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To learn to listen

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

Rav Zeev Harel writes about our mission during the month that has just begun, the month of Av:
"Each time Reb Aryeh Levin, the famous Jerusalem tzadik, would visit a prison or a hospital, those he visited would be spiritually stirred and uplifted by his presence. Once, a member of the staff approached him and said: 'Reb Aryeh, I must ask you something. How is it that everyone is so happy after your visit? What do you say to them?'. Reb Aryeh answered: 'I don't say anything to them. I just try to listen'.
Aharon HaCohen, who passed away on the 1st of Av, represents those who give to others and make them feel better by listening. Aharon would listen carefully to every person in order to understand each one's pain. He would find the beauty in every individual and succeed in strengthening and encouraging that person in the process.
We live in a world based on productivity. Many courses are offered on effective public speaking, time management, branding and marketing, but no courses are offered on listening. Listening is considered gray and boring, yet to truly hear someone is never passive, but demands active engagement. To listen is to go outside myself, to give all of what I am to another and to understand the place that person is coming from. In such moments, the Holy Temple begins to be rebuilt."


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