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Parshat  Ha'azinu

  By Chana Engel  

“Listen, heavens, and I will speak,” - in this parsha, Moshe said,

Seemingly the order should be the other way instead.



Isn’t hearing secondary to what is verbalized?

Well the art of listening goes beyond what meets the eyes.


=  =  =


I’m sitting with my daughter for the umpteenth time this week,

Though I’m prompting her and asking her, her lips refuse to speak.

“What’s the matter sweetie?” I cajole, “What’s bothering you dear?”

But her eyes just stare right past me as if she cannot hear.


want to tell you mummy what went right and wrong today,

wish you’d know about those girls who wouldn’t let me play,

But last time that I cried to you, you said ‘That’s not so bad,’

So I don’t want to tell you now, ‘coz I know you won’t be sad.


Dear child why the masked expression, why the empty stare?

I’ve told you mummy once before and you didn’t seem to care.

Behind my stony wall of silence is a crashing flood of words,

But I’d rather leave them locked in a place where they are heard.


Speak my child, speak to me, let me know what’s on your mind!

I’m screaming mummy, silently – it’s a cry you’ll have to find..

I’m trying to get in your world, but all the doors are locked!

Mummy, I would have let you in, if only you’d have knocked…


I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, ‘Hear her out,’ they said,

So I’m sitting quietly and waiting, but I can’t get in her head!

‘Coz mummy, hearing, is not enough! The walls can hear me too,

Can’t you listen to my troubles – just feel it as I do?


Dear daughter I am listening, hear the silence in the air?

I won’t answer if the phone rings, I’m not going anywhere,

But mummy, are you receptive  to what I have to say?

Or will you discount my emotions in a most logical way?


I wish you’d quit that job of yours and could be home more,

But you wouldn’t listen anyways so what should I tell you for?

I long to go back to my old school, but I know you won’t agree,

Mummy, even if it can’t happen – can’t you just dream with me??


So I sat there and I looked at her, and uttered not a sound,

I gently stroked her hair, and tightly clutched her hand.

And I closed my eyes, imagining, how it looks inside her head,

I took myself out of the picture, and tried being her instead.


To listen means absorbing what the other has to tell,

Accepting their emotions with its connotations as well.

Giving them validity – the right to feel the way they do

And trying for a moment to walk around in their shoes.

=  =  =


“Listen, heavens, and I will talk,” the parsha starts this week,

Yes first you must be listening, if the other is to speak.

You need to listen, be receptive, for the silent to be woken,

Yes, the art of communication is about what is unspoken.



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