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What would you do if the bank manager offered you an opportunity to enter into the vault and take everything you could carry? That’s right, EVERYTHING. Think how much different your life would be. Think about the stress and anxiety that would disappear. Think about how much more serene and peaceful you would be. Think of how many people you could help. Think about the celebration you would have. Feels really good, doesn’t it?
This is the TRUE power of Yom Kippur. This is what we are not told when we grow up in a traditional framework. This is the secret that only the kabbalists have revealed to us. This is what the Rav has taught us. This is the amazing opportunity that The Kabbalah Centre offers all of us.
So, what is this ‘everything’ that we can receive from Yom Kippur? According to the kabbalists, on the day of Yom Kippur we have access to the warehouse of Light for our world – called Binah. What is stored in the Light of Binah? All of the blessings we can possibly imagine. All of the good things that life can contain: life, health, peace, love, prosperity, protection, clarity, certainty, etc. Everything that a human being could want from life is sourced in Binah.
On Shabbats and New Moons, we also are tapping into the Light Energy of Binah, but only for a week or a month, respectively. Yom Kippur provides us with the opportunity to have Binah level Light force for ONE YEAR. That is why it is so important to participate in Yom Kippur in a Kabbalah Centre.
The Day of Atonement, as it is known traditionally, is the 10th day of Libra/Tishrei. We want to understand that it is, kabbalistically speaking, more of a Day of ‘At-One-Ment’, meaning the opportunity to be One, unified with the Light of the Creator at the level of Binah. This also allows us to be One with all humanity, for in Yom Kippur we are beyond all illusionary aspects of separation – physical, political, religious, social, etc. We are in the realm of the source of Light for our world, and therefore there is no separation in humanity. That is why, in the times of the Temple of Jerusalem, only on Yom Kippur would the High Priest purify himself, get dressed in special garments, go into the Holy of Holies and say the ineffable Name of God. This would bring life force to EVERY human being on earth for one ENTIRE year.
Today, we don’t have the Temple in Jerusalem, and we don’t have the High Priest. However, each and every one of us that understand the kabbalistic technology of Yom Kippur is acting as the High Priest of today. We have the power of awakening the soul’s Light in every person on earth, so that they may feel their God-like nature and become more loving, caring and sharing. This is the power and capability we have on this very powerful day of Yom Kippur.
The kabbalists explain that Yom Kippur is a free gift given to us. Meaning that the elevation from Malchut (the physical, illusionary world) to Binah (the world of the Light and total fulfillment), takes place automatically on the 10th day of Libra/Tishrei.
There are a few things we need to do in order to be able to derive the most benefit from these 25 hours of Yom Kippur:
1) As much repentance/teshuvah as possible. This is the process of healing and cleansing all of our negativity from the past. Yes, we have been in that process since the beginning of Virgo/Elul, but now is the final stretch of the ‘race’. The healing, forgiving, apologizing and sharing that you do will enhance your connection in Yom Kippur.
2) In the afternoon on the day before Yom Kippur, make a meal (the last meal before the fast begins) and eat AS MUCH AS YOU CAN. The Ari, Rav Isaac Luria, explains that eating a ‘double’ portion at this meal creates a vessel to hold the Light of Yom Kippur while you are fasting the next day.
3) Kol Nidre. This is a special ceremony done on the eve of Yom Kippur in the evening after sunset. This is the process that allows us to cancel the vows that the Universe has made AGAINST us. What are those vows? The vow to return to us the effects of our negative actions. Every negative action we have committed, every reactive behavior we have engaged in, has set in motion a series of events that will ultimately bring a challenging situation into the life of the reactive person – us. The process of Kol Nidre, with the kabbalistic meditations and consciousness, allows us to remove those challenges from our lives because we are moving into a new realm of consciousness and existence.
4) The 5 restrictions of Yom Kippur:
1. No eating and drinking
2. No washing/ bathing the body
3. No colognes, lotions, perfumes, oils, etc. on the body
4. No leather shoes (only shoes; you could dress in an outfit made entirely of leather as long as your shoes are not leather. Not that I’m recommending a leather outfit…)
5. No sexual intercourse.
These five restrictions keep us from being bothered with the physical body and thereby getting distracted from receiving all of the Light and fulfillment from Binah. It is because we are in Binah that we don’t do those 5 things; it is not that by doing those 5 restrictions we get to Binah. Remember, the elevation to Binah is a free gift. We just have to make our efforts to STAY in Binah.
Let’s understand a few more things about the day of Yom Kippur:
There are five unique prayer connections that we make on Yom Kippur: Arvit, Shachrit, Musaf, Minchah, Neilah. They correspond to the levels of Malchut, Zeir Anpin, Binah, Chochma and Keter, respectively. These are referred to as the ‘five meals/seudot’ of Yom Kippur. Usually, a meal/seudah is the spiritual vessel to manifest the Light from the prayer connection we have just made, as in Shabbat meals, etc. In the case of Yom Kippur, these 5 meals manifest the energies of the 5 Light levels of Yom Kippur that come through those 5 prayer connections.
In Yom Kippur, the phrase, “Blessed is the Name of Glory. His Kingdom is forever and for eternity. Baruch shem kevod malchuto le’olam va’ed” that throughout the year is said silently, is recited ALOUD. Why? Since we are in the level of Binah, which is beyond the grasp of the Opponent and negative entities, we don’t have to be concerned that the negativity will take power from this phrase. We can say it aloud.
At the end of Yom Kippur, we have a very important connection called Neilah. This is the level and meal of Keter, the highest point of Yom Kippur. This is the moment that we are opening the ‘locks’ on the doors of the chambers in the upper, supernal worlds that allow us to obtain all the Light force that we need for a full year of good life. It is the moment we ‘lock’ ourselves in the world of reality and ‘lock’ out the world of illusion.
Another amazing point about Yom Kippur is that the actual name given to this powerful day in the Bible is ‘yom kippurim’, which means ‘a day like Purim’. Since we know that Purim is a day of celebration, a day of victory over the decree of death and defeat of the enemies that try to ‘do us in’, then what the Bible is hinting at is that Yom Kippur is a taste, a semblance, of Purim. This also explains why Yom Kippur, for the kabbalists, is a day of joy, not a day of sorrow.
Going back to the beginning of this article, you can now see more clearly why the Rav always speaks of Yom Kippur as ‘the open bank vault’. All of the wonderful things in life are available from this day, from the level of Binah that we can reach on Yom Kippur.
If you have any questions, please speak with your Kabbalah teacher.
Wishing all of you a wonderful Yom Kippur and a blessed year.