To me, Dr. Laitman’s message is not one of national pride; it’s about love for humanity and the steps that need to be taken to ensure its good future. I hope that the Jewish people can find the strength to love one another the way they once did because their unity will inspire and even compel the rest of the world to follow suit.
This methodology is the wisdom of Kabbalah and the Jews are its owners in the sense that they alone are poised to be a good example of its implementation for the rest of us. The reason for this is simple: At one time in their ancient history, a small group of Babylonians left Babylon and under the leadership of Abraham discovered this method and began to succeed in its main principle of connection and unity. They drew positive forces into our world and thus became a nation under the rule of “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” By this, they became both blessed and responsible. Blessings are easily accepted; responsibility not so much since from the time of the destruction of the Second Temple until today, the Jews declined into unfounded hatred—between each other!
In all lawful governments, the designation of the persons, who are to bear rule, is as natural and necessary a part, as the form of the government itself; and is that which had its establishment originally from the people; the anarchy being much alike to have no form of government at all, or to agree, that it shall be monarchical, but to appoint no way to design the person that shall have the power, and be the monarch.—Hence all commonwealths, with the form of government established, have rules also of appointing those who are to have any share in the public authority, and settled methods of conveying the right to them: for the anarchy is much alike to have no form of government at all, or to agree that it shall be monarchical, but to appoint no way to know or design the person that shall have the power and be the monarch. Whoever gets into the exercise of any part of the power, by other ways than what the laws of the community have prescribed, hath no right to be obeyed, though the form of the commonwealth be still preserved; since he is not the person the laws have appointed, and consequently not the person the people have consented to. Nor can such an usurper, or any deriving from him, ever have a title, till the people are both at liberty to consent, and have actually consented to allow, and confirm in him the power he hath till then usurped.
The short of the case in conquest is this: the conqueror, if he have a just cause, has a despotical right over the persons of all that actually aided, and concurred in the war against him, and a right to make up his damage and cost out of their labour and estates, so he injure not the right of any other. Over the rest of the people, if there were any that consented not to the war, and over the children of the captives themselves, or the possessions of either, he has no power; and so can have, by virtue of conquest, no lawful title himself to dominion over them, or derive it to his posterity; but is an aggressor, if he attempts upon their properties, and thereby puts himself in a state of war against them: and has no better a right of principality, he, nor any of his successors, than Hingar, or Hubba, the Danes, had here in England; or Spartacus, had he conquered Italy, would have had; which is to have their yoke cast off, as soon as God shall give those under their subjection courage and opportunity to do it. Thus, notwithstanding whatever title the kings of Assyria had over Judah, by the sword, God assisted Hezekiah to throw off the dominion of that conquering empire. “And the Lord was with Hezekiah, and he prospered; wherefore he went forth, and he rebelled against the king of Assyria, and served him not,” 2 Kings, xviii. 7. Whence it is plain, that shaking off a power, which force, and not right, hath set over any one, though it hath the name of rebellion, yet is no offence before God, but is that which he allows and countenances, though even promises and covenants, when obtained by force, have intervened: for it is very probable, to any one that reads the story of Ahaz and Hezekiah attentively, that the Assyrians subdued Ahaz, and deposed him, and made Hezekiah king in his father’s life-time; and that Hezekiah by agreement had done him homage, and paid him tribute all this time.
By the second, the inhabitants of any country, who are descended, and derive a title to their estates from those who are subdued, and had a government forced upon them against their free consents, retain a right to the possession of their ancestors, though they consent not freely to the government, whose hard conditions were by force imposed on the possessors of that country: for, the first conqueror never having had a title to the land of that country, the people who are the descendants of, or claim under those who were forced to submit to the yoke of a government by constraint, have always a right to shake it off, and free themselves from the usurpation or tyranny which the sword hath brought in upon them, till their rulers put them under such a frame of government as they willingly and of choice consent to. Who doubts but the Grecian Christians, descendants of the ancient possessors of that country, may justly cast off the Turkish yoke, which they have so long groaned under, whenever they have an opportunity to do it? For no government can have a right to obedience from a people who have not freely consented to it; which they can never be supposed to do, till either they are put in a full state of liberty to choose their government and governors, or at least till they have such standing laws, to which they have by themselves or their representatives given their free consent; and also till they are allowed their due property, which is, so to be proprietors of what they have, that nobody can take away any part of it without their own consent, without which, men under any government are not in the state of freemen, but are direct slaves under the force of war.
In the time since the ruin of the Temple, many sages recognized the absolute necessity of unity for the Jews and for the world. Regrettably, their voice was not heard because the Jews were too preoccupied with themselves. The book, Shem Mishmuel tells us, “The intention of creation was for all to be one bundle… but because of the sin [egoism] the matter was spoiled. The correction began in the generation of Babylon, meaning the correction of gathering and assembling of people which began with Abraham. …And the final correction will be when everyone becomes one bundle.”
The ruin of the Second Temple marks a key point in the history of the world. Not only was the Jewish people exiled from the land of Israel, the Jews also lost their war against self-centeredness. For the first time since its inception, the tenet, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” was not the guiding rule within the nation. Jews still had high regard for unity, as they still do to this day, but they began to use it to gain self-centered purposes instead of as a means for correction of the ego and as an asset to be passed on to all mankind.
As long as humanity was fully engaged with its self-centered trajectory, rewarding personal accomplishments with accolades, the pressure on the Jews was relatively tolerable. Still, because whenever there is pain the Jews are to blame, the Jews did suffer persecutions and expulsions wherever they went. Since hatred and disunity is at the heart of every problem, the Jews were always viewed as the perpetrators, even though the persecutors could not rationally explain why they blamed the Jews and had to make up absurd rumors about them. And yet, however painful, these persecutions were not meant to annihilate the Jews altogether.
The arrival of Moses introduced a new phase in the development of the Israeli nation. Self-centeredness and alienation increased in the world around them as it did in them. At the time of Moses, Israel had amassed such a level of disunity that they needed a new method if they were to unite above it. They were also far more Hebrews than the tribe that went into Egypt. By Moses’ time there were three million of them, far too many to be taught the way Abraham had taught his students.
Over several essays, Rav Ashlag expounded on the reasons why there will not be peace in the world until there is unity and brotherly love throughout the world. He also explains that the more the world suffers from the adverse consequences of what researchers, Twenge and Campbell, call “the narcissism epidemic,” the more people will turn their anger against Jews. Subconsciously, people expect the Jews to pave the way for a better society, namely to be “a light unto nations.” Until the Jews carry out this task, the animosity and accusations against them will grow.
Not only The Book of Zohar, but numerous Jewish scholars and sages wrote that the unity of Israel will save them and save the world. The book, Sefat Emet, writes, “The children of Israel corrected the world … when they returned to being one nation and one language. And also individually … the correction should be that we are rewarded with correcting ourselves and finding the root of unity out of the separation.”
But our author goes on to prove, that “it may best be understood with a subordination, or a benediction in succession; for, says he, it is not probable that the private dominion which God gave to Adam, and by his donation, assignation, or cession to his children, was abrogated, and a community of all things instituted between Noah and his sons—Noah was left the sole heir of the world; why should it be thought that God would disinherit him of his birth-right, and make him of all men in the world the only tenant in common with his children.” O. 211.