“And Yisro, the priest of Midyan, father-in-law of Moshe, heard…”

This week’s parsha describes the single most consequential event in world history: the giving of the Torah to the Jewish nation. But before this awesome moment is described, the parsha begins with the seemingly unrelated episode of “Vayishma Yisro”, Yisro’s drawing forth to the Jewish faith. The tzaddikim reveal a deep message hidden in this juxtaposition.

In our physical reality, reaching important goals takes time. There is no such thing as joining a law firm and making partner a month later. Nor is it possible for one to take a job as a secretary and become the CFO in a week’s time. Attaining promotions like these require much time, commitment, persistence, and a lot of hard work. We are conditioned to believe that the inner world of the spirit works in much the same way. That achieving closeness to Hashem requires “yegiyos gedolos”, a tremendous amount of toil and a gargantuan, super-human amount of effort that may well be beyond our capacity. But we are mistaken. There is an aspect in which emunah and avodas Hashem – which are so familiar and natural to the soul – are ever near, ever accessible. In one shining moment, we can tap into this portal between heaven and earth and rise to the highest heights, if we only open our ears to the inner whispering of the soul’s yearning.

Yisro went from being the chief idol worshipper in the Middle East to a God-conscious convert to the Jewish faith in an incredibly short period of time. This shift, which the Zohar teaches brought Hashem unimaginable honor and glory, was able to materialize because “Vayishma Yisro”, Yisro opened his ears to hear the voice of Hashem whispering within the soul, expressing His yearning for a relationship with each human being. This deep listening was all it took for a life-changing transformation to occur in a near instantaneous fashion. The message hinted to in the juxtaposition of this episode and the giving of the Torah is this:  The first thing to know about the Torah is that if one will truly listen to the voice of the soul, one can taste the greatest spiritual levels easily – in no time at all.

It is possible to reach the highest levels with ease – if one begins to truly listen to the voice of the soul.

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R’ Yaakov Klein is the founder of the Lost Princess Initiative, an author, musician, and lecturer devoted to sharing the inner light of Torah through his books, music, and lectures.

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