#BlogElul 21 — Do You Hear What I Hear?

by Rebecca Einstein Schorr on 09 September 2012 @ 2:05 am

Do you hear my words?
You’re not listening to me!
You NEVER listen to me!!

My kids. They must say one of these at least once a day.
And it’s not that I don’t hear them. And it’s not that I’m not listening to them.

When they exclaim, “you’re not listening to me,” what they mean is “you’re not doing what I want!”

But are we all that different?

I stopped praying to God because He never answers my prayers.
When what we mean is “God never does what I want.”

שמע קולינו Sh’ma Koleinu
Do you hear us?
שמע קולי Sh’ma Koli
Are You listening to me, God? Are You LISTENING? Do You ever listen to me?

We reach out to You as our children reach out to us.
Are we any more patient then they are?

Are You listening to me, God? Are You LISTENING? LISTEN TO ME!

do You hear me?

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This post is part of #BlogElul — a project, created and oordinated by The Ima, in preparation for the start of the New Year, Rosh Hashanah. Feel free to head over to her place and thank her for dreaming up such a creative way for us to consider the different themes associated with the Jewish High Holy Days.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jen 09 September 2012 @ 2:24 am at 2:24 am

I love this. Love. I don’t have much beyond that….its just so true. Too many people think that just because God doesn’t do what they want, that He is not listening. So not true. This is also how people end up blaming God for the negative things that happen in their lives.

I just read this blog post to Zack and he enjoyed it as well.

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2 Rebecca Einstein Schorr 09 September 2012 @ 8:17 pm at 8:17 pm

I’m glad that you guys liked it. It’s such a hard lesson to learn… To know that God hears our prayers even when they are not answered the way that we think that they should be.

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3 Andrea 09 September 2012 @ 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm

This one got me, dear friend. It is so true how this happens to people and we get caught up. I am one who always believes G-d is listening. But I definitely get angry when what I was wishing was not done, or, actually, no, I think I’m more along the lines of those who simply do not understand his actions when children get horribly ill, or people die young, or things like that. It’s something I struggle with and think of often, so thank you for these words today. Much love to you and yours.

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4 Rebecca Einstein Schorr 09 September 2012 @ 8:25 pm at 8:25 pm

I am the first to acknowledge that much of life is beyond my understanding.

I once heard an analogy that made all the difference to me: think of a tapestry. Have you ever seen the back of it? It looks chaotic with strands of yarn here-and-there in a seemingly-random order. BUT — turn that tapestry around and the picture is clear.

So too with life. We are living on the backside of the tapestry without the view of the front. We lack God’s clarity when it comes to “the big picture.”

Love and wishes for a blessed year.

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5 Former Reform Jew 09 September 2012 @ 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm

פּוֹתֵחַ אֶת-יָדֶךָ; וּמַשְׂבִּיעַ לְכָל-חַי רָצוֹן.

“You open your Hand, and fulfill the ratzon of every living being”
-Psalms 145:16

What is ratzon? Desire. Pure, clear, all-encompassing desire.

Anything that a living being truly desires, G-d fulfills that desire.

The question is, do we know what we really want?

All of us parents know all to well that our children ask for things that they don’t really want all the time.

Do they really want THAT toy, or do they want to feel instant gratification?

Do they really want to stay up late, or has their need for power and independence temporarily overwhelmed their fatigue?

We are G-d’s children. If we pray for things that we only think we want, but do not truly have a ratzon for, G-d does us a favor by not granting them.

However, as the verse from Psalms teaches us, any person who has a genuine ratzon for something, anything, and trusts that G-d will provide it – G-d will open his “Hand”.

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6 Rebecca Einstein Schorr 09 September 2012 @ 8:20 pm at 8:20 pm

I agree with much of what you’re written.

But what about, for example, a couple who is having trouble conceiving a child. Are we to understand, based on what you’ve presented, that the couple does not truly have ratzon for it? And that their lack of ratzon is the cause for their infertility?

May this new year be one of blessing and life for you and your loved ones.

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7 Nina 09 September 2012 @ 3:34 pm at 3:34 pm

I remember the first time a rabbi told me that God listens, but the answer is sometimes “No.” I actually liked that, but it does take a certain maturity to accept it.

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8 Rebecca Einstein Schorr 09 September 2012 @ 8:22 pm at 8:22 pm

That it does.

I feel for God, though. Because there is a lot of “no” when it comes to parenting. And I certainly don’t like the notion of denying my kids — even when I know that it is best for them. I can only imagine how much the more so it is for God.

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