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A Timely Torah Message By Shaya Gross

The Power of a Word

[Editor’s note: As a memory of my beloved brother Shaya, I would like to continue sending out his pearls of wisdom that he has shared with all of you in the past. For some of you this may ring a bell and for others it may appear to be totally new. May the learning of Shaya’s Divrei Torah inspire us to change our ways and thereby give an Aliya to the neshama of our dear beloved Shaya whom we miss so much.]

{Editor’s note: Shaya did not have a dvar torah for this week so I am sharing with you a thought from this week’s Parsha.
In this week’s Parsha, Parshas Vayeishev, the Torah recounts how Yosef is thrown into jail and despite this, manages to make his way to the top of “warden hierarchy” in the prison. One day he meets Pharoh’s Butler and Baker and sees that they each have a sad face. Yosef asks them, “Why do your faces look so sad today?” These words uttered by Yosef changed history. It was only due to this that the Butler eventually mentioned Yosef’s name to Pharoh and Yosef became the viceroy. Mitzrayim changes as a result and Klal Yisroel is changed as a result. All because of a couple of words. You see the power of a word.

This past Wednesday we saw another example of how words can make such a difference in one’s life. Federal reserve chairman, Jerome Powell, made one statement which sparked a huge turnaround in the stock market. It had been going down over the last couple of months, and it shot up more than 600 points which is above 2.5 percent. All from one statement.

Words are so powerful; if they are used in the right way they can be used to express affection and love for a spouse or child. Complimenting someone can change his entire day, week and possibly even his life. However, it can simultaneously be used for the negative. Inappropriately criticizing a child or student can shatter a child or student forever.
We all remember fleeting comments, both good or bad, that were made to us. So fleeting that the person who said it probably didn’t remember from the next moment. But those words have stayed with us for a lifetime.

This was something that Shaya lived by. He always made sure to greet people with his trademark smile and compliment them on something. It could be the way they were dressed or something that they may have said. Shaya knew just the right words to say to raise people’s spirits. Those compliments people will remember for a lifetime!

May we all take a lesson from Yosef to open our eyes and really see what a spouse/child/neighbor/friend is going through and be there for them. Sometimes all they may need is a few words of encouragement and love to help them get out of their sorrow. With that, we should merit to bring the Third Temple speedily in our days!}

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