who loves u the most

In a small town somewhere in Eastern Europe lived a nice man with a nasty problem: he talked too much about other people. He could not help himself. Whenever he heard a story about somebody he knew, and sometimes about somebody he did not know, he just had to tell it to his friends. Since he was in business, he heard quite a lot of rumors and stories. He loved the attention he got, and was delighted when they laughed because of the way he told his “anecdotes,” which he sometimes embellished with little details he invented to make them funnier and juicier. Other than that, he was really a pleasant, goodhearted man.

He kind of knew it was wrong, but . . . it was too tempting, and in any case, most of what he told had really happened, didn’t it? Many of his stories were just innocent and entertaining, weren’t they?

One day he found out something really weird (but true) about another businessman in town. Of course he felt compelled to share what he knew with his colleagues, who told it to their friends, who told it to people they knew, who told it to their wives, who spoke with their friends and their neighbors. It went around town, till the unhappy businessman who was the main character in the story heard it. He ran to the rabbi of the town, and wailed and complained that he was ruined! Nobody would like to deal with him after this. His good name and his reputation were gone with the wind.

Now this rabbi knew his customers, so to speak, and he decided to summon the man who loved to tell stories. If he was not the one who started them, he might at least know who did.

When the nice man with the nasty problem heard from the rabbi how devastated his colleague was, he felt truly sorry. He honestly had not considered it such a big deal to tell this story, because it was true; the rabbi could check it out if he wanted. The rabbi sighed.

“True, not true, that really makes no difference! You just cannot tell stories about people. This is all lashon hara, slander, and it’s like murder—you kill a person’s reputation.” He said a lot more, and the man who started the rumor now felt really bad and sorry. “What can I do to make it undone?” he sobbed. “I will do anything you say!”

The rabbi looked at him. “Do you have any feather pillows in your house?” “Rabbi, I am not poor; I have a whole bunch of them. But what do you want me to do, sell them?”

“No, just bring me one.”

The man was mystified, but he returned a bit later to the rabbi’s study with a nice fluffy pillow under his arm. The rabbi opened the window and handed him a knife. “Cut it open!”

“But Rabbi, here in your study? It will make a mess!”

“Do as I say!”

And the man cut the pillow. A cloud of feathers came out. They landed on the chairs and on the bookcase, on the clock, on the cat which jumped after them. They floated over the table and into the teacups, on the rabbi and on the man with the knife, and a lot of them flew out of the window in a big swirling, whirling trail.

The rabbi waited ten minutes. Then he ordered the man: “Now bring me back all the feathers, and stuff them back in your pillow. All of them, mind you. Not one may be missing!”

The man stared at the rabbi in disbelief. “That is impossible, Rabbi. The ones here is the room I might get, most of them, but the ones that flew out of the window are gone. Rabbi, I can’t do that, you know it!”

“Yes,” said the rabbi and nodded gravely, “that is how it is: once a rumor, a gossipy story, a ‘secret,’ leaves your mouth, you do not know where it ends up. It flies on the wings of the wind, and you can never get it back!”

He ordered the man to deeply apologize to the person about whom he had spread the rumor; that is difficult and painful, but it was the least he could do. He ordered him to apologize to the people to whom he had told the story, making them accomplices in the nasty lashon hara game, and he ordered him to diligently study the laws concerning lashon hara every day for a year, and then come back to him.

That is what the man did. And not only did he study about lashon hara, he talked about the importance of guarding your tongue to all his friends and colleagues. And in the end he became a nice man who overcame a nasty problem.


26 Responses to 'who loves u the most'

  1. Jess says:

    We do what we have to in order to protect our children. No more, no less.
    Peace of mind and heart to you and yours always.

  2. JenniferT says:

    Still sending you and your family hugs. xoxo

  3. mac says:

    we love you ro. peace and love to you and your family. we got your back girl! xoxo

  4. Ter says:

    Praying for you all. Keep doing you, Rosie. And remember you are cared about.

  5. Michelle says:

    I too am the imperfect mom to a teenager who was adopted
    Through the same agency in NJ. She also has a mental illness.
    We have been through some very Hard dark times. It
    is so easy for people to blame parents. I know, as do you, that nothing
    We do as parents can change the brain of a child with mental illness.
    We do everything we can to try to help. Ignore the assholes and know
    That myself and many others know what you are going through, and feel
    Your pain And support you.

    • rosalie tuchman says:

      my heart to you heart, mental illness is a gene that runs in my family. to all out there, if you have not lived with it, please dont judge. thank god it has skipped the grandchildren but who really knows the extent of it. rosie, doesnt matter how and why it causes the crap it does. you will always have my respect and the respect of others who dont judge. thank you for letting me speak. always rosie,

  6. Zoe says:

    Can I share this post? Wishing your family peace.

  7. Jenny says:

    Our pastor just shared this same message on Sunday. Great msg for gossipy kids going back to school and their gossipy parents. Myself included. Why is it easier to tear down? Fun even? I will be better today. It is all I can do.

  8. Maxine Benett says:

    This sermon has been told many times by our Rabbi. We all speak before we think. We are human. Life will move forward. People will forgive. Love is the key. Those who choose hate will always hate. However, that’s not you. May you find your comfort with your children , friends and extended family. Prayers and hope for a new beginning. Love you Rosie

    • Wish Id been taught 2 hold my tongue; I was raised by poor oppressed parents 2 speak my mind. 1st amendment, right? So off I went like the gossipy man, even telling tales about the bad things I did when young and foolish and homeless, which I had hid for years, as a loose lipped lonely old lady. I hurt others and myself w/words. Thank U4 sharing. From this day on I will curb my words n say good things already known. I forgive myself. If you’ve been like me I pray 4U2 forgive yourselves as well.

  9. Roberta says:

    Wishing you and your daughter a graceful exit out of this stressful time. I found this incredibly helpful thought you might too. Peele gives practical loving solutions to parenting troubles you won’t read other places. http://www.amazon.com/Addiction-Proof-Your-Child-Dependencies/dp/0307237575

  10. Trauma MamaT says:

    I’m thinking of you & praying. Thanks for sharing this lesson. I’m a mom of 6. 2 were adopted. My girl is 17 & we’re dealing w/hard stuff too. NO ONE has ANY excuse to judge. Raising neuro-typical kids is NOT the same. R, we don’t know one another, but when I heard C was in danger, I panicked for you and prayed immediately for her safety and for your heart (and for the family). If you think of it and would say a prayer for my girl sometime, too, I’d appreciate that. Blessings too you.

  11. Randall J. Cunningham says:

    Validating. 15 yrs ago a neighbor discovered my sex change & demonized me to others in my complex, including his best bud, a paroled pedophile. I was verbally assaulted & phisically threatened daily. Next 10 years were Hell, causing me health issues, including a heart attack. 5 years ago he was fired again, his townhouse was foreclosed & wife had an affair then left him. Several new nice neighbors that don’t care about my anatomy moved in.
    But some stigma still remains, feathers in the air…

  12. Sandi says:

    You and the entire family are in my thoughts!

  13. Suz says:

    Love this story. I’m sad for you with all that you’re going through. Stay off of Twitter and quit feeding the A** Holes on there! (Although, I understand and agree with every response you have given!). People are just trying to get you worked up and get your attention. You did the right thing, she’s too young to know the dangers that I am sure she was in. Sending love to ya from Evansville… <3

  14. Mary Lucille says:

    Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. If you need anything, please let me know — I am here. Keep the faith. Besitos …

  15. Vickie says:

    Sending you love, so grateful for her safe return.

  16. You still have four more days. Do what a mother has to do to keep her safe. Things can turn out well, my daughter is living proof of that. Barbara Walters went through this. Those that have no children do not understand.

    • JenniferT says:

      I believe Barbara Walters’ daughter Jackie now runs a very successful program for troubled teens. Hopefully Chelsea will not only get the help she needs, but accept it.

      The truth about parenting: you’re only ever as happy as your saddest child.

      Hang in there Rosie. xo

    • auntie to 24 says:

      Except that many of us who have no children DO understand. You may not understand that. 🙁

  17. Jdb says:

    Sending positive thoughts and prayers your way.

  18. Diane says:

    Perfect story to remind everyone to think before they write or speak. Words are hurtful and can sting harder than a slap. They can ruin someone’s self-worth forever. Don’t read the hate. You don’t need that in your life. Sending lots of yellow to you and your family. Protect your heart and be well

  19. Dewayne says:

    May I please talk to the rabbi about my reputation?

  20. Steph of StephNancy says:

    The tale Mo’s book is based on. My son is 13, he still keeps that book! Maybe you have to shut off the external stuff for a while. Remove yourself from that which you cannot control right now…. Aghhhh what am I saying. I would miss you….but the meanies are just mean. And that is just to make them feel better, to hurt you. If you gotta block it out, block it out…you don’t need it…you need to lie present and as whole as can be. If it keeps hurting you, you can remove yourself from it.

  21. Susan says:

    Wow! Thank you for this blog. I hope we all learn from this. Sending you so many prayers!

  22. Carla says:

    Love this entry ??
    I’ve left you msg on twitter carla_71582 I’m intrigued to converse with you…hope I’m not pestering…