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Dvar Torah by Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski, M.D.

Dvar Torah by Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski, M.D.

The Torah states: “Then Judah approached him (Joseph) and said, ‘If you please, my lord, may your servant speak a word in my lord’s ears’ ” (Gen. 44:18).

What did Judah intend to do?

Judah indicated that he wished to speak very softly, virtually whispering “a word in my lord’s ears.” What was the purpose of that? Furthermore, why does the Torah bother to tell something that does not appear significant?

The Torah is coming to teach a lesson in communications: If what you have to say really has merit, speaking softly and gently will enable you to be heard. Shouting is a giveaway that your argument is weak; the other person will tune you out and just think of his rebuttal.

King Solomon says, “The gentle words of the wise are heard above the shouts of a king over fools” (Ecclesiastes 9:17). A soft voice can actually drown out a shout.

Judah believed that his argument for the release of Benjamin was very convincing. In order to impress Joseph that what he was about to say was valid, Judah said, “I am going to say it to you softly.”

2020 Sandton Shul Batmitzvah Ceremony