Let My People Know

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz: “One must transcend all the bounds of reality.”

In order to transform transgression and past neglect, in order to change and add something to reality, something that was not there to begin with, one must transcend all the bounds of reality.

This requirement is quite a tall order, but it is not impossible, nor is it uncommon.

As a matter of fact, it is found in the daily recitation of the Shema.

“You shall love God your Lord bekhol levavekha, with all your heart” represents the level of rectification of deeds and rectification of drives.

“Bekhol nafshekha,” “with all your soul,” is the rectification of one’s self, of one’s direction, to the point of self-devotion.

“Bekhol me’odekha,” “with all your might,” denotes that after you have done everything you can, do more; do what you are incapable of doing.

Bekhol meodekha means to transcend all your limits – and this, as we have stated, is also the highest level of teshuva.

When a person reaches his limit and then goes beyond it into the domain of what he cannot do, he thereby creates an ein sof in miniature within himself, and this ein sof touches the Ein Sof of the Holy One, blessed be He.

—Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz