Unfortunately Mrs. Bracha Katz’s father passed away today, and she and her husband, Rabbi Moshe Katz, will be in New York for the funeral and shiva. We join all their friends and students in extending our deepest, heartfelt condolences, and pray that G-d comfort them among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.
Rabbi Katz asked me (Rabbi Doni Deutsch) to write today and tomorrow’s Torah Minute. I pray that it be a merit for the soul of his late father in law, Mr. Judah Cohen z”l.
… As we read through the creation story, we notice a short phrase repeated over and over.
“G-d said: Let there be light’. “G-d said: Let the waters gather …”. And so on.
… The power of speech. It’s G-d’s tool for creation.
It’s a short phrase, but an extremely important one. Especially in light of something else we find in the creation story.
Something that is the most important and most powerful description of human beings ever written.
“G-d created man in His Image“.
Obviously it doesn’t mean G-d’s physical image. That man looks like G-d.
Because if we taught the world anything, it’s that G-d is not physical, not limited, not mortal.
Instead, the Image of G-d, means that G-d gifted us with some G-dly qualities.
That we have certain qualities through which we are like G-d.
Perhaps in a future Minute we’ll take a deeper look at some of those similarities.
Today? Let’s just focus on one basic one.
… It’s not only G-d Who creates – or destroys – thorough His speech.
We do as well. All the time.
… They say, ‘Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me.’
It’s so not true!
Sticks and stones hurt – but the hurt can go away.
Say the wrong thing– and you can destroy a person.
Say the right thing? Use our Divine gift of speech to build people up? To put a smile on their face?
… And we can literally create a world.
As The Book of Proverbs teaches: Life and death are in the hand of the tongue.
… Life and death. Literally.
I hope you have a great day, and may we know only of simchas (joyous occasions).