Published March 2019
LISTEN TO THE SILENCE
There is a story of a Vermont farmer who was assisting in the seasonal chore of stocking an ice house when he lost his watch. Loudly bewailing his misfortune, he set about with his flashlight and rake hunting for it in the sawdust on the ice house floor. His friends noisily joined him in the search, but they failed to turn up the watch.
When the farmer and his friends went for lunch, a small boy who was watching slipped quietly into the ice house and found the watch. Asked by the astonished owner how he discovered it, the youngster explained: “Well, I just laid on the sawdust and kept very still and soon I heard the watch ticking.” This can very well be an instructive guide for us as we deal with our personal concerns, for it is in the silence of solitude that we can hear the sounds of our souls. When we are quiet and contemplative on a rest day or on a vacation, we begin to hear the ticking of our consciences. It is then that we can synchronize our lives to our inner values. It is then that we can set the time to examine our thoughts and our feelings, and to make the decisions which are best suited for us as individual human beings. After those decisions are made, their sum total becomes our character and our unique personality.
As Harry Sackler put it: “Silence and meditation are the rungs on which one climbs to the Higher Worlds.”
Rabbi Alvin Kass
Chief Chaplain of the NYPD