds the situation to be a rare opportunity to eliminate the Jews from the face of the earth, as they are the sole force that stands between him and exploiting the Creator.

What Haman fails to understand, however, is that the Jews are dispersed for a reason: The Jews’ dispersion (i.e. the dispersion of the small amount of spiritual desires among the large amount of egoistic desires) is in order for all desires to acquire the form of bestowal and love, i.e. that spiritual unity comes in integration and perfect balance with all desires, and not in separation to them. Indeed, we will see the truth of it when at the end of the story, all people reform. The meaning is that all the desires in the person, called “people,” accept the spiritual desires that leads to confidence and happiness, called “Israel.”

The Israel in a person (the altruistic part) is limited. That limitation can only be overcome by the evil Haman. That is why we need to find the Haman (the egoistic part) within us.

The Story of Purim

The beginning of the story depicts how Mordechai saved the king from the two assassins Bigtan and Teresh. Naturally, we would expect the king to pay him for his deed, perhaps give him a raise, or any other kind of reward.

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What Is Hannukah?

What Is Hannukah?

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.

Read More in The Spiritual Meaning of the Jewish Holidays App for iPhone, iPad & Android »

  

What Is Passover? – Jtimes With Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman


What Is Passover – Part 1 of 2


What Is Passover – Part 2 of 2

To learn more about how Kabbalah describes holidays and many other concepts at their root level, before they dress into the material world, it is recommended to take the Free Kabbalah Course. The reason is that many of the concepts and terms we have heard a lot about in our upbringing have completely different definitions in Kabbalah, and it takes a while to process them properly. Therefore, if you’re interested in this topic, then we recommend taking the free course and start learning about the world around you and inside you anew. Click the banner below to sign up for the free course …

Free Kabbalah Course

  
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