A woman was blamed for starting an unkind rumor. The village rabbi called her forth and she protested,
“What I said was false. And my words were passed through others, so you can’t blame me.” Then she cried, “You have dirtied my reputation. But I will take back my words and guess that I have been forgiven.”

The rabbi shook his head and thought, “This woman does not understand what she has done. She will do this again many times.”
Then he said, “Your words shall not be excused until you bring my feather pillow to the town square. You must cut it open and let the feathers fly. When this is done, bring me back each and every feather.”

The woman agreed with hesitation, thinking “The rabbi has certainly gone mad.”

She took the pillow to the town square and cut it right down the middle. The feathers flew around her in the wind. The woman tried to grab them, but she could only get hold of a few, understanding that the task was impossible.

She returned to the rabbi with only three feathers in hand.Then she told him “I could not get them all back. They’ve scattered everywhere.” Then she understood, “Just like the words a spread, I cannot take them back.”

“Cruel words, like feathers, fly.
Cruel words reach far and wide.
They leave the mouth a bitter rind.
May all your words, my friend, be kind.”

Feathers: Lindsay B.

There once was an old lady who told lies about people in the town. The stories spread to everyone and that made people very upset. One day the woman made up a lie about a man, the man heard this and he was very mad at the women and he told the great rabbi.

“Woman why you have spread lies about this good man and no one has said anything about your deeds?”

The wise rabbi continued to question the woman and then he finally came to a conclusion.

“I have a challenge for you! First, bring my feather pillow to the market. Then cut it open and let the feathers fly everywhere! Once the market is filled with feathers bring back everyone that was in my pillow. Then you will be innocent.”

The woman agreed and started to get the pillow from the rabbi’s house, she brought it to the market and on the count of three she sliced it open! The feathers flew everywhere and she was trying to catch as many as she could but she only came back with a few feathers out of the hundreds that were in the small pillow. But the rabbi was not surprised.

“I have failed this task great rabbi! But the feathers went all over the town; this is all I could get!”
The rabbi smiled at her and told her that it was impossible to bring back every feather!

“Then why have you assigned me this task?” she questioned.

“I have assigned this great task to you to show you that feathers are just like your lies! Once they are out you can’t take them back.”