Redeeming speech

A Metzora was someone afflicted with a skin condition that was not an ordinary physical malady. The sages teach that it often came about as a result of speaking negatively of others.

The Metzora’s process of purification includes two birds (Leviticus 14:4). Why two birds? If it is to atone for gossiping, shouldn’t it be one?

The Zohar (Tazria 46) offers an incredible insight. The person who misused his words didn’t just violate one error, he made two mistakes. He or she shouldn’t have said the negative thing, but in so doing they also forfeited the moment from saying something positive. One bird atones for the lashon ha’rah, and the other atones for the positive thing that could have been said in that time and space instead.

The craving to talk, to communicate and connect with others is natural, it is part of the human psyche. Maybe one of the ways we can combat lashon ha’rah, negative gossip, is to speak positive gossip instead. Connect and converse with something that will build instead of demolish, create instead of destroy, uplift instead of knock down. (Rabbi Efrem Goldberg)

Sharing is caring!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Leave a Reply

Don’t Stop Here

More To Explore

Nothing there

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov used to say, “The Yetzer Hara (inner adversay/evil inclination) is like a person circulating among a crowd with his fist clenched


R’ Nachum of Chernobyl would say, “I’m more disturbed by my good deeds that please me than by my bad deeds that repel me,”

Your stronger hand…

“Our rabbis have taught: This is the way you should act towards people – though sometimes you may have to push them away with your