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Harmless talk - Tazria Metzora

Thursday, 15 April, 2021 - 8:16 am

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We talk, talk, talk… We tell our adventures, we share our dreams and concerns, we exchange opinions about important topics. But sometimes, we also gossip, we criticize the rest of the world. Does it disturb anyone? After all, we did harm to no one, we just talked…

The Talmud has a different opinion. It explains that the evil tongue and the gossip hurt three people: the speaker, the listener, and the one that is being talked about. But what is the last one guilty of? Is it his or her fault that other people spoke about him or her?

Words have the very strong power to uncover things which are hidden. Speech reveals our hidden thoughts to others but also uncovers and strengthens our characteristics and feelings. When I say about someone that s/he is cruel, at the same moment I strengthen and reveal his cruelty. This is not exactly what I intended to do…

On the other hand, I can use this power for the good. If I praise the generosity of someone, I will strengthen it. Incredible, isn’t it?

Of course, besides for the spiritual power of the words, there is also the practical effect. Words that we say spread around can cause big damage or bring great help, depending of what we choose to say.

Let us decide to avoid saying bad words about others, even if we feel that they deserve them. If we speak, we may strengthen their negative traits. Let us try to see and point out the good characteristics of other people. We will all benefit from it.  

Shabbat Shalom,




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