Four Levels of If Not Higher

If Not Higher Four Levels

If Not Higher is an ancient story by IL Peretz. In this story, he focuses on the habit of the Rabbi of Namirov.

Similarly, he focuses on selfless services. Its four levels of If Not Higher literal comprehension, interpretation, critical thinking/ analysis, and assimilation are:

Literal Comprehension

‘If Not Higher’ is the altruistic story composed by ‘Il Peretz’. In this story early every Friday morning at the time of penitential prayers, the Rabbi of Namirov( Priest, religious Guru of their society) would vanish, people thought he went to heaven at that time.

But a Litvak didn’t believe it. He decided to find what was true & that same night after the evening prayers Litvak secretly went to the Rabbi’s room to find out what he does during the penitential prayers.

He was under the Rabbi’s bed the whole night. The next morning at the time of penitential prayers, Rabbi takes some clothes out of a bundle of peasant clothes, an ax & rope. Then he goes out of town & Litvak secretly follows him.

Out of the town Rabbi cuts a tree & makes a bundle of wood & returns to the town. Then he stopped behind of small house & he went to that house.

There was a poor room with broken miserable furnishing & an old sick woman wrapped in rags, lying on the bed. Then he sold those woods on the very cheapest at credit and also helped to burn the fire.

While burning brightly he recited different types of portions of penitential prayers. After seeing these are all activities of Rabbi of Namirov, the Litvak impressed who secretly followed him & became his disciple.


This story is quite impressive in terms of giving a moral lesson to the readers. Maybe this story trying to tell us that help, respect, belief, hope, etc. are the way of heaven.

This story displays that if the true person helped helpless people like poor people, old people, and sick people after his or her death he or she will go to heaven.

It also says one can please God by helping the helpless one. Similarly, it is not limited to going to temples, and churches, worshiping, or praying to Gods. So, Heaven is there where we have a holy mind & respect for others.

Critical Thinking

This story is about the well-appreciating task of the Rabbi of Namirov, who helps helpless people selflessly. But in the present world, everyone is so busy doing their work & they don’t believe in heaven which is invisible to our eyes & also from the world.

So, in my mind also some questions were raised,

  • Can we find such an altruistic person in this materialistic world?
  • Is it there is heaven?
  • Can modern readers believe that there is heaven?

So I am not fully happy with this text.


Before reading this story If Not Higher I did not believe in heavenly pleasure. Also still I am not involved in the way of helping people.

But after reading this text I came to know that. It is necessary to help helpless people to be great people. Also, heaven is here on earth. So, from now I have a great desire to help helpless people to be great people & reach heaven like Rabbi of Namirov.

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