I am a certifiable insomniac (have been for years) and as such, I have had to resort to taking sleep medications, which do work, but it never really felt right being "addicted" to them. Ok, there are worse things, but I am still not proud of it.

I have tried all the recommended sleep rituals the professionals suggest. Low lights, don't hang around in your bedroom until it's bedtime, take a bath, listen to soft music or nature sounds. Nope. Nada. None of that works. I am up. Without those little pills, I would be a walking zombie.

Now, one unfortunate night, I had to go to the hospital for some lung problems I am having. It was a flurry of excitement and so forth; not very pleasant for anyone and of course, I was still awake for everything, sedative or not, nothing was knocking me out. Truly, I was exhausted. In pain, medicated, exhausted, but awake. How aggravating can that be?

A day later or so, one of the women who helps run the synagogue, Henya, came to visit and brought cassette tapes of my Rabbi's lectures along with a portable cassette machine and headphones. You know, it was funny. I had so much going on in that room with IV's and medications and all the trappings of those places, but now I had a cassette machine with headphones and tapes.

Oh, cut to the chase. It's night time. I can't sleep. I am having a hard enough time breathing. There are other patients in this room. What am I going to do? The doctors won't give me any more medication. I fumble around and get the bag with the cassette machine and the earphones and the tapes and put things together and press PLAY.

I don't remember what the lecture was about. Chances are I had heard it already in person as I used to attend my Rabbi's classes, which by the way, were and still are stimulating and joyous and thought-provoking and never remotely boring by any possible stretch of the imagination. I mean, you have to hear him speak. You must. This is a song I often sing to anyone who gets in my path…Go to Rabbi New's class. You won't be sorry. It's amazing. He's wonderful. Get the picture?

So here I am in the hospital, with the green gown and the IV's and the not breathing so great and definitely not sleeping and hearing the other patients mostly snoring and I have a tape set and ready to go. At least, I figure, I will learn more. I will possible get through another layer of understanding something from this lecture I did not get the first time I heard it in person.

I have the oxygen on, I gently manipulate a free arm and put on the headphones, I put in the tape, fumble around the machine with the ridiculously small settings for the volume and such and finally get ready and press PLAY.

And I hear the Rabbi start to speak about something. Honestly, as I write this, I cannot remember what the subject matter was. But I remember listening. I remember hearing his voice; the intonation, the pronunciation, the smatterings of Yiddish and Hebrew and the melodic sounds of the words. And I hear his tone and timbre. And I listen to him during the pauses, in between the silences as he takes a moment to breathe, to stop and think of what point he makes next.

I listen, I listen, my eyes are closed. And I fall into a deep sleep. I am sleeping and breathing and the headphones and the machine are still on me. And who cares and who knows why but my Rabbi puts me to sleep.

There is something to be said for what the body needs. When the soul is nourished, the body responds in kind. When my being is compromised by something physical or emotional and I am not feeling "well", I have learned that my best source of "medicine" at some practically cosmic level, is the sound of my Rabbi's voice, teaching Torah.

I am sure there are very clear scientific explanations for this. That doesn't particularly interest me. I find it rather intriguing that it takes a horse's dose of medication to knock me out but only 5 minutes of a tape of Rabbi New to lull me into sleep. And a fine, deep, restful, sleep, might I add.

This must be a combination of cellular, organic, cosmic and divine elements that brings one home into the middle of the perfect place where all things come into balance.

My Rabbi puts me to sleep. Now, that's exciting.