The first prayer that I learned when I was a child was the Shema—the central creed and watchword of our faith. It is the first prayer that most Jewish children learn. It can help center Jewish adults and carry us through difficult times. And Shema translates as Hear, Listen, Give Ear, or Pay Attention.
It is our sacred duty as Jews to listen — not only for the still, small voice of God, but to the voices of those around us. It is our duty because every person has been created in the Image of God, and their lives are sacred scrolls containing stories of love and loss, despair and hope. By simply listening, we can show others that they are important, that they have value, and that we honor the image of God that they are. I pray that as a community we can be there for one another, to listen and to love.
If you or someone you know is in need of a safe place to talk or needs to be in the presence of someone who will listen, please know that I am available to meet. I will give ear, give heart, and support you!
If you would like to speak with someone more anonymously, please call the Nancy J Cotterman Center, Broward County’s Rape Crisis and Children’s Advocacy Center at 954-761-7273. Or the number for the National Sexual Assault Hotline is 1-800-656-4673. Or for services in Broward, or Behavioral Health Emergencies in Broward, you can dial 211 from your phone.
With blessings, Rabbi Marci R. Bloch