In Sefer Tehilim (95:7), it’s written that we are Hashem’s people, “today, if you hear His voice.” But, what does it mean in a practical sense to “hear” Hashem’s voice? What exactly are we supposed to be listening for? A Bas Kol from Shamayim? And [Hashem] said: “Go out and stand in the mountain before Hashem, Behold! Hashem passes, and a great and strong wind splitting mountains and shattering boulders [goes out] before Hashem. ‘Hashem is not in the wind.’ And after the wind, an earthquake. ‘Hashem is not in the earthquake.’ After the earthquake, a fire. ‘Hashem is not in the fire,’ and after the fire, a still thin sound [literally: “voice”].” Melachim I 19:11-12

The truth is Hashem speaks to us all the time, and part of our work in the world is to attune ourselves to this “silent thin voice.” But if that’s the case, then what does this voice sound like? In gemara Avodah Zarah [18a], we find the following passage: Rabbi Chanina ben Teradion asked Rabbi Yossi ben Kisma, “Am I destined to go to Olam Haba [the World to Come]?” Rabbi Yossi ben Kisma responded, “Did you ever do anything special?” Rabbi Chanina ben Teradion said to him: I confused my own coins [that I needed for the meal] of Purim with coins of tzedakah (charity), and I distributed them all to the poor [at my own expense]. Rabbi Yossi ben Kisma said to him: If that is so, may my portion be of your portion, and may my lot be of your lot!

Rabbi Yissocher Frand brings a beautiful interpretation of this passage. Rabbi Chanina ben Teradion saw in this incident that the Ribbono Shel Olam was trying to send him a message: The money he had set aside for his Purim meal should be given to tzedakah instead. Rabbi Chanina was so sensitive and receptive to Heavenly messages that even in such a small inconvenience he recognized that Hashem was trying to speak to him.

Rabbi Yossi said, “If that is the case - if in such a small little incident you can “hear” the Voice of Hashem - then I know you are destined for the World to Come. It’s obvious that you live your life in such a way that when Hashem merely “taps you on the shoulder,” you acknowledge it and take the message.

It’s a requirement because being able to hear Hashem’s voice in our daily lives is the key to our personal kabbalas haTorah, that is, our unique portion in the Torah and the spiritual light that we are meant to receive and reveal to the world. Hashem has set up the world in such a way that true spiritual and emotional growth on any level can only happen with Divine Assistance.

So, whenever something catches our attention – whether it’s a minor discomfort, a significant distress, a thought or a strong emotion – what’s really happening is that Hashem is saying to us, “I’m over here. Come and find Me!”

(Material was previously published on

List of People Who Need
a R’fuah Sh’leimah

(a complete recovery)

Please recite Psalms 20, 30, 88, 121, and 130.

Boris Baruch ben Frecha Frida

Alter Shmuel ben Chavah Leah

Chaim Avraham ben Shifrah Zisel

Chaim ben Malkah

Yehudah Yudel ben Miriam Gittel

Yosef Ezriel ben Chayah Michal

Aharon ben Feiga

Menachem Mendel ben Gita Perel

Eliezer ben Ra’oma

Shlomo ben Mazal

Chaim ben Pesha Miriam

Chaim Gershom Yeshaya ben Leah

Yonah Gedaliah ben Pesha

David Yosef Elimelech ben Elisheva Hinda

Nasan ben Naamah

Tzvi ben Miriam Rachel

Yosef Ala ben Samara

Rafael ben Yocheved

Rachamin ben Alizah

Yosef ben Yaffah Liba

Farid David ben Shushan

Yura Joseph ben Tamara


Tovah Yocheved bas Esther Bukas

Chayah Shoshanah Tovah bas Esther

Ruchamah Perel Malkah Leah bas Chanah Serel

Gittel bas Sarah

Esther Hadassah bas Devorah

Chayah Malkah bas Charlotte

Rachel bas Miriam

Batya bas Esther

Rachel Leah bas Chayah Zlata

Chavah Leah bas Shoshanah

Rachel bas Hinda Reizel

Olga Chayah bas Geila

Limor bas Chanah

Chanah Esther bas Ayalah Hadar

Chavah bas Shoshanah Sofie

Rachel Naomi bas Esther Chanah

Miriam bas Esther

Rachel Leah bas Sara

To add names of individuals who need a r’fuah sh’leimah to next week’s T’hilim column, please email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and complete the Google form.