Let My People Know

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz: “He was rising too high.”

Stories are told of a number of righteous people who, while praying, would hold an object in their hands and look at it from time to time.

They did this to maintain their connection with reality, with the dimensions of time and space, especially during prayer, so that they would not com-
pletely leave the world.

It is said that during the last years of Rabbi Yehiel Mikhel of Zlotchov, his family would watch over him.

There was a fear that he would ascend to such spiritual heights that he would be unable to return to this world and would be consumed in his clinging to God.

Therefore, someone would always make sure to distract him whenever it seemed that he was rising too high.

The story is told that one day, his daughter was responsible for watching him, and she went out for a moment.

When she returned, she found him pacing in his room, repeating again and again the phrase from the Zohar (2:88b), “With this will, Moses left the world; with this will, Moses left the world.”

She quickly called her brother to help her, and they grabbed their father and shook him, but it was too late.

They could no longer reach him.

He no longer recognized anyone, and shortly afterward he passed away.

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz