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Mishpatim: Mitzvah 76 – Concept 26

“You shall not revile the Lord – Elokim.” (Exodus 22:27) We may not blaspheme. (Rambam, Hilchot Avodah Zarah – The Laws of Idolatry and Paganism)

The word “Tikalel,” curse, contains the word, “kal,” to make light, to speak of something or someone without respect. We may not speak of the Creator in a manner that makes light of Him. This obviously includes not speaking of God without respect and awe. However we should also consider that there are times we speak of God in a manner that causes others to make jest of our concept of God.

We have to be careful when we speak in the Name of God, such as, “the earthquake in Haiti happened because people are advocating gay marriage.” The rabbi who offered this argument not only became the subject of ridicule, he caused people to laugh at his concept of God’s justice.

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