I have been thinking about “things.” Does that surprise you? What are the “things” that you think about? “Things” can be objects that we have around our house. Do the “things” that you have in your home provide an inkling to who you are? If someone were to enter your house right now (not during coronavirus of course), will what they see give them a picture of who you are?
I remember awhile back a new friend came to my house for the first time. Within minutes she said, “This house is so totally you.” When I asked what she meant she replied, “The pictures on the wall, the feeling of the house, it’s welcoming, it’s warm it’s Jewish, it’s inviting. It’s you.” Things, and by that, I mean objects, symbolize and reflect who we are. If somebody were to come to your house, how long will it take them to connect the things that you have to who you are as a person?
You see, the “things” that we have create our reality. My living room is very cozy. It has four different armchairs, golden, rustic, colors. It is saying, “Let’s have a conversation.”
We create the reality in front of us with the things that we place before us.
Last night after working long hours I decided to turn on the TV and just flipped aimlessly through the TV channels. I landed on the hoarding show on TLC. Oh, my oh my. Our reality can very much be defined by the things with which we surround ourselves.
Interestingly the English words for things and words are one word in the Hebrew language– Devarim! The word davar can mean both thing or word.
Where do you think I’m going with that?
You guessed it—when words share the same root in Hebrew, there is a reason! And here is my take on this similarity.
Words, just like things, create our reality! We can either build or destroy our relationships with our words!
The first few verses in the Book of Genesis provide the importance and the value of the spoken word. In the beginning God created heaven and earth, and the earth was void and there was darkness upon the deep and God said let there be light and there was light. God said, and then reality was formed.
Similarly, we, human beings can create our reality with what we say. What we utter are the thoughts, feelings and emotions that we verbalize. We can build or destroy the world around us– the value of our speech is immense.
Why am I thinking about this now? Because this week we are starting the fifth Book in the Torah, the Book of Deuteronomy. In Hebrew, Deuteronomy is Devarim, which means things and also words. The source of the word Deuteronomy is based in the Greek origin, which means “the second law.” Later on this title was borrowed by Latin and then taken into the English language. The Second Law was given by Moses, narrating the important messages to the people of Israel as they are about to create a new reality – entering into the land of Israel after 40 years in the desert.
The Torah begins with the story of creation through the usage of words, and it ends with the story of the future creation for the Jewish people. And it’s all done with words.
What we say matters. It creates the reality in which we find ourselves.
Do you speak positively about yourself, about your life, about your family, about your situation? Do you put yourself or others down? Do you look at life as a bowl of cherries? Can you look at a difficult situation and yet glean positive gifts from it? perhaps even one lesson?
As we enter the month of Av, the month of compassion, I invite each and every one of us to reflect on the importance and the value of the words we speak and the reality which we create for ourselves by doing so!