Behar– The Tender Tongue
“When you sell property to yourneighbor, or buy any from your neighbor, you shall not wrong one another (al tonu ish et achiv).” (Lev. 25:14)
“Do not wrong one another (lo tonu ish et amito), but fear yourGod; for I Adonai am your God.” (Lev 25:17)
Rashi (1040-1105): 1sttime: business transaction; 2nd time is harming someone with yourwords.
Rabbi Eliezer (80-118 C.E.): Wrongingsomeone with speech is more serious. Speech affects the very person. Inbusiness wronging another person only affects money, which is easilyrestored. Restoration is notpossible for a wrong done through speech (SeferAggadah 658:186). A Tanna (Mishnah, 10-220 C.E.) taught before Rav Nahmanbar Isaac that one who publicly makes a neighbor blanch from shame is as one whosheds blood. Whereupon Rav Nahman remarked how he had seen the blood rush froma person’s face upon such a shaming (BabaMetzia 58b). Examples:
1. Ifa person is penitent, one should not say to him, “Remember the way you used toact.”
2. If he is a childof a convert, he should not be taunted with “Remember the way your fathersacted.”
3. If he is aconvert who comes to study Torah, one should not say to him, “Shall the mouththat ate unclean and forbidden food, come to study the Torah, which was utteredby the mouth of the Almighty?”
Rabbi Simeon ben Gamliel (10B.C.E. – 70 C.E.) told his servant, Tabbai to go to the marketplace and buygood food. He returned with beef tongue. The rabbi then instructed Tabbai to goto the marketplace and buy bad food. The servant returned with beef tongue.When the rabbi asked Tabbai why he bought tongue both times, he said, “Goodcomes from it and bad comes from it.”
Rabbi Simeon ben Gamliel made afeast of tender tongue and hard tongue for his disciples. When his studentsonly took the tender tongue, Rabbi instructed them, “Look what you are doing –Let your tongues be tender to one another.”
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Introduction to Shabbat Table Talk
Pharaoh and Moses
Apologies to Rabbi Lookstein
Ki Yachol Lah - כי יכול לה
Small Role; Big Impact
In Response to the Orlando Shooting
When Tragedy Strikes
HUC-JIR L'DOR VADOR Gala
The Baal Shem Tov and His Sage
Share Your Stories
Appreciating Everyone's Gifts
Women Named and Unnamed, Beginning a New Year
The Journey that Changed Our World
Give Bigotry and Racism No Quarter
Loving the Stranger and the Estranged
Seeing the Good Land
Pinchas Is Not Our Religious Model
The Jewish View on Marriage Equality: The Jewish Response to the Supreme Court Decision
Adaption from Rabbi Karyn Kedar's, Omer: A Counting.
Hod of Malchut, "Humility in Nobility."
Netzach of Malchut, "Endurance in Nobility"
Compassion in Nobility
Behar– The Tender Tongue
Endurance in Bonding
Let Me Be What I Can Be
Rabbi Leonard Beerman - My Rabbi
Shmitah: A Sabbath for A Year Making a Difference for Your Lives
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