web analytics
April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Painful Words: A Painful Reality

Share Button

Jews globally are commemorating the Three Weeks of Mourning period that began with last Sunday’s 17th Day of Tammuz fast and culminates with the Fast of Tisha B’Av. This period of time marks the breaching of Jerusalem’s walls through the destructions of our Holy Temples, and our subsequent exile from the Land of Israel.


 


During the two millennia of our galut,Jews from every corner of the planet were – at various times and places – tortured, brutalized, isolated into ghettos, accused of horrendous crimes, ostracized, prevented from earning a living, forced to convert, marginalized in every conceivable way, and more recently decimated by the millions.


 


We attribute our bitter, dark exile and the destruction of the Second Temple to lashon hara and sinat chinam (negative speech and baseless hatred) – often due to groundless jealously.


 


The following are two poems I wrote about the destructive impact of gossip and slander. I hope they will serve as a deterrent when one is tempted to say something they shouldn’t.


 


The Gossip’s Lament


 


You were a good friend, yet I caused you much pain,


For I gossiped about you – though there was little to gain.


Merely moments in the limelight, the center of attention,


It didn’t matter that what I said was a bit of my invention.


 


I snickered and mocked you behind your unsuspecting back,


I dissected your character, pointed out the qualities you lack.


I listed your failings, and belittled the things you do,


Not giving much thought if what I said was even true.


 


I revealed your secrets that I had sworn to secrecy,


I shattered forever your cherished privacy.


I did not pause to consider what I was doing to a friend,


I had damaged your reputation – one you might never be able to mend.


 


You had been there for me for so many years,


You delighted in my joys, and shared in my tears.


You soothed my worries, assuaged feelings that were hurt,


And I cravenly repaid you by dragging your name in the dirt.


 


Now I have lost you – and others have turned away,


I glance at a phone that is silent all day.


I destroyed a priceless gift for a false moment of “glory,”


And I know it can’t be fixed by saying, “I’m so sorry.”


 


Spoken Words


 


The spoken word is a powerful thing,


Whether uttered by a pauper or a powerful king.


For each word has a meaning and nuance that is unique,


And your words are a part of you that take wing when you speak.


 


Whether whispered very softly, or hurled in a shout,


A word is unstoppable – once it’s let out.


When you part with a word, you can’t get it back,


It flies to its intended – it’s full meaning intact.


 


A word can be a healing thing,


A word can make a sore heart sing.


A word can bring relief and hope to those in tears,


Or build bridges between strangers, dispelling all fears.


 


But a word can be a pain-inflicting thing,


It can cut, it can wound, it can deeply sting.


And for both speaker and listener, bring regret and shame,


A bond that once was – will never be the same.


 


A word, once spoken, can be a life-enhancing tool,


But also a destructive weapon in the mouth of a fool.


So weigh your words carefully, release them with thought,


For words that are let go – can never be caught.

Share Button

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “Painful Words: A Painful Reality”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
FBI Wanted poster for Osama bin Laden
Pakistan Library Renamed to Honor bin Laden
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

Regardless of age, parents play an important role in their children’s lives.

Marriage-Relationship-logo

We peel away one layer after the next, our eyes tear up and it becomes harder and harder to see as we get closer to our innermost insecurities and fears.

Gorsky-041814-Torah

Some Mountain Jews believe they are descendents of the Ten Lost Tribes and were exiled to Azerbaijan and Dagestan by Sancheriv.

Baim-041814-Piggy

Yom Tov is about spending time with your family. And while for some families the big once-in-a-lifetime experience is great, for others something low key is the way to go.

A fascinating glimpse into the rich complexity of medieval Jewish life and its contemporary relevance had intriguingly emerged.

Dear Dr. Yael:

My heart is breaking; my husband’s friend has gotten divorced. While this type of situation is always sad, here I do believe it could have been avoided.

The plan’s goal is to provide supportive housing to 200 individuals with disabilities by the year 2020.

Despite being one of the fastest-growing Jewish communities in the U.S. – the estimated Jewish population is 70-80,000 – Las Vegas has long been overlooked by much of the Torah world.

She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.

Pesach is so liberating (if you excuse the expression). It’s the only time I can eat anywhere in the house, guilt free! Matzah in bed!

Now all the pain, fear and struggle were over and they were home. Yuli was safe and free, a hero returned to his land and people.

While it would seem from his question that he is being chuzpadik and dismissive, I wonder if its possible, if just maybe, he is a struggling, confused neshama who actually wants to come back to the fold.

I agree with the letter writer that a shadchan should respectfully and graciously accept a negative response to a shidduch offer.

Alternative assessments are an extremely important part of understanding what students know beyond the scope of tests and quizzes.

More Articles from Cheryl Kupfer
Kupfer-032814

A young lady in her early 20’s, “Sarah” was redt to “Shlomie” a boy from her home town who learned in an out-of-town yeshiva. The families know each other well, which in today’s shidduch scene is a big plus – since it was therefore unlikely the kids would “fall in” due to misinformation and misinterpretations.

Kupfer-031414

I came to the conclusion a long time ago that I have to do what is right for me – as long as it’s “ halachically kosher” and doesn’t negatively impact on others – and not worry too much about what others think.

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and that is precisely what almost always happens in situations where a reference knew someone had serious but hidden emotional issues, but did not reveal the information to the person making inquiries.

Time never stood still for anyone – why would I be the exception? In my hubris, I thought that somehow I would live forever – and I suspect we all have secretly felt that way, even though we know it’s a fantasy.

One can argue that forgetting something on a regular basis is a sign of advancing age and it’s time to for a neurological evaluation, but based on the number of young people who need to replace a lost smart phone (too bad it’s not smart enough to warn its owner that that they have become separated – or is there an app for that too?), I safely can say that losing “stuff” cuts across the generations.

For quite a few days in late December, Toronto was transformed into a breathtaking – literally and figuratively – frigid winter wonderland, where every twig, leaf, car door, and outdoor wire and cable was totally encased in ice. When the sun shone the landscape was blindingly brilliant as if billions of diamonds had been glued to everything the eye could see.

Outside is a winter-white wonderland replete with dazzling trees, wires, and sidewalks seemingly wrapped in glittery silver foil. It’s quite lovely to look at, which is about all I can do since I’m stuck indoors. Icicle-laden tree branches are bent and hunch-backed by the frozen heaviness of their popsicle-like burden, and the voices squawking from the battery-operated transistor radio I am listening to are warning people not to go out since walkways and roads are extremely slippery, and there is real danger from falling trees.

The necessity of speaking up when you “have a hunch” applies even more when it comes to shidduchim. One little girl did just that – she said something – and I was fortunate enough to be in town for the very joyful, lively wedding that resulted from her speaking up.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/painful-words-a-painful-reality/2008/07/23/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: