He Listened

Jun 30th, 2011 by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Prayer, Reflections & Observations
Based on a few hundred emails, I realize that many people wondered why I have barely written anything for a few weeks. Many guessed that I was ill and extended their prayers and best wishes.

I was ill, frustrated, and frightened. I carry not only the scars of many surgeries, but emotional scars of long and devastating illnesses as well. I choose to not share specifics, however, I can say that the most frustrating aspect of illness is, as my uncle Noach zt”l used to say, “God is articulate. If you haven’t figured out what He’s telling you; either you’re deaf or a fool, and I happen to know you aren’t deaf!” Ouch!

I ceaselessly bother my doctor, and he always makes himself available. Today, he listened in a way I’ve never experienced a doctor listening. His physical exam didn’t help him understand what was the underlying issue. His careful attention to my description of what I was experiencing offered a clue. He diagnosed the issue, prescribed new medication, and within a few hours, I felt like a new man.

Not the examination, but the listening was the answer. That had to be the clue to what I was to learn from my illness. Am I listening as carefully as Dr. Dwyer listened to me? The answer is, “Probably not.” So, I apologize to all those to whom I haven’t been listening carefully. I will try to be a better listener.

It may take a few days for me to begin writing and meeting with people, so meanwhile I’ll begin the listening with Shema. I pray that it will help.

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