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Speak - but what should I say?

Thursday, 1 May, 2014 - 10:20 am

blog.jpgThis week's Torah portion is called "Emor," which means "Speak!" But the Torah also instructs us (elsewhere),"Say little and do much." So why is this week's portion called "Speak"? What should we be speaking about?

The midrash discusses the severity of lashon hara, gossip. According to the midrash, lashon hara kills three people - the one who spoke, the one who listened, and the one they talked about. Now, I understand why the speaker and the listener are punished, but the person they spoke about? What on earth did he or she do?! 

This week TMZ released a recording of a conversation where Donald Sterling told a friend, "It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you're associating with black people." His words reverberated throughout the world. They evoked outrage from millions of disgusted people. Sterling was fined $2.5 million and banned from the NBA for life. 

Words reveal our hidden thoughts. They are so powerful and can never really be taken back. Moreover, by speaking badly about someone, we bring that person's bad side out into the open. This draws the attention of the heavenly courts, and can result in the person being judged and punished. Had we not spoken, it would have remained hidden. 

This is the message of this week's Torah portion, Emor. If gossip and slander is so powerful and far-reaching, imagine how much we can accomplish with positive speech! If Donald Sterling can say something terrible in the privacy of his own home and it effects millions of people world-wide, our words of kindness and good will can reach even more people! 

Let's unleash this power. Emor! Speak! Share words of love and kindness with your friends, family and even strangers. You never know how far a kind word can go. 

Comments on: Speak - but what should I say?
5/1/2014

Kathy wrote...

Best advice I've heard all week!
5/1/2014

Peter Vinka wrote...

Excellent. Muzal Tov ;-)
5/1/2014

Peter Vinka wrote...

Excellent. Muzal Tov ;-)