The most common word for to listen in Hebrew is לְהַקְשִׁיב. For example, אֲנִי מַקְשִׁיב לְךָ, חָבֵר (ah-NEE mahk-SHEEV leh-KHAH hah-VEHR) means I’m listening to you, friend, when both the speaker and the friend are male. קֶשֶׁב (KEH-shev), with the same root as להקשיב, means attention.
Another word is לְהַאֲזִין (leh-hah-ah-ZEEN). If you look carefully at the word, you may notice that its root is א.ז.נ (a.z.n), the same root as the word for ear – אֹזֶן (OH-zen). This word is slightly “higher” Hebrew – a radio announcer would use it to say listen to the news – הַאֲזִינוּ לַחֲדָשׁוֹת (hah-ah-ZEE-noo lah-hah-dah-SHOHT). It’s also used in the Torah, in the closing poem of Moses to the people of Israel (look it up – Deuteronomy 32).
Call-to-action for this Shabbat/weekend
I invite you to join me in a Shabbat/weekend challenge.
Let’s take two people with whom we regularly come into contact but haven’t paid much attention to… and engage them in a conversation in which we give them our full קשב – attention.
שבת שלום! (Shabbat Shalom)