"A nd Hashem spoke to him from the Ohel Moed, saying.” (Devarim 1:1)

Rashi says that the Voice of Hashem stopped and could not be heard outside of the Ohel Moed. Perhaps the Voice was too soft? However, Dovid Hamelech writes in Tehillim (29:4-5): “The voice of Hashem is in strength… The Voice of Hashem breaks cedars.”

Obviously, Hashem’s Voice is very strong. Yet miraculously, it could not be heard past the Ohel Moed.

The Voice of Hashem really did continue even past the Ohel Moed. But in order to actually hear His Voice, one needed the kedushah of the Ohel Moed. (Rav Yaakov Neiman, Darchei Mussar)


“Binyamin, it’s time for shower and bed.”

Binyamin’s engrossed in his book. Doesn’t move.

“Binyamin.” I walk a little closer. “Bedtime.”

Nary a nod of notice.

“Binyamin!” I tap him on his nose. “It’s bedtime.”

“Huh?” He looks up, bleary-eyed. “Did you say something?”

My kids have selective hearing. It’s a disease common to most of the non-parent population. Mothers around the world drag their children to the doctor or specialist with the same claim: “He doesn’t hear anything I say!”

They can save a lot of time and money by trying this home-friendly test to discern if hearing problems are really serious. Just follow these three simple steps:

Stand at least two feet away from your child who’s reading, playing, spacing out, or talking on the phone.

Whisper very softly, “I’ve got chocolate ice cream in the freezer.”

Behold results.

The Saba of Kelm discusses the Ramchal’s thoughts in Mesilas Yesharim. The navi (Chagai 1:5) screams at us to pay attention to our ways. We don’t hear the navi because our ears aren’t attuned to his message.

Similarly, in Avos (6:2) Rabi Yehoshua ben Levi says, “Every day, a voice resounds from Har Chorev saying: ‘Woe to the creatures who insult the Torah.’ ”

We don’t hear this voice, but Rabi Yehoshua ben Levi heard it every day.


I was in Yerushalayim stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic behind an accordion Egged bus. We moved slowly up a hill, inch by agonizing inch.

Bam! Did I just do that? Did the bus do that to me?

Apparently, as the Egged bus pushed his brakes he slid slightly backward on the hill at the exact moment I pushed my gas.

Getting out of my car, I glanced first at the bus. Seemed fine to me. Then I looked at my car and almost had a panic attack. My entire hood was bent in and now resembled the accordion bus. How did that happen? I had only tapped his fender doing less than a mile an hour! They must recycle IDF tanks into Egged buses.

The driver of the bus also got out and made it known to me, in no uncertain shouting terms, that this was completely my fault and responsibility. I begged to differ but couldn’t get a word in edgewise.

My car was in the body shop for two weeks. Then Egged had the nerve to sue me for their damages. One tiny scratch of green paint that cost several thousand shekels to repair.

I called Egged, let them have a piece of my mind, and then paid the damages. Everyone knows Egged equals City Hall — can’t fight ’em.

Chazal say (Brachos 59a) that thunder was created to straighten the crookedness of the heart. The ones who truly hear the message of the thunder are influenced by its noise to do teshuvah. The rest of us just hear thunder.

How can we cure this lack of hearing? The pasuk in Devarim (30:2) says, “When a person comes close to Hashem, then he’ll hear His voice.”


Egged is now on my list of Companies That Owe Me Big Time. Add Bezeq to that list for charging me double, then never answering the phone when I call customer service. Aren’t they a phone company?

The plumbing company is also on that list for making a leak underneath the bathroom floor when they unstuffed our bathtub. And the dentist is in danger of being added as his office has canceled my six-month checkup for the third time.

The list keeps growing, along with all the unfair situations I have to deal with.

Deep down within me, there’s a little voice that says the list really ought to be renamed as Messages From Above.

But apparently, my children’s selective hearing is hereditary.

(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 584)