Aug 9, 2006

lashon horah (remember my loose tongue, forget what I just said)

Improper speech (Loshon HoRah) then, is considered a most heinous sin in the ranks of the observant orthodox jew. This, mostly naturally, pertains mostly to speaking ill of someone. The idea being that while physical wounds can harm for a while, they will invariably heal. Remedying the cruelty done by an innapropriate and unkind word is that much harder to to manage.

I talk too much. About people.

I mean, I know that. But I just love people. They are what I love. What I think about. I question them and survey them and want to understand them more and wish we all didn't have so many boundaries and communication issues and so much damn pride that gets in the way of knowing eachother.

I wish we weren't all so easily embarassed. Also, I often wish it weren't so hard. That we didn't do so many things best left undiscussed, best left unsaid.

But also I go too far and I know that.
Integral to the laws around Loshon HoRah is the notion that we don't know what will be taken wrong, that we wont always know context, well enough, to know what is speaking ill vs. just speaking of. So it's encouraged to never speak of another, or atleast another's personal life, when they are not present.

We all know I don't have a chance in hell of doing that. I don't know that I'd even want to try. But something needs to be done. And I think I know the obvious place to start...

7 comments:

Lola said...

Please, please, say it ain't so!

daff0dil said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
daff0dil said...

it's just a short hiatus until I can get it back together again and feel positive about what I am posting

Bjetsey said...

much empathy from me. I missed the offending post, but I know the feeling of having said something you didn't mean to say outloud to others. Buddhists have the tenent of "right speech." I've tried practicing it. I felt like it made me not me, which is interesting in itself. good luck!

cordelia said...

Hmm. Hm.

daff0dil said...

This is fascinating to me. Most religions/cultures/traditions seem to have some (often ignored) regulations about speech/gossip. And they don't seem entirely dissimilar. Learning to regulate one's speech is actually a fairly difficult feat.Subject matter. Style. Ever tried to suddenly drop slang or a curse word? Multiply that when considering subject matter. As llamaduck commented, it changes who you are. I once had an assignment to not ask any questions for 3 days. it was incredible to find ways to work around that and to realize how many questions are actually requests and manipulations of the same.
speech, for the very verbal, is a reflection of their deepest innerworkings and thought processes. not just what they say but how they say it
I want to think more about this. maybe I'll blog about it someday

cordelia said...

You know, if you leave enough comment, it's almost like an entry. And then I am almost like satisfied.