The Zohar speaks of a very simple idea that can help elevate our consciousness throughout Pesach so we are able to receive the tremendous gifts that are available during that time. There is something called the Shlosha Regalim, which are the three times of major connections, or holidays, of the year; Pesach, of course, is one of them, along with Shavuot and Sukkot. Throughout the year, the Light of the Creator is concealed, and even though we do the spiritual work and battle to connect to that Light, there are ups and downs, and there are times of connection and times of disconnection. However, the kabbalists explain in the Zohar, in Emor, that during these three times, the Light of the Creator becomes completely revealed, without any barrier or hindrance.
"This was the Light that allowed the Israelites to go out of Egypt."
What begins to happen on Pesach, therefore, is literally an uncovering of the Light of the Creator. Further, every single aspect of negativity that exists or will manifest in our lives can be dislodged on Pesach. The kabbalists explain, and the Ari makes the point over and over again, that throughout the year, yes, we can make connections and draw Light, but there are always negative forces around; we might draw a little bit of Light, we might then lose a little bit of Light, and we might be taken over by the Negative Side.
There are no guarantees of Light being revealed throughout the rest of the year, but Pesach is different, because the Light of the Creator comes in with such a full force that if we are receiving it, nothing of a negative nature can hold onto us. That is why even though the Israelites were in the lowest possible state spiritually and physically, the Egyptians had to let them go - because the Light revealed was so powerful and complete that it was overwhelming for all the forces of negativity. Pesach, therefore, is the one time of the year when the Negative Side must - whether it wants to or not, whether we deserve it or not - has to let go. It can no longer hold onto us.
Rav Brandwein, in speaking to my father, Rav Berg, about the power of this day, says throughout the rest of the year, there is almost like an argument between the Light of the Creator and the Sitra Achrah, the Negative Side. It is like the Light of the Creator is saying to the Negative Side, “No! This person should have Light, blessings, health, happiness, and strength, because he or she is connected to Me,” while the Sitra Achrah is saying, "No, no, they are mine! They deserve to have darkness, pain, and disease.” Throughout the rest of the year there is that battle, which unfortunately, we all experience. There are times when we are overwhelmed by the blessings given to us by the Creator, and there are times when we are overwhelmed by the darkness forced upon us by the Negative Side.
"If we connect completely to Pesach's energy, the Negative Side has to let go."
However, Pesach is different. What happens on Pesach, Rav Brandwein tells Rav Berg, is that the Creator says to the Negative Side, "Let them go. Remove all of your control from every single person who desires to connect on Pesach." The power and beauty of this day is that it is the only time of the year when, if we connect completely to its energy, the Negative Side has to let go. This was the Light that allowed the Israelites to go out of Egypt, and this is the Light that is available for us on Pesach.
While it’s true that each person connects on a different level, we now understand that if we are connecting with this consciousness on Pesach, we receive the free gift of this day: the overwhelming, revealed Light of the Creator which does not allow any negative forces to stay attached to us. We, therefore, can leave Pesach with the Negative Side having no control over us. It must let go of us on this day.
So, that is where we begin. No matter what attachment to the Negative Side we had coming into Pesach, if we connect to the gift that is available to us throughout this time, we can leave Pesach removed from the touch of the Sitra Achrah… or if not completely removed, then at least much more free from it. As we are both making our connections and listening to the Torah during Pesach, we need to simply have this consciousness that the Light is flowing, is overwhelming, and that as It continues pouring into us, the Negative Side has to start letting go.
There are touches of the Negative Side attached to us that we are not even aware of. But if we have the connection of this day, then even those aspects of the Negative Side must let go of us. As we listen to the Torah and make all our connections throughout Pesach, we have to know that Light is pouring in, and we can think of those aspects of the Negative Side – those that we know, but more importantly those that we don’t know - that the overwhelming Light of the Creator is forcing to let go of us.