Ki Tavo: Lessons in Listening

listening ki tavoImagine being on the other side of Torah. We read these words, and we “hear” them perhaps, often as if we were speaking these words to ourselves, but imagine if we were there (wherever there is – maybe here?) and we were listening. Lots of words are going by us, hour after hour – how are we ever going to remember all these details? We may be hungry, we may need to sit down, our children are fussy, and still, Moshe goes on and on about what we need to know. Remind you of some synagogue services you have sat through?

But Ki Tavo reminds us to listen, and to really listen, we need to quiet our minds. We need to quiet our monkey-brain, and – just – listen. Deuteronomy 28:11 “if you listen, listen to the voice of God…” Midrash comments further – “Happy is the one whose listenings are to Me, hovering always at My doorways, door within door…” I love this image, as if we are officially charged with eavesdropping within.

We need to go deeply inwards to truly listen. The doorway (delet) image is significant. Where do we post our mezuzah? On the lintel of our doorway(s). We can only be at an entry point of understanding if we remember to listen: where will that door with a door with a door lead us? What will we hear in our innermost being, as we stand at the lintel of wisdom? Only by practicing depths of listening, quietude can we hear that still small voice within. Sh’ma Yisroel. Listen. Shavua tov.