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Michael Laitman, PhD

Rabbi and Disciple – Physically and Spiritually

Q: When a disciple physically helps his rabbi and serves him, can he acquire spiritual attributes faster than through his studies? If so, how is that possible, if we learn that physical actions bear no spiritual results?!

A: It is indeed possible because both teacher and student are in the same world. The student is only in this world; he has only the attributes of his will to receive for himself, while the rabbi is in both, maintaining contact with the will to receive of the disciple through his own body.

When the student is in contact with the rabbi only on the physical level and gives to him on that level, he begins to make contact with him on the spiritual level as well (provided the student really wants that contact), without even noticing it. He begins to subconsciously receive spiritual ideas from his rabbi that seemingly flow to him from his teacher.

How is that possible? After all, the disciple doesn’t have the vessel for it, he doesn’t have sensations of loving others and he doesn’t have the aim for the Creator in which to receive those ideas. Regarding this question, see "A Speech for the Completion of the Zohar" by Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag.

By the way, I tried that principle on myself. I received a lot of ideas about spirituality like a child receives the picture of our world, when he doesn’t understand the essence of what is going on, the root of the phenomena, and his insights are superficial and external. That situation is possible, and that is how man attains the Upper World.

Generally speaking, it is possible to understand the spiritual world only to the extent we attain it and acquire knowledge about it, and by the strength of our screen. But that relates to ordinary spiritual attainment. To the extent that we have an opportunity to come close to our rabbi through service and help, we also attain some of the spiritual conceptions of the rabbi.

In fact, I do not give my students that chance, because the group is large and I should not make any single person more prominent than the others. I do not want to raise just one disciple, but many. Besides, there are other means and ways to acquire the rabbi’s spiritual conceptions. Some of them were used by Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai, such as collective meals, sports activities, trips, weddings, and so on.

Q: When the rabbi attains the end of correction, will the disciple have to remain on earth in order to live and be corrected?

A: If the disciple is linked to his teacher, it does not matter what their situation is. It does not matter if one of them is still dressed in the dresses of this world, or if he has already taken them off, because the inner link, the spiritual one, is already there.

Therefore, do not despair because there are no spaces in the spiritual realm, everything is near, if you are indeed “near” spirituality. Distance is determined by the compatibility between attributes, desires and aspirations – by the compatibility of the screen. That is what you must acquire, as the summit still lies ahead of you.

Q: When I receive the soul that leads me past the barrier, does that mean I don’t need my rabbi anymore?

A: On the contrary, only after the entrance to the Upper World will you, as a disciple, begin to really understand who your rabbi is, and begin to make the most of your connection with him. It is then that you will realize how much you need your rabbi.

Rabbis cooperate with us in our spiritual work and bond with us, on the level called “mouth to mouth,” but we’ll talk some more about it once you cross the barrier.

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