The beginning of the year, “Rosh Hashanah,” is a special day when we are born as “humans.” A human is called “Ben Adam,” meaning the “son” of the level called Adam (similar to the Creator). This level begins with restriction, with the “loyalty of the soul” (Mesirut Nefesh).
Nefesh (soul) is the first and weakest Light that we attain. To do this, we have to place it above our material lives, meaning give up all the possible types of fulfillment for the sake of spiritual adhesion, connection with one another, mutual awakening and guarantee. “I am willing to give up all the material things to attain bestowal”; this is where man begins.
From this point on, he starts rising up the levels, working on perfecting the quality of bestowal inside of him and constantly trying to remain merged with it. To do this, a person builds the appropriate environment for himself, which influences him. This work is called the Creator’s work. It is work on one’s similarity to the Creator and adhesion with him.
This environment includes: the Kabbalistic group, the teacher or instructor, the books, and the study, meaning all of the boundaries that a person is in. Accordingly, one must always check himself: Are you acting correctly and doing enough to arrange your life the right way, and how should you divide your time, the forces of thought and intention in order to effectively discern your desires? This is how we judge ourselves before the beginning of the new year during the period called “repentance.”
One must cleave to the group in order to receive from it the force of real loyalty and, as it is written, “give one’s entire soul” (Mesirat Nefesh), like when blowing into the horn or during Isaac’s sacrifice. It is necessary to achieve this state at every level.
For now we aren’t required to make such a great sacrifice as Abraham, who sacrificed his beloved child. It’s enough for us to blow into the horn (Shofar). This is how our levels are differentiated: the forefathers belong to the level of HBD, and we to NHY. But in essence, this is the same sacrificial offering that every person must make on every new level of the will to enjoy that becomes revealed inside of him.
After that we continuously increase the importance (the beauty, Shufra) of the quality of bestowal by virtue of our willingness to attain total devotion of the soul. Everything begins with the first restriction (Tzimtzum Aleph) and after that, the ascent of our will to enjoy. This is where man begins, and this is the meaning of the New Year, the day when we begin to grow.
Even though it seems like there are many fictional stories devoted to the beginning of the year, we must try to penetrate inside them and there, see the plan of creation to delight the creatures, the desire to be fulfilled, and its work—to once again start with the initial point and, holding on to this fundamental thread, to understand the inner meaning of the text.
After all, there are different languages of narration, and even Kabbalists write in such a way that every person understands what is written to the extent of his own degree. But even when a person perceives these stories as a children’s fairytale, he nevertheless advances and grows, and that means he has to go through these levels.
Although they might seem like fairy-tales, they conceal infinite depth inside, as high as all the spiritual levels, and we must try to attain the deeper, innermost level and from there take examples for our own correction in order to become human and start the New Year this way.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/27/11, Writings of Rabash