Weekly Torah Commentary – Ki Tetzei September 9, 2011

You shall observe and carry out what emerges from your lips…” (Deuteronomy 23: 24)

When we think of the commandments of the Torah, this one emerges as a very high priority for in reality, you ARE your word.

It used to be an accepted principle that ‘a man’s word is his bond’ but over time it seems to have become less of a behavioral standard. The word ‘promise’ has lost the power it once had in the mental attitudes of our society. Promises today are too easily broken. It has become commonplace to make impulsive ‘promises’. Sadly, most people today speak with little or no regard for carrying out the words they say to someone else. It’s incredible just how often someone will say something with which he has absolutely no intention whatsoever of following through.

Since the Torah is a guidebook for living, how does keeping your word lead to having a happy and fulfilling life? And a life that reflects the goodness of Hashem — He Who ALWAYS keeps His word!

The answer is that when someone keeps his word, he is emulating His Creator as we are commanded to do in the Torah and that person will actually experience a great amount of pleasure. The reason for this is that a person can only feel good about himself when he makes good choices. Making poor choices inevitably leads to poor self-image, but making positive and healthy choices creates a sense of inner peace and healthy self-esteem, which is what Hashem desires for us.

When you follow through with the most simple of declarations, like “I’ll be there at 8:00 PM,” it shows that you value your word and what you say is important to you. But here’s the thing – the only way you’ll care about keeping your word is if you care about living out the truth that you are created in the image and likeness of your Heavenly Father.

When you honor what you say – no matter what it might be – you are actually declaring your faith in the covenant keeping G-d that you love. When you keep your word, you are choosing to make every aspect of your life a reflection of His goodness. When you keep your word, you are demonstrating that you are trustworthy, even as He is trustworthy. The more you do what it is that you say you’ll do – even the most simplest of commitments – the more you honor Him and as a result, the better you’ll feel about yourself.

In Tune with Torah this week = renewing our commitment to really pay attention to what we say and resolve to be faithful to every word that comes out of our mouths.

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