When Kabbalists discovered the spiritual laws that affect our world, they established customs that symbolize the spiritual states we will all eventually experience. These customs are the Jewish holidays.
The Torah tells us that the world was created in six days. These days represent shifts between spiritual states called “light” or “darkness.” On the sixth day, Adam ha Rishon (Adam) was created, but right before Shabbat (the Sabbath) he sinned and was driven out of the Garden of Eden.
According to the wisdom of Kabbalah, Adam represents the state of unity of all the souls. When he sinned, his soul split into myriad pieces, which became individual souls. These detached from one another and, most importantly, became alienated from the Creator and from each other.
Each of us contains a piece of Adam’s soul, and our task is to reunite these fragments into the single soul of Adam ha Rishon. By doing so, we will be correcting his sin and thus be able to reenter the Garden of Eden. The time of Rosh Hashanah (the beginning of the Jewish year) reminds us that we must begin with the process of correcting our souls and restoring their initial unity.
The Ten Penitential Days
The ten penitential days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) symbolize ten spiritual states. During the spiritual correction process, these days occur when we discover the gap between our present spiritual state and the original state from which our souls declined. Seeing the immensity of the gap makes us ask for the strength to correct our souls, to repent. In spirituality , this state is called Yom Kippur , the Day of Atonement.
From Rosh Hashanah to Simchat Torah
Following is the list of the spiritual states we will encounter along the correction process:
1. From Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur is when we discover what we must correct.
2. Yom Kippur is when we ask for the strength to help us correct.
3. On Sukkot we receive the power to actually make the correction.
4. And on Simchat Torah we gladly complete the reuniting of Adam’s pieces, the correction.
Because these are internal states unrelated to a physical calendar, a Kabbalist may experience a full year’s cycle within a mere two days or less! The pace of internal changes will determine the length of the spiritual process, and a Kabbalist may experience a (spiritual) state of holiday on any given day of the year.
Each Kabbalist (and we will all become Kabbalists) connected to the spiritual world will experience a fixed number of spiritual states, called “6,000 years.” These are not 6,000 physical years, but a number of spiritual states we must experience before we complete the correction of our souls. When the 6,000 years (states) are completed, so will the spiritual correction. This releases us from incarnating into this world, and our souls need no longer descend into this world.