Tetzave: When We Listen To Hashem, Hashem Listens To Us.

וְהָיָה עַל אַהֲרֹן לְשָׁרֵת וְנִשְׁמַע קוֹלוֹ בְּבֹאוֹ אֶל הַקֹּדֶשׁ לִפְנֵי יְהוָה וּבְצֵאתוֹ וְלֹא יָמוּת.

"Its sound shall be heard when he enters the Sanctuary before Hashem and when he leaves so that he not die” (Shemos 28:35).


There are three times in the Torah where the word וְנִשְׁמַע is used:


The first verse is, וְנִשְׁמַע קוֹלוֹ בְּבֹאוֹ אֶל הַקֹּדֶשׁ - "Its sound shall be heard when he enters the Sanctuary.” The second verse is, כֹּל אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר ה' נַעֲשֶׂה וְנִשְׁמָע - “everything that Hashem has said, we will do and we will listen” (Shemos 24:7). And the third verse is, וְנִשְׁמַע פִּתְגָם הַמֶּלֶךְ - “And let the verdict of the king be heard” (Esther 1:20).


There is a verse in Mishlei (28:9) that says as follows: מֵסִיר אָזְנוֹ מִשְּׁמֹעַ תּוֹרָה גַּם תְּפִלָּתוֹ תּוֹעֵבָה - “If one turns aside his ear from hearing the Torah, even his prayer will be an abomination.” At first glance, this seems puzzling. Why should his prayers be considered an abomination?


The explanation is simple: The word “Torah” comes from the word “Horo’ah” meaning “instructions.” The Torah is our guide on how we should live according to what Hashem wants from us. “Prayer” is when we ask Hashem what we want from Him. We want Hashem to listen to our prayers.


The Mishna (Sota 1:7) states as follows: בַּמִדָּה שֶׁאָדָם מוֹדֵד, בָּהּ מוֹדְדִין לוֹ - “In the measure that a person measures, so it is measured out to him.”


Therefore, as long as one does not want to listen to what Hashem wants, in the same measure, his prayers will go unanswered when asking Hashem for his needs.


When studying Torah it shouldn't be just for the sake of learning, but as we say before Kriyas Shema, לִשְׁמעַ לִלְמד וּלְלַמֵּד לִשְׁמר וְלַעֲשות וּלְקַיֵּם - “To listen, to learn, to teach, to observe, to perform, and to fulfill.” We have to study in order to fulfill the commandments that Hashem asks of us.


That is the meaning of why the word וְנִשְׁמַע is mentioned in the Torah in the following three verses: וְנִשְׁמַע קוֹלוֹ בְּבֹאוֹ אֶל הַקֹּדֶשׁ - "Its sound shall be heard when he enters the Sanctuary.” If we want that Hashem should listen to your prayers, we first have to listen to the Torah of Hashem, as it says וְנִשְׁמַע פִּתְגָם הַמֶּלֶךְ - “And let the verdict of the king be heard.” And how should we study the Torah? Not for the sake of acquiring knowledge, but in order to observe the mitzvos. As it says, נַעֲשֶׂה וְנִשְׁמָע - “we will do and we will listen.”


(ליל שבת קודש - תשס"ו)

© 2020 by Cong. Birchos Yosef.