By Michael Laitman
Being Jewish means attaining the sensation of two contrasting forces in nature, the egoistic force, which is our human nature, and its opposite altruistic force, which is the force of nature itself.
The attainment of these two forces define the people who, first under Abraham, developed this feeling of reality. They became known as the people of Israel, and later, as the Jews.
At a certain point, around 2.000 years ago, they lost the sensation of the two forces and lived solely in the egoistic force. That is the meaning of being in exile.
Exile has no geographic connotations, i.e. leaving some geographic Land of Israel. It is rather a matter of an inner exile, that we lack the sensation of the altruistic nature—the quality of love, bestowal and connection—in our relations. When we departed from this sensation, we then entered our period of exile and ceased to exist as the people of Israel.