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August 16, 2018

Is There Life After Death?

What Happens When You Die? - Infographic

People who have survived clinical death have described a number of different experiences, among them being sensations of nothingness, peacefulness, seeing loved ones, out-of-body experiences where they see what’s going on around them, and either entering or heading toward a bright light. According to the wisdom of Kabbalah, such experiences are psychological and don’t point out what really happens after we die. Near-death experiences do have a commonality that we can learn from, which is that we experience a certain sensation of freedom from our corporeal-material body. However, such freedom is temporary and limited compared to the sensation of freedom we can attain by freeing ourselves from the control of our egoistic desires that hold tightly onto us our entire lives. Kabbalah considers the latter true freedom, and that it is synonymous with the attainment of the soul. In other words, the soul is not something we are simply given upon our death, or even in our lives without any effort on our behalf. It is a new desire that we can develop and grow during our lives, with the help of the method of Kabbalah, where we discover our freedom from the hold of our egoistic desires.

We have created a page dedicated to answering common questions about what happens when we die: Do we enter an afterlife? Do we reincarnate? Do we merge with pure consciousness, or nothingness? What are near-death experiences and clinical death? Also, what is a soul, and how do we attain a soul? Follow the link in the above image in order to delve deeper into this topic.

  

Masaei (Journeys) – Weekly Torah Portion

Masaei Parsha - Weekly Torah Portion

Numbers, 33:1-36:13
This Week’s Torah Portion | 8 Jul – 14 Jul, 2018 -25 Tammus – 2 Av, 5778

In A Nutshell

The portion, Masaei (Journeys) describes the journeys of the children of Israel, the stops where they parked in the desert, and their final preparations to enter the land of Israel. The portion details several commandments, such as the obliteration of idol worship, cities of refuge, the rules regarding involuntary manslaughter, appointing presidents to the tribes under the leadership of Joshua, son of Nun, and Elazar the Priest, dedicating cities for the people of the tribe of Levi, and a description of the boundaries of the land.

The portion ends with the continuation of the story of the daughters of Zelophehad, the fear of the tribe of Menashe that they would marry men from other tribes, thus causing the tribe of Menashe to lose its lots. In consequence, Moses issues a warrant prohibiting the daughters of Zelophehad from marrying men of other tribes, as well as other prohibitions that concern marriages of people from different tribes.

Commentary by Dr. Michael Laitman

The portion is a preparation to enter the land of Israel. At this stage we begin the inner work, rising to a degree where our will to receive connects with the upper force. Here we discover the upper force because we are living inside that desire.

It is written that the land of Israel is the land where the Creator is present from the beginning of the year to its end. That is, He is always in the land of Israel—in a desire that is aiming entirely to bestow, Yashar El (straight to God). A person discovers the upper force within that desire and is in Dvekut (adhesion) with it. This is the intention of the land of Israel.

From this we can learn to what extent we are not in the spiritual land of Israel, but in the corporeal one. Kabbalists tell us that we have been given the opportunity to return to the corporeal (physical) land of Israel so as to rise to the spiritual one. For this purpose, we must all be together, united as a family, “as one man with one heart,” as in “All of Israel are friends” and as in “love your neighbor as yourself.” We have connected on the stipulation of mutual guarantee, and only if we meet this criterion will we enter the land of Israel.

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Matot (Tribes) Parsha – Weekly Torah Portion

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Numbers, 30:2-32:42
This Week’s Torah Portion | 8 Jul – 14 Jul, 2018 -25 Tammus – 2 Av, 5778

In A Nutshell

In this portion Moses alerts the heads of the tribes about the commandments connected to the making and untying of vows. The portion also speaks of Pinhas, who leads Israel into a war with Midian and emerges triumphant. Following the war, the text details the division of the spoils (some of which are dedicated to the Creator) as well as the commandments to make the Kelim Kosher, detailing the process of dipping and immersing them in boiling water.

At the end of the portion, the tribes of Gad and Reuben ask to stay on the Eastern bank of the Jordan River because of its good soil for their voluminous cattle herds. They infuriate Moses because he thinks they are seeking to avoid the war for the conquest of the land. In the end they commit to participating in the war and Moses grants their wish for a lot outside the land of Israel.

Commentary by Dr. Michael Laitman

Kabbalists attain the forces and discernments of the spiritual world. These are the forces that operate and manage our world, including the still, vegetative, animate, and human, each of which has a force that runs it. This is why it is impossible to ask anything of people who are not Kabbalists, as they have no free choice, as it is written, “They are all as beasts (animals).” When we read a story in the Torah that seems to be happening in this world, we need to understand that its roots are in the spiritual world, in the network of forces that governs the world.

Today we already feel and understand that we are approaching the network of the forces of the integral nature, which closes in on us and compels us to behave accordingly. It is the appearance of Godliness, which is gradually nearing us.

We see that we can no longer manage the world. Each day we are feeling more and more clearly that nothing in the world depends on us. We are losing our ability to manage the world because we can no longer act in life using our egos.

Kabbalists discovered the upper network and told us how it manifests on the upper level. They did so using words and stories of this world, our world, because everything that exists in the upper one descends to the lower one.

During the forty years in the desert, and even before, Moses wrote his five books, the Pentateuch. Through his attainment, Moses wrote part of the Pentateuch about the times preceding his own. He wrote it in the language of the branches, in the connections between upper and lower. Moses wrote about everything that takes place in the upper world and how the forces are managed. He spoke of them as results, as “marionettes” that move about our world and change.

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Pinhas Parsha – Weekly Torah Portion

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Numbers, 25:10-30:1
This Week’s Torah Portion | July 09 – July 15, 2017 – 15 Tammuz – 21 Tammuz, 5777

In A Nutshell

In the beginning of the portion the Creator thanks Pinhas for stopping the plague and gives him a “covenant of peace,” and a “covenant of an everlasting priesthood” to him and to his descendants. All the while, the children of Israel are preparing to fight the Midianties.

Following the instructions of the Creator, Moses divides the land into lots, following censuses held in the people by tribes and by families. At the conclusion of the censuses, the daughters of Zelophehad, from the tribe of Menashe, complain to Moses that their father died and as women, they did not receive their lot. Moses looks into the matter and the Creator rules that to do justice, the daughters of Zelophehad will be given a lot in the land, which will be named after their father.

The Creator commands Moses to climb up the Mountain of Avarim to see the land of Israel, which he will not enter, and to appoint Joshua, son of Nun, as his successor.

At the end of the portion there is a detailed description of the offerings that needed to be sacrificed each day and on different occasions during the year.

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Commentary by Dr. Michael Laitman

According to The Book of Zohar, the portion, Pinhas, is profound and evokes many questions. The story tells of people such as Pinhas, who are seemingly greater than Moses. The Creator blesses and praises him that he is as great as Joshua, that he is replacing Moses, who is climbing down from center stage. There is also the issue of women’s rights, some of whom can be as the men, receiving a lot.

As we know, the Torah does not speak of corporeal events or physical bodies, but of souls. The souls are what is important, the eternal part in each of us. This is why we need to understand that the text describes the “human within us,” which must experience all the portions of the Torah along the spiritual development.

This portion speaks of a very special point that awakens in us, a special desire called Pinhas. Read the rest of this entry »

  

Balak Parsha – Weekly Torah Portion

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Numbers, 22:2-25:9
This Week’s Torah Portion | 24 Jun – 30 Jun, 2018 – 11 Tammus – 17 Tammus, 5778

In A Nutshell

The portion, Balak, begins with the people of Israel conquering the land of the Amorites. Balak, king of Moab, understands that the children of Israel are nearing him, and prepares to face the nation that came out of Egypt. He sends messengers to Balaam, son of Beor—who was famous for his great wisdom and power of his curses—and asks him to curse the people of Israel.

Balaam leaves for the land of Moab having accepted the harsh stipulation to say only what the Creator will permit him to. Along the way his mare stops. Balaam beats her but the mare won’t move. Balaam cannot see the angel stopping the mare. The mare opens her mouth and speaks to him, and instead of cursing Israel he blesses them.

Balak is furious with Balaam. As a compensation, Balaam tips him that Israel has a weak spot: the daughters of Moab. Balak sends the daughters of Moab and the people of Israel fornicate with them so much that even Zimri, son of Salu, one of the presidents of the tribe of Shimon, takes a Midianite woman.

This situation leaves Pinhas, son of Elazar, with no choice. He takes a spear and stabs them to death, thus stopping the plague that has spread in the nation claiming twenty-four thousand lives.

Commentary by Dr. Michael Laitman

This story does not happen on the corporeal level. It is not about a process unfolding between two nations, but rather an internal correction process that one experiences. The story itself comes to show us how to correct the evil inclination. It is not a tale about children or grownups, nor is it a story about nations, countries, wars, prostitutes, or mares. All it describes is the correction of the evil inclination. It is the only thing that the Torah (Pentateuch) describes from the very beginning, from Adam—who began the correction—to the end.

The text speaks of a person who went through this path as Adam HaRishon (Adam), as Abraham, and as Moses, and who went through the whole process in Egypt and in the desert. During the gradual correction of the desire, a person gradually nears the land of Israel until one is faced with the “conquest” of the land.

The “desert” is a desire that a person still cannot use correctly, and therefore cannot see the fruits of the work with it. These corrections precede the ones known as the “land of Israel.”

The spies discovered that the land of Israel is a desire that, if aimed entirely at the Creator, yields beautiful fruits [Israel means Yashar El (straight to God)]. A person who approaches that correction initially acquires the land of the Amorites followed by the land of Moab, which is a higher degree. Man’s egoistic desire known as “the king of Moab,” Balak, begins to seemingly rebel against him because it does not want the corrections.

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