This Week's Thought - Parshat Shemini: Silence

This Week's Thought - Parshat Shemini: Silence


Sherri wrote the thoughts below before the bombing in Jerusalem that murdered one person and injured 38, 2 of them critically. The bomb went off near the bus my kids take when they come home from Jerusalem.  Thank G-d they were not there.  We have seen in the last week the abomination in Itamar, missiles falling in Be'er Sheva,  and now a bomb at a bus stop in the Holy City.    

We hope and pray that terror will subside.  That there will be no more children or orphans who need our programs.   But we remain ready to help those in need heal from the trauma of terror and tragedy.  Please click here to make a contribution to The Koby Mandell Foundation. -  Seth Mandell


 This Week's Thought From The Koby Mandell Foundation  

- Sherri Mandell

Parshat Shemini: Silence  

When Moshe tells Aaron that his sons Nadav and Avihu have died in the sanctuary, the text says, "And Aaron was silent." We want him to cry, to scream, to rage. Yet because of his silence, the next time G-d speaks, He speaks directly to him instead of to Moses, as has been customary.  

I have nothing against tears and crying. Yet there is a beauty to silence.  

Recently, I had an operation.  What I wanted in the days in the hospital afterwards was silence. I didn't want people telling me what was going on in the outside world, I didn't want the words of a healer who told me to imagine my stomach healing. I wanted silence. Silence is not quiet. Silence is an encounter without words.  

Silence tells us that there are experiences that can't be contained by language. Tears and crying help us with our pain because they release and express it. Silence witnesses it.  

We Jews are G-d's witnesses. What is the Shema but a prayer witnessing G-d's oneness?

  "Said Rav Papa: The merit of attending a house of mourning lies in the silence observed." (Berachot 6b)  

Words allow us to escape the mystery at the center of our experience. Silence allows us to enter it.  

Please click here to make a contribution to The Koby Mandell Foundation.


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