Home Subscribe Services Support Us
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Cursed Be

By Rabbi Daniel Travis

And Rachel died… (Bereshith 35:19)

Rachel did not die from natural causes.1 When Lavan accused Yaakov and his family of stealing his gods, Yaakov, totally unaware that Rachel had taken them, was infuriated. In asserting his innocence, he cursed anyone who actually stole Lavan’s idols. This curse was realized in Rachel’s death.

The dreadful consequence of his words taught Yaakov a lesson about the power of speech that he never forgot. Decades later, when Shimon was being held prisoner in Egypt until the brothers would return to prove their innocence, Yaakov was careful not to curse whoever had imprisoned Shimon. Since Yaakov did not know who was responsible for Shimon’s imprisonment, he would not take any chances. In fact the captor was Yosef, and had Yaakov cursed him, Yosef would have met a fate similar to that of his mother Rachel.2

No matter how much someone aggravates you, you must never curse your fellow. The spoken word has sublime ramifications, and even if one is motivated by anger and has no harmful intentions, a simple remark can cause tremendous harm.

The Gemara tells the story of someone who had just come from a long journey and was feeling ill. His host, who was familiar with medical practices, gave him special foods in order to relieve him of his pain. His idea backfired, and actually caused the guest to suffer even more. Exasperated by all that had transpired, the guest said that one who causes pain to others should not have children. Although his words were merely an expression of his frustration, they were fulfilled, and his host did not have any more offspring.3


1 Rashi on Bereshith 31:32.
2 Chofetz Chaim 42:36.
3 Shabboth 108a.

Text Copyright © 2008 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and



View Complete List

Dog-matic Murder
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5764

- 5768

The Garden of Eden
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5775

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Eating from the Tree; A Deeper Look
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5759

This Rashi Is Not For the United Nations – It is For Us
- 5769

A Springtime of the Spirit
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5767

> From the Beginning, Again
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5760

Eve of Life
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5757

The Children of Parents
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5756


Goal Tending
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5761

A Beginning With No End
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5758

A Deeper Look at Creation
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5766

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Where Are You?
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5756

The Buck Stops Here
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5765

A Superior Primary Education
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764

To Learn and to Teach
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5763

Project Genesis Home

Torah Portion

Jewish Law



Learn the Basics




Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base


About Us

Contact Us

Free Book on Geulah! Home Copyright Information