In this week’s Torah reading, Korah and those with him demand to be heard, even though what they have to say is difficult, divisive, and perhaps even destructive to the community.  Yet we are told Va-yishma Moshe – “Moses listened” (Numbers 16:4).  Jewish tradition continually asks us to listen, in the words of the Sh’ma that we recite twice each day.  “Listen, Israel!”  We need to listen to the voice of God, calling us to a higher way of living.  We need to listen to the voices of those around us, whose claims on us we have to take seriously.  We need to listen to the needs of our bodies and our souls, those gifts that we are required to honor by caring for them.  We listen for comfort and we listen for challenge, we listen for the cries of the oppressed and for the laughter of those filled with joy, we listen to those who support us and to those who disagree with us.  Before we can know, before we can plan, before we can act, listening always comes first.  May we always see the holiness in listening as we make our way through the many voices of our world.