A question I received: What is the Kabbalistic meaning of the Jewish holidays that are coming up?
My Answer: According to the program of creation, all of life is the process of correction of the created egoism so it will be used for love and bestowal to people, and from there – to the Creator. There is no other purpose, meaning or fulfillment in life. This process is comprised of regular actions of correction – the weekdays, and special actions – the Sabbath and holidays.
The Torah divides the holidays (the special actions of correction) into Hagim (Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkoth) and Moadim. Moadim means “holy gatherings”; they are holy because “bestowal” is called holiness. This is when special corrections are done through greater unity (gatherings) of souls, and this is how the souls attain a special degree of closeness with the Creator. The great Kabbalist the Ari describes these states in detail in the book Ta’amei Mitzvot. However, in our time there are no Moadim because there is no Temple and we are not on the level of the gathering of souls into a single soul.
In addition to this, there are holidays that follow the dates of the calendar, that is to say, that follow the direct implementation of the program of correction. These are the Sabbath, Rosh Hodesh (the new month), Rosh HaShana (the New Year), and Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement of egoism). So altogether there are five holidays: Pesach (in April), Shavuot (in June), Rosh HaShana (in September), Yom Kippur (in October), and Sukkoth (in October). Each holiday corresponds to a specific level of ascent along the 125 steps of the ladder of ascent toward the correction of the soul, from the egoistic level of our world until the soul’s absolute similarity to the Creator – the World of Infinity.
All the special days are states of ascent due to a special connection between the souls, where the souls attain greater unity in order to become One, like the Creator. All the holidays have been passed down to us from the time when the people of Israel were on the spiritual level and performed acts of correction according to the Creator’s design. However, in our time, instead of correcting egoism and unifying our souls, these actions have been replaced with ritual prayer gatherings.
Kabbalah Today Article: The Spiritual Rosh Hashanah
Kabbalah Today Article: Four Species and a Sukkah
Kabbalah Today Article: The Meaning of Yom Kippur
The Path of Kabbalah,Chapter 7.2 – “The Meaning of the Jewish Holdiays”