The ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is a time to test out and edit your new movie. This period is known as Aseret Ymei Teshuvah or the Ten Days of Repentance. Actually, it is ten days of cleansing – it is an opportunity to cleanse/change your past in order to effect your future. It’s a period of testing, too. Whatever it is that you scripted, you have to prove that you really want to live it! You have to act differently, and prove you have a different consciousness. Remember your consciousness is 99% of what you draw into your life. One way to do this is through minimizing ego. You should go to people you know you hurt and ask for their apology. Put your ego aside and ask for forgiveness. And focus on how you can change, not on how others hurt you and how they need to change. Are you going to go back to where you were before Rosh-Hashanah, or be different? It’s a huge test.
Kapparot sacrificing chickens: (and don’t try this at home. This should be done in a synagogue with someone who knows the rules of sacrificial killing.)
We take a chicken, circle it over our heads, and give it our negativity. The chicken actually takes your negativity from you. Then they are sacrificed, but don’t think of it as cruel, because the chickens also win – when they die, their souls get elevated to the human kingdom. Otherwise, they are stuck in the animal kingdom. We do each other a favor. Also, when they are killed, it is according to the laws of Kashrut, the kosher process, which ensures that the animal feels absolutely no pain when it dies. We also eat the chickens or give a meal to the poor – it’s not that we’re just sacrificing them. It’s continuity.
Yom Kippur is the 10th day of the days of repentance. On Yom Kippur, the movie is done. It’s edited, finished; the negativity is off you. It’s the most powerful day of the year. Satan is not around – he is on vacation. On Yom Kippur, you actually take advantage of the fact that Satan is not around, and you can pull out any cassette you want. It’s like you’re in a Blockbuster store and you get to grab the best movie there is, and he can’t stop you. You can get whatever you want, but you have to go through a lot to get it first.
There are five recommended restrictions for Yom Kippur- eating, drinking, wearing leather shoes, engaging in sexual relations, and putting oils on your body. The reason is so that your consciousness remains focused and your body is fulfilled through spiritual sustenance. That way you remain on a very elevated level of being and are not dragged down spiritually by the physical limitations of your body. If you adhere to these restrictions, then you can pick your movie.
Restrict the physical world on Yom Kippur to reach a higher level. The less you do, the closer to the level of Binah you become. It is not the Day of Atonement but the Day of at One-ment. We reach a place of being at One with the Light. You have to collect as much as you want – the store is open. But, in addition to doing the five restrictions, you also have to be in a consciousness without arrogance, selfishness or uncertainty.
The way to do that is to forget about YOU. Forget about your needs. You RESTRICT. Eating, makeup, water, even sex are all about YOU and your needs and are related to comforts of physicality and the physical limitations of your body. You want to transcend that – so you don’t have any of it. Your soul needs to be in Binah, so you restrict