Words That Hurt, Words That Heal (Paperback)

How to Choose Words Wisely and Well

By Joseph Telushkin

William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780688163501, 240pp.

Publication Date: August 19, 1998

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (1/29/2019)
Hardcover (4/15/1996)

List Price: 14.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Joseph Telushkin is renowned for his warmth, his erudition, and his richly anecdotal insights, and in Words That Hurt, Words That Heal he focuses these gifts on the words we use in public and in private, revealing their tremendous power to shape relationships. With wit and wide-ranging intelligence, Rabbi Telushkin explains the harm in spreading gossip, rumors, or others’ secrets, and how unfair anger, excessive criticism, or lying undermines true communication. By sensitizing us to subtleties of speech we may never have considered before, he shows us how to turn every exchange into an opportunity.

Remarkable for its clarity and practicality, Words That Hurt, Words That Heal illuminates the powerful effects we create by what we say and how we say it.

About the Author

Joseph Telushkin is a rabbi, scholar, and bestselling author of eighteen books, among them A Code of Jewish Ethics and Words That Hurt, Words That Heal. His book Jewish Literacy is the widest-selling work on the topic of Judaism. He lives with his wife, Dvorah, in New York City, and lectures regularly throughout the United States.

Praise For Words That Hurt, Words That Heal: How to Choose Words Wisely and Well

“In a time when slurs and slights are displacing civility and courtesy, this enchanting book reminds us that the words we choose have an impact on others—and send a message about us. With characteristic wisdom, Joseph Telushkin offers guidance for parents and leaders on how to communicate with consideration and compassion.”
— Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Give and Take and Originals

“This deeply wise and delightfully engaging book will change the way you think about the words that come out of your mouth—and in doing so, will change your life. At a time when our national conversation has become so painful and divisive, this book is urgent and essential reading, providing us a road map for how to repair our relationships and restore kindness to our world.”
— Sarah Hurwitz, former head speechwriter for first lady Michelle Obama

“At a time when bipartisan civility is attacked as political weakness and tolerance is ridiculed as “political correctness,” this book is more necessary than ever. As much as Joseph Telushkin is a learned rabbi, a fluent writer, and an eloquent speaker, he is most importantly a kind of public sage.”
— Prof. Samuel G. Freedman, Columbia Journalism School, author of Letters to a Young Journalist

“This wise, wonderful book not only enlightens and entertains: it can actually elevate your life by making you a better spouse, parent, business partner and neighbor. The writing is warm, elegant, sensitive and above all sensible—so much so that you’ll feel tempted to read key passages aloud in order to inspire your friends and family.”
— Michael Medved, syndicated talk radio host and author of The American Miracle