Sh’ma and the Voice Inside My Head

Ever since we got back from Colorado last Sunday, my right ear has been completely stuffed. I can still sort of hear out of it, but when I talk, I feel like I am in an aquarium.  It’s been quite annoying this past week, but tonight, I noticed something very different about this stuffed ear syndrome that brought some interesting meaning.

This past Shabbat’s Torah portion included the Sh’ma – Hear (Listen) Israel, ADONAI is our God, ADONAI is One. This is the watchword of our faith as Jews. We say it when we wake up, we say it when we’re going to bed. It get’s it’s own page in the prayerbook. And when we say this prayer, we are encouraged to close our eyes in order to remove the distractions we see with our eyes and truly listen to these important words.

Tonight, at services in the beauty of the Camp Hess Kramer chapel, surrounded by the large trees and plants, I closed my eyes preparing to say the Sh’ma, when I heard something quite different. This time, I heard my own voice inside my body. Rather than having my voice commingle with all the other voices, I heard my own voice singing the Sh’ma, calling me to listen to my self and hear  these words in my voice. Tonight, it was a call not just to all of us as a community to listen, this was a call to me that I have to take the time and listen for God’s voice in the world.