24 Hours of No Talking

Take the challenge and see the power of this Jewish custom.

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Comments (15)

(13) Anonymous, March 27, 2014 5:10 PM

I can go a whole day without speaking

I can safely say that as I live alone and speech is wasted on my pets - except for 'din din' or 'chow chow' depending on if it's a cat or dog I'm talking to. I do say 'hello' to the birds when I uncover their cage in the morning. Apart from that, unless I go out, the only words I say are comments of annoyance at some character in a tv soap.

(12) Anonymous, November 13, 2013 10:05 PM

Taanit Dibur

In my highschool, they gave us the challenge of a not speaking from when we went to bed at night until about 2 o'clock (micha gedolah) the next day. It was one of the most powerful experiences I have had. I even continued it the first year I was out of school. It really makes you think about the power your words can have! The first words you spoke were thought out carefully! Everyone should definitly try it!

(11) Zamira Rajchgod, November 13, 2013 5:09 PM

I like your challenge but...

Dear Lori: I like this chalenge, knowing it will be a difficult one for me; to keep quiet for 1/2 a day. But I will do it & let you know how it went. BUT can I let my husband in on it? He'll be SO happy.to have a quiet me.

(10) Anonymous, November 13, 2013 6:11 AM

Where does it say.2.

Indeed i would also like to know where it is written. and indeed if one can claim it is Torah based, you need to be able to say from where you got it.

Geoff, November 14, 2013 10:32 AM

Pirkei Avot

There is a mishna in Pirkei Avot (Ethics of our Fathers) which says as follows - '17. Shimon his son said: All my days have I grown up among the wise and I have not found anything better for a man than silence. Studying Torah is not the most important thing rather fulfilling it. Whoever multiplies words causes sin.'. I hope that helps.

(9) Linda, November 13, 2013 3:47 AM

The Chosen

I would like to show this video to my class when we read The Chosen.

(8) Yohanon, November 12, 2013 7:16 PM

The problem of silence

Unless you go around with a sign stating "I can't talk for a day," people will take umbrage when, a la Br'r Rabbit, they say "Howdy" and you don't - like the tar baby - respond in kind. (Song of the South may not be PC, but the lessons remain valid.)

(7) Robin, November 12, 2013 6:59 PM

Torah Source?

Thank you. I remember taking a 24 hour fast from speech some years ago. It was an interesting experience.
Would you please cite the Torah source for this? It is not familiar to me.

(6) alex, November 12, 2013 6:47 PM

minhag m'doreita

Re: Sidney -- I'm sure that we can find some obscure, esoteric source in order to support this practice. In any case, isn't that how most non-binding minhagim have come about?

(5) Shalev, November 12, 2013 6:23 PM

Thank you #1 Sidney

As I listened, I too wondered, "WHERE in Torah?" Hopeful Lori will answer… There is a game, "The UnGame" created by a woman who could not speak for some time… worth playing! It bought my family together in wonderful ways.

(4) Avi Keslinger, November 12, 2013 5:49 PM

taanit dibbur

Where is this written as a requirement? This is a horrible custom! It is insulting to people with whom the person comes in contact. Hashem gave us the power of speech to use. To use properly but to use.

(3) Anonymous, November 11, 2013 6:35 PM

Many years ago I had pharyngitis and totally lost my voice for 3 days. The only way I was able to communicate was by writing. The loss of my voice certainly forced me to listen to people more closely. Additionally, the act of writing out my words took long and I was able to gave more thought to the message I was trying to convey.

(2) CM Zelasko, November 11, 2013 5:33 PM

This video reminded me of an article I saw in the Jewish Observer many years ago. The writer of the article had been suffering from severe laryngitis that was not going away. Finally they discovered that he had polyps on his vocal chords, and he had them removed. Baruch Hashem they were benign, but he still had to refrain from talking completely for awhile, and then talk very minimally and never to scream. Of course he did as his doctor said exactly. His final conclusion was that he was so sorry that the doctor's orders achieved results that the stern words of Chazal did not.

(1) Sidney, November 11, 2013 4:46 AM

Where does it say

I have Rabbinical Ordination (learning Torah 20 hours a week 40 weeks a year for 6 years after high school). Plus another year after ordination while I finished my MS and looked for a job. For the last 9 years I have been retired and back to the same if not more hours of Torah studies. I am well aware of the custom that some have of a Ta`anith Dibbur (a speech fast). However as far as I know it is not mentioned in the Jewish Bible nor in the Talmud. So where is it mentioned that one can claim that it is Torah based? It certainly is not mandated as the 6 fasts from food and drink are. Thank you.

Anonymous, November 17, 2013 12:45 PM

Yesod v'Shoresh HaAvoda - Shaar Hamayim, perek 4

"Refraining from useless speech is considered like a fast. And it is even better, because a fast weakens the body from the service of G-d whereas silence strengthens the body and soul to the service of G-d."

It's not a torah source, but is an accepted book in klal israel, And probably he had some source to be based on. Anyway is not mandatory (like the other fasts), is just "recomended" and I think is not hard to see the logic behind.


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