Thursday, January 10, 2008

Speaking advice for rabbis


Words of caution to those who sermonize in the name of the Torah:

"There must not be, in his words, anything which strays from the truth known to the public who will hear his words. There must not be words which have neither foundation nor root, as public speakers are wont to offer now in these lands.

"They explain scripture and the words of the sages with meanings that the authors never intended and that never entered their hearts and minds. They claim to explain the true intentions of the words, but their intention is only to harm. Were they to leave the words of the sages as they are, the simple meaning of their declarations would offer great wisdom, but they turn the sweet to bitter and so their intention is to harm."

(Maharal, Netivot Olam, Netiv haTochachah Chapter 3)

Have a great day,

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