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 TERUMAH:

View Complete List

Making This World A Reflection Of The World To Come Part I
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5765

The Only Thing You Can Take With You Is Your Dining Room Table
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5763

For G-d's Sake
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5765

ArtScroll

Giving is Like Taking
Rabbi Label Lam - 5773

Invest in Yourself
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5758

Doing What We Must
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5762

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Offer of the Princes
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5762

A Tabernacle in Your Heart
Shlomo Katz - 5774

According to his Ability
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5762

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Make a Home for G-d
Shlomo Katz - 5762

Honesty Comes First
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5763

Sanctuaries Are Built
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768

> Use Your Giving Muscles
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5773

Build a "Cottage" for Hashem
Shlomo Katz - 5758

In Memory of Rabbi Dr. Azriel Rosenfeld
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5764

Part God, Part Us
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5769



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