Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Cursed Be

By Rabbi Daniel Travis

And Rachel diedÖ (Bereshith 35:19)

Rachel did not die from natural causes.1 When Lavan accused Yaakov and his family of stealing his gods, Yaakov, totally unaware that Rachel had taken them, was infuriated. In asserting his innocence, he cursed anyone who actually stole Lavanís idols. This curse was realized in Rachelís death.

The dreadful consequence of his words taught Yaakov a lesson about the power of speech that he never forgot. Decades later, when Shimon was being held prisoner in Egypt until the brothers would return to prove their innocence, Yaakov was careful not to curse whoever had imprisoned Shimon. Since Yaakov did not know who was responsible for Shimonís imprisonment, he would not take any chances. In fact the captor was Yosef, and had Yaakov cursed him, Yosef would have met a fate similar to that of his mother Rachel.2

No matter how much someone aggravates you, you must never curse your fellow. The spoken word has sublime ramifications, and even if one is motivated by anger and has no harmful intentions, a simple remark can cause tremendous harm.

The Gemara tells the story of someone who had just come from a long journey and was feeling ill. His host, who was familiar with medical practices, gave him special foods in order to relieve him of his pain. His idea backfired, and actually caused the guest to suffer even more. Exasperated by all that had transpired, the guest said that one who causes pain to others should not have children. Although his words were merely an expression of his frustration, they were fulfilled, and his host did not have any more offspring.3

Footnotes:

1 Rashi on Bereshith 31:32.
2 Chofetz Chaim 42:36.
3 Shabboth 108a.


Text Copyright © 2008 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org


 






ARTICLES ON NETZAVIM AND VAYEILECH:

View Complete List

The Gift of Scholarship
Shlomo Katz - 5760

The Difference Between The Two Tochachas
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5772

"G-d Is Not In Our Midst" Is An Inappropriate Response
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5773

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Making a Different Experience
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5774

Encouraging News Before Rosh Hashana
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5757

Hide & Go Seek
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5763

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Going For Gold
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5771

Love your Neighbor as Yourself
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5760

Personal Business Plan
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5764

> Giving in to the Dictates of One's Heart
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5759

Spaced Out!
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5757

Spiritual Impressions
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5773

ArtScroll

In Good Standing
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761

G-d's Concealment
Shlomo Katz - 5761

Family Values
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5769

Don't Use Rav Alleh's Hechsher - It's a Kuntz!
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5758



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information