Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Cursed Be

By Rabbi Daniel Travis

And Rachel died… (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 Lavan’s idols. This curse was realized in Rachel’s 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 Shimon’s 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 LECH LECHA:

View Complete List

Priorities Confused
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5759

Big Potential
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5764

Worthy of the Brocha!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5770

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Spiritual Yichus
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5764

“The Place That I Will Show You!”
Rabbi Label Lam - 5767

Avraham's Strange Reaction
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5762

> Rabbi Frand on Parshas Lech Lecha
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5767

I Lift My Hands
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5762

Suicide Moms
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5762

ArtScroll

The Mind
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

Entering the Land of Canaan
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5770

Divine intervention in Our Wars Against Our Enemies
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5771

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Abraham's Dwelling
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5765

The Lesson of Avraham
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5763

A House or a Home?
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5757

Mission Impassable
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5757



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