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Do You See Or Hear?

08/03/2018 01:14:14 PM


We encounter the world around us through all our different senses.

We taste, touch, smell, listen and see.

But we connect with the most important things in our lives primarily through our ears and eyes. Think about your relationships, your education, your job, your worldview, and you’ll notice how what you see and what you hear are essential.

There are two things we should pay attention to when it comes to seeing and hearing:

  1. There are many ways to see and hear things, and we get to choose how we do it:
  • We can exercise patience to see the full picture and hear the full story, or we can be snappy and arrive at something incomplete.
  • We can fill in the gaps and connect the dots to create either a favorable or a negative judgement.
  • We can use the fullest capacity of our senses to explore greater depths of what we see and hear, or we can process them superficially.
  1. Our eyes and our ears each connect us differently with our surroundings.

Seeing something creates an immediate and palpable connection. What we see feels very real. It can quickly create emotions like excitement or fear.

Hearing something is a slower process, and the connection is more abstract. But when we listen attentively we get a more intelligible impression.

It is important to reflect on how we balance the use of our eyes and our eyes in our lives.

Imagine the following two scenarios: 1) You spend a half hour just seeing/observing (but not hearing) your loved one, 2) You spend a half hour just hearing/conversing with (but not seeing) your loved one.

Spending a quality half hour with your loved one will certainly strengthen your bond. But in what way would these two scenarios differ?

In the Torah, G-d talks about the differences between the ‘seeing’ and ‘hearing’ paradigms of life.

In last week’s portion, we read the famous verse, “Shema Yisroel – Hear O Israel, the Lord is our G-d and He is One.” This week’s portion opens with, “And when you will listen to the laws, then G-d will protect you.” Next week’s portion will open with, “See that I have placed before you the blessed and cursed paths.”

Seeing and hearing. Both senses together allow us to connect deeper with Hashem, with others, with events and circumstances, and with ourselves.

You see what I mean? Hear what I’m saying? 😊

Shabbat Shalom!

Fri, December 3 2021 29 Kislev 5782