Article "The Bond (Arvut)" - Talk 4

Lesson by Rav Michael Laitman, Bnei Baruch, Israel
November 21, 2005
  • Bold and in quotes: Original text of Baal HaSulam

  • Regular: Commentaries of Rav Laitman

  • lowercase italics: emphasized words

  • Capitalized italics: transliteration from Hebrew

We are continuing to study the article , The Arvut (The Bond), by Baal HaSulam, from the book, Kabbalah LeMatchil (Kabbalah for Beginners), page 121. You can also find it under the name “The Bond” on the Internet.

Until now, we learned that in order to become a Kli for the reception of the Upper Light, a person has to receive the force of the Arvut (mutual guarantee) that the Upper Light does not appear in a person unless one’s desires have at first been corrected into something called the Arvut. The Arvut is received from the group.

It turns out that we have a person who has to turn to the group, with as much love and bestowal as possible. If, within this group, several people work together, a special force then appears in the group from Above, from the Creator. This force, which is called Arvut, appears only in a place where the desires of people unite with one another. That force comes to each and everyone of the group’s members.

This force of Arvut gives a person the possibility of putting on a Masach (a screen). It is because the Arvut gives one a sensation that he will lack nothing, that his Kelim are seemingly filled. He can forget about them, he can be above them and then, he can begin true actions of bestowal toward the Creator. Without turning to the group, without reception of the force of the Arvut, it is impossible for one to be equipped with a Masach and work vis-à-vis the Creator.

drawing No.1

The law of the Arvut is the spiritual law, thus it is complete. If, within the group, there are friends who suddenly neglect in this giving for everyone, then although they still receive back the force of Arvut needed for them, they blemish those who do the right work.

In all, the force of the group is like a whole body, where each cell has to function in such a way that it draws to itself only to the extent it needs in order to exist, whereas everything else is given to the body. That’s the law of every living creature. In the degrees of the inanimate, the vegetative and the animate, that’s how nature necessarily forces each part to function. No one in the degrees of the still, vegetative, or animate takes more than it needs solely for its existence.

In a person there is an animate part. There is also a part that is above the animate, which is one’s additional physical desires for all kinds of luxuries for the body and then, desires for money, honor and knowledge.

Let’s say that’s the animate and that’s a person. In all the parts that a person has which are beyond the animate, beyond those desires that are necessary for one’s existence, one is not covered by nature. Meaning, that besides these necessary desires, in all of that part that is the additional desires which are beyond the animate degree in us, one is not covered by nature. Nature does not determine what a person does with these desires.

drawing No.2

These desires are the ones that one should aim toward society. Just like every cell that takes for itself what is necessary, and the rest is all for society. If, with all the luxuries, with all the additional desires, a person tries to work in this manner, it is considered that this person corrected himself. This person is then incorporated in a body called Adam ha Rishon, the general soul, and by that, reaches its’ purpose. In that body ( Adam ha Rishon) the spiritual world appears, where one attains a different spiritual dimension, the Creator who fills everything, etc.

The work begins with the group, with the society. The work in the society is actually about acquiring the force of Arvut, where a person feels that he has what is necessary, that whatever he has is enough for him. He also feels that, with this sensation of the Arvut, whatever part is beyond the necessary, he can give to society. The sensation of the Arvut is multifaceted in a person, both with respect to the necessary part and with respect to the additions that he has in his desires .

drawing No.3

Again, there’s a big problem here when one of the members of the group does not keep the correct participation in the group which is to take for himself only what is necessary or at least tries to behave in this manner, for we are not talking here about the group that is completely corrected, meaning, each one tries to take only what is necessary for his life and everything else, all the other desires and actions and relationships pour into the group to strengthen the general Kli.

This is like a cell in a healthy body which takes only whatever energy it needs for its existence and all the rest function for the benefit of the body. If one does not do that or at least try to do that, he is hurting the entire group.

Each member of the group should do this. If a cell doesn’t function correctly with respect to the whole body it is a cancer cell. It takes for itself what it should actually give to the body. That’s the source of cancer. That’s the law. So, no one in that case, no one in the group will receive the force of the Arvut from the group, because of the neglect of even one of the friends. What does it mean that he will not receive the force of the Arvut? He will receive the force of the Arvut but not enough to be able to function correctly.He will not receive enough, so he will not function correctly. If he doesn’t function correctly, he is also an egoist, he will also become like a cancerous cell in the body.

What about the second one or the third one? Everyone will become like that and that is how the egoistic disease spreads in the body. Correct. So from whom should we start? Therefore there is a commandment that was on Mount Sinai that only as one man and one heart, all at once, can we receive the condition of the Arvut. Just like those people who enter a race; they get a signal and they all start. Therefore, since the beginning was set, they all have a mutual commitment. However, if one falls out of this state, then all of them begin to decline as well.

Question: The damage from neglecting the Arvut is so great that just the thought of it can drive a person away, if only for a moment. We can’t handle it.

In the group, there will be people who either don’t understand the severity of the condition or those who do understand the severity of the condition and are ready for it. Those who don’t understand the severity of the condition should still grow and are allowed to stay, like babies in the family. Those who do understand the condition are like grown ups in a family, who do everything for the family, for the group. Those who have already grown, but are not willing to enter the condition of the Arvut have no place in the group.

What does it mean, they have no place? They can be in the group physically.

A group is a virtual entity. We can’t test who is ready here and who is not ready. No one is going to test it. It’s impossible. The group is a virtual force that appears in those members who are ready for this condition. That’s it. Those who neglect and fall harm others, but here it is already about a Kli, about a ship that is ready, and those who don’t add to it suddenly become corrupted and fall off this ship.

So when one comes to the other and says, “You are causing harm to our ship. What should we do?” Then he is taken out. What does it mean that he is taken out? We will talk about this. Taken out from that virtual Kli, from that spiritual Kli. Before that Kli is made, it’s like the people of Israel that stand before everything, in front of that great mountain which is called the condition of the Arvut.

Question: It’s not very clear. The minute the individual drills a hole in the boat, it is as if it’s everybody’s fault that the general Arvut does not work? How does one come to the thought about drilling a hole?

These are desires that appear in every moment, every day in a person and overcome him. It is written, “If the Creator doesn’t help him, he can’t prevail.” Meaning, it’s our ordinary work where our desires and inclinations are being renewed every second and we have to face them.

These additional desires beyond the necessary are constantly renewed. In every moment, although you determined truthfully about the previous desires and you went into the Arvut as a healthy, useful cell to the body, the next moment, that cell is different. It has new desires, with a new power, with a new Hitkalelut (integration) and relation, and you have to renew the Arvut once more under the new conditions. It's not done once and now one can rest. No. The condition of the Arvut is the condition until Gmar Tikkun (the end of correction) inAdam ha Rishon, where all of humanity enters this condition, as Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon says here. Before Gmar Tikkun there will be ascents in this degree. Afterwards, after Gmar Tikkun, there is a different kind of work. There, are further ascents.

23) With these words we clearly understand what we said above (chap 5), about the Torah being given specifically to the Israeli nation, because it is certain and unequivocal, that the purpose of creation is on the shoulders of the whole human race, whether black, white or yellow.

But because of the descent of the human nature to the lowest degree, which is the self-love that rules over all of mankind, there was no way to negotiate with them and persuade them to agree to take upon themselves, even as an empty promise, the exit from the narrow world into the wide spaces of the love of the fellow man, all except the Israeli nation, because they were enslaved in the savage kingdom of Egypt for four hundred terrible years.

Our sages said that: “As salt sweetens the meat, agony polishes man,” meaning they bring the body a great refinement, and in addition, the refinement of their holy fathers reflected upon them, as some of the verses of the Torah testify.

What is the excellence that is in the Kli called Yisrael? It is that, first of all, it includes a part called, “The Patriarchs.” Ancestral merit doesn’t mean that they were there. It means that there are Kelim inside the soul, called Patriarchs, which are pure, HaGaT—Hesed, Gevura, and Tifferet.

HaGaT are: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Hesed, Gevura, and Tifferet. Then, that’s “a sign for sons,” meaning, from that comes, Netzach, Hod, Yesod, and Malchut. These are already the sons: Moses, Aaron, Joseph, and David. Therefore, on one hand, these Kelim were pure, they are a part of the Kelim in the soul, and on the other hand, when we receive these additions, from Moses down, it means that it is already Egypt. Corresponding to these, they suffered blows. These blows, these sufferings also purified them. As a result, in both the first part, the Patriarchs, and in the second part, the sons, they are ready to receive the Torah, to be a Kli, with Arvut among them.

drawing No.4

Still, why is the ancestral merit the most important? Because if it hadn’t been for these pure Kelim—HaGaT—they would not have been able to enter Egypt. The preparation occurs where Jacob went into Egypt and worked in Egypt. He worked through Joseph. It is also said that he circumcised people there as if he converted the Egyptians into Israelites.

Meaning what? It means he corrected the NHY egoistic desires that began to appear in the Kelim. This is called “the ancestral merit working in them,” in the sons. Then they came to a situation, 400 years later, after they received the Aviut and the blows in Egypt. After all this, they came to a situation where they were ready for the Arvut.

Because of these two forewords they were qualified for it, which is why they are spoken of in singular form: “and there Israel camped before the mountain (Exodus 19, 2).

What does that mean? Because Jacob, the Tifferet,the middle line, worked with this whole Aviut that appeared, and now they stand with this force to become Yisrael. The difference between Jacob and Yisrael is that Jacob is the Patriarchs and Yisrael is the Aviut that joins it and both become Yisrael—Katnut and Gadlut.

drawing No.5

...which our sages interpret—as one man and one heart. That is because each and every person from the nation, detached himself completely from self—love and wanted only to benefit his friend, as we have shown above (chap 16) explaining the Mitzva of “love thy neighbor as thyself.” It turns out that all the individuals in the nation have come together and became one man and one heart, for only then were they qualified to receive the Torah. [So that they will have a complete Kli] .

According to the law of nature, everyone in nature, in the still, the vegetative and the animate, receives what it needs in order to exist. Everything else beyond the necessary goes to benefit the other, the general system. In the whole of nature it happens automatically, necessarily. None of the animals do anything that is redundant. All of them act out of their own nature. There is no free choice, no surplus; everything is defined, except for man, in which, beyond the state of animate level, there are additional desires.

These luxuries in particular, all of them, man should turn over to the benefit of society: meaning, all of his desires for money, honor, knowledge, everything that comes to a person outside of one’s personal bare necessities, in which one has to live, exist like an animal: without all of the mess we created here in this world, from sweets up to all kinds of other forms of sustenance, etc.

We are talking about existence, just like any animal function. An animal doesn’t build two houses, or three houses. It doesn’t eat more than what is needed for its existence and so on. That’s how people should exist. That’s the meaning of necessity, and everything else goes to benefit the other. Then the Kli will be healthy and complete.

24) Thus, because of the above necessity, the Torah was given solely to the Israeli nation, (the race of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) for it was inconceivable that any foreigner would take part in it.

Why? Because there was no preparation on the part of the Kelim that would enable the joining of these desires that had been purified in the soul (as it is said) either on the part of the Patriarchs or their sons, so that a person can be ready to participate in the Arvut. For that, there must be a preparation.

Because of that, the Israeli nation had been constructed as a sort of gateway by which the sparks of refinement shall shine upon the whole of the human race.

And these sparks multiply daily until they reach the desired amount, meaning until they develop and come to understand the pleasantness and tranquility that are in the core of love of a fellow man. For then they know how to shift the balance to the right and will place themselves under its burden, and the wrong will be eradicated from the world.

There are two kinds of souls in the world. One is called Yisrael and the other is called the nations of the world. The first kind, Yisrael, must correct itself and come to correct the other kind of souls called the nations of the world.

Question: We see in the world that there are pains and sufferings that bring a person to the level of a beast. Here we are talking about agony that brings man to the level of man. What determines the direction to which the pain leads?

A person in our world is continuously evolving. It doesn’t matter who he is, what he is, with or without a point in the heart yet, that still hasn’t been scrutinized. Everyone is incorporated with these Kelim. This sensation of lack, which is actually the pain, always appears toward a certain direction. The question is, how scrutinized it is in a person.

The lack is always a purposeful lack. What I lack is a situation where I’m adhered to the Creator. From that situation come all of my desires. There was the state of Adam ha Rishon where all parts, all the souls, were connected and were filled with the Upper Light, and that connection among them broke. As a result, the connection between them and the Upper Light vanished, disappeared. That’s where all the deficiencies come from.

All the deficiencies are from a lack of Arvut, a lack of fulfillment with Light. Lack of Light means lack of desire for bestowal. That is actually what we want. However, we are in concealment and we don’t understand what we want. It depends on the level of one’s development, how one discovers this concealment and his pain. Some feel only pain. This is less than double concealment. It’s even lower than double concealment, it comes before it.

Some are already feeling in double concealment, or sometimes in a single concealment. Meaning, beside the pain they also feel from whom and why, what for, where the pains come from. Subconsciously and consciously, studying Kabbalah and understanding on one’s own, through some kind of guessing from within, everyone is in one’s own state from where he is progressing. It also depends on each, according to the composition of one’s forces in his soul. Some feel more and have like a sense, in which they feel somehow that it’s from here, or there or why it is so. It’s in some, according to their soul, belonging to a different part in the structure of Adam ha Rishon. When the pains come to them, they don’t understand. You could break something over their head and they can’t feel the cause of it. The phases by which they advance, even though they advance, although parallel to the others, each does out of his own soul and within it.

So there are phases, in one, that don’t necessarily correlate to the phases of another, according to the sensation and understanding of a person, not according to the way it really is. In truth, we all must experience each one of the 125 degrees, and there is no difference in that, between one another. It is only externally different, how each degree appears to a person. Some, are seemingly more or less successful, others are seemingly less sensitive, more intellectual, some need more pain, some less pain. It only appears to us that there’s a difference. In fact, there is no difference. In fact, the quantity and quality of the pains, eventually is for everyone according to one’s general function in the general soul.

25) There still remains a need to complete what we have said above (chap 16), about the reason that the Torah was not given to our fathers, because the precept of “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” which is the axle around which the Mitzvot revolve, so as to clarify and interpret it, cannot be observed by an individual but only through the consent of an entire nation.

The Kli for correction must incorporate various desires that feel alien to one another, that are willing to use one another egoistically. Then, when they overcome this egoistic desire, and on top of it want to unite that resistance to the egoistic desire, that they each operate or activate in favor of the whole Kli, it creates the connection between them, the glue between them.

From this glue and connection between them appears the Upper Light, and gives each of them the sensation of the Arvut,a covering over the will to receive, a sensation of the Masach (the screen), and then they begin to act from within that general Kli, toward the Creator who fills the Kli.

They build what is called the level of the Shechina (divinity). Of course, if the Patriarchs had been secluded and pure they would not have any possibility within them to do the work of the Arvut here. What does it mean, secluded? It means isolated attributes, not contradicting each other. Even if, in any attribute, they’d be its posterior part, the Klipot, it would still not be enough, because it is impossible to turn the Klipa into doingthe right work in the Kli.

Question: Baal HaSulam says that the law of the Arvut can only be by prior consent of the whole nation. What does this mean?

Prior consent, meaning “we shall do and we shall hear.” When we stand before this condition and are still not in it, but all of us agree to ‘go for it.’ At that moment, we start counting as if we’re all in it. Then if someone doesn’t do what is necessary, he brings all of us back to the scale of demerit.

Question: How did people become Kabbalists in the previous generations?

We are not talking about isolated Kabbalists throughout history. They had a special task and that is why, through all the other means, they did special work and received from Above a Masach over their Aviut and made that bonding into the virtual, spiritual Kli, where we all exist in the corrected form. They could not do it on the surface, on the earth, in this world. However, they received a purification and bonded into the general spiritual Kli, and worked with respect to it. Not with people, not with a group, but on their own.

There is such a possibility, for special souls, that should connect into a general Kli out of their special function in the Kli. We don’t have to wait for it to happen to us, because, why should it happen? I don’t think that it should happen anymore.

We are now in the era of Gmar Tikkun, the days of the Messiah, as Baal HaSulam determined. Here, everyone must bond into one Kli. I don’t think that there will be isolated individuals who will be Kabbalists. Perhaps, according to their task, people will still have to grow out beyond the general Kelim, but this is not our business. It's not a method. The Creator does that according to a person’s task. That’s why I have no interest in that. I can’t make any difference in that. I can’t change anything. So why should we deal with it?

It’s like trying to do things on the sun to make something explode or whatever, so that something will come of it, things that do not depend on you at all. If it happens, it happens. If it happens to someone, it happens to someone. We can’t work this way. We have a method to bring everyone from Yisrael and from the nations of the world to Gmar Tikkun and that is the purpose of the whole reality. We have to develop that method. We have to implement it for everyone specifically and for everyone in general. That’s all. This is a method.

The explanation of how to do it, how to advance, and to realize it is clear, but things that are not up to me, not in this method, that belong to some special individual that the Creator chooses, like Abraham, when He gives him a desire and he goes by his own special way? Those are also called Patriarchs. Those are the same souls, like the souls of the Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; these are the same fundamental souls. Those souls of Moses, Rashbi, Ari, Baal HaSulam, and there were others, the Vilna Gaon, the Baal Shem Tov, there were dozens of people, even so, their way is special and there is no method in it. It is because of their task, and they don’t have a choice in the way we do. We have to go with what they themselves wrote for us about how to advance.

Question: We know that Arvut is something intangible in the five senses. Does out method require that we stick together physically?

Arvut is felt in the human body, in one’s desires, in one’s awareness. Arvut is a huge force that governs a person and doesn’t let him do anything else except what is for the benefit of society. Arvut is domination of the whole over the individual. It is when you build for yourself such a society, an environment, that now determines all your way of thought, or value for you.

You, out of your free choice, as Baal HaSulam says in the beginning of Introduction to Talmud Eser Sefirot, He brings you to the society and you build it in such a way that brings you to the force of the Arvut.” It provides you with the force of the Arvut. Then the society, as always, the corrected one too, as with any other society, controls you. That’s all. It’s domination. A person can’t free himself from it. He worked for it and he always works for it. This process is unending. When he works for it, he gets the total authority of that society. He can’t do any other thing. It is clear for him what necessity is, and what luxuries are.

The luxuries are my desires and out of them I want a whole lot of things, and they are all connected in me and aimed at society, towards society. For myself, I only want what I need in order to maintain that, to give to society. He no longer has any free choice. He gave himself to that society. He builts his own devotion. This is what we read in his article, The Freedom.

Question: On one hand, depends on a person, on one’s efforts, on one’s relation on the one hand. On the other hand, we need good timing, that everyone together wants the same thing otherwise the mechanism doesn’t work. So how do these two depend on one another?

Look, we can’t learn, we can’t take an example from the article Mount Sinai. It’s not about us. We don’t understand the explanation in an exact way. We advance according to what they write to us in their articles. They mention these things, but it’s not that we are in the same raw situation, in a clear, simple and orderly kind of manner.

We have to build that same state of “Mount Sinai” out of all the circumstances that are in us. What is like a mountain in front of us? What is Pharaoh for us? What are the Kelim we took from there? Where is our Moses? Where is our Upper Force? What do we have to do in order to be saved from death? As it is written: “Either you accept it or that will be your burial place.” We have to scrutinize the discernments of men, infants, women, and slaves in each of us and discern between all of them and work. Meaning, to receive, altogether, at the same time, a commitment to reach Arvut.

And that is why it took until the exodus from Egypt to become worthy of observing it, and then they were asked if each and every one of the nation is willing to take upon himself that Mitzva. And only once they all agreed to it they were given the Torah. However, there still remains to see, where we find in the Torah that they all agreed to this prior to receiving the Torah.

So it’s not that, he wants to tell us that it exists in the Torah and in a story. Rather, he wants to further explore that situation. What does it mean that they ask? Who’s asking? What, the Creator from Above? Moses came to me and said, we have to do it, so he goes to everyone? What is this about? It’s about a group, a few souls, few souls clothed in bodies that start to bond together in scrutiny of these basic elements that are necessary for Arvut.

We fled from Egypt. Yes. It still holds us, but in order to run away from it, we really do need the new Kli; that this Egypt, with all its pains, will develop a new Kli in us. That Kli comes from the connection between us.

26) Bear in mind, that these things are obvious to every educated person in the invitation that God sent to Israel through Moses prior to the reception of the Torah, as it says: “Now therefore, if you will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then you shall be my own treasure from among all peoples: for all the earth is mine: and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that thou shall speak to the children of Israel. And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before them all these words which the Lord had commanded him, and all the people answered together, and said, all that the Lord has spoken we will do. And Moses reported the word of the people to the Lord (Exodus 19, 5).”

Just look at all these details that have to appear in a person; the Creator, Moses, the elders of the people, and the people itself, conveyance from Above downward and back from below Upward. Yes? It’s all within the soul, of course.

Outside the soul, we have no Kelim; we have no perception and no grasp on the matter. So we have to scrutinize all these things. When they appear correctly, in the right pace and the right order—from Above, downward and from below, upward, we seemingly already arrange our inner spiritual Kli. That is what he wants to scrutinize, because each of us already needs that scrutiny. If that status will become clear to us, for sure in the next phase, we will want to receive the Arvut and will receive it.

These words do not seem to fit with their role, because common sense tells us that if a person offers his friend to do some work, and he wants him to agree, he should give him an example of the content of the work and how much it will pay. Only then can his friend decide whether or not to take on this work.

But here we find neither an example of the work nor its pay, because he says, “If you will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant,” and he does not interpret the voice or tell us what the covenant is about. Then he says: “Then you shall be my own treasure from among all peoples: for all the earth is mine,” but we cannot see from these words whether He commands us to work to be a remedy ( Segula means remedy in Hebrew, and it also means virtuous. Baal Hasulam uses both meanings freely. C.R.) for all the peoples, or is this a promise for us too?

We must also understand the connection to the words: “for all the earth is mine.” All the three interpretations; Onkelos, Yonathan Ben Uziel and the Yerushalmi and all the commentators Rashi and Ramban try to correct this sentence, and Eben Ezra says, in the name of Rabbi Marinos that the word “for” means “although,” and he interprets it as “then you shall be my own treasure from among all peoples: although all the earth is mine.” Eben Ezra himself tends to agree with it, but that interpretation does not coincide with our sages who said that “for” serves for four meanings: “either,” “lest,” “but,” “that.”

Why does Baal HaSulam explain all these things to us? He goes into this philosophizing. What does he want by that? What does it mean that these sages think that, other sages think differently, there is a disagreement between them about how they understand these things? He seemingly is being dragged after them, and they say this or that. What for?

We need practical Kabbalah. Here he, in such a simple article, that he wants to write to everyone, to the people, to humanity, starts all kinds of scrutiny of language, why was it said this way or that way. Within this scrutiny that he and those sages, who went through it between each other, and what Baal HaSulam, wants to explain to us now, especially by this scrutiny we will understand the conflict, so to speak, the collision between them. There we will understand the real thing. In it’s raw… In its direct form we cannot understand it.

And he adds a fifth interpretation: “although.” And then the writing ends: “and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” But here too it is not evident from the text if this is a precept and one must delve in it, or a good promise. The words “a kingdom of priests” are not repeated and are not explained anywhere in the Holy Scriptures. And we should mainly focus on defining the difference between “a kingdom of priests” and “a holy nation.” For by the ordinary meaning of priesthood it is one with sanctity, and it is thus obvious that a kingdom where everyone are priests must be a holy nation, so the words “holy nation” seem redundant.

So there is still a story here which is above nature. How the Kelim are corrected to become the opposite; how there is an inversion in the Kli; how a Kli that already corrected itself comes to be the corrupted Kli, to a gentile Kli, and turns itself and the external into a holy nation. Gentile is a nation and it turns it in, adds it to itself.

How do these inversions happen in the Kelim, where within nature it is impossible to do? How can a person work above one’s own nature and acquire the nature of bestowal, the Upper Nature? Only by getting help from Above can a person rise above nature, above reason. Any questions?

Question: You said that in nature we can see that everything takes only the necessity and everything else it does for society. So what should one do, sell his air conditioner and his furniture?

No! God forbid. First of all, don’t sell or get rid of anything. I don’t think that anyone will do that, first of all. We learn that people do things only out of attaining the degree he is in, and he doesn’t just give away everything as some teachers tell beginners to do, God forbid. That’s one.

Two, necessity doesn’t mean that I have to live like a wolf, dig holes in the ground, and live there, or build a dog house for myself and settle for that. No, people are people. They need different conditions and necessities. They don’t have to sell their air conditioners. They don’t even have to sell their cars. They need their apartments, they need everything. We were once in caves, now we cannot be in them. That’s it. We need our apartments. These things can be very big and rich but they will still be on the level of necessities toward my sensation and I don’t need anything more.

Necessity can be very different. Just imagine if today, the whole world were to work as it does, but the entire surplus would go to a general cash box. What would they do with it? What would we do with all the grains, the gold, the machines, with whatever you want? What would people do with it? It would be a huge surplus.

We don’t know what necessity means. We don’t know. If I have a big house, and everything comes to serve me, why is it not necessity? Do I have to be in trouble? Do I have to suffer? No. Necessity is something that is within me, according to my level and it also changes all the time. It’s something that from within me I don’t feel that I need, but it’s there to serve my existence only, so that I can continue contributing to society.

Necessity means that you receive without joy. I receive because I have to. I have to eat in the morning? Yes; During the day? Yes, In the evening? Yes. Fine. Some need to eat five times a day, some need ten times a day. It’s not called excess. If he can’t do without it then for him, it’s a must.

Necessity is measured by what a person has to have, without getting any joy out of it. He just has to have it. The pleasure is that beyond necessity, everything he manufactures he turns over to the general body, like a cell in the body, in order not to become a cancerous cell. That’s how it works. It needs energy to activate itself for the benefit of the whole body. That’s it. Poor thing, it doesn’t have anything else? It’s got the whole body. On that condition, the whole life of the body returns to it. The whole Light of Ein Sof.

Question: I’m tired; I go into bed. I cover myself in the bed; I feel warm and happy. Is that pleasure?

No, your body needs it in order to exist. You need to sleep, you feel sick. You measure according to what gives you joy and what pains you—would you have been happier not to be in bed, but be healthy and do something for society, or not?

If I feel that I have to go to sleep, otherwise, I would not be able to work, then in the middle of the day, I go and sleep for two hours, otherwise the brain, my brain doesn’t work, I can’t write an article. So am I happy or am I sad? You, looking from the outside, you’ll say, he sleeps seven or eight hours a day. Another one will look at it and say, he is sick, he has to do it. A person himself checks, and because he doesn’t have any choice he goes to sleep.

Again, one determines what is necessary according to one’s own suffering, one’s own sorrow. If one has to have it for existence, then one doesn’t have a choice. The necessity is neither praised nor condemned, because nature determines it and according to nature he has to have it.

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