Dr. Michael Laitman
Photo credit: The original uploader was Arielzur at Hebrew Wikipedia, via Wikimedia Commons
What as a response to a meager notice, to join a free introductory course of four lessons for the study of the Kabbalah, has now spiraled us into an English speaking group exploring the science and depths of Kabbalah, guided by some excellent human beings and tutors.
We are a nice and feisty lot - a minyan present at each session, amateur enthusiasts at delving into the whys and wherefores of life and our relationship with the Creator. Big stuff.
So we, who had chosen to wander together along some new paths, began these new studies; a Kabbalah road which delved into the sources of universal questions and answers with over 30 books to read, written by great minds and translated into 22 languages on a huge website, and participation in lessons on television at 3:30 am by Rav Leitman.
A bit strange at first, we all put on our best faces for the introductory classes. Some were younger, some older, some came with husbands who never returned and some came with wives who decided to stay. And some arrived eager to learn and continue and others curious to find out. Everyone sifted themselves out to wherever they felt comfortable and lots didn't come back. But a core has remained, 'The Code of 10', who have settled down now to meeting every Tuesday evening, bringing coffee and cake and generally enjoying ourselves together. So we had formed a 'Group', this being a very important Kabbalah concept which is more powerful than just one or two, greater in strength of thought and energy. Besides, a group is supportive as well. It can augment nice things like brotherhood and compassion and goodwill and understanding. And what's more it can laugh together And that's all for the good of everyone.
We did find ourselves mentally opening up to each other as we stood shoulder to shoulder heaving at the concept of 'Ego' and what this small part of our personality did and did not do for us. During the months of just being together and discussing its ramifications, we found it to be sly and full of the 'me for me' concept, and yet we learned to accept it as our only way to 'receive in order to give', this altruism being the end all of the game. So we were happy for our mutual support, more humans we, juggling with the concepts of ABYA and Worlds and the Machsom and Sephirot and Essences and things like that. This was an advanced study course under Dr. Michael Laitman, leading star and guide through this quagmire of illusion we call Life and who under his great mentor, Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag, known as the Baal Hasulam, and his son Rabbi Baruch Ashlag brought about the thriving Bnei Baruch organization in Israel.
And thriving it is, with so many young people who have joined up at the Petach Tikva Center, pooling their resources, translating, filming, editing, writing, attending lectures given by Prof. Laitman or rising at 3 am to be together studying the great kabbalistic teachings. Understand - study - try - stumble and fall - fall down - fine - get up and go - help each other and cultivate that Point in the Heart.
Well, that getting up at 3 am to study is not for all of us, and J at 70+ was relieved to know that it wasn't a must.
Three like concepts had brought us together, namely a yearning to know, a search to find out, and an unconscious realization that answers could best be found right here in Israel.
B had said that she had arrived in the country many years ago, looking to find her roots and to satisfy a deep inner need.
I expressed a need to remove himself from Motherland India to reach Fatherland Israel, to bring up a family here and in the quiet of within, reach out to that 'True Shalom, the peace of the Divine Garden'.
P said she had been doing such spiritual work for years already and needed to confirm what she had learnt from a 'Jewish' angle.
S, when he first arrived amongst us, said he didn't know why he was here, but here he was, finding out.
Both D and F reiterated their inner needs to explore for the truth of things and Sh. felt the study improved her life and helped with this 'spiritual aliyah' thing.
C asked why all our suffering, personal and national? What is it all about?
And then to cap it all, with typical humor A said 'let's go with it,' and seriously referred us to chapter and verse and article of whatever, to explain his ideas and to impress on all of us the great need for Isra-el (Yashar el El).
(Straight to the Creator), to demonstrate to the world that it is a nation deserving of its 'choseness'. Incidentally, it is A who switches on the CD so we can listen to special Kabbalah music to get ourselves quiet before we start.
So we all seem bent on receiving some kind of enlightenment on perplexing issues. As it indicates, Kabbalah means 'receiving' or 'receipt' and correctly studied and taught and contemplated upon, the Book of the Zohar, we understand, will help us to do just this - to find out the answers, and maybe even experience their essence. In so doing, we must first correct ourselves and our little egos and so strive not merely to receive but to give out, to bestow. And all this ultimately is to be for the benefit of mankind as a whole.
The study is all about giving, understanding and developing. It's about intention and not ritual. It's about opening the heart and the heart in the head, which is using your brains but not relying on them only. It's a process of improving the self and in so doing being further enlightened, further transformed. It's about study and group action, and steps up and down and up again. It's interesting to be sure, and perhaps imperative to do in the world today - so confused, so much at cross roads, so bewildered as to which direction to take toward unity and peace.
We are truly fortunate in this great little land of ours to be pursuing and holding on to the energies of the Light, and encouraging them to shine through a non-distorted glass. And with lots of us doing it we may even permit ourselves, as Is wrote, to 'experience that stillness, the silence and the calm ... of the true Inner Shalom'.
We invite you to join us
Kabbalah is for all.
Website: www.kab.co.il or www.kab.tv