The Israeli culture of debate has long since degraded into a generally accepted “standard”; insults and fights. We have deprived each other of the right to a different position, and the abysses between us are becoming threatening.
Under these conditions, an effective system is simply needed to maintain different opinions and at the same time raise a common goal above them. Differences should be a source of progress, not division.
Israelis love to argue – anywhere and about anything. Sharp family debates, Facebook attacks, tough arguments on the road. So the abode of the people's representatives has also turned into an arena of discord, brightly illuminated by the Jupiters of the media.
The Knesset is the central platform for Israeli controversy. Here its canons are set (blurred) and its red lines are outlined (erased). Before one deputy has time to speak out, another immediately refutes and smashes him to smithereens.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with constructive criticism and in-depth analysis of the subject, but a significant part of the political, as well as public discussions in the country, is driven by narrow interests, and not by a real desire to be useful. As a rule, the constructiveness of public debates is inversely proportional to their television rating.
As a result, we often confuse ostentatious ultimatum with integrity, loudness – with evidence, and catchy formulations – right. In fact, we are initially taught to despise someone else's opinion, to conflict without a chance of agreement, weaning from any manifestations of respect for opponents, so that, God forbid, we would not find common ground. This makes us easier to manage, and politicians are well aware of this, no matter which camp they belong to.
Is there a way out of this?
The polarization and intransigence that reigns in Israeli society are those ultimatum postulates that take away our chances for normal discussion and solution of problems.
In a developed society, there are always disagreements and contradictions. By its very nature, it is characterized by diversity, a wide range of concepts, views, and ideas. And pluralism, disputes, public discussions are not just legitimate, but necessary. If we tried to gloss over, hush up conflicts, we would get an explosion.
However, on top of all this, a strong superstructure is needed, gluing, connecting, uniting us over all differences. Otherwise, we'll end up killing each other.
Jewish history is riddled with divisions that we've managed to get the better of at times. At the peak of discord, we plunged into an unreasonable mutual hatred, which led to the destruction of the Temple.
Since then, the people of Israel have been dominated by one force, which in Kabbalah is called “egoism”; or “left line”. If used as it is, it breeds disunity, enmity, reaching complete antagonism, when everyone claims to be absolutely right, not yielding to the rest an inch of the territory of our beliefs.
The sad result: everyone is convinced of the infallible truth of their own views. Although in fact we are just looking at a single reality from different angles, and we have a common destiny, one for all.
The conclusion from this is simple: we need a balancing force. Negative force encourages a person to take care only of himself, to value only himself. And it is necessary to counter this with a general positive, properly built social relations in which the interests of the family and society prevail over civil strife. Bridges over conflicts – that's what we need. In Kabbalah, this is called the “right line.” It is the power of unity to compensate for the divisions between us.
First you need to understand: separation will never lead to anything good. And although today we almost do not come into contact with each other, we have a common future. And in this future, we will either rise above our contradictions or wallow in them. Either we will strengthen ourselves in mutual agreement, or we will languish in mutual hatred.
Today everyone stands on his own in proud loneliness – earplugs in the ears, the heart is locked. Only a common goal will allow us to hear each other, let others into our impregnable fortress.
To do this, you do not need to make a bitter compromise, you do not need to change the principles or sacrifice your uniqueness. On the contrary, it is the potential difference that makes us stronger, it is the richness of colors that breathes life into our common canvas. It is the contrast that sets off every detail and at the same time makes it a harmonious part of the whole.
As a result, a new aspect of relationships opens up to us, as if a string begins to ring that we have not touched before. Two lines of relationships, complementing each other, generate a third – “middle line”. The one that balances, builds bridges over abysses, unites ups and downs, love and hate into a single whole.
It is able to reconcile opposites, fill disputes and conflicts with new meaning, level our eternal desire to rise above others &ndash ; so that the fire of these passions burns in the furnace of unity that we forge together. This is how life-wise spouses warm up their feelings with quarrels so that, moving away from each other for a moment, they become even closer.
The wisdom of unity
Endless social strife plunges people into indifference, neglect, cruelty, corruption – in all these “charms” Israeli reality, sprawling into shreds of sectors and interests. All this – symptoms of a disease that can only be cured by peace between us. But not with gracious appeals and childish moralizing, but in an adult way, according to a system that has already proven itself and is waiting to be applied.
Kabbalah – the science of social cohesion – does not try to smooth over sharp corners or hide our differences. No, it changes the very attitude towards contradictions, raises to where the general picture is visible, which has a completely different meaning. Opposites in it – not interference at all, but a means of forming a single integral system that lives according to the laws of mutual guarantee.
If we do not build this system, a series of short circuits awaits us, and in the final – a total blackout of an unviable society that ignored the obvious dictates of the times.
So let's take responsibility and constructively discuss the first step – creation of a system that will deal with the program for the implementation of the integral principles of relations in society, in all its parts without exception. We need a continuous chain of social innovations, initiatives, events that demonstrate the right examples and demonstrable results – instead of the current hopelessness. We must finally see the value and effectiveness of unity and accept it as an enduring value.
No government will undertake this without public demand. And in general, this is not a matter of politics, but of our maturity, our readiness to act for the good of the country, for ourselves and our children. We will never prove anything to each other, but this is not required. We can have a wonderful life together. Our future is indeed in our hands.
Dr. Michael Laitman,
founder and head of the International Kabbalah Academy (IAK)