Thursday, June 27, 2013

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Speaking Good

via Lma’an Yishme’u

The Lubavitcher Rebbe was especially careful with his words, using phrases such as 'opposite of good', 'opposite of life' etc. When the Rebbe quoted words of Chazal which were of a negative nature, he would only hint at them, not wanting to spell them out. In this spirit, the Rebbe suggested that in lashon hakodesh (the holy tongue – biblical hebrew), a hospital should not be referred to as a home of the sick but rather as a home of healing, emphasizing its positive aspect. The exception to this, is when a lesson is being taught, for then things must be spelled out clearly, leaving no room for doubt.

(תו"מ תשמ"ז ח"ב ע' 37, לקו"ש ח"י ע' 26)

At a yechidus (personal meeting with the Rebbe) with the supporters of Tomchei Temimim, one of those present mentioned the deficiencies of a certain city, to which the Rebbe responded, "In discussing a deficiency, there are two approaches: one can either specify the problem, or highlight the positive, and the problem will be understood on its own. For example, if a person is missing his left hand (chas veshalom), one can either state that this person's hand is missing, or one can speak about how much accomplishes with his right hand, from which it is understood that his other hand is missing. This is the way one should speak."

(תו"מ חכ"ד ע' 198)

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