The words acharei mot mean “after death,” and are included in the first verse of the Zohar portion Acharei Mot—“And God spoke to Moses after the death (acharei mot) of the two sons of Aaron…” We are told that the souls of the sons of Aaron, Nadav and Avihu, were at such a high level that they were equal to the collective soul of the nation of Israel.
The beginning of this Zohar portion is followed by a strange section that refers to Yom Kippur. We understand from the Zohar that Yom Kippur is not a religious holiday, but rather a technology, just as when we speak about the Bible we are also speaking of a technology.
Things are moving very quickly in our time, both positively and negatively. The Zohar gives us the understanding that the Bible is a tool we can use to protect ourselves, and provides us the possibility of removing negativity—both our own, and all that exists in this universe. The Zohar helps us learn how to extract ourselves from the flawed universe in which we live.
So why do we learn about Yom Kippur in this Zohar portion? Because Yom Kippur relates to the Flawless Universe. The Zohar teaches that anyone who has the vessel to embrace all levels of consciousness can capture an unimaginable energy when he connects to this section of the Zohar about Yom Kippur. This section contains the secrets of how we can take control of this universe and proactively make things happen. We can either create our own bed of roses or not; everything depends on our consciousness.
This universe does not do things by itself. Negative activity is produced by negative consciousness. Here, the Zohar is teaching us that when we can feel the pain of others—even from 3,400 years ago, like Nadav and Avihu—it should not be because we become a better person from doing so; rather it should be because when we feel the pain of others, there is nothing in this physical reality that can threaten us.
The Zohar is teaching us in the portion of Acharei Mot that in feeling the pain of others, we are able to control the forces of physical nature.