Power of Speech

I loved this magnet on this wonderful old Jewish ladies refrigerator who lives in our community.

“If you have nothing good to say…
Say nothing.”

I remember we used to talk about this saying in my house growing up too. 


It is a famous teaching from the holy Chofetz Chaim.


I remember as a bar-mitzvah boy, someone in our community in Riverdale, NY gave me a set of the Chofetz Chaim’s books.


And I enjoyed reading from them daily about always being careful with how you use your words:


– Not to hurt anyone.


– Not to speak bad about anyone (i.e. Lashon Hara)


– But rather to use words pointedly and always for the good. 


Kind words.


Gentle words.


Complimentary words.


Words of love and caring. 


Holy words. 


The Chofetz Chaim seemed to have an endless number of wonderful stories to demonstrate the power of speech and the importance of using it for the good. 


The old saying of “The pen is mightier than the sword,” can be used replacing the pen with the tongue and power of speech in general. 


Words can cut someone like a knife and even kill or words can create a tremendous healing when it’s full of love and caring for others. 


Actions speak louder than words, but words can speak and perform volumes in the eternal fight of good over evil. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Who Are The Real Animals

Elephant.jpeg

So if you want to know who are the real animals in this world…


It’s people!


If you can stomach it, watch this graphic video of elephant taming


The elephant is caged, chained, poked, prodded, beaten, spiked in all the sensitive areas. 


It is tortured and left with festering sores and then made to do sickening slave labor. 


While animals generally kill for food, people abuse, torture and kill for profit and maniacal enjoyment. 


Sometimes, we wonder why G-d punishes the world. 


But look at how the world behaves. 


Is there no heart or soul in some people? 


G-d forgive us for our sins and evil inclinations, and have mercy, and make your people better than this, much better. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Even Tolerance Has Limits

Tolerance

This torn down sign in Washington, D.C. caught my eye.

 

It’s about ending bullying and teaching tolerance.

 

This poster specifically has to do with LGBT, but the universal message of acceptance is more broad.

 

While each of us has our own beliefs, we should allow others to have theirs as well.

 

My father used to tell me basically (that within G-d’s law), “You can do whatever you want in life as long as you don’t hurt yourself or anyone else.”

 

However, I am reminded this week that not everyone lives by the same common sense and decency.

 

I read in the Jerusalem Post about Palestinian Media Watch posting a Hamas video yesterday threatening “stabbing attacks [in Israel] everywhere…[and] suicide attacks on every bus, cafe, and street.”

 

Moreover, Arutz Sheva tells how a female Egyptian lawyer “recommended that Arab men begin sexually harassing Jewish women” as a mean of fighting Israel.

 

Then watching the news and seeing Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists from Gaza shooting missiles and intentionally aiming to try to hit major Israeli cities and population centers, airplanes, ports, and other critical infrastructure like the nuclear facility in Dimona that could potentially spread radiation and kill untold numbers of people–I am reminded morality is not universal.

 

While Israel calls the residents in Gaza to vacate before an attack on then empty buildings–the terrorists that Israel is fighting try to kill as many civilians as possible–at which time, they would presumably sing, dance, and hand out candy to the kids to celebrate as is their custom.

 

Like the sign calling for tolerance that was essentially torn from the pole, we have to remember tolerance for others is one thing, but there are limits when they actively seek to harm (themselves or) others.

 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)