Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Actions Speak Louder Than Words.”

When we see wrong and evil in this world, we have a duty to stand up and speak out with truth and integrity, to be a good influence and guide things for the better, and even to repair the world (“Tikkun Olam”)…Words are perhaps a good start, but also, “words are cheap.” The way to really judge someone is less by their words, and far more so by their actual deeds. Moreover, sometimes words aren’t enough and we need to not just say something, but do something! As Edmund Burke stated, “The only thing necessary for triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” It’s great to speak out when we see wrong, but more than that we have to be willing, when necessary, to act out–to do something.


As Jews, we need to be ready, willing, and able to stand up for what is right in the never ending war of good over evil in this world–regardless of silver or lead, G-d forbid–with our words and with our deeds.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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)

Thank You, See Ya

Robot.jpeg

So one of our contractors was moving on to a new position. 


It was toward the end of the day, and I saw him getting ready to leave the building.


I went over to him to thank him for his service, tell him how we appreciated his contributions, and wish him well for the future. 


Someone nearby overhead me talking with him, and in a lighthearted joking way says, “That’s not what you told me about him by the elevators [one of our typical watercooler chat spots],” and then he gave a big smile.


He is another wonderful person and I understood he meant it in complete fun, but I couldn’t help feeling bad for the other person, and his thinking perhaps that people were talking bad about him somehow. 


I know I am a sensitive person, but somehow I could sort of feel the possible sting for the person leaving.


Sensing maybe something gone wrong, the other person came over afterwards and sort of apologized that he didn’t mean anything bad, which I knew of course.


We all like to have a good congenial relationship in the office, but I suppose even well-intentioned joshing around has to be thoughtful and with good timing. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)