On rare occasions does one hear a story that leaves one with a most profound impression. I would like to share with you such a story.
The third Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson (1789-1866), had a special relationship with his youngest son Sumuel. The young boy would ensure that each and every day despite his father’s extremely busy schedule, he would spend time together with his father in his private room. Sometimes even waiting until late into the night once his father would finish the many meetings he would regularly conduct with thousands of followers seeking his wise counsel and moral support.
Once, after a long such day, the boy enters his father’s room late at night. Exhausted by the many meeting the Rebbe had conducted that night, listening and empathising to the trials and tribulations of so many and offering them his advice, the Rebbe suggested to his son that perhaps he cut back the meetings and instead he would communicate to the masses via his written and published teachings.
Listening carefully to his father, the young boy proceeded towards the bookshelf in the room and begins to count the volumes of his father’s published works. Turning to his father he asked: How many of these books do you think you could have written had you not listened and empathised with the thousands of those who poured out their hearts to you.
To which the father than smiled, acknowledging the profound wisdom of his young boy.
A dialogue, similar in nature appears in this week’s Torah portion between Moses and his father in law Jethro. Either way a profound and clear message can be derived from the narrative.
Firstly, in order to discover the most profound insights into life, we must first and foremost connect with the deepest levels of our conciseness.
Secondly, we can only transcend our shallow and pretentious sense of self by first being able to genuinely listen to others. For in so doing we train ourselves to leave go of all our biased and ulterior motives, however sacred. Liberating our purest selves, on which level we are all one.