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Think Before You Speak

Thursday, 14 June, 2012 - 10:20 pm

Many people have a tendency to editorialize and not take into account the power of their speech. for example a police officer can  say in court the same thing in 2 ways A)The driver reached for the glove compartment after being pulled over so that he could have his license and registration ready for inspection or B)that  the “suspect” was making “furtive movements” upon approach.

When Moses sent spies to Israel to scout out the land. The spies (not including Joshua and Caleb) were convinced that the land was unconquerable and that launching an attack against it was not wise. The spies were concerned with the well-being of Jewish people and likely did not notice their criticism of G-d’s Holy Land, but such is the nature of gossip. We never deliberately set out to cause pain; we engage in what appears at first innocent chatter, but by the time the damage is done it is too late to take it back. The pain we cause is rarely deliberate but it is always real.

Words are soft weapons and often dismissed, but soft as they are their potency is undeniable. They can damage and destroy, cause agony and pain. With words we can lift each other up and with words we can tear each other down.

We are told to respect each other as we respect ourselves. Just as we would not like to be picked apart by another’s attack so should we be concerned about the unintended consequences of our own words. Before allowing ourselves the luxury of speech it is important to notice it's possible pitfalls. To review our words before they are spoken to consider the harm they might cause another.

Think before you speak - try this for a week and email me how it worked for you.

Have a great Shabbos,

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman

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