- Jodi Samuels
Meron was born an old soul. There is no recipe, magic formula or wand to wave for parenting children. In fact, we often say that Meron, our oldest, was born to parent us.
I distinctly recall being in New York City traffic when a car cut us off. When Gavin cursed at the driver, we heard our sweet little 4 year old pipe up from the back seat: “Abba - HaShem gave us our mouths to pray to God, not to use bad words.”
This weeks Torah portion Tazria is about Speech - Use It, Don't Abuse It. In Judaism, gossip is defined as relating negative information about another, even if it is true. ("Slander" is when it's not true.) The Torah teaches us not to speak gossip, but even further, we are required not to listen.
The sages teach us that gossip is as bad as committing all three cardinal sins: idolatry, incest and murder. They said that it kills three people: the one who says it, the one it is said about, and the one who listens to it.
Gossiping is demeaning. It is an attempt to bring down the people we envy in order to make ourselves feel better. As such, every time we speak badly about one another, we feel less inclined to improve and perfect ourselves.
In Judaism every word counts. Positive language too. That’s why we only talk about certain things when the time is right.
Meron is meticulous about gossip. He always has been. No wonder he has a great sense of self and self-confidence. While very young, this wise and sensitive soul has met his soul mate volunteering on a Magen David Adom ambulance.
Today the time is right to share the wonderful news that Meron proposed to Efrat and they are engaged BH.
We wish them a huge mazal tov and we pray that their home will be a place where the power that words have is valued - a home where words will bring blessing and goodness into the world.
Shabbat Shalom and Mazal Tov!