The world is one noisy place. How to find meaning and truth in this cosmic cacophony? We all look for meaning, purpose, insight and inspiration – but how to find it in such a flooded marketplace and how to know it is real when we have found it?
Today, more than ever, we are bombarded by information in an unrelenting fashion. Across multiple platforms – from mobile devices to cloud computing to twitter handles – info, ideas, networking, and social interaction (if we can call striking a few keys a “social” interaction) are rampant and instant.
In this sermon, we will use two hi-tech terms – tablet and twitter – to demonstrate how silence is the sign of truth.
Today, a tablet is a handheld source (and means of) communication. Some 3,326 years ago, there was a tablet – two in fact – that was also a hand-held source of communication. But when the tablets of the Ten Commandments were given, the entire world was silenced. Indeed, says the Midrash, “the bird did not tweet.”
Truth is recognized not by how much noise it makes but by how much silence it opens up in our lives.
But why was the entire universe silent during the giving of the Torah? Shouldn’t this most monumental communication of all time have been accompanied by a great tumult – the equivalent of a 360 PR campaign, a few custom websites, Super Bowl ads and a Times Square billboard?
The answer to this question is also the answer to how we today can find and hear the truth, even in this deafening din. Ariel Sharon, who just passed away, captured this message in a moving speech about protecting the Land of Israel.