In a few days we will observe a special day called Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). However, no one knows what inner state a Kabbalist will feel on that day and when the state called “Day of Atonement” will happen for him. One’s inner states do not occur according to the calendar.
The states that any person goes through can be personal or general. On the general level, people follow the common traditions of each holiday. When a group of Kabbalists reaches unity and through it achieves a certain internal state called a “holiday,” that state will not be related to the general holiday observed by all people. The inner holiday happens in accordance with one’s personal, internal state, whereas a general holiday takes place according to the calendar. Traditions and customs, as well as every single “specific” day, have a higher spiritual root. Therefore, a Kabbalist also wishes to follow the tradition together with others, as it is written: “The Creator stays with His people.” However, at the same time, a Kabbalist also remains in his own personal internal state.
Religious people follow customs and traditions, whereas Kabbalists perform inner actions in their souls by connecting to other souls into one common soul of Adam. By doing so, they please the Creator and correct themselves. Correction is possible only by way of uniting with others, as it is written: “Love thy neighbor as thyself, this is the great law of the Torah.”
People all over the world pray to the Creator (each of them addressing their Lord) and request “forgiveness.” But maybe it is worth explaining to them that repentance works only in respect to “love thy neighbor” and depends on whether you are “for it” or “against it.” We can figure out whether we sinned or not only by comparing ourselves to this rule. This is the only law we have to follow, as it is written: “Love thy neighbor as thyself is the main rule of the Torah.”
If the whole of humankind would virtually get together in order to clarify what is “love thy neighbor,” how powerfully the Creator demands it from us, and how far we still are from this state, that would be a real Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) and it would lead us to Purim (in Hebrew “Kippur” means “as Purim”), the complete correction.
When people pray for forgiveness, it is very important for them to know what to ask for. We weep and beg for so many years, but it doesn’t help. The Creator cannot hear our prayers in this form. That’s because this kind of appeal is opposite to the correct cry: We are not begging to feel love for our neighbors, and the Creator doesn’t listen to any other requests. Thus, we turn our back to the One who can redeem us and scream in the opposite direction. This is what most people’s Day of Atonement is like.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/14/10, “Preparation for Slichot“