The Power of Speech and Emotion

Helena Peiser, Memphis
Essays 2018

Words of speech what is it? Hashem’s given us the ability to speak, see and hear every bit of feeling that we feel through our emotions and actions. There was a resident of Mezhibuzh who got into a quarrel with another while in the Baal Shem-Tov’s Shul. He shouted to pieces like a fish. The Baal Shem-Tov told everyone to stand together and hold each other’s hands and to stand near him with their eyes closed. Then the Baal Shem-Tov placed his holy hands to the shoulders of the two disciples next to him. All of a sudden, the adherent began screaming in terror but the chassidim had seen actually this person mutilate his adversary. The Hayom yom writes the following: We can learn from this incident that every thought or spoken word can have a major effect either in a physical form or spiritual form which can be interpreted only in a higher and more spiritual level.

Coping Strategies for negative emotions

How we can learn to use our tools is by learning calm ourselves so it’s easier to get through. Ways to help ourselves is we can breath in fresh air to calm ourselves down from the negative emotions within our yetzer hara. Do we learn to operate from our emotion or intellect? There’s a verse that hints to two aspects of the Tabernacle one is called “The Tabernacle” and also “Tabernacle of Testimony”. These two Tabernacles
refer to as two levels of divine light: and is revealed but the other remains hidden. These levels are referred to as lower shechina and higher shechina. One Shechinah is identified with Malchut and the other is including with Bina.

Like the saying with a human and an animal every human is suppressed by their emotions we can deny our emotions, pretend they are not there or even ignore them and pretend they are not there,however, you can use Torah as medicine to reinforce the mind with right positivity and tools where you can control it with mind over matter. One is to create positivity. Water is like our thoughts and Machshava is a sea like negativity that can surround you and drown you. Sometimes when we were feeling trapped inside we feel as if there’s no way out, similar to when the Jews crossed the Yam Suf. Sometimes we feel blocked with a blurry picture of oneself. This can lead to bumpy curves of sight of path direction and purpose. So exactly what does it mean when I say your path is blocked through a sea of negative thoughts and how do you escape and how can we reach our goal? Some people thought let’s go back to Egypt and drown or we could pray. However, we should try to only see the goodness in every situation. Each day we want to create ways to create positivity to feed our our mind which is feeding good information to create a positive healthy emotion. It’s like saying before you get sick let’s create a way to stay healthy. You could say for example someone comes down with strep throat, what you do is you would give medicine to the person before it gets any worse. So how do we prevent a negative emotion? One you could be using something like journaling. Journaling is a good way to express your thoughts and feelings how can I make today a great day well there turns out to be a saying, The way you start your day is the way you live your life! In Tanya chapter 27 The Alter Rebbe shedded some optimistic light on some dark thoughts and exposes this conspiracy that’s played out by the yetzer hara that drops within us that urges us to feel uncomfortable.

The conflict

A few weeks ago I had the honor and privilege visit a college that I’m looking into for next year to attend. When I was on that college campus I had said something to someone that had unintentionally been misrepresented what I had said and twisted some of the words around from what was really said. When Miriam said that Moshe was separating from his wife Tzippora she was very into what she had to say that she and voiced her protest. Even though Miriam meant well she still made a big mistake about Moshe because Moshe was a unique individual and prophet like no other. Like Miriam I had later that day been told that I had made a big mistake Even though what I had said meant well but wasn’t worded correctly. The Torah tells us to always “remember what God did to Miriam on the way from Egypt” (Deut 24:9). Later that day when I heard from a friend what was said offended them but it wasn’t meant to be what was actually said it immediately triggered me and to where I couldn’t even talk I had wait to talk with them later that day because it got me very upset and overwhelmed to where I had to wait till I was calmer to speak with them.

Resolving the problem

Later that day when I was calmer I spoke to the two my friends who were offended and told them “Look I’m sorry I never meant to hurt you and it wasn’t true what this person said. We can learn from Miriam the power of speech and how it’s important to be careful with what you say because the person hearing it could misinterpret or flip the words around into Lashon Hara. But why did I decide to confront them I could’ve just felt bad what I did, but instead I decided to stand up for them and speak up for myself. The Torah says, “Do not hurt your fellow, and you shall fear G‑d.” What does this mean Our Sages teach us that this verse means hurtful words and receiving improper counsel. In the Torah it says and “you shall fear God” in this context because very often one who gives bad advice who speaks negatively may have the tendency to claim that it was an honest mistake. Therefore the verse is identifying that God knows his true intentions. This prohibition against speaking badly about others is that one should be careful not to embarrass or hurt another fellow person or Yid.

Avoid shaming the public

It’s very important that one doesn’t embarrass another in public The Talmud refers to the story of Yehuda and Tamar that it’s better referred to as the fiery furnace than shaming one another publicly. Tamar’s extreme care to not humiliate Yehuda to the when he forfeited her life. Like me when I told this person I trusted them too much to what I said from starting out as nothing turned into a big thing and and eventually led to embracing the public. Another thing you could say is Miriam the Prophetess is helping us on a higher level but Hashem is within me when I see myself I see deveined power I can be anything and transcending all those powers I can do anything it’s no longer about me it’s Hashem working through me. Like me I was the voice of Miriam I didn’t look up to her as an example I was the Miriam within me not just looking up to her but I used the Miriam in me to discover my power in me which are tools I can use in Torah, Chassidus, and everyday life. Think before you say something you are in control of the words from your tongue know that we have the power to think we always choose our thoughts and words if you found yourself in a conflict with someone and you come to consciousness awareness. You can be hurt from what someone said and they can be hurt from you but know to realize that you can’t make someone this and you can’t make them that but can use actions define who you really are as a Yid. For example one should never blame another for saying you made me not frum it’s not the person who made you not frum but the person who was affected by their action as a result it triggered them thinking that they didn’t want be frum. Could this affect a person not be frum physically from making a mistake? Accidentally saying something? No however it lowers their self esteem and where they start to create a story in their head but really that action of that mistake can’t make them physically not observant the only person in control of that is the one who it was said to they have the power to figure out how they want to interpret it and turn the negative in positive. I choose my thoughts and I choose my words you from my side I can’t control the other person what they do. What ways can we set a positive emotion a big positive emotion to use a smile. You can use a smile to activate your positive state. How do we overcome the triggers? There’s a thesis it’s very rare for someone to live happy state all the time what happens when we get triggered is you into a negative state and will remind us to come to consciousness awareness the goal is not to always be in happiness all the time that’s just not reality for us to until Moshiach comes. However the tools being taught here and now to help us be able to get through negative emotions more quickly and smoothly and find a way back to consciousness. It’s important for us to breathe and say “I trust in Hashem” knowing he’s our creator. Hashem is heading leading you by the hand he is carrying and he will split the sea for you however it’s the trust doesn’t want to split the sea until we take a step forward why because we need to do our part in order or the sea to split. This is the test if you really believe that everything is in Hashem’s hands…. Just take that one step forward and know that hashem will do the rest. Another step is to get into a positive emotional state; There are 12 pesukim that the Rebbe wanted children to sing one of them is Ki Karov elecha Karov means it’s close to you According to Tanya “It is within your close reach to follow the Torah in speech, feeling and deed.” ; It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can fulfill it. Gratitude uplifts others we from miriam’s positivity and the Jewish women didn’t give in and stayed strong and didn’t give into the bad influence.

Healing and gaining trust back

As I know I made a mistake is there a Teshuva for it?

Yes anyone can do Teshuva we learn each day gives us an opportunity to rectify an entire month. It’s always important that we are willing to open up and ask for forgiveness at first when I apologize it was very hard for me I didn’t know what this people were going to think of me and also worries like what they don’t accept my forgiveness or what if I get a bad reputation. As we learn forgiveness it isn’t one two three. It’s a process that is a long journey and is a long goal. The Rebbe explains how there’s three different levels of forgiveness:

1) Not wishing the person any harm and we even pray for their wellbeing. At this basic level of forgiveness we may still be upset, feeling hurt or angry. But we need to find within ourselves not to hope for the person’s downfall and should never feel the need for revenge.

2) Stop being angry. this second stage we might not be ready to relate to the person as we did before, but we are able to move on and let go to the point where we no longer carry feelings of anger and resentment on any level.

3) It’s very important to Restore the relationship. At this final stage the forgiveness is complete. Not only have we forgiven the individual but we have totally understood and accepted him or her. Which makes us closer to the person as before. Like when a person sins. Before he had one whole string but then he sinned and the string broke apart and was disconnected but when they do Teshuva their string is repaired into a not and is now much stronger than it was before the person sinned Like with me knowing my incident when I spoke about something that wasn’t meant to hurt anyone found out it hurt someone makes me feel bad but if I do Teshuva and heal that broken string I’ll it will strengthen my relationship with this person and be stronger than it was before I offended this person and build a stronger connection with God.

Learning to trust in yourself

​Now knowing that everything is fixed everyone forgives me it’s still not enough now I’m trying to figure out how can I trust in myself again for a mistake that I made where I felt hurt and betrayed. Ways we can rebuild our self esteem is by showing love and affection, giving one another compliments, Making your compliments believable, always make sure to set goals, and also Tend to your own self-esteem you need to see your positive light and to look at yourself negatively. Someone who’s positive is someone who’s not perfect while always trying to make the best effort as possible. As come to realization that about make goals of how I can improve myself it would be taking on another hachlata in being careful to what I say and whom I’m saying it to. As what it says and what I’m saying now building up trust takes a long time and doesn’t always happen overnight. It says in the Igros Kodesh of the Rebbe Rayatz, vol. 7, p. 320 that one needs to realize that organizing your discipline and service to God is not to allow yourself to get overburdened or carried away with groundless demands. In order for me recognize my definency I need to always be aware in seeing the positive in a person and not the negative. As I work harder on myself I may have shortcomings but it’s because I’m determined to grow and leap through hard obstacles. For this component for organized and well structured discipline He or she who sees one’s weakness needs to be able to energize their and learn to move forward, from the negative past, grow, and learn to let go from the hardship. The more we learn to trust in ourselves and Hashem the more happy and motivated we’ll feel to make this world a better to do our part we need to do in order to bring Moshiach.

I wanted to give special to my dearest amazing Shlucha on campus in Nashville Tennessee for being so down to earth and helping point me in the right direction in helping be a guide who’s willing to listen and always give me advice when needed!

I would also like to give a special thanks to the Jewish Girls Unite for helping me compile this essay together and for also helping me grow physically and spiritually and teaching me to see all walks of life!

There’s a song that I wrote that I would like you all to read about my journey of my mistake to bringing comfort reuniting the light and fixing the broken pieces

Purifying Kind Soul

I’m crying from the pain inside
It hurts but I’m alive
I know it’s hard dear friend within
They”ll be another glitter glue shining
I feel your pain within my fragmented heart
I’m smashed deep inside like stormy weather and a shattered shard
But we will come out of this alright
Don’t be afraid now tonight

2x And Ooh ooh ooh tracht gut vet zein gut
Think good and it will be good

When will the light come dispelling your blues
Where is the spark I had in me and you
When will the sun come crashing through where is that little girl in me and you

Words are spinning around my head
I’m hurting from the words that were said
The waves and the ocean clashed
Will we be able to push it back
You’ll be okay now you will see
We all are a nation that will leap through things
Teshuvah is God’s given ability
To access and heal that broken stoned piece
We have to try to cross through
Like when the Jews crossed the Yam Suph

2x And ooh ooh ooh tracht gut vet zein gut
Think good and it will be good

When will the light come dispelling your blues
Where is the spark I had in me and you
When will the sun come crashing through where is that little girl in me and you

According to the Alter Rebbe
It’s important to redefine a negative past
to re-establish our lives
We need to rebuild the damage inside
to move from our pasts we have to show
To start a new beginning and grow
Our hearts flooded like a stream
The sand glitched from the salt and burned in the sunbeam
Like a tough curve around that big bend
It will turn out well in the end

2xAnd ooh ooh ooh tracht gut vet zein gut
Think good and it will be good

When will the light come dispelling your blues
Where is the spark I had in me and you
When will the sun come crashing through where is that little girl in me and you

We are a light now me and you
We will be glowing again soon
The Torah teaches every Jew
To Love your friend as they love you
Hashem’s light now to bring Moshiach Tsidkenu
Flying through this broken chain of truth
Skipping in an imagination of puffy clouds
To turn that frown upside down

4x I’m crying now

2x And ooh ooh ooh tracht gut vet zein gut
Think good and it will be good

When will the light come dispelling your blues
Where is the spark I had in me and you
When will the sun come crashing through where is that little girl in me and you

The water rose and flooded within me
We will come through on our feet
But I will repair that loosened string
I’ll see you through the stars twirling again sparkling
This will rise up like fingers of shimmering lightning
We will come out of it you and me
Then we will be ready to fly high
We will soar through our lives

2x And ooh ooh ooh tracht gut vet zein
Think good and it will be good

Matai ha-or yavo lefazer et hablues shelcha
Afo hanitzutz shehya lee u”lecha
Matai titparetz hashemesh bamakom shebo nimtzeit hyalda haketana beni leveynecha

2x We’ll be uniting together again

3x To repair this tight mend Yom
Jewish Girls Unite recorded class