When giving Noach guidance as to how to build the Ark, G-d instructs him to construct a ‘tzohar’ for it (Bereishis 6:16). All agree that the purpose of this tzohar was to provide illumination for the inhabitants of the Teyvah, but Rashi quotes an argument as to what this ‘tzohar’ actually was. Some understand the word to mean ‘window,’ while others identify it as a special, precious stone that emitted light.
The Noam Elimelech, Rav Elimelech of Lizensk (18th century scholar; early leader of the modern Chasidic movement), offers a valuable insight based upon a play on words in this pasuk. Although in context it refers to the Ark, the word ‘teyvah’ can also be translated as ‘word.’ Applying Rashi’s comments regarding the meaning of ‘tzohar,’ the Noam Elimelech proposes a different understanding of G-d’s command to Noach to make a ‘tzohar’ for the ‘teyvah’: the words that we speak should shine with light, and should be treated carefully, as one treats precious gems.
We must recognize that our words have the power to bring life, healing, and kindness to the world, or G-d forbid, they can have the opposite effect. How can we infuse our words with such positive force? If we realize that each and every word spoken is as valuable as precious stones, vigilantly weighing each one.
Have a beautiful Shabbos.
Every year, with the autumnal changing of the clock, we are faced with the difficult challenge of maintaining our Mincha/Maariv minyanim for the next four months. How many of us are home by 4 PM on a consistent basis? Not too many. Therefore, anyone who happens to be home at the time of the shul Mincha/Ma’ariv minyan, please come join us!!! Additionally, any teens that get home from school before 4 PM are asked to please contact me so that we can arrange transportation to take them to and from minyan.