Daily Kabbalah Lesson

 
 

Daily Kabbalah Bites - 07-12-09

The most outstanding Q&A excerpts, examples, illustrations, definitions and advice from the daily Kabbalah lesson

Daily Kabbalah Quote

 

"Who is the wise and builds these. Wise and knows them? For direct are the ways of the Lord, and righteous will follow it, and villains will fail in it."

(Hosea 14, 10)

"If this rascal hurts you, pull him to the temple" (Kiddushin 30, 2)

A man who wants to be righteous, to justify the Creator, needs  to try and collect strength during ascents, and when a descent arrives to  understand that it is an addition of desire to receive (villains) that just has just revealed itself within him, and to rejoice that now he has necessity in demanding from the Creator. This is called "come to the temple," from those same desires that have been discovered as villains, he builds the temple, the place where he demands the correction. And then the Light that reforms comes to him, and corrects these desires, these villains, and man feels in them an addition of divinity, a greater revelation of the Creator, a stronger bond with Him, and advancement.

On the other hand, if man does not prepare himself in society and study, the moment a descent arrives, an addition of the evil inclination, he does not see the opportunity for an ascent and has no support; he does not remember that he should turn to the Creator, and falls. On this it is written: "and villains will fail in it". There is no wonder why Rabash said that an investment in society and study during an ascent is similar to monetary investment in health insurance, which ensures you will have medical care in a time of need.

 -from the Preparation to the daily Kabbalah lesson (minute 2)

 

Daily Kabbalah Reality Check

Examples in the daily Kabbalah lesson elucidate spiritual concepts through explanations of situations in this world

 

Love Thy Neighbor As Yourself

If we look at nature, we notice that all its systems operate in complete balance and harmony.  They complete each other perfectly and only man stands in conflict with them.  More than any other element in nature, a human being possesses an independent will and an aspiration to actualize his uniqueness.  This brings us to conflicts and wars.

Kabbalah teaches us that humanity needs to reach the same level of balance and harmony with nature, as all other elements of nature do, just like every cell in a body acts in harmony with all other cells for the benefit of the body as a whole.  This type of harmony between human beings is expressed in the adage "Love Thy Neighbor as Yourself" that we all need to strive for.  How can we implement this saying?  Does it refer to physical support?  Do I need to know the other's specific desires in order to actualize this principle?

Kabbalah sheds light on this principle with a fundamentally different perspective.  It explains that love means satisfying the other's internal and spiritual desires not his physical ones.  What does that mean?  For example, if my friend loves fish and I hate fish, there is no need for me to alter my taste and start loving fish in order to identify with him and connect with him.  It is precisely the gap between our tastes that enables me to overcome my animal instincts and love my friend as I love myself.  I continue not to love fish, but I work to satisfy his desire for fish.  In other words, I make the other's desires mine.  What is important is the act of overcoming my own tendencies and desires in order to satisfy those of another.  Therefore, it is precisely the initial loathing toward the other's desires when they are opposite from ours that enables us to love and fill the other, as we do ourselves.

The closest thing to this kind of love is that of a mother to her child, where she naturally senses his needs as her own and takes pleasure in satisfying them.  Unlike this example, in the general case, the desires of another human being initially feel as being "outside" us, namely they are conflicting with ours and one should become attuned to them and integrate them with his own. Then, one discovers that these desires have been his own all along and his previous notion of "outside" was there only to enable him to freely develop love for the other.  In addition, by integrating the other's desires, one acquires a new unlimited pleasure called the pleasure of "bestowal."  He can then be like the Creator-the force of love and giving that exist in the corrected connection between human beings. 

 -from the 3rd part of the daily Kabbalah lesson (minute43)

 
 
 
 
 

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