One of my students recently asked me about the rise in violence among Jews in Israel after the tragic murder of 18-year-old Yoel Lhanghal by a group of young adults at a birthday party in the northern-Israeli city of Kiryat Shmona.
Indeed, we are headed in a negative direction, toward a state called “the recognition of evil,” i.e. recognition that our ego is behind the various tragedies and misfortunes that we experience.
The ego burns within each of us and it is growing. It is making us intolerant of anyone who is a bit different from us. That is how it is supposed to be, because it is a law of nature that we become increasingly opposite from nature’s altruistic quality until we gain awareness of what we actually are—egoists—become sick of how we host this negative egoistic quality within us (the “recognition of evil”), and develop a sincere desire to change ourselves. However, in the meantime, we are not doing anything toward a positive transition, and so from one day to the next, we become ever more evil.
In relation to Yoel’s murder, his father said “How could a Jew murder another Jew?” We have reached such a state because we do not want to educate ourselves about our egoistic nature and how to transform it into its positive opposite. In short, we do not want to become good people toward each other.
Why? It is because we reject anything that goes against our egoistic nature. Our nature is a great big ego, which wishes to enjoy at the expense of others, and it is written about our nature that it is an “evil inclination.” It was given to us on purpose so that we could rise above it.
We can rise above our ego by working with each other on developing relations of love, giving and positive connection. Developing relations of love, giving and positive connection means that we first need to understand that we are interdependent and that we cannot exist without each other, even though we currently hate each other. And the transition point is the recognition of evil: that we acknowledge that we are the evildoers in the world, and that the world’s well-being—humanity’s shift to a positive direction—depends on us.
While the egoistic and altruistic forces are opposites, we can make the shift from hatred to love if we develop a desire for it to happen. As such, there is a good reason for antisemitism’s rise worldwide. More and more people feel that the Jews are responsible for various forms of suffering proliferating throughout humanity.
What we lack is a desire and a method for how to improve the situation. No one wants things to be bad, but we have to know that it depends on us. Also, we should know the method for shifting from an increasingly negative direction to a positive one.
Through education about our nature and what is required to change it, we need to first reach an agreement that the evil resides within us, in the way we treat each other, our fellow Jews. If we change our attitude toward each other from negative to positive, then we will see how the increasingly negative attitude from humanity toward us will also change. In its place, we will see that everyone will treat us favorably and respectfully. We will then also find that we will not need to discuss how to make peace with our neighbors, because all the pieces will fall into place: more and more people will feel a positive force illuminating from the people of Israel, and will wish to support the positive connection that we develop with each other above the growing ego.
Based on the video “How Could a Jew Murder Another Jew?” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman and Oren Levi. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
Featured in Quora