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July 16, 2024

Re’eh (Behold) Parsha – Weekly Torah Portion

Re’eh (Behold) Parsha

Deuteronomy, 11:26-16:17
 This Week’s Torah Portion | July 28 – August 3, 2013 – Av 21-27, 5773

In A Nutshell

The portion, Re’eh (Behold), begins with Moses’ words to the people to come and see the blessing and the curse, which the Creator commands them. If the people adhere to the Creator’s commandments they will be blessed. Otherwise, they will be cursed.

Afterward, Moses surveys before the people the preparations to enter the land of Israel, the duties and the prohibitions that accompany the entrance, the work of the Creator specifically in the Temple, and the prohibition to listen to false prophets that deflect the people from the serving the Creator. The portion also cites the laws of Kashrut,[1] tithing, Shmita (remission), and the three festivals on which it is customary to make an Aliya la Regel (pilgrimage) to Jerusalem.

Commentary by Dr. Michael Laitman

The Torah speaks only about the inner meaning of all the matters just mentioned. It is written, “Behold,” referring to the reception of light of Hochma, which is seeing. Seeing is the highest of the five senses, and marks the highest level of attainment. When a person truly sees whether what is happening is a blessing or a curse, he is standing right before the entrance to the land of Israel.

Eretz Ysrael: Eretz means Ratzon (desire), and Ysrael (Israel) means Yashar El (straight to God). In other words, Eretz Ysrael is a desire aimed entirely toward bestowal, toward mutual guarantee, connection between everyone “as one man with one heart.” At the foot of Mount Sinai we accepted the condition, “love your neighbor as yourself,’ to be “as one man with one heart.” Forty years later we complete the correction and are ready to enter the land of Israel, where all the desires are connected in true mutual bestowal. This is why it is called Yashar El (straight to God). The Creator—the quality of bestowal and love that exists in the world—governs the whole of reality.

After the forty years of correction—forty degrees from Bina to Malchut and from Malchut to Bina—we must obtain the general correction of our will to receive so it is entirely in bestowal upon others. This is the degree of Bina, the degree of Hesed (mercy), the degree of Abraham. Afterward there are the 613 Mitzvot (commandments) by which one correct all 613 desires into having the aim to bestow upon others, because “love your neighbor as yourself” is a great rule in the Torah, a rule that includes everything within it.

All we need is to correct our egotistical desire into bestowal, love, and mutual guarantee. This is in fact the condition for the reception of the Torah. The Torah is an instruction how we can correct ourselves. The light that reforms is really the power of the Torah, the power of the light that corrects us.

It is written, “I have created the evil inclination, I have created for it the Torah as a spice,” because “the light in it reforms them.” One who discovers the evil inclination within, the egotistical desires, the hatred, repulsion, the Mount Sinai (mountain of Sina’a (hate)), deserves to receive the correction method called Torah, or “the wisdom of Kabbalah,” because this is where the light is hidden. This is why Kabbalah is called “the internality of the Torah,” and “The Torah (law) of truth.”

This is how we advance toward the entrance to the land of Israel. Henceforth we must know, “see” how to tell our corrected desires toward others from the uncorrected ones. Have we truly become a nation now, with our common desire, which was previously the land of Canaan, then Egypt, and then a desert?

These are degrees of our common desire, in which we passed through stages in our relationships. Now we are entering a relationship called Yashar El, which is solely toward mutual bestowal. We are becoming similar to the Shechina (Divinity), to the Assembly of Israel, with all of our desires being straight to the Creator (Yashar El), directly toward bestowal and mutual love, where we are discovering the common quality of bestowal called “the revelation of the Creator to the creatures.”

It is written that the Creator appears only in the land of Israel, in a desire that is directed only by equivalence of form. When we are in a state of love and bestowal upon each other, we discover that common force in Nature; it appears to us.

The common force that appears within us is called “the conquering of the land” because at that time we can enter our egos with the quality of bestowal and begin to conquer all of our desires. We can begin to place them under the governance of mutual bestowal and mutual love. We gradually fight all the nations, meaning our own thoughts and desires that rebel against bonding and mutual guarantee, against the unity between us. Once we sort out those desires, we separate them from the Kedusha (holiness).

This is the portion’s main theme. Within us are several kinds of desires, called “still,” vegetative,” “animate,” and “speaking.” We correct them from easy to difficult. The list of laws before us tells us how to tell them apart and how to perform scrutinies and corrections. These are the rules concerning Kashrut in the still, vegetative, and animate, and how to distinguish the relations between humans.

The preparation for this process has already been done by the light of Hochma. We did it in the desert, meaning in the state of the “desert” within us, through the light of Hassadim. Now we are correcting ourselves through the light of Hochma. We shift from the degree of Hafetz Hesed (desiring mercy), which is “that which you hate, do not do to your friend,” and enter Eretz Ysrael, a degree of “love your neighbor as yourself.” These are the two stages leading to correction.

We test all our desires to see whether they are a blessing or a curse. If a person is in self-love in those desires, they are a curse because nothing good will come out of them to that person. However, if one corrects them, there is the promise that one will always be in equivalence of form in those desires, in closeness to the upper force, the common force, and that no harm will come to that person.

Even today, if we wish to live in Israel safely and prosperously, with just division, we can achieve these only by correcting our egotistical desires, only through mutual love. If we begin to connect, we will immediately feel that there is a force among us that is putting things in order. No one understands how to do this, but we have the Torah and we can make that connection and be an example to the rest of the world.

We need to understand it and make those corrections. These are the corrections of the three years of Orlah (uncircumcised) fruit, the seven years of Shmita (remission), and the Yovel (jubilee, fifty years’ anniversary), as well as the rules of Kashrut on different levels—prophets and priests. All of these explain to us how we should arrange things within us so as to destroy the idol worship that we see all around us and within us when we bow to other goals besides the love of others and establishing of our Temple.

Bringing an offering is also related to the correction. The word Korban (offering/sacrifice) comes from the word Karov (near), meaning to draw near to the quality of bestowal, to the Creator. The Ketoret (incense), from the word Maktir (crowning), brings a person closer to Kedusha (holiness), to bestowal upon others. We need to understand that Kedusha and Tuma’a (impurity) are the love of others and its opposite.

What are the blessing and the curse in our generation?

This has not changed through the ages. The Torah is eternal, since the time of the creation of the world, since the creation of the entire reality, since the world of Ein Sof (infinity), through all the worlds down to the cascading of our reality today. Today we must relive history and climb back to the world of Ein Sof, but not with our physical bodies, but in our minds, in our awareness.

This can happen only by correcting our egotistical desire that was created this way to begin with, as it is written, “I have created the evil inclination.” Correction means achieving love of others through the upper light, the upper force. In fact, it is the whole of the work of Kedusha (holiness), the work of the offerings, which brings one closer to it, always knowing where one is still not corrected.

When we read the Torah, we see that we are constantly making mistakes, such as in the desert and in other places. Almost every portion repeats the story of the children of Israel falling time and time again. However, we fall only to discover the desires that are still uncorrected, and to bring them to Kedusha, to correction. Through the corrupt desires we achieve correction, bonding between us.

So why are we falling now? What have we fallen into in our time?

Our generation is a special one. We have reached the final realization, the complete correction of the world because the whole world is discovering that it is in a vague and unclear situation. All our systems are corrupted and we cannot find our way in this world because we are incongruent with the laws of Nature.

The nature that is now appearing to us is appearing from within. It is a nature of bestowal, a nature of love of others, a global world. Although we are still relating to the manifestation of this reality egotistically—not getting along with it, declining to connect, to unite with others—the reality that is appearing is compelling us do so. It is emerging from within, out of the network of connections between us that forms a global-integral world, which we do not match.

It is precisely when we discover that we cannot find our way in the world that the wisdom of Kabbalah appears. Without it we will be lost because we will not understand what is happening to us. The wisdom of Kabbalah explains that we must reach mutual guarantee, which is the law that was given to us at the foot of Mount Sinai, and which we must keep. That law states that the more we feel reality as opposite from us, as one we cannot get along with, the more we and the world must be corrected.

The corrections are in unity, in moving toward reciprocity, in communicating, in congruence with Nature, which we will feel as good, helping, supporting, and not as resisting or threatening, as we currently feel it. Although all our systems are currently on the verge of collapse, we feel primarily the economic and financial systems because all our life’s systems depend on them, especially the food that we need in order to survive.

The wisdom of Kabbalah reveals to us the short, good, and easy way. All we need is to listen, and life will suddenly run smoother. If we engage in it, we will see how much light there is before us, which we will follow safely and enjoy life.

It is especially true here in Israel. We have a method. If we unite, we will form a focal point for the rest of the world. All of life’s events happen specifically in order to disclose to us the problem we must solve in order to be saved. We will truly have to correct ourselves in unity, and truly become the people of Israel—connected, bonded, and liberated from all the troubles. By that we will become “a light for the nations.”

Is it against human nature to ask people to love everyone?

For now we must begin superficially. We need to understand that solving our problems and truly arriving at the land of Israel, in prosperity, safety, and abundance, is possible only if we unite.

Uniting means being in mutual guarantee. This is the condition we took upon ourselves when we received the Torah at the foot of Mount Sinai, and it is where Nature is pushing us, because it is the law of the comprehensive integral system that is appearing before us today. We can learn this law from science too. It tells us we have no other choice, if we are tied together in this way, we must arrange our systems accordingly.

It is especially true for us, and subsequently for the rest of the world. This is why charity is pointless, and the same goes for thinking that we can succeed through the work of this or that committee, by raising taxes or by paying this or that sum.

Even if we divide the common pie we will not succeed because the law of Nature—which determines that we have to be connected “as one man with one heart—is against us.

How do we do it?

We need to learn how to do it. We go by trial and error but we see that it can be done, and actually quite easily. The only obstacle is a psychological barrier that we must leap over. When we do, it will happen easily. We only need to turn a tiny “knob,” like a little child who presses a button and switches on a huge machine. Indeed, this is who we are.

It will happen at once only if we comprehend that unity is the solution to all our problems. If we do not, we will suffer more and more blows and from them we will still learn what to do. However, it is a long and painful road.

But there are problems all over the world.

Yes, and in the end the whole world will come to us.

Pointing the finger at us?

Yes. They will subconsciously, and even consciously feel it. They are even saying that we are to blame for all the troubles in the world. They will demand practical solutions from us. So before it happens we must make the wisdom of Kabbalah known throughout the world, and show them what it means to be “a light for the nations.”

And the Lord Said to Abram after Lot Was Separated

“Only the Creator governs over the land of Israel. When Israel sinned and were offering incense to other gods inside the land, Divinity was seemingly rejected from her place because they were anointing and burning incense for other gods to connect with Divinity, and then they were given governance. The incense makes a tie so as to connect. Hence, they were sucking from Divinity and received the governance from her, and then the rest of the nations ruled, the prophets were cancelled, and all those high degrees did not rule over the land.”

Zohar for All, Lech Lecha (Go Forth), item 185

In truth, everything depends on whether a person “invites” the upper force to be next to him. The upper force is a force of bestowal and love that is above our egos. This is why it is called “upper”; it is a nature above our own. We must bring it a little closer to us, draw it according to the equivalence of form so it will be in us, and then we will fear nothing.

What are the laws mentioned here, such as kashrut and tithing?

They are all corrections of the will to receive.

Can following these laws only on the physical, material level award me those corrections?

No. Following on the corporeal level will not help. It is as if we want to share our income through our own calculations. It is not going to work because it is our hearts that need correction, and not acting with our hands and legs.

However, we need not avoid physical actions because they keep the framework of the nation. It is a certain approach that should persist in the nation, but the important thing is the correction of the heart. Baal HaSulam wrote that the Torah was given to men of heart,[2] meaning to correct the heart, as it is written, “Write them on the tablet of your heart” (Proverbs, 3:3). The whole Torah was written only to correct the heart.

Correcting the heart is inner work.

Inner work is all that is required of us, correcting the desire. Our bodies are flesh, and there are different things we can do with it. The flesh can smile at others while in truth we want to kill them. We have no need for this bogus smile, this superficial attitude toward things. We need the heart, the connection of the hearts. If we do not do it, we will be in big trouble, so let us hope that it will become more prevalent in the nation and we will advance favorably.

For who is God, besides the Lord? And who is a rock, besides our God?

“For who is God, save the Lord?” Everything is in the permission of the Creator. It is not as it seems in the stars and fortunes, which show something and the Creator changes it into another way. “And who is a Rock, save our God?” means that there is no such painter as the Creator. He is the perfect painter, who makes and paints a form within a form, a fetus in its mother’s insides, and completes that picture in all its corrections, and instills a high soul within it, which is similar to the upper correction.

Zohar for All, Lech Lecha (Go Forth), item 328

All that a person needs is to want the correction. That force that is over us, the overall desire to bestow, is called the “Creator.” It is that which depicts in us the right images. The connections between us are called “its forms,” and in the end, according to our requests, it connects us and is found within us. It is called “the dweller clothing in the Shechina (Divinity).” We are the Shechina, the Assembly of Israel. When we are united, the quality of bestowal is in us.

When we truly achieve this mutual guarantee between us, will we discover the kashrut, the tithing, and all these laws between us?

When we begin to come closer, we will experience everything that is written in the Torah.

What is the work of the Creator, the Temple?

Man’s heart is called “a house.” All of man’s desires are called “man’s house” or “man’s heart.” When everyone intends toward bestowal, toward bonding with others, it is called “holiness.”

Is it a certain state of mind, in which one does the work of the Creator?

It is not a state of mind; it is one’s attitude, one’s intention with regard to others.

Can it be anytime and anywhere?

Yes, of course. It makes no difference where you are physically.

The portion mentions the three Regalim (pilgrimage festivals), which in our world appear as festivals of Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot.

These are degrees. The more we correct ourselves, the more we advance on the 125 degrees. And the more we advance, the more breaks there are between the degrees, such as days of the week, the Sabbath, beginnings of months, the three pilgrimage festivals, then the Shmita, Yovel, and so forth.

The three pilgrimage festivals, Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot, are special degrees. In the ARI’s Gate of Intentions, he mentions them quite often as great and sublime. These are measures of our connection. If we work and work, and connect between us, and suddenly something closes, it is called a Regel (leg), meaning a step forward. And as we connect and correct our relations, making them closer, we reach another stage.

The three stages are NHY, HGT, and HBD, or IburYenikaMochin (conception-nursing-adulthood). We learn about it in the wisdom of Kabbalah. This is how we advance until we build between us a complete Partzuf (face), which is called Adam (man) who is Domeh (similar) to the complete quality of bestowal, which is the Creator.

Is the state of Eretz Ysrael an absolute or is there still more work in it?

According to this portion we are now moving into the land of Israel and must correct all our desires through the light of Hochma. Working in the land of Israel is not simple whatsoever. It does not happen all at once, but is rather a long process.

Can we understand from the Regalim that we are working on bonding but see no results, until a new state suddenly appears, and this is the next step forward?


Is this a Regel?

A Regel is the end of all the previous stages. It is when a person stops, as though parking, and continues from it toward the next period.

How does the tithing connect to all of that?

Tithing means a tenth of Malchut. Malchut is the tenth Sefira in our entire structure. We have desires called Keter, Hochma, Bina, Hesed, Gevura, Tifferet, Netzah, Hod, Yesod, and Malchut. Malchut is the tenth, but since we cannot correct it, we pass it on by giving a tithing (ten percent), and this is its correction.

To whom do we give it?

To the people, to the Temple. The house is more than just man’s heart. Beit ha Mikdash (The Temple House) is entirely outside of us. It is in our connections with others, in our desires toward others, and we dedicate Malchut to that.


All we need to do is to connect. In the bonding between us we will discover the whole Torah, we will resolve all our troubles and problems, and we will be given the great respect that the people of Israel deserve.


[1] Laws of Kashrut define what is kosher, meaning permitted for eating or for preparing food, wearing, and other areas of human conduct.
[2] “Introduction to the book, Panim Meirot UMasbirot

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