I heard someone say that a person should never say "I am this [negative character trait]" or "I am that [negative character trait]" because Chas ve Shalom Hashem can bring that negative character trait upon him. What’s the source of this? And if someone did this how can they annul this?

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    אל תפתח את הפה לשטן Nov 30, 2023 at 15:35
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    Sefer Chassidim 480
    – The GRAPKE
    Nov 30, 2023 at 16:10

1 Answer 1


The מהרש"א כתובות ח ע"ב in the חידושי אגדות (I can't find a link to it neither in Hebrew Books nor in Sefaria) writes: לעולם אל יפתח אדם פיו כו' הוא מבואר שהדבור גם בדרך הדמיון מעורר את מדת הדין עד שהשטן מקטרג להיות החוטא מודה בדבר שראוי לכך The reason is that speech, even if only used as a comparison, can awaken the strict measure of justice, and the Satan will be able to use that as an accusation, claiming that the speaker (with his words) agreed to that accusation. I presume that by repenting for saying these words (and possibly start saying nice things about himself) he can undo it, but I have no source for that, besides that תשובה is always accepted.

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