If there is anything this year’s primary election cycle has taught us, it is that words have a powerful effect on us. We teach children that, “sticks and stones will break our bones, but names will never harm us,” but as adults we realize the folly of that adage. Words can sometimes hurt even more than sticks and stones. Physical bruises can heal, reputations and emotions often cannot.
Judaism puts a lot of emphasis on the power of the word. There are entire books written about Lashon Harah, evil tongue, gossip, and slander. What can Judaism teach us about changing the paradigm of today’s dialogue and communication?
This summer in our summer sermon series we will focus on a book written by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, Words that Hurt, Words that Heal: How to Choose Words Wisely and Well.
Each week I will send out and article or essay related to the topic we will discuss that Shabbat morning.
July 9 Introduction – The Unrecognized Power of Words
July 16 How We Speak About Others
July 23 How We Speak to Others
August 6 Words That Heal
August 13 Incorporating the Principals of Ethical Speech into Daily Life
Recordings of the sermons will be available on Facebook and MidbarKodesh.org.
Rabbi Bradley Tecktiel has been Midbar Kodesh Temple's spiritual leader since August 2008. Rabbi Tecktiel was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in May of 1996. He holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees, one from List College and one from Columbia University. He also holds a Masters of Arts from the Jewish Theological Seminary.
You can follow him on Twitter @RabbiMKT