RUTH MESSINGER

WHY LISTEN TO THIS? At the center of Jewish tradition is the Sh’ma—the imperative to listen, to pay attention, to bear witness to the oneness of God in our own lives and in our global community. Our sages insist that we recite the Sh’ma with focus, clarity, and the unity of heart and mind. How can the act of listening anchor our lives with compassion, interconnection, and a shared commitment to justice? How can we use the framework of the Sh’ma to listen intently to people who are silenced, disempowered, or rendered invisible in our own communities and around the world? My story is about the centrality of listening—a prerequisite for pursuing human dignity and a principle for living Jewishly in a globalized world.

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