Devar Torah for Parshas Matos-Masei 5781

Your Word Is Powerful

In this week’s parsha, we learn about oaths (Numbers 30:3):

If a man makes a vow to the LORD or takes an oath imposing an obligation on himself, he shall not break his pledge; he must carry out all that has crossed his lips.

You may have heard about fellow Jews who travel to “Tzadikim” (righteous men) to get a “brocho” (blessing). You may even have heard how effective these blessings can be.

Why do they work? Some people assume that the reason these blessings work is because the man is meticulous in his observance of all the Jewish laws, or perhaps he is totally immersed in learning Torah day and night,

But the Chida (1724-1806) has a different understanding, saying that a hint to the efficacy of blessings from a righteous person can be seen in this week’s parsha. Looking again at our verse (Numbers 30:3):

לֹ֥א יַחֵ֖ל דְּבָר֑וֹ

One who does not desecrate his words

כְּכׇל־הַיֹּצֵ֥א מִפִּ֖יו יַעֲשֶֽׂה

Everything that comes out of his mouth will be done.

From here we see that someone who is careful with his words; someone who does not waste his words; someone who does not lie; someone who makes a promise and is true to his word…

…then everything that he says – any blessing he might give to another person – those words will carry weight and will be fulfilled.

Are you careful with your words? Unfortunately, many people today are not careful; for example, they will throw around promises to anyone they want, but when it comes time to fulfill the promise, they’ll claim, “Oh, I really didn’t mean it!” People also are not careful when it comes to lashen hara – saying truthful statements about others that cause them harm.

There are many stories about the fulfillment of casual statements from people who were careful with their speech. There was a story about the Vilna Gaon who casually said to a boy after morning prayers, “You should live to be 100, but please can you move your feet off my tallis so I can take it off?” – the boy lived to celebrate his 100th birthday.

If treated with care, our words can be incredibly powerful! The gemora even says not to take the blessing of a common man lightly – because even an unlearned man who is careful with his words can give a powerful blessing.

Let us all internalize the incredibly power gift that we have, and keep our mouths clean so that our words can be more effective.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply