Honorable Mensch-ion

See For Yourself

In a Philadelphia shopping mall this week, a large sign hanging from the ceiling read, “Seeing is believing.” Today, driving through Lancaster, Pennsylvania I noticed church after church with membership advertisements One read, “God knows you…but do you know God?”

I could not help but think of the first word of our parsha, Reeh, meaning “See!” See the difference between the blessings and curses that God puts before us. The Talmud teaches that hearing is not comparable to seeing. We cognitively comprehend the difference between hearing and seeing. When we watch the news from afar and see a tragedy afflict thousands of people, we are not as affected as when we witness a small event in front of our eyes. Being present affects us on a deeper level than hearing about other being there.

Rabbi Dovid Green writes, “We do not act upon what we know but what we feel. Through listening we gain knowledge and information. Through vision and imagination we gain motivation.”

It has been a difficult week in our nation and our world. We have heard of the events in Charlottesville, VA and terrorists attacks in Barcelona, Spain. But have we seen these events? Do they penetrate our soul to make a difference in our own communities? Yes, God knows what is happening in this world. But let us know God when we see for ourselves, feel for ourselves, and eventually act for ourselves to make this world a better place tomorrow than how we found it today.

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