Parshat Matot & Masei: Science of Speech

The Parsha of nedarim differs from the rest of the Torah in that Moshe told it directly to the leaders of the Jewish people in a very condensed fashion. This comes to teach us the extraordinary power of speech. Our mouths should be sanctified with pure words. If we pollute it with lashon hara and other verbal transgressions, we destroy our gift. Our Torah cannot be effective nor can our prayers reach the heavens if we profane our speech. By using concise language, Hashem wanted to teach us how careful we must be with every word. The Parsha was taught directly to the leaders because it was only great Torah scholars who could accurately communicate these terse words to the people.

Rav Itzele Blazer once came to Rav Chaim Berlin in a dream and said that all judgments in heaven are difficult but those relating to speech are exceedingly severe. The destruction of the Beit Hamikdash came because of baseless hatred.


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