"For on this day shall atonement be made for you, to cleanse you; from all your sins shall you be clean before the Lord." (Leviticus 16:30)
Maimonides teaches that "on Yom Kippur, the day itself atones as it is written: 'For on this day shall atone for you'." (Mishneh Torah, Laws of Return 1:3), and he clearly refers to the particular time when that action takes place.
The Creator asks us to be holy because He is holy and with this we learn that He does not cohabit with anything different from His ways and attributes. All our offerings (traits, thoughts, emotions, desires, passions and instincts) are directed to do what is sacred and holy to honor and celebrate our oneness with Him; and these offerings should not be presented to anything else.
"And they shall no more sacrifice their sacrifices unto the satyrs, after whom they go astray. This shall be a statute forever unto them throughout their generations." (Leviticus 17:7)
This means a permanent, constant and continuous connection with God. The parshah then refers to the divine prohibition for Israel not to eat the blood of any living creature.
"Because the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement by reason of the life." (17:11)
In our commentary on Metzorah we said that water also represents life and the renewal of life. Thus the Torah remarks to cleanse ourselves with living waters in order to remove impurities derived from transgressions against God's ways and our fellow man. In a deeper meaning, God's love sustains life and blood represents both life and what sustains it. Hence the action of eating blood defiles our own life and consciousness.
In this sense blood represents a divine essence whose purpose is to consecrate life and not to desecrate or diminish it with lower impulses or negative desires. Life is to be elevated, enhanced and consecrated to what it is by essence: Love as the material manifestation of God's love.
That is our purpose in life and in this world: to reveal God's love as the sustaining essence of life.
"(…) he shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening; then shall he be clean. But if he wash them not, nor bathe his flesh, then he shall bear his iniquity." (17:15-16)
In this context the unwillingness to return to God’s ways and attributes keeps us separated from Him. The cleansing process continues in this parshah emphasizing what the Creator wants from us in order to be permanently connected with Him. He wants us to be different from the "nations" and their ways.
"And God told Moses: 'speak to the children of Israel and tell them: I am the Lord your God! After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein you dwelt, shall you not do; and after the doings of the land of Canaan, where I bring you, shall you not do; neither shall you walk in their statutes. My ordinances shall you do, and My statutes shall you keep, to walk therein: I am the Lord your God. You shall therefore keep My statutes, and My ordinances, which if a man do, he shall live by them: I am the Lord'." (18:1-5)
We are destined to reveal love concealed in the darkness of the illusions of the material world. We fulfill this destiny when we follow God's ways and attributes, and live by them, "which if a man does, he shall live by them".
Our sages point out "to live by them" suggesting not to die by them. One of the meanings of this is to be aware that we live by and for life’s sacredness. This sacredness consists in doing the Creator's ways and attributes, and not what denigrates the holiness of life's.
"(...) because all these abominations have the men of the land done, that were before you, and the land is defiled; that the land does not vomit you out also, when you defile it, as it vomited out the nation that was before you. Therefore, shall you keep My charge, that you not do any of these abominable customs, which were done before you, and that you defile not yourselves therein: I am the Lord your God." (18:27-28, 30)
Being different from the "nations" is the destiny that our God wants for Israel. As we have said, the difference lies in being always aware of God's love in all levels of consciousness, and living according to His commandments, and His ways and attributes.