Daf Yomi Kesubos 23
The Baal Shem Tov was once sitting and studying with his holy students in the synagogue of Medzhibuzh, when they were interrupted by two congregants arguing bitterly. At one point, it got so heated, that one said to the other, ‘I would tear you apart like a fish!’ The Baal Shem Tov instructed his students to hold hands and close their eyes.
They shrieked in unison at the image they saw vividly before them. With holy inspiration, the Baal Shem Tov had presented them with a vision of the man indeed tearing his friend apart like a fish.
The Mishnah states: If a woman says, ‘I was taken captive, but I was not violated,’ she is trusted, for the mouth that forbade is the mouth that permits. But if there were witnesses that she was taken captive and she claims, ‘I was not violated,’ she is not trusted.
There were once some captive Jewish women brought to Nehardea. Shmuel’s father appointed guards to protect them from violation by their captors.
Shmuel asked, “Until now, were they protected?”
He responded, “And if they were your daughters, would you be so callous?”
His word were “like an error emitted from the mouth of a ruler,” and eventually Shmuel’s own daughters were in fact taken captive.
Words have awesome power. We must be so careful what comes forth from our mouths, because mere words have an incredible spiritual effect that ultimately manifests itself in the physical. “And G-d said, ‘There shall be light.’ And there was light.” All He had to do was say it, and it was.
Of course, you are not G-d. But you were created in His image and when the Torah describes His method of creation, it does so in order to impress upon us the awesome power of what we say. Everything you say makes a deep and indelible mark on this physical world.
But if negative speech has an effect, then certainly positive speech has awesome influence. If Shmuel’s daughters were taken captive as a result of his conversation with his father, imagine what you can achieve by declaring positive outcomes! It’s not enough just to think positive thoughts, you must enunciate exactly what you would like to see come to pass!
Let’s say that the medical report says that you have a twenty percent chance of survival. Not only should you pray for complete recovery, you should verbally announce to everyone you see, ‘The Almighty is going to heal me. Everything will be alright.’ Or perhaps you’ve heard that layoffs will be taking place at your workplace. Don’t simply pray that it won’t be you; tell everyone that you are fortunate because your job is safe and secure, since the Almighty is watching over you!
Words have incredible power. Power that we don’t immediately perceive with our physical eyes. May you merit the faith to always declare positive outcomes and be blessed with health, nachas and abundant prosperity!