web analytics
September 21, 2014 / 26 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



Deaf And Dumb


Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

I’ve often written and said that we are living in remarkable but dangerous times in which we can hear (provided we know how to listen) the footsteps of the Messiah. Ours, however, is a generation that has difficulty hearing.

We are saturated with constant noise, not only from rapidly developing world events but also from our own tumultuous, seductive lifestyles – lifestyles that are conducive to self-absorption and deafness.

You might, of course, wonder at the appropriateness of the word “deafness.” Isn’t that a bit extreme? Actually, if there were a stronger expression, I would resort to that. Yes, our generation has become deaf – no matter how thunderous the call of Hashem.

But still you might ask, Is our generation really so much different from those that preceded us? To be sure, in every generation we’ve had problems hearing that “still small voice” that comes in many shapes and forms. But in our generation that blockage has become even more acute. There are so many sounds that divert us from hearing.

Nowadays, it is rare to see anyone take even a moment to think. There was a time when people took walks for contemplation or secluded themselves to review their lives. Today, this hardly (if ever) occurs. Today, when you see people walking in the street they are almost always involved in some activity, be it talking on their cell phones, text messaging, scrolling through e-mail on their Blackberry, or listening to their iPod. And should they steal some moments to seclude themselves, there are other diversions vying for their attention – the Internet, TV, video games, etc.

In the interim, time relentlessly passes – and with every moment events unfold that we neither hear nor see. Not only have we lost our ability to hear, we have lost our ability to talk, to hold a conversation. People communicate through e-mail, texting or Twitter. This has become so prevalent that children no longer speak with parents, couples no longer speak with each other. They find it much easier to text or resort to other technological means of communication, because by doing so they don’t have to hear a response, another voice that might question or negate their message. Nor are they obliged to hear expressions of love that might make them feel guilty or indebted.

Regardless of our reaction (or non-reaction), the messages continue and the sounds become louder, demanding a response. But how can we respond if we no longer know how to hear? Deaf, dumb, and blind, we continue to march on to the sound of our own music and congratulate ourselves on our open-mindedness and ready acceptance of all lifestyles.

So it is that we never learn. Even the most world-shaking events go unheeded. Neither the Holocaust nor the rebirth of Israel after two thousand years of exile has made us stop and rethink our lives.

I could go through a number of other examples, but I’ll skip to 9/11 – a tragedy that spoke thunderously to everyone in our country. Remarkably, even then we continued to remain deaf, and chose to view its message through a politically correct lens.

We have become so inured that we see nothing unusual in the constant escalation of natural disasters – tsunamis, floods, tornados, earthquakes, nuclear spills, etc. Nor do we see anything remarkable about dead birds falling from the skies or dead fish washing ashore in uncountable numbers. Nor did we wake up when financial disaster overtook us. Overnight, we witnessed the collapse of giant corporations and industries, the meltdown of Wall Street and the devaluation of the dollar, which we once believed to be invincible.

Our inability to hear rendered us deaf and blind to the messages behind the toppling of powerful governments that for years were controlled by dictators who ruled with iron fists. We delude ourselves into believing that what we are witnessing is the dawn of freedom, peace and democracy in the dark world of the Middle East. We refuse to consider that the mobs are the precursors of even more tyrannical dictatorships.

Look at Egypt. In our blindness and deafness we refused to pay heed to the heinous shouts of “Jew! Jew” as CBS correspondent Lara Logan was barbarously attacked by the mob in the streets (though Logan is in fact not a Jew).

Nor has the world paid heed to the destruction of churches and the killing of Christians. Yes, all this is unfolding in the “new”Egypt, as the world responds with a deafening silence. Why? We dismiss that question as well. We have our own problems. We can’t really get involved in world events. It won’t help anyway, so the call continues to be sounded and we continue to remain blind, dumb and deaf.

(To Be Continued)

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Deaf And Dumb”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
ISIS executioner holding British aid worker Alan Henning as a hostage.
Muslims Plead with ISIS for Life of UK Aid Worker Alan Henning
Latest Judaism Stories
Hertzberg-092614

Perhaps the most important leadership lesson Elkana taught us is to never underestimate the difference a single person can make.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch-NEW

“he’s my rabbi” the Black painter said with pride, pulling out a photo of the Rebbe from his wallet

Rabbi Avi Weiss, head of theYeshivat Chovevei Torah. Rabbi Asher Lopatin will be replacing him as head of the school.

The Torah notes that even when we are dispersed God will return us to Him.

Rabbi Sacks

Simply, for Rambam the number 14 (2×7) was his favored organizing principle.

One of the cornerstones of our Jewish life is chesed, kindness. Chesed can only be taught by example

Our understanding of what is and what is not possible creates imagined ceilings of opportunity for us.

This young, innocent child gave me a powerful, warm surge of energy and strength.

The Chafetz Chaim answered that there are two forms of teshuvah; teshuvah m’ahava and teshuvah m’yirah.

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

A Role Reversal
‘Return, O Wayward Sons…’
(Chagigah 15a)

When the Kleins returned, however, they were dismayed to see that the renters did a poor job cleaning up after themselves.

In Parshas Re’eh the Torah tells us about the bechira to adhere to the commandments of Hashem and refrain from sin. In Parshas Nitzavim, the Torah tells us that we have the choice to repent after we have sinned.

As Moshe is about to die, why does God tell him about how the Israelites will ruin everything?

Jonah objected to God accepting repentance based on ulterior motives and likely for short duration.

This week’s parsha offers a new covenant; a covenant that speaks to national life unlike any other

More Articles from Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

One of the cornerstones of our Jewish life is chesed, kindness. Chesed can only be taught by example

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

“There is nothing new under the sun” is as valid today as it was yesterday.

The time immediately preceding Mashiach’s arrival is likened to the birth pangs of a woman in labor.

If we regard pain and suffering as mere coincidence, we will feel no motivation to examine our lives

What does Hashem want of us? That we should protect each other and the awesome heritage He gave us.

Gratitude=Great Attitude. Appreciation is always appropriate.

The two words “thank you” have no time expiration; even if spoken after many years they’re as potent as ever.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/rebbetzins-viewpointrebbetzin-jungreis/deaf-and-dumb-2/2011/05/18/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: