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Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz:”The capacity to absorb.”

When a person experiences major changes in his life and does not have the capacity to absorb these changes, the effects of these changes can be ruinous.

The story is told of a French millionaire who, when informed that almost his entire fortune had been lost and what remained was only 100,000 francs, had a heart attack and died.

This millionaire had an heir, who was very poor his entire life, and when he heard that he had inherited 100,000 francs, he, too, had a heart attack and died.

Neither of them had the capacity to absorb the news.

For this reason, it is precisely in times of ascent that one must always try to engage in activities that foster spiritual growth, even if it is for the sole purpose of avoiding the creation of an opening for the entry of tuma (ritual impurity).

As we read in Numbers Rabba, we have not yet removed ourselves from the sin of the Golden Calf (9:49).

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz