Do You Hear Me?

Do You Hear Me?

There is a famous story about the Baal Shem Tov and one of his foremost students. When the Baal Shem Tov began to teach Chassidus, many were opposed to his teachings. They just could not understand how to look into the world around us and hear and see Hashem in every blade of grass and in every rustle of wind on leaves.

One great Torah sage decided to check out for himself what the teachings were all about, before passing judgment on the movement. He arrived at the study hall of the Baal Shem Tov just in time to hear a lesson on “hearing” things. Specifically, the Baal Shem Tov said that everything you hear in life, whether an insult from a homeless man all the way to a profound lesson from a great Torah sage, every word is aimed to you from G-d. If you heard it, it was meant for you.

The newcomer in the study hall did not agree with the Baal Shem Tov. He argued, “Hashem would not use an ordinary non-Jewish coarse peasant to talk to someone.” The Baal Shem Tov responded that G-d would do just that at times.

The new student lost his temper, “I can’t learn from you!” he shouted.
To which the Baal Shem Tov replied calmly, “You can. You just don’t want to.”

“I cannot!”
“You can; you just don’t want to.”

The student stormed out of the study hall, banging the door behind him. He started hurrying away, away from this Baal Shem Tov who taught things that he had never heard of before. As he hurried on the road, up ahead was a wagon on its side. A coarse peasant stood there, trying to right it and help the poor horse that was attached to it. The peasant could not do it alone. Seeing the student there in the road, he called out, “please, mister, I need help quickly. Help me right this wagon.”

“I can’t..” said the man, trying to pass the peasant.
The peasant got angry. “You can,” he yelled. “You just don’t want to!”

The student stopped there in his tracks. Meekly he went to help the peasant. And, when that was done, he meekly made his way right back to the Baal Shem Tov. For he realized that Hashem had sent him the same message that the Baal Shem Tov had said to him. You can learn from everyone and everything. Sometimes we just don’t want to. There are messages in the world. It is up to us to hear them clearly.

We are told “Kol Yom V’Yom” every day, there are heavenly voices that emanate from various places in the world. Open your ears, my friends, and every day, hear what G-d is whispering, speaking and sometimes shouting at you.