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    Talk – Emor

    shhThe title of the sidra is Emor – “Talk”.

    People talk all the time. They talk too much in fact.

    Loose tongues are such a danger. Not just when the tongue says nasty things. We know that’s not allowed, since the Psalmist says, “Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking guile” (Ps. 34:14), a sentence that comes in the concluding prayer of every Amidah.

    But what tends to happen when someone simply can’t stop talking is that the talk becomes nothing more than background noise and the words mean nothing.

    So much can be done in a constructive way with “a word fitly spoken” which, according to King Solomon in the Book of Proverbs, is “like apples of gold in settings of silver” (Prov. 25:11).

    Just as a person should be careful about where they spend their money, so they should watch their words and not be over-garrulous. Using too many words is a waste of the capacity of speech.

    The best advice is, if you have something useful to say, speak up – or otherwise remain silent.

    Remember the old saying, “When I kept silent they thought I might be a fool. When I spoke they knew I was.”

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