Foul Mouths and Dirty Toothbrushes ­ Article ­ BINA

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Foul Mouths and Dirty Toothbrushes

Foul Mouths and Dirty Toothbrushes

by Rabbi Aron Moss

Question:
 
It seems that obscenity and foul language are becoming more and more acceptable. Swear words are used by politicians, sportsmen and even teachers, as if they have become a part of common speech. People don't even bother to write %#*#! any more. What is the Jewish view of dirty language?
 
Answer:
 
Foul language is spiritually unhygienic. It is like scrubbing the toilet with your toothbrush, and then using it as a toothbrush. If you wouldn't do that, then you shouldn't use the same mouth for profanity that you use for words of friendship, love and prayer. Like pure water flowing through rusty pipes, even words of love, when coming from a dirty mouth, cannot help but become stained.
 
Speech is a powerful gift. When used correctly, the spoken word can build and strengthen relationships, give comfort and support, sometimes even save a life. Our words can lift a heavy heart and inspire a lost soul. Words of prayer can reach the heavens. Words of care can go even higher.
 
The words we say do not just disappear. They hover around us, forming the air we breathe and the atmosphere in which we live. Holy words create an aura of holiness around us. Words that are obscene, slanderous, abusive or untrue foul the air, like spiritual pollution. These toxic emissions are the most dangerous of all.
 
In your home, there are two distinct brushes, a toilet brush and a tooth brush. But you only have one mouth. Flush out profanities, and keep the air around you fresh and pure.

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