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July 17, 2024

Archive for June 13, 2015

Korah Parsha – Weekly Torah Portion


Numbers 16:1 – 18:32
This Week’s Torah Portion | June 14 – June 20, 2015 – 27 Sivan – 3 Tammuz, 5775

In A Nutshell

The portion begins with the story of Dathan and Abiram, and 250 of the presidents of the congregation who rebelled against Moses and Aaron with what seemed like a just argument: Since the entire nation is holy, Moses and Aaron should have the same status as the rest of the people. The reply they received was that although they are all equal, Moses and Aaron are the leaders that can be in contact with the Creator. Following the mutiny, the ground swallowed the 250 presidents of the congregation, as well as Korah and his company, and the people suffered from a plague until Moses asked the Creator to end it.

The end of the portion debates the question of leadership in the nation. A test was held between all the staffs (rods) of all the leaders, and the only one that blossomed was Aaron’s staff, which signaled his unequivocal leadership.


Commentary by Dr. Michael Laitman

We can interpret the explanation of the Torah (Pentateuch) on two levels—the level of this world and the level of the hidden, spiritual world. On the level of our world, the story of Korah is very relevant even today.

For thousands of years, our world has been developing through our egos. 3,800 years ago we lived in what is now known as Ancient Babylon. This is when Abraham—the quality of Hesed (mercy)—rose, as well as the priests that followed him, who are also from the quality of BinaHassadim.

Abraham discovered that the whole world must develop and achieve a state of unity and connection, and shared his revelation with the Babylonians. While many followed him, they were only a handful compared to the majority that rejected his ideas. Abraham had to flee from Babylon, chased by Nimrod, the king of Babylon.

Abraham established a method for correcting human nature. Today we call that method, “the wisdom of Kabbalah,” whose purpose is to elevate man from the depth of egoism to the level of bestowal and love.

This ascent is in fact the goal of our development—to rise from the level of this world to the level of the spiritual world. Spirituality is bestowal and the love of others, by which we acquire eternity and wholeness. This is the meaning of the text in this portion, as well as in The Book of Zohar, which talks about freedom from the angel of death.

Read the rest of this entry »


How You Can Succeed in Spirituality Regardless of Your Characteristics

How You Can Succeed in Spirituality Regardless of Your Characteristics

The Importance of an Authentic Teacher

If we have not yet reached a higher understanding, or altered our way of analysis, begun to feel the sweetness, rather than the bitterness, of non-egoistic thoughts, or have not begun to see the truth of faith compared to the falseness of the intellect which is bound by the nature of our world, we can still progress through an already amended method of analysis derived from our teachers, by listening and following the example of the teacher in all things. Therein lies the counsel of the sages: If only a single Kabbalist, possessing the true spiritual understanding of the mind and heart, leads humanity, everyone can reach the goal of creation not by the path of suffering but by the easy and painless path of Kabbalah!

On the other hand, misfortune and constant failures will be our lot if those who were chosen to travel this path first, with whom the Creator first settles all accounts, and from whom the most is demanded, have chosen as their leaders those who do not understand His higher purpose or the design of His Dominion.

Only during wars, catastrophes, or other great misfortunes, when it seems that our problems cannot be resolved, do we all clearly see the hand of the Creator and His help. But this transpires only during critical moments in which we find ourselves, since we refuse to acquire and use Kabbalistic knowledge to recognize the Divine Providence in the world.


Everyone Has Unique Properties

Why are people born with different capacities to perceive the subtler forces around us, as well as with different capacities to prudently and logically grasp the nature of things? And whose fault is it that a person was not created in the same manner as were geniuses, those of deep thought and deep emotions? Why is it that when we are born, we receive from the Creator unequal mental and spiritual desires and capacities?

Individuals born with grand aspirations, with big hearts, and with sharp minds, are referred in the Bible as “the intelligent” because they are capable of receiving the highest understanding. On the other hand, those born with limited mental and spiritual capacities in the Bible are referred to as “foolish people.” But since every soul has its own special purpose for which it has “descended” into this world, no one should be ashamed of the particular inclinations with which one was born.


How a Person Reacts to Thoughts

Nor should we be ashamed of our bad thoughts, since they, too, were sent to us by the Creator.

However, we should pay special attention to and be conscious of how we react to bad thoughts, whether we fight them or follow them blindly, whether we correct ourselves— each to the extent of the capacities that we were born with, and what we do towards correcting ourselves.

It is this that each of us should be ashamed and it is for this that each will have to answer to the Creator. But still, how can a foolish person reach spiritual heights? The Creator has said: “I have created the wise, and I have created the foolish. And I have placed the wise in every generation, to help the foolish, so that having fastened their hearts to the ones ascending, they could also reach a complete union with Me.”


Towards Absolute Unity with the Creator

Why are foolish people needed in this world? After all, compared to the few wise men of the world, there is an overwhelming multitude of fools!

The reason lies in the fact that every spiritual quality requires its own separate carrier. Those people with limited spiritual capacities are the carriers of egoism. The wise, on the other hand, desiring to ascend infinitely in their service to the Creator, and having corrected their own egoism, need to help the foolish work on their egoism.

To continue ascending, the wise must continuously absorb “extraneous” egoism and correct it. Thus, both the foolish and the wise need each other.

But because the masses can give the wise only their own insignificant egoism consisting of a desire for the petty, transitory pleasures of our world, for every wise person in this world there are billions of fools.

Nevertheless, if the foolish ones act in accordance with the directives of the wise, consciously following the wise in all they do, everyone can still reach the goal of their existence: absolute unity with the Creator.

Attaining the Worlds BeyondHow You Can Succeed in Spirituality Regardless of Your Characteristics” is based on the book, Attaining the Worlds Beyond by Dr. Michael Laitman.


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