All holidays are symbols of man’s spiritual advancement. When I begin to develop the desire to bestow in me, I go through “repentance” (the period before the New Year, Rosh Hashanah), when I clarify my evil. In other words, I see how great my ego is, which I can’t resist, and I commit many crimes, as it is written in the Rosh Hashanah prayer for absolution: “We have transgressed, we have betrayed….”
And then I see that I must begin the path from the beginning and make a switch within me from being an egoist, who directs everything towards benefiting himself, to being a giver, who only cares for the benefit of another. After all, I begin to understand that I myself am the actual “another,” who seems to be a stranger to me. And the one I thought was me actually is not me, but an evil spirit, my ego, a serpent sitting in me which constantly demands fulfillment from me.
When a person develops this kind of attitude towards himself, as if he were a cunning serpent and others were him, his true “Self,” then this switch in consciousness is called the beginning of the New Year for him.
After this he has nothing left to do but correct himself, become like the upper force, the force of the Creator, a giver. Reception for our own sake gives us the sensation of “this world.” But when my “I” is directed towards bestowal, outside, towards the others, in this aspiration I begin to feel another, the upper, world.
Bestowal is when I love someone and want to give him pleasure, like a friend to a friend or a host to a guest. I care for him so much that I restrict my own desires and wish to not receive any pleasure, only thinking about his pleasure. And once I have this “shield,” which guarantees I do not receive for my own sake, I become ready to receive and thus please another.
Everything I receive is for him, like we tell a child: “A spoon for mommy, a spoon for daddy.” But it is not a simple action in the spiritual world. I must restrict my desire and open it for pleasure, only thinking about another. In other words, my heart and mind are in him, and then all the pleasure that goes through me only goes for the others.
From the Night Lesson of Hoshanah Rabbah 10/19/2011, Shamati