"You shall take for yourselves on the first day" (Lev. 23:40)
The Sages comment on this: "Is it in fact the first day? Is it not the fifteenth day [of the month]? Rather, it is the first regarding the reckoning of transgressions." (Midrash Tanchuma, Emor 22)
The offering…is in order that the influx of G‑d's kingdom flows to all of the seventy nations….
We can explain this as follows: The People of Israel fully accepted the yoke of Heaven upon themselves on Rosh Hashanah, as they would recite the phrase "Holy King" and "King of Judgment" [in the holiday liturgy]. The nations of the world, however, did not accept the yoke of Heaven upon themselves over Rosh Hashanah. It is the task of the People of Israel to bring the glory of G‑d's kingdom to all of creation, even to the nations of the world, and the offering of the seventy bulls on the festival of Sukkot is in order that the influx of G‑d's kingdom flows to all of the seventy nations.
This is alluded to in the verse "You shall take for yourselves". The word "for yourselves" [in Hebrew, "lachem"] contains the same letters as the Hebrew word for "king" ["melech"]. This means that you should accept the yoke of Heaven upon yourselves "on the first day". This question of the Sages - "Is it in fact the first day? Is it not the fifteenth day?" - should be understood thus: Is it the first day of accepting the yoke of Heaven? Is it not the fifteenth day following Rosh Hashanah, when the People of Israel accepted the yoke of Heaven upon themselves?
The answer of the Sages is that regarding the People of Israel it is the fifteenth day, but regarding the nations of the world it is the first day since they did not accept the yoke of Heaven upon themselves on Rosh Hashanah. The meaning of the phrase, "regarding the reckoning of transgressions" is that it refers to the nations of the world for regarding Israel the Blessed Holy One does not regard their transgressions because of His great love for them.
This awareness is new for the nations of the world….
This then is the meaning of "You shall take for yourselves ["lachem"] on the first day…": You shall take the aspect of divine kingship on the first day and bring its influx to all the seventy nations. Then "G‑d will be King over all the earth." (Zachariah 14:9)
May it happen speedily in our days Amen.
Divine influx, the consciousness and intensity of awareness of divine sovereignty flows into the world through the spiritual leaders of Israel to the People of Israel to the nations of the world to all of Creation. The verse which speaks of taking the four species on the first day alludes to bringing the awareness of divine sovereignty to all of creation. It is called "the first day" because this awareness is new for the nations of the world - it is a "first" - for they did not experience it on Rosh Hashanah.
Interestingly, the idea of bringing divine awareness to Creation is expressed as "taking for yourselves". When one takes the four species for oneself and infuses one's being with the awareness of the Divine, one actually becomes a "no-self". When one brings the awareness of the Divine to places that lie beyond one's habitual limits - that is a true taking for oneself. What you have is what you give.
[From Bat Ayin ("The Eye Within"), translation and reflections by Jonathan Glass;
Reprinted with permission from http://www.geocities.com/ravjglass/avritchertorah.htm]