“When we aren’t able to really listen due to hearing loss or something else getting in the way, we all suffer. As an Audiologist, I’ve observed this at a fundamental level many times.”

The Importance Of Listening

by | Jul 15, 2022 | Hearing Loss, Patient Resources

I’ve always loved this time of the year. A time of new beginnings–from the start of school to the start of basketball season (Go, Purdue! Go Warriors!).

It’s also the beginning of the Jewish year. Every year, about this time, Jews worldwide celebrate what is known as Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. It marks the beginning of what is referred to in Hebrew as The Days of Awe, the most sacred/solemn part of the year. 

During this time, we are meant to reflect on who we are and ways we might have failed, others as well as ourselves, and to seek forgiveness–a time for ethical growth/transformation and renewal. 

In Hebrew, Teshuva or “returning,” returning to G-d and to the path of righteousness.

Arguably the most central prayer in Judaism (traditionally recited every morning/night) is known as The Shema, from the first word of the prayer–Shema or Sh’ma translated as “listen” or “hear.” In order to understand, communicate, grow and learn, we must be able to ‘listen.’

This is true whether it’s a child listening to a parent/teacher (or vice versa), a spouse helping their partner to understand them better, or listening to our own conscience when faced with a moral dilemma.

The importance of truly listening is critical to the health of all human interaction, from families to communities to nations.  

When we aren’t able to really listen due to hearing loss or something else getting in the way, we all suffer. As an Audiologist, I’ve observed this at a fundamental level many times.

Spouses arguing because one “mumbles” and the other can’t hear—a child with delayed language acquisition from a previously undiagnosed hearing loss. The otherwise vital individual slowly pulls away from social interaction because of untreated hearing loss. 

As a world citizen, I weepingly read about too many ‘deaf ears’ daily! So many people with a genuine interest in peace and equality that are told not to listen to the ‘other’ by people that should know better. So many people who claim a genuine interest in peace and equality that refuse to listen to the ‘other.’

And as a father and husband (not to mention a human being!), I’ve been a participant in this. 

Just because one has normal hearing doesn’t mean we’re always ‘listening’ to each other. This past year has been particularly challenging, both personally (illness) and professionally (moving my practice).

But I’ve come out the other end (as it were) a better, stronger, healthier person.

I am blessed to have family and friends who care and believe in me, who know I am really trying to ‘hear’ my best. People who accept their own challenges to listen, grow, and learn along with me.

At this time of renewal and new beginnings, we all must dedicate ourselves to working together to solve the very real issues we’re all facing, to ‘returning’ to a path of righteousness. And it all begins with listening!  

Shanah Tovah Umetukah! Wishing everyone “A good and sweet year!”

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Jonathan Lipschutz Audiologist, M.S., F-AAA, Owner

Jonathan is the owner of Berkeley Hearing Center. He received his bachelor of science in hearing and speech science and a master of science in audiology from Purdue University. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology and the California Academy of Audiology. Jonathan has over 20 years of audiology and hearing aid experience in both the non-profit and corporate sectors.

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