Topic: Holidays & Time Zones | Posted:October 1, 2014
Yom Kippur is a day with tremendous opportunity to connect in a way we cannot connect any other day of the year.
The first part of the Torah reading on Yom Kippur speaks about the death of Nadab and Avihu, two of the sons of Aaron. Why read about their death on Yom Kippur? Since we know there are no coincidences, we know there must be a reason this story precedes the discussion of the process of Yom Kippur.
Kabbalists teach that every action of sharing or connection that we do is an action that has within it the power to achieve complete devekut, complete union with the Light of the Creator, and that within the action itself is Light that returns the soul to the body. The true kabbalists, the truly righteous, in every connection that they made, completely gave themselves over. They made that union, that devekut, in every action of connection. Their entire being, their entire soul, went into that action.
It is a battle, therefore, for truly righteous people to hold themselves back and keep their soul in their body, for when they make that connection to the Light within the action, their soul wants to connect completely, and for them, their physical body is limiting their ability to connect to the Light. They never want to return to their body after they make a connection, and yet the Creator tells them they still have a job to do in their body.
So, when a righteous person does an action of unification, there is that pushback from the Creator, telling them not to completely unify yet, because they still have work to do in this world.
On the day of Yom Kippur, Aaron, the high priest, was supposed to make the connection in the Tabernacle, a place where unification could occur. As such, the framework of pushback was set up for Aaron, not for Nadab and Avihu. It was set up so that Aaron would be able to go and make that connection and then be pushed back to his body by the Creator; Nadab and Avihu were not part of that process.
As such, when Nadab and Avihu went to the Tabernacle to make their connection on the day of Yom Kippur, while their desire and singular purpose for going into the Holy of Holies was to unify completely with the Light of the Creator, they were beyond the set up process.
In fact, the work every one of us has to do, they accomplished on this day. They achieved the level of devekut with the Creator. And because it was not part of what was supposed to occur, there was no pushback. The Creator did not tell them they had work left to do in their bodies, and therefore, their souls left their bodies. This is such an amazing and powerful understanding – the beautiful set up of the process.
On Yom Kippur, every single person in the world has the ability to achieve complete union with the Light of the Creator, like Nadab and Avihu did. They created a conduit of devekut - of complete unification - for us, so that every single one of us can connect to the Light of Yom Kippur.
Yom Kippur is the one day of the year in which all people can achieve this level of devekut that Rav Ashlag wrote and spoke about and begged that we make our life’s work. What we need to do if we want to maximize the gift of this day is make a deep connection with the souls of Nadab and Avihu. The day after Yom Kippur, we probably won’t be as connected as we are able to accomplish being on that day. But all that amazing Light we can connect to will continue with us for the rest of the year.