Friday, 9 September 2011

Words of Prayer, Words of Kindness - Tehillim Reminder 49

This weeks Words of Prayer, Words of Kindness is prepared both for
 a complete and speedy recovery for Rachel Chanah bas Esther and
as a thank you to the international Tehillim group.

It has been a quiet few weeks with little feedback or interaction from the Tehillim group. On my side it has been a busy time and I found myself wondering whether to prepare a full Words of Prayer, Words of Kindness this week or to say, sorry, this week has been too busy.

Just when I was about to opt for a short few lines, I happened to look at my email and was gratified to read that a mother who placed her daughter on our list 3 weeks ago, prior to serious surgery felt that the outcome of Tehillim was better than they anticipated. Thank you for your Tehillim ladies. Keep up your efforts and do stay in touch.

To the person who sent that message in, it makes a big difference in my life to know that something I am involved in had a positive difference in the life of a fellow Jew. Thank you.

As thank you to all of you here are a few Torah thoughts.

Shmiras HaLashon Thought

In today's Torah reading we find the verse "Remember what Hashem your G-d, did to Miriam on the way, when you were leaving Egypt". (Devarim 24:9) This verse reminds us that when on our journey in the Midbar (desert), there was an occasion that Miriam criticized her brother Moshe Rabeinu to her brother Aharon HaCohen. The result was immediate punishment from Hashem in the form of Tzara'as over her whole body, indicating the extent to which Hashem dislikes evil speech.

I was thinking of this verse today, and would like to share another thought; a thought that a few ladies of the group have requested to be shared. Typically when we discuss the verse above, we think about and remember the content of what Miriam had said and the result. However, the verse includes another fact that this occurred while on a journey. In today's times we have a major challenge, that of cell phones.

It is not so long ago, that telephones were only an instrument in ones own home that could only be used from one specific place. Many homes would have a quiet corner where the telephone stood on a table with a chair next to it, enabling the person talking to have a little bit of privacy.

With all the benefits of cell phones and mobile phones, most of us forget a crucial warning in the above verse, that of when we were leaving Egypt. We were on a journey. Actually, Miriam did talk to her brother Aharon in private, however the verse itself, provides insight into a habit that is beneficial to work on altering.

The way of the Jew is to be modest, private and to talk softly. We are not supposed to be having conversations in public, in transit whether walking down the road, on the bus, around ones garden, in the supermarket at the tops of our voices or even on two phones and two conversations simultaneously. Let us remember the words of the Torah itself and remember what happened to Miriam when she spoke incorrectly when we were on a journey. Let us master guarding our tongues in terms of content and further, guarding our tongues and manner of speaking even in terms of place, that our conversations take place quietly, in private, in a modest manner.

The Vilna Gaon gives a sobering thought "The main object of man's life is, to break undesirable traits (middos) – and if not? Why is he alive?"

The names for this week are found on our Tehillim page 

Shabbat Shalom to everyone. Shanah Tova UMetuka, may you all be inscribed for a year of everything good, a good that is revealed, manifest and visible


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