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July 20, 2024

TV Interview with Rav Michael Laitman, PhD on Bloomberg show “Night Talk” with Mike Schneider

Bloomberg TV

Download the Interview: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 (WMV)

BLOOMBERG TV (October 24, 2007): Mike Schneider, on Bloomberg’s “Night Talk,” interviewed Rav Michael Laitman, PhD investigating Kabbalah from a variety of angles. The interview was composed of 3 parts, each detailing a specific angle on Kabbalah:

Part 1: The Mystery Surrounding Kabbalah
• Kabbalah – What Is It?
• An Ancient Wisdom that Predates Judaism
• Kabbalah and Judaism – What Is their Connection (if any)?
• Is there One Individual Figure Who Occupies a Position of Leadership in Kabbalah?
• Prophecy – Is there such a thing in Kabbalah?

Part 2: The Buzz Surrounding Kabbalah
• Madonna in Kabbalah – What’s the Deal?
• Ethics – Why We Don’t Need Them
• Science and Kabbalah – Are they Competitive or Complementary?
• Kabbalah Involves No Rituals of Any Kind
• Kabbalah Is a Method. Is it a Philosophy as Well?
• You Don’t Need to be Trained in Traditional Judaism Before Studying Kabbalah

Part 3: The Modern World Surrounding Kabbalah
• World Problems. Their Causes. Their Solutions.
• Improve Personal Behavior, Relationships and Family Connections
• Terrorism – the Source of the Problem (Is the Same Source as Every Problem)
• Philosophers and Kabbalah
• What Is the Main Change that Happens to You When You Study Kabbalah?

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Expert says Kabbalah best understood as a science – an Article in the South Jersey Courier Post

Courier Post Online

COURIER POST (October 20, 2007): Spirituality columnist Kim Mulford interviewed Rav Michael Laitman, PhD for her Saturday column “Keeping the Faith.” As well as the usual ice-breaking questions about Kabbalah that Rav Laitman often gets asked by journalists, like whether it is a religion or mysticism, whether someone practising a religion can also study Kabbalah, and whether the Kabbalah Rav Laitman teaches is connected to the Kabbalah Madonna studies… Kim Mulford also asked unique questions about the experience of Kabbalah; what it’s like to connect to the Creator and how this is related to its dissemination.

Kim Mulford: What is it like to connect with the Creator?

Rav Laitman: It’s a personal connection. It’s as if you stop caring for yourself and you experience everybody else’s thoughts and cares. You become connected and related and you feel beyond. You don’t just feel it, you really are beyond time and place and motion. You become eternal in a way, because you have eternal perception. It gets you to a point where you just want to give and give.

Kim Mulford: Is that why you want to share this with other people, because you want to give them this same experience?

Rav Laitman: Yes, of course. You experience the harmony of nature and reality and you want to share it. Also, it’s not just a privilege. It’s really an obligation, because the whole of humanity must come to that point where all of us experience that harmony. Actually, the crisis we are experiencing today isn’t coming for no reason. It’s there to prompt us to think about life, to see how we can build our harmony with it. more…

Click Here to Read the Full Article in the Courier Post Online

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More than just Madonna: Kabbalah has millions of online students around the world – an Article in the Canadian Press

The Canadian Press

TORONTO (October 17, 2007): Without the Internet, studying Kabbalah every day would be more of a chore for Susan Morales, who already leads a busy life teaching and checking up on her nursing students.

But by going online, her class with her teacher Rav Michael Laitman, which is webcastlive every day from Israel, is just a click away for the Toronto resident who lectures at Ryerson University.

“The miracle of that is just fantastic,” said Morales, 58, who has been doing Kabbalah every day – a requirement for all students – for the past six years.

Laitman is the founder and president of the Bnei Baruch Kabbalah Education and Research Institute in Israel, which has branches all over the world including Toronto.

Kabbalah, which is Hebrew for reception, is an ancient “method of spiritual growth and development offering an inspiring path of self-discovery and spiritual elevation,” according to the centre.

It aims to answer life’s deepest question: What is life about?

In an interview during a visit to Toronto, Laitman said the Internet plays a major role in getting the Kabbalah message out.

“When I started building the academy in 1991, the Internet was basically non-existent,” he said in Hebrew as he spoke through an interpreter.

Laitman went through some difficult years using “snail mail.”

The web improved communication, and, “as a result now today we have approximately two million students worldwide – about 200,000 in Canada – using the Internet from 47 countries in 26 languages,” he said.

Thousands more practise it through The Kabbalah Centre, another Israel-based organization that uses the web and has branches worldwide.

Through Bnei Baruch, said Morales, classes can be done any time because it has one of the largest archives of downloadable lessons.

“If I wanted to sit in front of my computer and listen and study 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year, I could do it and not view (the same) lesson again.”

Rob Taylor, 56, a project management consultant in the power industry, says he’s up at 3 a.m. to study Kabbalah.

Generally he either studies texts or takes classes online with Laitman. Then throughout the day he’s always working on what he learned.

“You start evaluating yourself,” said Taylor, an eight-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and a former undercover cop who lives in Toronto.

“Why do I see it this way? Why is it affecting me the way it does?”

In 1984, when he first learned about Kabbalah, there wasn’t a lot of translated material, he said. Until the late 20th century, it was closed to all but a few select and serious students.

“There were commentaries but nothing you could really get your teeth into, to really understand it,” he said.

Then in the late 1990s, things began to change, he said.

“I started coming across material mostly put together by Laitman,” author of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Kabbalah.”

Now, more than 5,000 books are available on Amazon.com, most written after 2000, according to the Idiot’s Guide. As well, more than 200,000 lessons are available online.

Besides books, such as the Idiot’s Guide, making it more accessible to people, interest really ignited after pop singer and actress Madonna became heavily involved.

“When she went public about it, more people were asking about what this is,” said Jacob Kessler, 25, who helped established the Kabbalah Club at the University of Toronto.

“More people started coming out to study meetings or … taking a class here and there at The Kabbalah Centre,” said Kessler, who was introduced to Kabbalah by his parents when he was a young child.

Kessler, who is working on a bachelor’s degree in Judaic studies with a focus on mystical Judaism and Kabbalah, says lots of students are interested in Kabbalah – sometimes classes are full.

But Madonna is only part of the reason why Kabbalah is being studied by so many people these days, said Laitman.

“Humanity is in a global crisis: Divorce rates are soaring, drug abuse, depression. Globalization causes us all to be interconnected and at the same time we’re all hateful to each other,” he said.

“When you lose hope … you start searching. Instinctively people are discovering that the answer to it probably exists in Kabbalah,” he said.

“That’s why kabbalists for the first time in 5,000 years of Kabbalah’s existence are now exposing it to the whole world,” he said. As a result, “we see that Kabbalah is a method for correcting and for restoring balance.”

People of all walks of life are finding it helpful, said Morales. She has met devout Christians, Orthodox Jews, observant Muslims and agnostics studying it.

At the core of Kabbalah, she said, “is the correction of oneself.”

How does one become more like the bestowing creator, or God, said Morales. That’s how spirituality is defined in Kabbalah.

In Kabbalah, correct intentions will lead you closer to God, or the creator, who is a giving force, a bestowing force, said Laitman. “The whole of nature is a giving nature, a loving nature.”

Each organ in our body functions to benefit the body, he said.

If one, however, begins “to pull towards itself to consume the rest of the body” it becomes cancerous, he said.

“This is why Kabbalah states that if humanity rises above its egoism it will not be cancerous towards the whole of nature.”

Today’s interconnectedness “should compel us to rise above our personal egos and achieve the right harmony and connection among us in giving to each other.”

“When Kabbalah opens up the picture of the world to us it kind of forces us to become good,” he said.

Taylor says he gradually turned to Kabbalah during his stints in the Marines and with the police out of frustration.

“You spend a lot of time in those environments because you want to fix things,” he said. “Then you reach a point of understanding that you can’t.”

Finally, “you come to realize that the whole structure begins with individual correction,” he said.

“We have to fix ourselves internally before we can even think about going out there and correcting something else.”

That, he said, “has probably been the biggest change” in his life since he began … studying Kabbalah.

Click Here for the Original Article

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What is Kabbalah? Don’t ask Madonna – an Article in the Chicago Daily Herald

Chicago Daily Herald Logo

CHICAGO DAILY HERALD (October 12, 2007): In advance of Rav Michael Laitman’s Oakton Community College Skokie campus lecture “From Chaos to Harmony: Kabbalah as the Solution to the Global Crisis,” Journalist Jamie Sotonoff of the Chicago Daily Herald focused on a key disclaimer Rav Laitman has been questioned about repeatedly throughout his United States tour, that the Kabbalah Rav Laitman teaches is completely different and unrelated to the Kabbalah that Madonna is associated with.

Click Here to Read this Full Story in the Chicago Daily Herald

Click Here for More Details About the Lecture and to Register

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