25 Jul Sitting In The Barber’s Chair
I was sitting in the waiting room of the service department of a car dealership and an “Oldies” station was playing, and I was surprised over how many of the songs were familiar. I couldn’t remember anyone playing these songs in our house, especially when my father zt”l was home, and then, I realized that I had heard all these songs in the barbershop where my mother a”h would take me for haircuts.
The songs took me back to my childhood, and triggered all sorts of wonderful memories of my mother taking me out shopping, to the doctor’s office, and yes, to the barbershop. I heard the music and it triggered powerful and wonderful memories.
No wonder a portion that begins with hearing, “This shall be the reward when you carefully listen to these ordinances, (See, ‘The First Step Through The Door’)” also focuses so much on memory:
“You shall remember the entire road on which God, your Lord, led you these forty years in the wilderness so as to afflict you, to test you, to know what is in your heart, whether you would observe His commandments or not (Deuteronomy 8:2).”
“Be careful that you do not forget God, your Lord, failing to observe His commands, His laws and His decrees that I am giving you this day.”
“But remember God, your Lord, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms His covenant, which He swore to your ancestors, as it is today.”
This portion of Hearing developed further than the Shema of the previous portion, describes how we can use our hearing to trigger important memories. Perhaps this is a development of, “Na’aseh v’Nishmah,” “we will observe, and we will hear.” We are asked to observe to train ourselves to become better listeners: “It will be if you hear and relate to My commandments,” which is understood as teaching us to serve God with Love; the love that is triggered by the music of the Mitzvot that connect us to all that God has done and continues to do for us each day.
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