“If He Does Not Give Information”

Regarding the Responsibility to be Vocal

This week we begin to read Sefer VaYikra. Despite its reputation, VaYikra is not exclusively concerned with holiness, sacrifices, and the relationship between human beings and God, but is also concerned with private interpersonal relationships.  VaYikra underscores that these two realms, between people and God and between people and our fellows, are in fact fundamentally intertwined.  And so, already in the first parashah of VaYikra, we engage with the topic of oral communication: oral communication between people, and oral communication between people and God; we engage with the necessity of speech on the one hand, and its hidden dangers on the other.