“Sabbath (Hebrew: שַׁבָּת‎) is a day set aside for rest and worship. According to the Book of Exodus the Sabbath is a day of rest on the seventh day, commanded by God to be kept as a holy day of rest, as God rested from creation.”  (Wikipedia)

The Evolution of Shabbat Over Thousands of Years

Jewish traditions such as resting on the seventh day of the week, Shabbat, were defined thousands of years ago for the simple souls that lived in those times. Today, we have a far more sophisticated way to experience the state of Shabbat. 

In the words of the world’s foremost Kabbalist Michael Laitman:

“In our world, the Sabbath symbolizes the end of the week, but we should understand that the term “Sabbath” refers to a certain correction of a person during six levels, and not days. Each of these levels can last for many months and even years, and it also can last for a couple of moments.

It is only when we gradually go through all the six levels—by collecting all our desires by which we tried to perform spiritual actions of disseminating the attributes of love and bestowal to the one force outwardly—do we attain the state of Sabbath.

However, it isn’t the pleasure from resting, but very serious work that doesn’t end in the actions of correction, but in collecting all the corrected parts into one unique whole. The Light does that, but we need to clarify in advance, to merge, to place, to show everything, and to raise this state to the Upper Light.

Therefore, the work on the Sabbath isn’t the clarification of the lack of correction, but working on wholeness. Everything that we do during the week accumulates into the right formation on the Sabbath. This work is called the corrections of the Sabbath.”  Michael Laitman

Finding Purpose and Meaning in Life

Our sole purpose for being on this Earth is to transition from our egoistic nature, into being like the altruistic force that created us. The wisdom of Kabbalah lays out the framework and guidelines we need to cross this bridge. Authentic Kabbalah, which can only come from Israel, is essentially a map for humanity to use when it gets lost. That time has arrived. 

So what are we really talking about here? We are dealing with correcting the human ego – transforming human nature from being self serving, to a superior form that allows us to truly connect with other humans, and put their interests ahead of ours.

The following are some examples of amazing people who made a conscious decision at a critical point in their life, to take the higher road.

I. Maria Shriver Asks Life’s Most Profound Questions on ‘Spiritual Break’ in Africa 

I am in awe and wonder of the incredible insights Maria Shriver attained while visiting Africa on what she called a ‘spiritual break‘. You know you have arrived when you start questioning what the meaning of life is, and why we are here. Though she realizes that not everyone can take a journey like this, she urges us all to start with a few small steps:

“I don’t know about you, but I have spent a lot of anxious time and energy over the years wondering why I am here and what it is that I’m supposed to really be doing. Am I supposed to be a journalist? Am I supposed to be an activist? Am I supposed to run for office? Am I supposed to cure Alzheimer’s? Am I? Am I? Am I?

I realize now, though, that perhaps it’s all much simpler than I ever imagined. Perhaps we are here to simply serve one another. Perhaps we are all here to see ourselves and the world through God’s eyes. To look out and see the world with compassion, with love and wonder, and then pass that gift onto others so that they, too, can see themselves through God’s eyes. What an awe-inspiring concept. What an act of love. What an act of service to give that to another human being.” Maria Shriver

What is her solution? Start hosting Sunday Dinners. And she is really on the right track! A meal is a simple but profoundly meaningful event that is one of the best ways for people to connect. So more power to you Maria Shriver. May you continue to be in awe and wonder of everyone and everything around you, and see the world “through God’s eyes”. 

II. Jesse Bogner Left Hedonistic New York Lifestyle Behind To Move to Israel and Study Kabbalah

Jesse Bogner is a millennial New Yorker who grew up in a typical wealthy Jewish household. He tried to apply his expensive education in creative writing to get his career going, but right around the same time he was on an intensive rampage of self-destruction.  Between the partying, his many addictions,  and dwindling career options, it even reached a point where his father kicked him out of the house. 

One day his father asked him to edit some text for one of Michael Laitman’s books, and for the first time in his life, Jesse felt the light. Nothing would ever be the same after that. He started reading the Kabbalah books his father was studying from, and immediately began making some life-changing decisions. One of them was to come participate in the annual Kabbalah Convention in New Jersey, where he met Michael Laitman in person. 

Jesse was only two months into his sobriety when Michael Laitman suggested that he come to Israel to write about his new path in life. Right there and then he decided to leave his hedonistic lifestyle of fashion shows and hanging with his wealthy friends behind. Jesse moved to Israel and joined the group Laitman had founded called Bnei Baruch. That was in 2013. 

What Does All This Have To Do With Shabbat? The Day of Rest?

Eventually all of humanity will need to make this journey from mainly thinking about ourselves to genuinely being concerned for others. One way or another, circumstances in life will push us to make it across this bridge from our current, broken world, to a sustainable way of life.  It’s really just a matter of time. 

What is the connection to Shabbat, the symbolic Jewish day of rest? Being on the hedonistic path is quite exhausting. The human ego is growing in our time and cannot be subdued as easily as in the past. We have to constantly come up with new ways to feel fulfilled and we have quite limited options in this world.

Being on the altruistic path is exhilarating because you are constantly being ‘charged’ with new types of lights, of greater and greater intensity, throughout the 125 steps of the spiritual ascent. I’ve been studying Kabbalah for almost two decades and it looks like we are finally right on the verge of penetrating the first step. I say penetrating because the first step is the toughest barrier between our world and the upper world. 

What has kept me going all this time? Dedicating almost two decades of my life to Kabbalah? Well, it’s the light. As someone who grew up skiing and water-skiing in Canada, sailing across the Atlantic at the age of 12 to make Aliyah, and rollerblading on the streets of Manhattan for five years, I was kind of an adrenaline junkie for most of my life. But the light changed all that. 

When the light comes, it knocks you out completely, and pretty much takes over the system. So here’s the deal: Humans need to learn how to override their egoistic nature to become altruistic. But this cannot be achieved with human powers. Only the light can do this for us. So how do we activate this positive force? It’s complicating, but in a nutshell, Kabbalah comes from the Hebrew word lekabel, meaning to receive. It’s a scientific system for receiving the light. There are three conditions to receiving the light:  we must have a guide, a group and the most advanced sources (left for us by Kabbalists who lived in the last 100 years). 

Rest That Is Far Out of This World

Why am I sharing all this here on Thrive Global? I see that you are focused on the importance of rest and unplugging, and I’m trying to convey that there is a far more profound type of rest that humanity has yet to discover! We don’t need to wait for the seventh day of the week to enjoy it, we can experience the spiritual state of Shabbat at any time.

To be perfectly honest, a hyper person like myself is not really good at this thing we call sleep. I don’t even really need to sleep. But for the last few years of my life, I’ve been sleeping like a log for a good 6-8 hours straight. 

So friends – if you want to improve the state of sleep in the world, and the state of humanity, I sincerely suggest investigating that there are far more advanced levels of sleep that we have not experienced yet. All of humanity can enjoy this once we wake up and realize that we need to unite, and that only the light can glue all the broken parts back together again.

“This is what the shattering was for, so that now from the broken lowest point, we should glue the broken parts together into a new whole. The breaking was in order for us to understand the properties of the Light, to connect, and to rise to its level. This is the purpose of creation, the reason for everything that happens with us and in the entire universe.

Therefore, the seventh day of the week is the cornerstone and is called “Sabbath – Shabbat” from the Hebrew word “shvitah,” which means exemption from work. We allow the Light to work instead of us and to be included in it. The six days are not about actual days; they are actions that can be done, for example, in 15 minutes, but it could take you two months.

Every seventh stage should always be that in addition to your efforts, you look to the action of the Light and begin to understand its properties. In other words, the Light’s qualities enter the system of mutual connection that we have created. And then we ascend the next level and attain the properties of the Light to the degree of our efforts made during the six weekdays.

This is how we work, week after week, until we reach the complete reunification of all the broken parts into a single unified soul and attaining the Light that acts inside the system, that is. the Creator: the original force that made the entire universe. This is our work, our goal, our advancement.” Michael Laitman

Learn more about why sleep is so important on the spiritual path