When I lived in Russia, it was a time when anti-Semitism was completely forbidden. Whoever would say a single word against Jews would be put into prison. Then, gradually, it started coming out little by little.
I experienced a situation in Leningrad (today’s St. Petersburg) where someone erupted on a Jewish man on the street, and I got myself involved to try and break it up. I was taken with the men to the police station, and noticed how the police were actually pro-Jewish.
Afterward, when they imprisoned the guy who attacked the Jewish man, I asked the investigator, “Why are you putting him in prison? He’s also got his reasons.”
The investigator replied, “I don’t get involved with what he feels or not. I get my instructions from above. Anti-Semites help Zionists. Jews are a positive force in our country. They work in respectable professions that are good for the country, such as doctors, engineers and lawyers. Therefore, we are pro-Jewish.”
In other words, what he said was not to ask him whether or not he likes Jews. He hated them, but he saw them as beneficial for his country.
In those days, Jews were not in key leadership positions and in the financial banking sector as they are today. They filled those places considered as respectable professions. It was only when the Jews started entering places like the finance and banking sector that the tides of anti-Semitic sentiment started turning.
Today, however, I feel anti-Semitism everywhere I go.
I recently traveled around Europe, visiting and teaching groups of my students in Berlin, Prague, Nuremberg, Moldova, Rome, and most recently where we held a European Kabbalah Convention in Bulgaria.
Everywhere I went, I felt feelings of blame from the nations of the world.
For instance, most recently in Bulgaria, I arrived with nine of my students, and we traveled to a house that we rented in a rural village. It was a lonely house, and there were a few small stores and restaurants, with a local café where people sat from morning till evening.
Even in such a comfortable setting, I felt how they looked at us. I could feel how the attitude was not toward fellow human beings, but that it was an attitude to Jews.
There were no physical signs. It is a feeling that emerges from nature itself, and I understood them well.
Since the Jewish people were founded on an ideological basis of uniting (“love your neighbor as yourself”) from among the divisive social atmosphere of ancient Babylon around 3,800 years ago, then today too, the nations of the world hold a subconscious demand upon the Jewish people to unite. As social division tears through modern society more and more, making people feel increasingly isolated, depressed, anxious and stressed, the more people suffer in today’s modern world, the more they subconsciously blame the Jews for their misfortunes.
Today, anti-Semitism has re-ripened into a global form that has spread over many developed countries and cultures. For instance, South and North Korea, countries with basically no Jews, are generally anti-Semitic countries. The hatred emerges from within human nature, which ultimately wants to access the Creator, the force of bestowal and love that fills reality, but there is a force blocking them from that sensation.
That force is known as “the Jews.”
Therefore, in all anti-Semitic sentiment, and in every anti-Semitic action, I see only a cry from the nations of the world toward the Jews in order that the Jews fulfill their function in the world: to unite “as one man with one heart” and be a connecting plug between humanity and the upper force of love and bestowal.
However, before I see the Jews as a people to blame, I see myself principally as the one to blame.
I see everyone as parts of a grand mechanism that I activate, and whether the connection of the mechanism’s parts are well-oiled, functioning smoothly and harmoniously together, or the contrary, malfunctioning with all kinds of breakages and defects, depends solely on me.
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