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Like A Bundle Of Reeds— Together Forever, Part 1

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Like A Bundle of Reeds, Why Unity and Mutual Guarantee Are Today’s Call of the Hour, Michael Laitman, Ph.D.

Chapter 8: Together Forever
Unity, Unity, and Unity Once Again

As has been said throughout the book, unity has been Israel’s “insurance” against all evils, the ultimate panacea. And yet, by now our egotism has so evolved that we can no longer maintain unity unless our very survival depends on it. This fault was noticed by friends and foes alike.

In a paper he published in June 1940, Baal HaSulam noted that our troubles come from lack of unity. He wrote that we are “like a pile of nuts, united into a single body from outside by a sack that wraps and aggregates them.”[i] However, he continues, “That measure of unity does not make them a uniform body, and even the slightest movement of the sack inflicts racket and separations among them, by which they come to constant partial unifications and separations. All that is lacking is the natural unification from within, and the power of their unity derives from external situations. Concerning us, it is a very painful matter.”[ii]

In Chapter 5 we mentioned Baal HaSulam’s essay, “There Is a Certain People,” in which he writes that Haman relied on the Jews’ separation from one another as the key to his triumph over them. Haman knew that separation among them meant that they were also separated from the Creator, the quality of bestowal, the force that creates reality. For this reason, Haman believed he could exploit the weakness of the Jews to do away with them. Much to his regret, Mordechai perceived that danger just as well as Haman, and “went to correct that flaw, as it is explained in the verse, the Jews gathered,’ etc., ‘to gather themselves together, and to stand up for their lives.’ That is, they saved themselves by uniting.”[iii]

A more contemporary “Haman,” Adolf Hitler, also noticed the trait of unity in Jews, and noted the lack of it among us today. In Mein Kampf, Hitler wrote, “The Jew is only united when a common danger forces him to be or a common booty entices him; if these two grounds are lacking, the qualities of the crassest egoism come into their own, and in the twinkling of an eye the united people turns into a horde of rats, fighting bloodily among themselves.”[iv]

Therefore, before we go about discussing how we can achieve unity and thus prevent future calamities such as those that our people has experienced throughout the generations, we will dedicate this chapter to excerpts from rabbis and Jewish scholars of all generations. These will remind us of the wall-to-wall agreement concerning the paramount importance of unity and solidarity. Since our essential substance is the will to receive, to succeed in uniting, it is vital that we first come to want unity—even if merely as a shield against afflictions—before we go about establishing it. Below are our sages’ inspiring words.

[i] Rav Yehuda Leib HaLevi Ashlag (Baal HaSulam), The Writings of Baal HaSulam, “The Nation” (Ashlag Research Institute, Israel, 2009), 489.

[ii] ibid.

[iii] Rav Yehuda Leib HaLevi Ashlag, Shamati [I Heard], essay no. 144, “There Is a Certain People” (Canada, Laitman Kabbalah Publishers, 2009), 300.

[iv] Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf (The Noontide Press: Books On-Line), 219, url: www.angelfire.com/folk/bigbaldbob88/MeinKampf.pdf

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