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Parshat Ki Teitzei: Listen To The Voice You Have ‘Cancelled’

Transitions are never easy. Our inner equilibrium for which we constantly strive becomes disrupted as a result.

We spend our lives trying to create order and structure out of chaos. Yet in spite of our best efforts, unforeseen events can sometimes cause serious havoc.

We have all been profoundly affected by this pandemic. We are still in the midst of its impact with no clear visibility of the future.

It becomes extremely challenging to navigate our personal and business lives under these extraordinary conditions.

I’m currently studying the story of King Solomon with my son. His achievements were extraordinary. He united the Jewish people, built the first Temple and achieved peace and security in the land. That era is considered the golden age of Jewish history.

This was only achieved because he was especially blessed with a divine gift. As the verse explains, G-d appeared to him in a dream and offered to fulfil any one request he would ask. Solomon chose wisdom, not wealth, glory or even long life.

He made the right choice, and what a wise one it was.

Well, what’s the relevance of this story to current events? Who is offering us, mere mortals, the gift of ‘wisdom’?

The mystics explain that the faculty of ‘wisdom’ is an innate quality with which we are all endowed. But like everything else, it needs to be nurtured.

The most effective way of allowing its light to shine is by being ‘humble’. In reality they are two sides of the same coin. 

When we are faced with challenges, when ‘darkness’ pervades our lives, It is only because we have blocked out the infinite light embedded within us.

We can only unleash its radiance by creating ‘space’ in our minds and hearts. To fully acknowledge and appreciate our deficiencies in our understanding and our limitations in empathising with others.

As our sages teach us “Accustom your tongue to say: I do not know” (Berakhot 4:B)

We are all being challenged to live our lives with less certainty and security.

No doubt these times in which we find ourselves have compelled us all to become more humble. To listen more carefully to others. To our friends and colleagues. Even to our inner voice.

We have been too rushed and confident in the past, in the judgments and choices we have made.

This moment is an opportune time to be more humble and receptive to the voices, from both outside and inside of us, which we have canceled out in the past.

To engage and entertain them more seriously and deliberately. To allow them to shine some light into our hearts and mind, illuminating our paths ahead.


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