Posts Tagged 'Say Something'

Say Something: Sitting with Painful Silence

In Acharia Mot, this week’s Torah portion we read:

The Lord spoke to Moshe after the death of the two sons of Aaron who died when they drew too close to the presence of God. The Lord said to Moshe: Tell your brother Aaron that he is not to come at will into the Shrine behind the curtain, in front of the cover that is upon the ark, lest he die; for I appear in the cloud over the cover.

Leviticus 16:1-2

What could you possibly say to your brother after the tragic death of his two sons?

When the death happened in Parshat Shmini Aaron himself was silent. There we read:

Then Moshe said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord meant by saying: Through those near to Me I show Myself holy, And gain glory before all the people.” And Aaron was silent.

Leviticus 10:3

It is easy to get lost in the anguish of the human condition. The pain of loss the price of love. In this context the silence makes sense. The question I am sitting with is, “Why we are all so uncomfortable with silence?”

With this silence in mind I found myself listening to “Say Something” by Justin Timberlake and Chris Stapleton. I did enjoy the video:

The lyrics go:

Everyone knows all about my transgressions
Still in my heart somewhere, there’s melody and harmony
For you and me, tonight (whoa)

I hear them call my name
Everybody says, “say something”
Say something, say something
Then say something, say something, then say something

And then it ends with, “Sometimes the greatest way to say something is to say nothing at all”. Maybe the we need to grow in our capacity to sit in silence. It need not be about reporting back to people their “transgressions”, but just allowing the space for silence.


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