Shall we be silent for a bit?

Friday, 5 August, 2016 - 3:52 am


Dear Friends,

“I am not Jewish, but I am G-d-fearing. I need your advice,” said the man who had asked to meet with me.

His name was Robert, and I looked at him as he sat in front of me: young, tall, golden hair flowing down his broad shoulders, his eyes expressing innocence – a good Swiss boy, who only wants to do the right thing.

“We got divorced,” he said. “My ex-wife is not a believer and that’s o.k. The problem is that Mary, our eleven-year-old daughter, lives with my ex-wife and it is important to me that Mary grow up to be a believing person. I can’t talk to her about it since her mother sees it as if I’m defying her, and that causes an inevitable explosion and a fight. And you know, dear Rabbi, that it’s not healthy for the little girl to witness all these fights.”

For a moment, I didn’t know what to say to Robert. So I remained silent, praying in my heart that Hashem would “open my lips.”

Suddenly, I remembered: “A moment of silence.” That was an initiative of the Rebbe – to have sixty seconds of silence every morning in all elementary schools. Just sit quietly and think about the world and the Creator. Just be silent.

Robert liked the idea. So did Mary, and even Mary’s mother appreciated it. Sixty seconds of being quiet “without you putting in your ideas and religious beliefs. Mary will sit quietly and think, all by herself. Even I am willing to be quiet for that.”

And what about us? Shall we also be silent for a bit?


Chodesh Tov,


Rabbi Zalmen Wishedski

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