The Living Land
Garden of Wisdom Lesson #58: The Test of Character

Yanny or Laurel?


So I just found out about the latest internet insanity called "Yanny or Laurel." I ignored my friends' attempts to drag me into their immature nonsense because I'm like, sooo totally beyond that kinda stuff. 

Well. After two days of resisting their back and forth debates about utter stupidity, I couldn't take it anymore. I just had to find out what in the world they were talking about. 

And... I was right. It's utter stupidity. People! You should be ashamed of yourselves! This is what you're using your precious G-d given brain cells for? This is what you're wasting your limited time here on Earth with? 

But in all seriousness, tell me the truth...

Did you hear Yanny, or Laurel?

I just have to know! 

Oh, and what about the words mixed together? Which name did you see?

I saw both, and very easily. But I only heard Yanny. If you heard Laurel you need to get your ears cleaned out. 

Oh, and here's something important you should know! As embarrassing as it is, I'll proudly admit that I'm a HUGE Yanni fan. That means I not only know and play his music, but I also know how his name is spelled. 

It's Yanni. Not Yanny.

Now there very well could be a Yanny out there, but since I don't know him he doesn't really exist. 

Number two: there is a point to this post. 

It turns out that this great human experiment in time-wasting actually has a deep spiritual significance.

You see, you see what you want to see. You hear? You hear what you want to hear.

In other more coherent words, your reality is what you perceive it to be. 

Anything that you experience through your five senses, which is everything, is subject to your perception, your biases, your background, your morals (0r lack thereof,) etc. 

Therefore, each person's reality is completely different and unique. This has so many implications. And this is why we must always take into account another person's point of view, especially when we're having disagreements with each other. To that other person, they are right because that's the way they view the issue. Their reality is all they see, and sometimes it's very hard to get them to see beyond that.

Which is also why we should take things with a huge grain of salt when we hear others talking about things that we didn't personally experience. Again, their perception of whatever happened was real only to them. It does not mean it really happened the way they said it did.

Amazingly, this is why the Torah demands two kosher witnesses when a person is being accused of a wrongdoing.

Even more amazingly, I managed to turn a complete waste of time into something we can learn from. 

But honestly, doesn't it beat listening to the news?

Have a great day!


And don't forget to check out Rav Brody's weekly emuna talk below! 


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What a write up Racheli! I loved it! I will certainly email this to my coworkers and friends. And yes, I heard about this...on the iphone of a coworker. I heard Yearme......stupidity...

ANYWAY, wish someone would make "Mashiach Now" or "MusictoLoud"


Thanks so much, Geula! I like your idea! Keep in touch!


I would like to suggest that maybe this is what happened when Hashem spoke at Mount Sinai. Some people heard "Shamor" (guard) the Sabbath, and some heard "Zachor" (Remember) the Sabbath. That's why we have the tradition that Hashem said both simultaneously. 50% of the Jews heard one and 50% heard the other. They concluded that Hashem said both at the same time miraculously.


Very interesting, Pinney! Thanks for sharing!


Hi Racheli, I loved the point you made out of the whole fad but the first part of your post is not correct. There is actually a scientific reason why people hear the word differently. I for one heard only Laurel (and my ears are clean, haha). As hard as I tried, I could not hear Yanny. It has to do with the way one's ears hear the sound waves. Apparently, older people hear the lower tones of Laurel much more than the younger crowd. It also depends on the acoustics in the room, etc etc. So while I admit it's a waste of time, it's not stupidity. Whoever wasted his/her time producing that sound clip was probably quite intelligent (and should be learning Gemara instead, lol)


Chaya, I apologize, but you seemed to have missed my very dry and sarcastic humor. Don't worry - you're not the first and you won't be the last! lol If I really felt it was stupidity I wouldn't have dedicated a whole post to it! ;)))

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