Different than our corporeal world, there is no time, place, and motion in the spiritual world, but only ascents and descents in the attributes of receiving or bestowal. This is the scale we move along all the time. Our states are measured only with regard to the spiritual “worlds,” the Partzufim and the Sefirot that continue from the top down through 125 degrees.
Except for our ascents and descents, there is also the motion of the degrees themselves that can move together with us. If I am in a certain world, for example, in a certain perception of reality and it’s suddenly “upgraded”: I feel that it becomes clearer, that it is more illuminating; I receive greater powers, understandings, and discernments. All this is not regarded as my doing, but it’s a kind of “exercise” I am put through in order to show me something.
It’s like a small child who is being picked up and suddenly feels that he is big: New horizons open up before him; he can reach things that he couldn’t reach before. Then he begins to direct the one who carries him where he wants to be carried to and which doors to open. Similar behaviors come from Above and are revealed in our world. Therefore there are different ascents:
- We either ascend the ladder by our efforts
- Or the ladder itself moves up and down.
These movements are depicted to us as special times or special states. On the whole each state is special and never repeats itself; there isn’t a moment that is similar to the next. We should say that it isn’t by chance that people divided time the way it is. Clearly the days and the nights correspond to the sundial and the month is determined by the lunar calendar. But how did people decide on the division of the day into 12 daytime hours and 12 nighttime hours? The wisdom of Kabbalah explains this cycle of 24 hours divided into minutes and seconds as the result of the mutual relations between Zeir Anpin and Malchut.
On the whole, it’s about a multiplicity of different influences upon the created being, which means on Malchut, from Above. This is where the ideas of a fallow year and Yovel (Jubilee, the 50th year) come from. As well there are special states called “times” or “holidays.” They are not connected to phenomena on the still level, but are controlled by a special program. The point is that there are special roots that have to be revealed and fulfilled specifically in us and not just in the world or by some customs. These states “illuminate” for us by preparing us so that in the future we will actually receive and fulfill them.
Today we receive faint illuminations from them, but in fact these are the degrees. In the spiritual world a person ascends the degrees of “Sunday,” “Monday,” “Tuesday,” “Wednesday,” “Thursday,” “Friday,” and “the Sabbath.” He must feel these states sequentially, one after another. A spiritual day can last a couple of seconds or it may linger for several weeks. It makes no difference since the corporeal time has nothing to do with the spiritual time.
Thus the “holidays” are states, “examples,” levels to which a person rises. As a whole they are in the ascent and are fulfilled by an awakening from Above by a certain illumination that adds something to a person who has a spiritual perception. Such additions are called “Rosh Hashanah,” (the new year), “Yom Kippur,” etc.
For every such ascent that is received from Above, a special kind of work is required below, by the created being of course. It’s because he wants to use this ascent in order to correct himself and fulfill the additional affluence that has reached him, on a new level. It’s the same on the Sabbath when an awakening from Above requires special work from us. It isn’t a time of rest, but rather quite a busy day in which there are more prayers and other customs. When the Upper invites the created being to ascend to an upper level, the work during the ascent obligates the lower to perform many actions.
The first holiday is Rosh Hashanah, which symbolizes a new beginning. I want to be a human being, Adam, to resemble the Creator. This is the reason for the spiritual process that I want to go through. Thus, Rosh Hashanah is called the day of the Creation of man; this is the day on which man was created.
In corporeality it’s also reflected in a special way: 5773 years ago there lived a guy called Adam and on that day he discovered spirituality; he discovered the Creator. For the first time in history one of the two-legged creatures discovered that there is a spiritual world and the upper force. He was the first to resemble the Creator and we call him the “First Man.”
In the article “The Teaching of Kabbalah and Its Essence,” Baal HaSulam says, Adam HaRishon was the first to receive a sequence of sufficient knowledge by which to understand and to successfully maximize everything he saw and attained with his eyes. And this understanding is called the “wisdom of truth.”
Since that day, when man first identified with the Creator and fulfilled his name, which was given to him “by chance” by his parents, we count our years. This means that even our calendar is initially based on the revelation of the Creator to the created being.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/14/12, Customs of Rosh Hashanah