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Tuesday, February 25, 2020 - 30 Shevat 5780
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Conquering Noise
Noise pollution is a terrible thing. Exposure to noise for even one second can disturb concentration for the next 30 seconds. It causes distress, loss of concentration and memory, and also adversely affects learning and productivity. Exposure to noise for extended periods is harmful to mental health and intellectual functioning. Noise above 110 decibels causes severe pain and raises the blood pressure.

Great efforts are being made today to reduce noise pollution, starting from improved sound-proofing of walls to quieter airplanes and appliances. The beneficial effects of silence can be felt in all areas of life.

There is also spiritual “noise,” which we are all exposed to and pay for dearly. We are bombarded by a constant stream of electronic media that dominates our lives and robs us of the minimal ability to focus on others and listen to gentler, softer voices: The inner voice of our soul and the even more delicate voices of our children. In many cases, it even blunts our ability to absorb and correctly interpret the true reality, one not filtered through the endless screens of technology.

If not for the constant bombardment of media, we would be able to open our eyes and ears to so much beauty and wonder that surrounds us, to reflect on our existence and what is true and meaningful in life. Many of us wish we could toss all our devices or at least lessen our dependence on them. But we are held back by “fear of missing out,” fear of cutting ourselves off and not knowing “what’s happening in the world.”

Well, from the voice of experience, from those who turned off the devices of darkness masquerading as light, we can assure you: there is nothing to fear. You will miss out nothing at all. In fact, you will find that your mind will be clearer, your senses sharper, all your powers of observation enhanced. Rather than experiencing reality in third person, you will live life to the fullest, firsthand. Suddenly you will be attuned to sounds and voices you had never paid attention to in the past—voices bearing a message you’ve been waiting all your life to hear. Your mind and soul will work in tandem, your mind exploring and giving voice to the wordless yearning of your soul.

When we nourish ourselves with the right content, we strengthen our capacity to absorb the goodness that surrounds us. It’s in our power. Soon the media itself will pick up the chorus. As one they will realize that there is one true reality and they will trumpet it louder than anyone else. The world is about to change, fundamentally. We just need to listen to the silence long enough to realize it, to open our eyes and greet Moshiach.


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