The people of Israel have been put through an incredibly challenging exercise since October 7, 2023. The attacks of that day and the challenges thereafter are not the first time we have received such a trial. It beckons us to reflect and draw conclusions from the ordeal we find ourselves in.
What conclusions should we draw? Beyond the powers at play that we see on the surface, there are deeper forces operating in nature that orchestrated a hard lesson for us, at a great cost to us, our children and our families. The magnitude of this lesson, the toll it takes on our lives and its global repercussions, forces us to confront the the situation’s immense significance.
It was a harsh exercise that was intended to shake us out of the divisive way we had been conducting ourselves, and guide us to a self-examination of how—leading up to the tragic events of October 7—we disregarded all boundaries and found ourselves completely unprepared for the forthcoming problems.
It points to a rotting from within, a decay in the connections among the people of Israel. First, we must introspect and question the absence of those who should have been at their designated posts at the country’s borders. This is not in order to cast blame on a handful of people, but to rectify the situation we find ourselves in.
What becomes evident is that our people are in an unhealthy state. We have been shown that we are a nation incapable of self-sustenance.
The sorrowful news of the murder and harm of thousands of people, along with their bereaved families, awakens some of life’s most fundamental questions: Why does such immense suffering emerge? Also, how can we provide the optimal response?
The key is in coming closer to each other, in cultivating a sense of unity, closeness, mutual concern, support and encouragement. If we regularly engage in protesting and shouting at each other, then we only sow more discord. The essential calculation that we need to conduct is to determine the optimal form that we should acquire as a society, and what we need to fix in our attitudes to each other in order to reach such a form. We were not put here in order to simply try to survive and enjoy ourselves as much as possible until our eventual demise. On the contrary, we need to arise as a unified society above our divisive drives, a state that will bring about a harmonious and peaceful life for all, an enhancement to everyone’s lives beyond even the greatest bliss that everyone can imagine to themselves.
To that end, we need to prioritize our unification above all other considerations. In order to unite above our egoistic nature, which holds us in a perpetual tug-of-war with each other, we need to reach a sincere plea from the bottom of our hearts.
Every one of us who lets our hearts remain stone cold, shut off from one another, and who lets the surging divisive drives in our emotions guide our conduct toward each other, bears responsibility for the tragedy we bore. That is what we need to learn from the situation; it was given to us as a firm lesson. If we had opened our hearts to each other, for instance, not going out to the streets all year in order to bark at each other but in order to embrace each other, then we would have averted the recent tragic events.
We Jews have been the scapegoats for myriad crises that humanity has experienced. The lesson from them is that if we were to unify and spread unity to the world, the narrative would unfold completely differently. Instead of rising antisemitism throughout the world, we would see a world of happy people revering a nation that spreads unity, peace and harmony.
I hope that we learn from this lesson bestowed upon us and think hard before returning to social division as the norm, with protests and constant finger-pointing at each other, as we had been doing until October 7. If we want to make a spectacle on the streets in order to improve society, then it would be much wiser to organize events where we open our hearts to each other in a common embrace. That should be our rallying cry to the people of Israel, as our responsibility extends beyond our nation to the entire world.
The tragic events of October 7 ignited a big global flame of Jew-hatred, which had been simmering under the surface. It is because we bear a responsibility to realize what made us the people of Israel to begin with: people with no definitive biological ties who came together under a unifying idea—with Abraham’s guidance and method—which led us to unite (“love your neighbor as yourself”) above our divisions (“love will cover all crimes”), and by doing so, let the unifying consciousness we attained spread onward (to be “a light unto the nations”).
The people of Israel, the Jewish people, wherever we are, need to unite. Doing so will spread harmony and peace worldwide. It is the solution to all conflicts. If we relate to wars first and foremost as internal battles against our human egoistic nature, which makes us want to overpower our own opinions over others, and encourage each other to unite above our divisive drives, then we are on course to a better unified state that the world subconsciously demands of us, and which is behind people’s feelings of blame and hatred of us.
While it might seem as if a global groundswell of people do not have their facts straight, spreading lies and bitter accusations about us, I do not see it that way. The intense emotions of hatred they feel toward us, which is out of their control, is guiding their behavior. They genuinely feel that we are to blame, and seek every which way to highlight that blame. It is because we bear the responsibility for the balance between peace and war, love and hatred, and unity and division in the world, and until we wake up to our need to unite, we can expect the already-raging flames of antisemitism to burn ever stronger.
Based on the afternoon lesson with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman on November 2, 2023. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.