Don’t Blame it on the Young

By Kabbalah Education and Research Institute

According to the World Health Organization, someone around the globe commits suicide every 40 seconds. In the year 2000 (a long time ago, but things have only worsened since), 815,000 people lost their lives to suicide — more than double the number of people who die as a direct result of armed conflict every year (306,600). For people between the ages of 15 and 44, suicide is the fourth leading cause of death and the sixth leading cause of disability and infirmity worldwide. Also, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, “Combined 2004 and 2005 data indicate that 8.88 percent of youths aged 12 to 17 and 7.65 percent of adults aged 18 or older experienced at least one major depressive episode (MDE) in the past year.”

Millions of people the world over, and especially the younger generation, are committing suicide or suffering from suicidal tendencies, depression, drug addiction and violence because they`re hopeless. They have real questions and they need real answers, and there is no one to provide them with answers except us — the parents.

In his book “Man`s Search for Meaning,” Viktor Frankl quotes Friedrich Nietzsche as saying that “He who has a strong enough why can bear almost any how.”

Sure enough, a meaning is what we need. In the very beginning of his introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot, Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag states why the wisdom of Kabbalah should not be hidden anymore; why it now should be shared with the whole world, and specifically with those who ask, “What is the meaning of my life?” Ashlag explains that the wisdom of Kabbalah is a method by which one not only can learn about the meaning of one`s life in general, but also can discover the beauty and profound purpose of every single moment. He warns that if we do not share the wisdom of Kabbalah with the whole world, we will be subject to unprecedented torments. Regrettably, decades after the publishing of The Study of the Ten Sefirot, we are learning how true his words were.

But the truth contained in the wisdom of Kabbalah was not always hidden. Until the ruin of the Second Temple, around the first century CE, the Kabbalistic truth about life`s meaning was public domain, known to all of the people of Israel. Now Kabbalists are telling us that the wisdom within this ancient lore must become public domain not only for the Jewish people, but also for the entire world.

The essence of the knowledge that the wisdom of Kabbalah conveys is fairly simple to grasp: The whole of existence runs on a single law: the law of giving, unity and reciprocity. In nature, everything is united; and if it doesn`t seem that way to us, it is because of our inability to see the underlying connections. Therefore, if you know this common law and how to work with it, you know the key to a good life in the present and for all time. Teaching this law is the essence of spiritual (Kabbalistic) education.

Law of giving, unity and reciprocity
The wisdom of Kabbalah deals with education and with the building of society as a means to attain the Upper Force — the force that creates and operates the whole of reality. In their writings, Kabbalists reveal the evolution that every person should undergo in a spirituality-based society. Just as each soul receives what it needs from its environment in the spiritual worlds, a person should receive the right education in each phase of his or her life.

In a society based on the principles of Kabbalah, we can learn from childhood to appreciate life on a deeper level. We will understand that this world is far richer than our five senses can perceive. From an early age, we will learn through games and examples to identify the causes and the latent forces that control reality. Thus, we will know the spiritual laws of giving, unity and reciprocity, learn to use them correctly, and be able to live in harmony and in balance with nature.

Bridging the generation gap
Children can only implement what they have learned after observing examples set by adults. Proper education stems solely from personal example. One of the problems in today`s world is that we behave opposite to what we teach. For example, while we teach altruistic values of giving and sharing, we conduct ourselves to the contrary.

Such contradictions evoke confusion and disrespect in children toward their parents. However, in an education system based on the law of giving and unity, the parents` personal examples of altruistic values will be in harmony with what they teach. Education will result from mutual responsibility; it will unite the generations.

Thus, spiritual education is the means to promote the whole of society. As the younger generation will be assisted by the experience of adults, they will follow their example in learning how to overcome their egos. By so doing, youth will appreciate the parents` generation, which in turn will strengthen the bond of love between parents and offspring.

The future society that Kabbalists have always yearned for can be built through spiritual education, and it can be built today. It is enough to educate one generation to “kick-start” the process.

This will create a society untainted by a generation gap and by egoism. All parts of society will coordinate to create a harmonious, united humanity, in which all are happy and content.