So solitary were his prayers at that moment that the congregation feared what would happen if something befell him and he did not emerge. No-one could go in and bring him out.
In some fashion his solitariness is symbolic of the moments of aloneness that we all experience during the most holy day of the year.
One moment we are the congregation of Israel addressing our Maker. The next, we are off on a personal spiritual excursion.
The rest of the congregation stands beside us but suddenly they are no longer there. It is each of us alone. If our spiritual moment succeeds it is not shared.
What happens when a spiritual moment succeeds? Is it a mystical union of the human soul with the Divine?
Some would deny that possibility and insist that there is and must always be a gulf between man and God.
Yet even without the earthly and the Divine becoming one it must be possible for us to glimpse – at least metaphorically – something of the grandeur of the Almighty.
Not that we are any closer to knowing the secrets of God. But at moments of spiritual elevation we can commune with His goodness and holiness and emerge changed for ever.