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Hope you’re having a great day
… You may have heard this very Jewish parable.
It’s about lashon harah. Gossip.
A man felt sorry for all the gossip he had spread.
He went to his Rabbi and asked what he had to do in order to get a clean slate.
The Rabbi didn’t feel the man really understood how much damage he had done.
So he told him…
“Take a feather pillow, cut it up and throw the feathers to the wind”.
It sounded strange, but the man followed the instructions and came back to the Rabbi.
“I did it, Rabbi. Am I forgiven?”
“Not yet”, said the Rabbi. “Now go out and collect the feathers…
You need to know that your words are like feathers. You can’t take them back.
They’re still out there hurting people and damaging their reputations.”
… This message is always important to keep in mind.
But something in the news the other day made me think of it.
An article written by Richard Goldstone.
He is the author of a United Nations report aboutIsrael’s war inGaza.
Among many other things?
He accused the IDF of deliberately targeting civilians!
It’s hard to imagine the damage that report did.
It tarnished the image of the IDF.
And made it so much more difficult for Israel to protect itself in the future.
… It seems that Judge Goldstone has had, to some degree, a change of heart.
He wrote in theWashingtonPost that his claim thatIsraeltargeted civilians?
Was not true!
You’ve probably read lots of analysis of his article.
“Was it sincere? Did it go far enough? How public will he make his retraction?
And will he officially ask the United Nations to scrap the report?”
I’m not qualified to answer these questions.
But there is one thing I think we should think about for sure.
Suppose we give him the benefit of the doubt.
And we assume that he has absolute and total remorse for the damage he caused.
Could you imagine his pain? Imagine what he needs to live with for the rest of his life?
Because compared to trying to take back what he said…
Gathering up the feathers is easy!
…As Jews, we need to be very concerned about the damage that report made.
And as Jews, we should also use this story as a reminder.
And before we get on the phone? Before we click “send”?
We should think about the “feather story”.
All the best,
Rabbi Moshe Katz
2832W. Touhy Avenue
P 773. 761. 0400 ext. 201
F 773. 761. 9262