There are different kinds of divisions in every society and nation, but in the Israeli nation, the division is much stronger. This is because, as it is written, we are “a stiff-necked people.” It means that we are incredibly stubborn, and this stubbornness comes from us having an overblown desire.
It is unlike the desire in other nations. We can see it clearly among Israelis, among Jews in general, and everyone feels it one way or another.
How is it expressed?
We each feel as if we have a certain power, and accordingly we are ready to stand up to anyone. We do not care who it is. If you put the Prime Minister in front of any Israeli, you will see that there is an attitude as to a person of equal status. Moreover, it is common to feel smarter than others, no matter what position they hold, and to relate to them accordingly.
In other nations, there is a feeling of knowing one’s place and degree in society, an unspoken code of how to speak to one person or another. In Israel, however, no one cares about other people’s seeming status. It is the nature of the Israeli nation and of the Jewish people in general.
In the past, religion tied us more tightly together. It calmed and restrained us as it made us fear all kinds of punishments, and it also attracted us to various rewards for being nice people.
When we move away from religion—and this happens in all sectors, including the ultra-religious—it is called “the decline of the generations.” That is, we believe less and less in a common path, in the various higher forces of nature that we think might punish or reward us. We then become more and more stubborn from one generation to the next, and it leads us to a point where we take no one else into account.
In such a state, however, we cannot return to how we acted toward each other when we had smaller desires. Rather, we need to learn how to rise above our bloated desires today, to unite above our divisions, i.e. to realize the state of “love will cover all crimes” that we once discovered when we first became a nation. Our lives will become harder and harder in our stubborn divisiveness until we eventually realize the mutual detriment we bring to each other in such a state. We will then need to shift our course to unite above divisions through our mutual influence on each other.
Based on the video “Why Is Social Division in Israel Becoming More Extreme?” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman, Oren Levi and Yael Leshed-Harel. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
Photo credit: REUTERS/Ilan Rosenberg
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