Words That Make or Break Our World

Rabbi Aviva Richman

The Book of Proverbs says that “death and life are in the power of the tongue.” In a cacophonous world of mass and social media, we know how easily words can harm. Should we limit our speech as much as possible? Or can we imagine ways for our words to heal and give life? In this year’s Dr. Eddie Scharfman Memorial Lecture, Rabbi Aviva Richman will explore “tzara'at” -- a skin disease in the Torah that the rabbis link to ill-speech -- to understand how words can harm and heal. Join us on a journey through sources spanning centuries and the genres, from hasidic masters to contemporary insights in narrative medicine, as we learn to balance the sobering and joyous effects of words. Recorded in 2022.