Powerful Holy Words

Powerful Holy Words 

Handle them carefully, for words have more power than atom bombs.  -Pearl Strachan Hurd

PowerofWordsThe Torah takes the spoken word seriously. Very seriously. It dedicates a whole chapter to the laws of vows and if and when they might be annulled. There is an entire tractate of the Talmud that deals with this single issue.

The Sfat Emet in 5634 (1874) explains that the power of our speech is a particular strength of the Jewish people. Our words can turn ideas into reality. Specifically, by just uttering words of Torah, one has the capacity to connect directly with God. That is the reason for the biblical command to recite the “Shma Yisrael” prayer twice a day, as well as all the other prayers and blessings that the sages commanded. This power converts our wishes and requests into real blessings and bounty.

However, there is a caveat. It all depends on the words we choose. When we use holy words, when we use words of blessing, of peace, of faith, of Torah, then the transformation to reality can occur. However, when we waste our words on mundane matters, frivolous matters, lowly matters, inappropriate matters, we are squandering that divine gift.

The Sfat Emet concludes that in accordance with how we watch and protect our speech, so too is the measure of power that we have to see our hopes and dreams come to fruition.

Shabbat Shalom,

Ben-Tzion

Dedication

To Ana Duchits. She has that power.

 

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