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Speak nicely

Thursday, 14 September, 2017 - 8:46 am


Before Rosh Hashanah we take stock of our year. We take account of what we need to improve in and make resolutions to make amends.

One of the things that frustrates me is hearing people speak negatively about others. It can be about the friend they got into a fight with, an organization that is too liberal or not liberal enough or the community member that is being spoken about as a covert mouthpiece for a specific political party.

We need to recognize that we are one people! We do not speak badly about those who are close to us. Just as we do not speak negatively about our children, we cannot speak negatively about our fellow Jew.

In 1990, an Orthodox Rabbi spoke publicly and not positively about his fellow Jews. That Shabbos, the Rebbe responded (this is an excerpt from the endnotes of the book “Rebbe” written by Joseph Telushkin):

‘We must remember that all Jewish people are one single unified entity... We must appreciate the importance of speaking positively and the detrimental effects of speaking negatively.... Criticizing or speaking unfavorably about any portion of the Jewish people is like making such statements against G-d Himself…

… Those who were spoken negatively of should know that these words will have no effect on them. On the contrary G-d will bless them both in material and spiritual matters with good health and long life.’

This upcoming year, I invite you to consider leaving all the negativity behind.  Try to lay aside the fights and disagreements. At the minimum, do not let them leave your lips. And then, we will be blessed as a people with success, both in material and spiritual matters, with good health and long life.

Have an amazing Shabbos,

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman

Comments on: Speak nicely

Carl B. wrote...

You have the power to not speak negatively , even if you know what ever it is to be true .