Rav Chaim Kanievsky: Your Words Are Counted

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yungerman recently visited Rav Chaim Kanievsky along with his son who is suffering a speech delay. To comfort the harried father, in addition to giving him a brochah, Rav Chaim noted that speaking less actually leads to living longer.

“The Sefer Chassidim (162) writes that when a person is created, it is decreed upon him how many words he will speak and angels go with him and write everything he says and afterwards he needs to give account and reckoning for each word,” Rav Chaim said. “And when he finishes speaking what was allotted to him, he passes away. This should inspire everyone to speak in Torah as much as possible and avoid idle talk.”

{Matzav.com Israel News Bureau}

2 COMMENTS

  1. From Rabbi Frand

    A Person Must Carefully ‘Budget’ His Utterances
    There is an interesting Medrash that verifies something I once heard as a child. The Medrash HaGadol on the pasuk [verse] “When Pharaoh will speak to you saying…” [Shmos 7:9] makes reference to a pasuk in Amos [4:13]: “For behold, He forms mountains and creates winds; He recounts to a person what is his conversation (mah seicho)…” The Medrash states that in this pasuk, Amos is referring to the fact that when G-d creates an individual, he decrees upon him how many conversations he will have in his life and how many words he will speak. The neshama is basically provided with an allotment of words before it comes down into this world. Once a person reaches his ration of words, his time is up.
    The Imrei Shammai explains that a person’s life span can thus be calibrated by the number of words it was decreed that he would speak in his lifetime. Therefore, someone who minimizes his idle conversation is in effect prolonging his life. Since no one wants to be ‘stingy’ with his words when he is teaching Torah or speaking in matters of learning, where is there a place to ‘cut down’? Obviously, the place to economize is in regards to idle speech (devarim betailim).

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