Parashat Ha'azinu

Global & Local Listening

Let us create space to listen to the sounds of suffering and joy.

Print this page Print this page

If we stop and listen, we might hear surprising things. On one level, the shofar sounds like tears, but it also sounds like laughter. Whole chuckles…tekiah. Broken giggles…shevarim. Sharp shrieks of merriment…teruah. A deep belly laugh…tekiah gedolah. There are moments of surprising hope and humor in even the saddest stories. There is survival in Darfur in the midst of genocide. There is hope in Burma in the midst of rebuilding after the cyclone.

A twenty-six year old friend of mine suddenly became seriously ill this summer and began chemotherapy in the days leading up to the High Holidays. She called me a few days ago and said: "This year during the High Holidays I finally get it. We do time all wrong. We fill our days with everything but listening to each other."

In the coming year may we pause within the hectic rush of our lives and create the space to listen--to the voices of suffering and the voices of joy in our own families, our communities, and our planet. May the words of the parashah inspire us to "give our ears" to the earth and fill up our days and our hearts with listening and caring for each other.

Did you like this article?  MyJewishLearning is a not-for-profit organization.

Please consider making a donation today.

Rabbi Elliot R. Kukla

Rabbi Elliot Kukla is a rabbi at the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center in San Francisco.