Heaven Forbid: The Talmudic Attitude Towards the Spoken Word

20 Pages Posted: 17 May 2018

See all articles by Hershey H. Friedman

Hershey H. Friedman

City University of New York - Department of Business Management

Date Written: May 2, 2018

Abstract

This paper examines several different Talmudic principles that confirm the seriousness of the spoken word. The sages of the Talmud felt that saying something nasty that might happen in the future could actually cause it to happen. Thus, those following the advice of the Talmud, will avoid saying something unpleasant that might happen in the future. This may be the reason for saying "Heaven forbid" (chas v'shalom or chalila vachas in Hebrew) when talking about something unpleasant that could happen. Moreover, cursing others or even oneself is not a wise move since curses may boomerang back to the curser.

Keywords: Talmud, Talmudic ethics, error that proceeds from a ruler, cursing, ominous words, Satan

JEL Classification: B11, M14

Suggested Citation

Friedman, Hershey H., Heaven Forbid: The Talmudic Attitude Towards the Spoken Word (May 2, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3172274 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3172274

Hershey H. Friedman (Contact Author)

City University of New York - Department of Business Management ( email )

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