Wednesday, January 14, 2009

On violent speech


Note that in the passage below, the term "curse" refers to an expressed desire for an enemy to suffer harm.

"When spite comes up against the limits of its power and cannot in actual fact destroy the object of its hatred, then the will to do so is expressed in words - and the destruction which it wishesd to accomplish but cannot achieve is directed in words toward the object...

"In the acomplishment of a wicked deed man seems terrible, but even more terrible, monstrous, does he appear when he curses. For in the former the limit of his power is determined, but here his spite can express itself without bounds, so far as imagination - which is limitless - and hatred can reach; here can malice show how frightful it could be if it were all-powerful and held man's fate in his hands."

(R' Samson Raphael Hirsch, Horeb, paragraph 395)

Have a great day,

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