Perfect timing: on the day of the Israeli parliamentary elections, we began studying Baal HaSulam’s article, “Peace in the World.” Among other things, the article speaks about the interdependence of all people and how the positive or negative actions of each of us affect the lives of all of us. This means, concludes Baal HaSulam, that if we do not know that the world operates according to the law of mutual consideration, adjust our behavior, and build our society accordingly, we will end up hurting others and ourselves.
If we look at the world today, it is clear that we are oblivious to our interdependence and indifferent to the necessity to be considerate of others. As a result, we are heading toward a global social breakdown.
Physics. Chemistry, biology, zoology, astronomy, and every other field of science follows strict laws. It is impossible to understand any science without first studying its laws. We, on the other hand, believe that we can invent social laws according to our whims. Not surprisingly, the results are wars and chaos.
Take, for example, yesterday’s parliamentary elections in Israel. In our democratic country, everyone votes according to their own opinion. How did people formulate their opinions? Through what they heard from the media, from friends, and from family. However, without knowing the laws by which the world operates, how can any view be correct?
Instead of learning the law of mutual dependence that governs the world and building society according to this law, we insist on thinking that our selfish opinion is the only one that is valid.
Somehow, we fail to grasp that in a world whose elements are all connected, selfishness is inherently wrong, detrimental by default.
It is like trying to study the physical world without first learning the laws of physics. If we tried to do this, we would make mistakes at every step. Since we do not know the rules for living in an interdependent society and try to impose our egocentric attitude on it, our society is fragmented and unsafe to live in.
The truth is that we need not change anything in the world. If we looked at nature, we would see that it is perfectly balanced, and everything works smoothly as long as we do not interfere with it. The only thing that needs to change, therefore, is humankind. If everything in nature is interdependent and mutually supportive, we should do the same.
To change the world we live in, we do not need to change the government; we need to change ourselves. Any government that acts selfishly harms its constituency. The right “vote” is to “elect” unity; this is how everything around us works, and unless we adjust ourselves to our surroundings, there will not be peace, prosperity, or well-being.
A combination picture shows Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid (left) at a cabinet in Jerusalem, October 23, 2022, and former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) at a news conference in Tel Aviv, Israel, March 8, 2021. Abir Sultan/Pool via REUTERS, Miriam Alster/Pool via REUTERS