Honorable Mensch-ion

Sacred Silence

Our daily interactions with strangers are often mundane. Yet, when a scared moment occurs, we must stop and notice.

While speaking with an employee of an electronics store, I quickly realized that the store’s employee was deaf, and I was going to communicate with a sign language interpreter.

At the conclusion of our conversation, I asked the interpreter, “How did you learn fluent sign language?” His answer, “My church.”

It was his place of worship that gave him the tools to unlock the words of another human being.

The Torah commands us to light the seven branches of the menorah. The Hebrew word is yaeeroo, kindle. Seforno teaches that any candle can be physically lit, but each light has a unique function of spirituality; when this is enabled, the candle’s purpose has been fulfilled.

Yesterday, I had one hour to run to the store and return to work.

I was surprised to encounter this holy moment yet pleased to see a sacred spark through silence.

With the movement of the interpreter’s hands and the message of the employee, I witnessed the power of partnership between God’s people.

The entire interaction was silent, yet spoke louder than any words could achieve.

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