In order to ask for forgiveness, we must know what love is for people like yourself and what it means by asking these questions, “What haven’t I done on behalf of this love? If it is necessary to feel that I have love for others, which is the main Mitzvah (commandment) of the Torah, do I or do I not feel it?” Many people think that it is enough just to carry out physical Mitzvot.
The Kabbalists advise us to unite into groups of 10, so that together we can check if we are truly treating each other well. Is everyone trying to distance himself from his ego and connect with others, become integrated with their desires and to feel love between us? If we understand that all of this doesn’t exist, we feel we are to blame, so we ask for forgiveness. Forgiveness is for not carrying out the main condition, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Today, this condition has become imperative for the whole world in order to come out of the global crisis. But the people of Israel must be the first to realize this, and we are not doing it. So we ask for the power to help us attain this love. We clearly see that we are not prepared to carry out this condition by ourselves, but we can ask for help. And we conclude the Selichot (forgiveness) by asking for the power to carry out the main Mitzvah and bringing people closer together. And through this getting closer we also get closer to the higher force, the Creator.
A person cannot realize this by himself, so we work in a group, which is how we check if we have attained mutual bestowal and connection or not. If not, we need to ask for the power to help us connect and reach unity. This common request is called prayer and it is derived from our connection, from the center of our circle, like a pillar that rises upward. When we examine our union, we reach Selichot.
From here we see that without studying the wisdom of Kabbalah, it is impossible to discover what to ask, towards what to be attracted, the purpose of Creation, and how the Torah is connected to the Mitzvot of love of others and love of the Creator through the entire order of correction. The wisdom of Kabbalah teaches us how to realize ourselves according to what is written in the Torah. The only Mitzvah is to rise above our ego and attain connection and unity between everyone. It includes within it all the rest of the Mitzvot, which are individual corrections of our ego. The egoistic desire is composed of 613 parts, each one of which we must correct, beginning with the easiest and moving towards what is more and more difficult. In this way it is necessary to carry out 613 corrections, which are called the 613 (Taryag) Mitzvot.
When we help each other we ultimately attain redemption, meaning that we discover the higher power, the Creator, within our correct mutual connection of bestowal and love. And this is the forgiveness before Rosh HaShanah. Certainly it is impossible to begin the New Year, the new beginning, the next level, towards which we must ascend thanks to our correction without clarifying all that we went through. And this is the essence of repentance, to ask with greater vigor for the Light that Reforms to correct us and make it possible for us to attain an even stronger union.
From KabTV’s “Selichot” 8/17/15