The captive word

Not everything that is thought should be said, not everything that is said should be written, and not everything that is written should be published.

This is credited to Rabbi Israel Salanter.

The blog, the BlackBerry, the email are all vacuums, begging for content. Yet so often there is far more utility in shutting up; perhaps this is why Rabbi Shimon Ben Gamliel says in the Mishna, “All my days I grew up among sages, and I have found nothing greater for a person than silence” (Ethics of the Fathers, 1:17).

Is there a greater test, especially in our time, for the verbally facile, the spiritually agitated, the spirit seeking connection?

UPDATE:  Turns out I used a version of that quote before.

8 Responses to “The captive word”

  1. jan Says:

    “When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” Ansel Adams


  2. jan Says:

    “The temple of our purest thoughts is silence.” Sarah J. Hale


  3. Ron Coleman Says:

    Ah, shut up already!


  4. jan Says:

    “True eloquence consists of saying all that should be said, and that only.” François La Rochefoucauld


  5. The eve of judgment « Likelihood of Success Says:

    [...] am grateful for the things that ought not be written, but should be [...]


  6. LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION® » Blog Archive » Fool’s gold Says:

    [...] upload is the result of a conscious choice we make about what we want the world to think about us. Not everything that is thought deserves to be written, and then some, as we have said before. Who knows what verdicts lurk in the hearts of men? Just ask [...]


  7. Giving thanks to to whom? And why? « Likelihood of Success Says:

    [...] am grateful for the things that ought not be written, but should be [...]


  8. “Pure and chaste … from afar” | Likelihood of Success Says:

    [...] a quote from Rabbi Israel Salanter that I used (having forgotten about it) about a week ago in this post; when I published the piece below, I had been unable to find its [...]


Attorney Ronald D. Coleman