Join Sivan's newsletter!

Get updates & news via Email

Terms of endearment

The following thought is appropriate for the stormy fourth elections that are raging out there, as well as for the stormy home cleaning that is raging in here.

You have a certain ideology and you are convinced that you are right, but how do you speak to those who do not agree with you? You are a parent who knows exactly what to tell your child to do, but do you really see the little person with whom you are speaking or is the main thing just to fire off what you want to say? And what about a boss who needs to speak to his employee, or a conversation between husband and wife?

The book we begin to read this week – the Book of Leviticus – opens with these words: "And He called to Moses, and He spoke to him." Our commentators explain: G-d first addressed Moses by his name, and only afterwards did he begin to tell him what to do. In the initial stage, you speak pleasantly to the other person, and only afterwards do you discuss the matter at hand.

Rashi comments on this first verse of the Book of Leviticus as follows: "Before G-d addresses Moses – whether through speech, utterance, or command – He always calls him by name, as an expression of affection." This is a powerful tool all of us could use, in every situation: to precede whatever we have to say with terms of endearment.


We use cookies to ensure the best experience for you. Please, accept the usage of cookies.