Saturday, August 4, 2012

Listen Up... by guest blogger Chana Rachel Schusterman

The Power of Using our G-d Given Talents (and Helping Our Children Recognize Theirs.)

There are twelve months in the Jewish calendar.  The talent of HEARING is the fifth, corresponding to the month of Av (July-August).

Individuals who have this talent are able to stay present, “tune in”, and pick up the nuances of every situation.  They are acutely receptive, absorbing the details of their surroundings. They do this naturally and intuitively. They listen, hear nuances and experience how these details fit into the whole. It is as if their love of music enables them to hear each instrument and appreciate how it is part of the magnificent music of the entire orchestra. In relationships they seek harmony and look for the good in people. They have big hearts and want everyone to be happy.  

We can be role models for our children by “tuning in” and pointing out what is good in the world.  We also need to be good listeners to hear and validate what they want to share.  Sometimes we need to help them use their minds to balance their hearts.  This balance will increase their sense of inner harmony.

Tools for Developing Your Sense of Hearing:

1.  “Tune in” to the present.
2.  Don’t jump to conclusions.  Listen and pay attention to details.  
3.  Be receptive  to what is positive and harmonious.
4.  Understand what you experience by using your mind as well as your heart.


The Kabalah of Hearing:

The sense of hearing is receptive, integrating knowledge through the heart.  A person with this sense tunes in with a deep understanding.  

Twice each day, morning and night, Jews say “Shema Israel, A-donai E-loheinu, A-donai Echad.”  (“Hear O Israel, the L-rd our G-d, the L-rd is One.”) (These words are also written on parchment in the mezuza which we place on our doorposts, and in the tefilin that Jewish men wear on their heads and arms.) This profound meditation (see for more information) is a meditation on the Oneness of G-d. The first word, ‘Shema,’ ‘Hear’, means that we are to tune in with all our hearts to the Oneness of G-d.   

The month of Av is the saddest month of the year.  The destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD took place in Av.  The Temple was rebuilt and again destroyed, again on the 9th of Av, by the Babylonians. The 9th of Av is a day of fasting and mourning for the many tragedies that took place on that day.  We pray and look forward to the rebuilding of the Third Holy Temple in Jerusalem, which will be the center of G-dly revelation and world peace.

Chana Rachel Schusterman is a Jewish spiritual counselor and coach. If you would like to contact her, please email me at

1 comment:

  1. Speaking of tuning in, I have been tuning in to your blog for several months now and I just wanted to say thank you! Your blog was one of my biggest inspirations when I was contemplating homeschooling. I kept checking in the your site and saying that's what I would want to do with my kids. I am always so impressed with all of your ideas and love how you use the Torah as your guide for so much of what you do. Needless to say we have decided to home school our girls and I have started blogging about it as well Thank you for creating something so wonderful to tune in to.


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