In the early mornings, I’d walk into the kitchen to find plates with leftover hummus, onions, bread and a bit of liquor. It was a place where a connection among people went beyond casual daily routines. That realization dawned on me as I delved into the wisdom of Kabbalah under my teacher, Kabbalist Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag (the RABASH). Around me sat six elders, disciples of the great Kabbalah Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam), forming a small, close-knit group, almost like a mini kibbutz within the city.
This group lived a simple existence, working only as much as needed and spending the remaining hours together studying and enjoying meals. The food wasn’t the focal point; it was about the connection of hearts, an emulation of our spiritual state as a single soul vitalized by a single force of love and bestowal. Baal HaSulam dreamed of creating a kibbutz with his students to embody the way of life of what he called “the last generation”—a life of spiritual sharing and material partnership.
However, if Kabbalah describes how to reach the final destination of our lives in the shortest, most pleasant and most conscious way possible—a state of humanity’s global unity—then why establish a closed society? Should they not live among everyone? The idea was not to isolate but to build a small society, a nucleus for the united people of Israel, laying the foundation for a united nation.
Even after Rabash passed away, and we formed a group named “Bnei Baruch” (i.e., the “sons of Baruch,” referring to my teacher), there remained a persistent dream of establishing a kibbutz. We explored options across Israel, north and south, searching for a place to live simply in which we could dedicate ourselves to the teachings. However, the more we sought, the more we found the doors shut tight to this idea, and we realized that it was not meant for our generation. We needed to connect under today’s given conditions.
As we approach the last generation that Baal HaSulam described, the era of the Messiah—where “Messiah” (Heb. Moshiach) is the force that pulls (Heb. Moshech) us out of our individual egos into a unified state—unity through the establishment of a small, closed society seems like an increasingly distant idea. Instead, today the idea of unity needs to break through to humanity at large, and those who identify with the need to unite above our inborn self-serving drives form the small pioneering group in humanity that initiates such connection. That group is not located physically in a closed-off kibbutz or camp, but rather a group of desires that yearn for our more advanced, future unified state to come about, and who are willing to apply themselves in raising unity to the forefront of human values and priorities.
Essentially, the search for a closed place to conduct our study and our connection led us to wake up from a dream to the reality that the Kabbalists of our time emphasize: that today’s unity is not solely for a closed-off group, but for humanity at large, and our path to unity lies in adapting to the global conditions of our era.