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 וְהִגִּישׁ֤וֹ אֲדֹנָיו֙ אֶל־הָ֣אֱלֹהִ֔ים וְהִגִּישׁוֹ֙ אֶל־הַדֶּ֔לֶת א֖וֹ אֶל־הַמְּזוּזָ֑ה וְרָצַ֨ע אֲדֹנָ֤יו אֶת־אָזְנוֹ֙ בַּמַּרְצֵ֔עַ וַעֲבָד֖וֹ לְעֹלָֽם And the Jewish Slave’s master shall bring the slave who does not want to go free in the Shemitta year, to the door, or to the doorpost, and he shall pierce his ear with an awl (ear piercer) and he shall be his servant forever (until the Yovel. 49th year).

Why does the servant who does not want to go free have to have his ear pierced out of all the limbs of the body? Rashi explains in accordance with the Mechilta, in the name of r R’ Yohanan ben Zakai: This ear that heard on Har Sinai not to steal, and he went and he stole, shall be pierced. And if he sold himself as a slave to pay back what he stole, this ear that heard G-d saying on Mt. Sinai, כִּֽי־לִ֤י בְנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ עֲבָדִ֔ים  The Jewish people are My slaves, and he went and bought himself an owner, shall be pierced!

One second. This slave did not sin with his ear. He heard G-d’s commands with his ear, but disobeyed with his whole body! If so, why are we limiting the punishment to the ear that heard the warning and not to the whole body that disobeyed?

There is a rule in life. A good act, means, someone thought before they acted. A bad act, means, that someone was not thinking. If they would think, they would not act this way. ריש לקיש אמר: אין אדם עובר עבירה אא”כ נכנס בו רוח שטות, שנא’: איש איש כי תשטה אשתו,  (Sotah 3a) A person does not sin unless a foolish spirit enters him. A spirit of non-thinking. The way the Torah describes the Sotah, is that she is a שוטה, a person who does not think. If she would think, she would not have sinned. All sin, is a result of unawareness. At the time of the sin, there needs to be a certain amount of heretic thought, thoughts that G-d is not watching, or that this act is ok. Or that there is no reward/punishment. (Drashot Haran Drush 5)

A person does not sin, when he is aware and thinking. When a person sins, the sin is just a revelation of lack of communication. The person did not listen well enough to what was said at Har Sinai, and by Who. This is why we pierce the ear of the slave! Because the sin is just an outcome of lack of listening!

Most of the time, bad people are not as bad as they are unaware. It is a lack of awareness that cause people to say the worst things, or do the worst things. If people were more aware that G-d is waiting for them in Shul, they would come earlier. If people were more aware that G-d is listening to every single word, and focused on your every thought, they would invest more into their prayer. If people were more aware about how important learning Torah is, every day, whenever you can, they would learn more. If a woman would have thought the outcomes of her behavior, she would not have been so provocative.

How do we get the people we love to listen better? To be more aware? The answer is, by first listening to them!!! An amazing study has shown, that ADD and ADHD in children have grown throughout the last century at the same rate that mothers became more career oriented, and lost the ability to listen to and be present with their children! And the speed of technology did not make things better, to say the least! A child needs a mother to hear him/her out, for the child to hear its own internal voice!

If you want to improve any relationship, listen, so that you will be listened to. Focus on them, so that they will focus on you.

About the author, Yosef

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