Shabbat Message: Speak Respectfully

April 5, 2019
By Beth Mordecai
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Shabbat Message: Speak Respectfully

We have all been heard, and possibly told others, “if you have nothing nice to say, do not say anything at all.” This week we read in the Torah in Parshat Tazria about lash on harah. This is often translated as gossip, yet it could also be slander or speaking negatively.

For thousands of years, the Jewish people have discussed the merits of measured, level-headed speech. Life would become unbearable if we said the first thing that came into our head. The Torah demands that we strike a balance between truth and peace. Of course, it is, to tell the truth, and not to lie, but we also need to strive for peace among people. Sometimes peace takes priority over truth.

When we speak politely and respect others, when we think once, twice, or even three times before we speak we take care not to insult another. There are times when we must tell the truth entirely and others when it would aid any relationship to say a kinder version of that truth. After all, this is how we would want others to treat us.


Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Shabbat