The Creator is called Holy because He has the attribute of bestowal. The commandment of “you shall be holy” indicates that we also have to attain that by the Light that Reforms, the same force that influences us.
Although we are submerged in the attribute of receiving, this force changes us, and we can even use our attribute of receiving in order to bestow. It is a very special thing to turn receiving into bestowal since there is no intermediate stage between them. If there were something neutral, some shapeless raw material like stem cells, then you could do whatever you want from it: receiving, bestowing, Gevurot, Hassadim, Dinim, etc. The desire to receive, however, is not neutral, but rather operates in order to receive, although it is in order to receive small, trivial, false things and in between them we exist.
But when the Light comes, it changes us. The desire to receive remains, but then we can differentiate between the desire to receive and the intention to enjoy. Before, we weren’t able to do so because our desire and our intention were inseparable and in every desire, in every grain of desire, there is an intention to enjoy. Although the desire itself can totally lack any intention, it is possible to “peel” it and take the intention out even though it is a big problem. It all depends on the development of the desire.
Studying the wisdom of Kabbalah we learn that the only created being, the desire to receive, developed according to the four phases of the Direct Light and only in the fourth phase did it begin to feel the special form of the Creator, not like a dog, for example, that feels his owner because a dog is connected to his owner and wants to enjoy him. It is even ready to devote his life to him and all for self-love. So we see that such love within the desire to receive is possible.
In the fourth phase, however, the created being begins to feel the Creator, who bestows upon him, is detached from this bestowal without receiving anything back. He enjoys that fact that He bestows upon the created being; a bestowal that stems from Him, but does not return to Him. When the created being begins to feel the Creator’s action upon him, he feels shame. And from this is the root of shame, from the bestowal that the created being discovers, we receive the “point in the heart,” the root of our soul. From this point we develop. If the point in the heart is revealed in someone, he can certainly realize it.
So “Holy” means that we are detached from ourselves and adhered to bestowal.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/24/12, The Zohar