This Week's Thought From The Koby Mandell Foundation
- Sherri Mandell
Tazria: Creating Worlds with Words
Let's admit it: Many of us sometimes experience a delicious desire to speak badly about another. (I would love to speak badly about movie director, Julian Schnabel, this week, for example.)
But there is danger in doing so: In this week's Torah portion, speaking lashon ha ra causes a skin disease.
The commentators on the Torah say that even if the person we are gossiping about doesn't know we are talking about him, by calling attention to his faults, we provoke the universe to magnify his defects. And when we use words to malign, we also damage ourselves. Moreover, we corrupt the power of speech.
Words contain power: God created the world with words, with the letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
And after each day of creation, we are told that God saw that his creation was good (or very good). Yet we persist in speaking badly about God's pinnacle of creation, human beings.
The world is made of words. Not just atoms and electrons, but words.
Torah enriches us because it gives us the opportunity to speak words of purity.
In a world of too many coarse and sometimes vicious words, it is a gift to have words that are untainted.
The word Yehudi means to appreciate, to give thanks. Is it possible that when we turn our eyes and our mouths to giving thanks and seeing the good, speaking the good - that we become partners in God's continued creation of the world?
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