Question: What does the following mean (“Introduction of The Book of Zohar,” Article “The Sixth Commandment,” Item 221): “…for none other has permission to pardon him [man] except Him”? How can a law either be or not be merciful?
Answer: In Kabbalah, mercy is the quality of bestowal (Hassadim); it is not the forgiveness of sins like in our world. There is no forgiveness in the spiritual system. This is a system of very precise laws.
And when I do something sinful, I primarily need to know what I did, why I did it, and how. I must understand that the Creator has fixed this sin up for me for it to become revealed, and now it helps me to see how I can ascend.
Essentially, there are no sins; there is only the revelation of evil which was previously concealed and now becomes revealed. This is why mercy in The Zohar usually refers to an attainment of the force of bestowal.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/17/2011, “Introduction of The Book of Zohar”