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July 16, 2024

Archive for August 2, 2013

Shoftim (Judges) Parsha – Weekly Torah Portion


Deuteronomy, 16:18-21:9
 This Week’s Torah Portion | August 4 – August 10, 2013 – Av 28 – Elul 4, 5773

In A Nutshell

The portion, Shoftim (Judges), continues to explain the Mitzvot (commandments) connected to the entrance to the land of Israel. The portion begins with appointing Judges to make the laws and officers to enforce them, so there will be true justice in Israel.

The portion describes the laws of the king, who must be chosen from among the people. The portion also deals with the prohibition to engage in witchcraft and turns the people to the true prophets. Finally, the portion teaches the people how they should conduct themselves in a time of war.

Commentary by Dr. Michael Laitman

The Torah was given to every person, for one to correct oneself, as it is written, “I have created the evil inclination, I have created for it the Torah as a spice.” Every person, whether or not one demands social justice, should first discover that one is filled with the evil inclination. We must discover that we are completely egotistical in order to perform our correction. Put differently, we need to discover that we are living as criminals.

During the High Holidays we say [1], “We are at fault; we have betrayed.” It is written about these words, “Keep far from a false word” (Exodus 23:7). We need to discover that it is we who have committed those transgressions. If we think what is written is overstated and is not a true depiction of who we are, it is a sign that we have not yet come to know who we truly are, and that we still need to discover the entirety of our evil inclination. This is when the Torah comes to us, because “the light in it reforms them.” That is, the Torah instructs us on how to elicit from it the light that will reform us, so we may achieve the love and bonding with others.

There is much work for us to do: We walk in the darkness, in the desert, in cries, in scrutinies, in raising MAN, in various transgressions, such as with the spies, and the waters of quarreling, until we reach the boundaries of the land of Israel. We correct ourselves until we can use our desires in order to bestow.

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Glossary – Shoftim (Judges) Parsha – Weekly Torah Portion

Glossary of Terms Used in the Shoftim (Judges) Weekly Torah Portion


A judge is the one who decides.


Officers, as well judges, tend to the good influence on people.

Judgment and Justice

“Judgment” is a state in which one works above one’s great will to receive. “Justice” is a state in which one works only in favor of others, without any thought of self-gratification.


This is a state where a person has the strength to do what is required according to the Keter (crown), according to the Creator, upper force that appears.

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What Is Corrected Egoism?

What Is Corrected Egoism?

What is “corrected egoism”? It is a state where you feel bliss from bestowing pleasure upon the people around you, and not from using them for your own pleasure. This bliss can only be felt in such a state, which is characteristic of the spiritual world.


Egoistic and Altruistic Perception

What do you see in our world? All kinds of objects, plants, and bodies. How do you relate to them? You love them if they bring you pleasant sensations, and you hate them if they don’t bring you any pleasure. In other words, your attitude toward them is completely egoistic.

What happens when you correct your egoism, or even when you merely begin the process of its step-by-step correction? You suddenly begin to notice things you hadn’t noticed before. Through this imaginary world, you begin to see the real world, one that has always existed around you, a world that is full of Light, Love, and mutual bestowal, the Creator’s world, the so-called “world to come.”

You have never seen it. It was concealed from you by your own ego.


Our Next State, the “World to Come”

Your world and “the world to come” have nothing in common whatsoever, as they exist by different laws. Many people carry the false notion that “the world to come” is a place they go to after death.

Not so. “To come” means it is your next state, which you must attain not after death, but in your lifetime, here and now. The moment you adapt yourself to “the world to come,” you acquire the ability to see it.

It is as if you exit yourself, leave your egoistic body, and open yourself up to a new world, a world with only one law—the Law of Bestowal. And you aspire toward that world because the lives of its inhabitants are founded on mutual love. Thus, instead of perceiving only our world with its bodies and objects, you begin to perceive the force that governs it, to the extent that you grow more similar to this force. By aspiring to bestow, you realize that this force is the absolute good. This force is the Creator.

This is how you come to perceive the pure, genuine Light, just as it stems from the Creator. It is as if you come out to meet the Light before it enters and fills you. This, the Creator’s Light, is not yet weakened by your egoistic filters. It is still pure, and you are given the opportunity to feel it. The very fact that you are capable of detecting it is happiness in its own right. This is called, “to hear the Creator’s call.”


A Great Ego and a “Tiny Candle” as Tools for Answering the Creator’s Call

The pure Light trickles into our world through the thick wall of egoism that screens it. It enters here with the sole purpose of maintaining life in our world. This Light “hides” within all the objects of our world, dressed in all kinds of garments.

A small spark of this Light that you had felt as your point in the heart. It is what Kabbalists call “a tiny candle.”

The very fact that you have a desire (and a great one at that) to attain the depth of what is happening to you speaks of one thing and one thing only (no offense intended): that you are a big egoist, much bigger than everybody else. Whereas others are satisfied with this world, you demand nothing less than the spiritual one! You will not rest until you reveal it with the help of this “tiny candle”, and that is precisely what the Creator wants from you.

The Secrets of the Eternal Book“What Is Corrected Egoism?” is based on the book, The Secrets of the Eternal Book: The Meaning of the Stories of the Pentateuch by Semion Vinokur.

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