Thursday, February 5, 2015

Doing And Listening

In preparation for the giving of the Ten Commandments, Hashem says to the Jewish people: "And now, if you will truly listen to My voice, and you will keep My covenant, then you will be a treasure to Me..."

The giving of the Ten Commandments, is considered the marriage between Hashem and the Jewish people. What can we learn from here about our relationship with Hashem? How could this help our personal relationship?

The passuk (verse) stresses two parts of a relationship, listening, "if you will truly listen" and doing, "and you will keep My covenant".

In response to our acceptance of the Torah, we said "naaseh vinishma" "we will do and we will listen". Again you have doing and listening.

Our relationship with Hashem manifests itself in two ways. First there is "doing", which means doing mitzvas and acting in accordance with His laws. Then there is "listening", hearing Hashem's voice, He is sharing part of His essence with us.

The first commandment starts with the word "Anochi" "I Am". Anochi is an acronym, Ana Nafshi Ksavis Yehavis. I have written My essence and given it (to you). Hashem wants us to know Him and so He embedded His essence in the Torah.

Sometimes we get so caught in the doing part, we lose all joy and meaning in what we are doing. It becomes a souless action. Hashem wants more. He wants us to know Him, to know what His purpose in creating the world is. He wants more than just actions, He wants depth too.

Chabad chassidic teachings helps you develop this area of our relationship with Hashem.

These two elements are necessary in our personal relationship as well. First there has to be the doing part, without which a couple simply can't function. However, the listening part is vital to develop a strong, deep and meaningful relationship. Without listening, the relationship will eventually begin to feel hollow, which is followed by hurt and anger.

Many husbands work hard providing for their family, yet they get the feeling that their wives seem unhappy. Listening could very well be the issue. Learning how to listen will make your relationship more meaningful and her smile will return.
With Hashem's help, "Marriage Tips for Men Part II: How to Listen", will be posted this coming week.

This week's Dvar Torah is dedicated to my Mother-in-law, Sheina and her new husband Michoel Gutman. May you share many happy and healthy years together. 


  1. Thank You Rabbi. Listening is a key element to a successful relationship. We hope to come visit you soon!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Listing is so critical to any relationship and yet so many of us speed right through it. Excellent post as usual. The Steins miss you and your family dearly we send all of our love prayers.