Monday, January 10, 2005

Not a Man of Words

Moshe replied to Hashem, "Please my Lord, I am not a man of words, also not since yesterday, nor since the day before yesterday, nor since You first spoke to Your servant, for I am heavy of mouth and heavy of speech." (Shemos 4:10)

Expressing myself though speech has never been something I have been totally comfortable with. Words get jumbled up before leaving my mouth, words that I do not get a chance to edit. In this way I can relate to Moshe Rabbeinu, who also had trouble speaking.

Not until recently have I started to be comfortable with public speaking. My confidence is there, but it still doesn't stop my hands from trembling. My hands have had a natural tremor as long as I can remember. I don't know what this says about me. I can't imagine what is in my subconscious that I have to be perpetually nervous about. My difficulty with speech is not just limited to public speaking before large groups, but also occurs in speaking with another person one on one. If you challenge me to a game of Taboo I will certainly lose - and lose big time since I can't easily articulate what is in my mind.

I am much more comfortable expressing myself through writing. I write using the lochshen kugel approach. Lochshen kugel tastes good when it comes out of the oven, but it tastes much better after it has been in the refrigerator and has had time to congeal. Similarly, my first draft is a mental regurgitation of my un-edited thoughts and undeveloped ideas - thoughts and ideas that need to be revisited 24 hours later. As the Kotzker Rebbe said, "Not everything that one thinks, is fit to say. Not everything that one says, is fit to write, Not everything one writes, is fit to publish."

Words come to my mouth with more ease after I put them down on paper. In this way, writing helps open my closed lips.

Then Hashem said to him, "Who gave man a mouth, or who makes one mute or deaf, or sighted or blind? Is it not I, Hashem? So now, go! I shall be with your mouth and teach you what you should say." (Shemos 4:11-12)


At January 11, 2005 at 2:37:00 AM EST, Blogger Jack's Shack said...

Words can be hard for all of us. I am in sales and am required to speak in front of groups for a living. No matter how many times I do it, there are still moments of doubt and struggle.


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