18 Tishrei 5782 / Friday, September 24, 2021 | Torah Reading: Sukkot
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Don’t Answer Back    

Don’t Answer Back

Marriage isn’t always a bed of roses. You have to know when to find and speak about the good – and when to shut up and stay quiet.


A man comes to a rabbi and asks him, "Honorable rabbi, I have a question. Is it correct? Is it right? That a person should profit from his friend's mistake?" 


"No," the rabbi told him.  


"Are you sure the answer the answer is no?” he asked the rabbi.  


The rabbi replied, “Mistakes or wrong-doing - there are laws in the Torah that handle deals that turn sour." 


If that’s the case, he said to the rabbi, "Then I want my money back for the kiddushin (the Jewish marriage  contract).”  (Rabbi  Arush  chuckles). 


In his opinion, he made a wrong choice. He thinks made a mistake in his choice [of a wife], but really, he didn’t make a mistake. He just doesn't know how to hold his tongue. 


You must understand that in married life, you don't need to answer everything your spouse says to you,  or  argue  over  everything. Just stay quiet! 


In marriage, you need to work a lot on just shutting up, and not answering back. A lot of work! And to know when to speak. 


So, I have a saying, a password of sorts to marital peace: "Peace in the home, and destruction in the home - both are in the hands of the tongue." A word in the right place can bring peace in the home. Of course, a remark that is out of place, like a criticism, and all the more humiliating the other person or worse, destroys the home. Even just one word! 


It is important to know - the holy Zohar says that if a man sees something good in someone else or in his wife, and does not say it [compliment them on that good point] – it is considered as if he spoke evil speech – lashon hara! 


Do you understand my point? Say that good word, but otherwise be quiet! Recognize the good that there is. There is a good for the phrase: Silence is golden. 


Learn to be quiet! Don’t answer back!  


It should be G-d’s will that everyone should be blessed with true peace in their home. Amen, may it be His will! 



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