Heaven Forbid: The Talmudic Attitude Towards the Spoken Word
20 Pages Posted: 17 May 2018
Date Written: May 2, 2018
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: Suggested Citation