Words That Hurt, Words That Heal: How to Choose Words Wisely and Well

Joseph Telushkin, Author William Morrow & Company $19.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-688-12445-8
Contrary to the nursery rhyme, words can hurt as much as sticks and stones. In this wise book, Rabbi Telushkin (Jewish Wisdom) draws on Jewish teachings, primarily the Talmud, and traditional Jewish stories to explore how our words can harm others and how we can approach the act of speaking in a more ethical, even sacred, manner. Acting on the principle that self-awareness is the initial step toward transformation, Telushkin first brings gossip, lying and angry words into the light, and then prescribes possible remedies for these so often unconscious habits of expression. Wit informs his text, as does a courageous intelligence-for instance, in his defending, against recent conventional and media wisdom, the right of public figures ""to keep their private lives private."" Telushkin concludes with a proposal for a national ""Speak No Evil Day,"" which, if acted upon, he says, can offer ""a taste of heaven on earth."" Author tour. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996
Release date: 04/01/1996
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