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Gossip Makers

Yiddish forklore offers a telling tale about gossip-makers. One such man had told so many malicious untruths about the local rabbi that, overcome by remorse, he begged the rabbi to forgive him. “And, Rebbe, tell me how I can make amends.”

The rabbi sighed, “Take two pillows, go to the public square and there cut the pillows open. Wave them in the air. Then come back.”

The rumormonger quickly went home, got two pillows and a knife, hastened to the square, cut the pillows open, waved them in the air and hastened back to the rabbi’s chambers. “I did just what you said, Rebbe!”

“Good.” The rabbi smiled. “Now, to realize how much harm is done by gossip, go back to the square...”

“And?”

“And collect all your feathers.”

From Hooray for Yiddish