Sacred Speech in a Noisy World

In our era where words travel at the speed of light, guarding the sanctity of speech is more relevant than ever. Speech is a great tool to unite and elevate us all!

4 min

David Ben Horin

Posted on 26.03.24

In our era, where words travel at the speed of light, guarding the sanctity of speech is more relevant than ever. Let’s delve into the struggles and rewards of guarding our tongues, illustrating through timeless wisdom how ethical speech can unify and elevate us all. 


Praised is the man that did not follow the counsel of the wicked, neither did he stand in the way of sinners nor sit in the company of scorners. (Psalms 1:1) 

Embarking on a journey to guard your tongue requires surrounding yourself with like-minded folks who also value the art of careful speech. But let’s be real, sometimes it’s not that simple, right? 

The Chofetz Chaim answers the legit concern: We’re out here, living in the thick of it, not tucked away in some utopia where slip-ups don’t exist.  

Ever tried hunting down a job or chasing a client on social media, only to wade through a swamp of snarky comments and unsavory posts? 

What about dealing with that coworker who can’t resist spilling tea on everyone?  

Ever been puzzled by cold shoulders at work, wondering what rumors are chipping away at your reputation? 

How can we be expected to keep our words in check all the time? 

And then there’s the news.  

With tensions flaring, staying informed isn’t just about being in the loop; it’s about survival. Yet, every click and scroll might be dragging us through mud that was slung at Israeli leaders, many of whom are Jews.  

Agree with them or not, unless someone with Rabbinic authority stamps them as wicked, tuning into that noise or even sharing it is textbook loshon hara. 

Merely clicking “share” or “like” on an article that states mere “facts” that can attack the reputation of a Jew, no matter where he or she stands on the religious and political spectrum, is spreading loshon hara.  

Keeping a lid on what we say, see, and hear is no walk in the park. Some might call it a fool’s errand.  

But the Chofetz Chaim? He was onto something, addressing this impasse head-on with wisdom that cuts through the noise. 

How the Chofetz Chaim Stood Up to Mass Media 

The story of the Chofetz Chaim is nothing short of incredible. 

He was right there when the world started buzzing with mass communication. Just when spreading gossip suddenly became global, he was there to guide us on how to handle it.  

Born in 1838, he came into the world alongside the Morse code – the original form of electronic chat. In 1873, three years before the telephone hit the scene, he released the sefer Chofetz Chaim, a compilation of the dos and don’ts for sacred speech. 

Then came the radio in 1900 and TV in 1927. While words were broadcasting far and wide to hundreds of millions of people, the Chofetz Chaim was watching the horizon, seeing the storm coming.  

He knew what could happen to a world drowning itself in evil speech and gossip. A doctored telegram sparked the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, which is widely believed to have led to World War I, which eventually led to World War II.  

While the sin led to catastrophe on an unprecedented scale, the mitzvah brought limitless blessings. Our finest moments, like the Six Day War, the War of Independence, and our current victories in Gaza, all took place in an atmosphere of unity, absent of evil speech against one another.  

The Chofetz Chaim knew it all. He handed us the antidote before we even knew how bad the disease could be. 

Gaining Ground Inch by Inch, Word by Word 

Our heroes stepping off the front lines in Gaza are all singing the same tune: Unity. Doesn’t matter if they lean left or right, or if they’re secular or religious. They’re all about keeping our unity like we’re still in the thick of October 8, with every wound fresh and bleeding. 

Their gut feeling is that our survival as a nation is all about seeing the best in each other, not letting hate simmer in our hearts, and putting a full stop on trash-talking.  

Sounds great, but is it realistic?  

Can we live like this every moment, especially now when the dust seems to be settling and everyone’s shifting the chat to ceasefires and elections? Is sticking to these principles even doable, or are we setting ourselves up for a letdown? 

Enter the Chofetz Chaim with his answer to our question:  Imagine being tasked with hauling water from the sea to the sand, bucket by bucket, only to see no visible change.  

Frustrating, right?  

But what if each bucket earns you a golden coin from The Boss? It’s not about changing the sea or the sand; Yours is not to finish the task, but neither are you exempt from it. (Ethics of the Fathers 2:21) It’s about the small efforts you make and the rewards of every bucket you move. 

Each time we hold our tongue, or even prevent ourselves from sharing something toxic, it’s like banking a Divine gold coin in our private account AND into the public account of every Jew.  

Next time you’re itching to dish out your two cents on the latest headline, think twice.  Because every time we nail the mitzvah of sacred speech, we don’t just score for ourselves; we increase blessings for all Am Yisrael.  

Exactly when we need it most. 



David Ben Horin lives in Afula with his family, millions of sunflowers, and Matilda, our local camel. Davids Israeli startup, 300 Marketing Solutions, is a lean marketing agency for startups and small businesses that creates and promotes SEO-optimized ROI-driven to the right audience on LinkedIn to make your business the star of the show.

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