Life-Giving, Death-Dealing Words

Parashat Metzora

Words may create worlds, as R. Abraham Joshua Heschel insisted, but they can just as surely destroy them. Words can be deadly weapons and the source of uncountable blessings. But careless, evil speech does not just affect others, it also reflects on ourselves. Reading parashat Metzora each year, tradition bids us remember that each time we speak we create the worlds we are destined to inhabit—whether for good or for bad. (5774)