In reply to your letter in which you describe your health situation, particularly your hoarseness: You [write that you] have consulted with physicians and they could not find a specific cause [for your hoarseness], but they have ordered rest, at least that you rest your vocal chords, by keeping your speech to a minimum.

.. It would also be beneficial for you to ask the doctor with whom you have consulted how to speak in a manner where your method of speech will only be on the surface (in the physical sense, not — G‑d forbid — in the spiritual sense).

For the past several decades, orators — even healthy ones — have trained in this method of speaking, [i.e., speaking without causing undue strain on the vocal chords]. Included in the above are those individuals who do quite a fair amount of speaking.

The general aspect of this method, as is also to be understood from the term “on the surface,” is that although the individual speaks in a loud voice and with fervor, it only affects the external areas of vocalization [and not the vocal chords].

Surely, training yourself to speak in this manner will be of great benefit to you [in your present circumstances, and] quite possibly, [of benefit] even after you become better and return to full health. ...

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XVIII, p. 189)

Resolving a Stuttering Problem

In reply to your letter from the 10th of Iyar in which you write that you have a problem with stuttering, and that you have already been treated by a number of doctors, but to no avail:

Since speech specialists are generally able to successfully treat stuttering — at least to a significant degree — you should find a specialist in this area and turn to him.

However, since according to our Sages, of blessed memory, Torah and mitzvos are the vessel with which to receive G‑d’s blessings, it is patently obvious that you should increase the diligence and assiduousness of your Torah study and your scrupulous observance of mitzvos. This will serve to increase G‑d’s blessings to you in all that you require.

It is also worth noting that in the majority of instances, stuttering results from a lack of self-confidence and being fearful and apprehensive of other people. Engrave in your mind the concept, “I place G‑d before me constantly,”1 that He is the Essence of goodness and desires to act in a goodly manner with His creations, and that G‑d oversees each and every person with individual Divine providence, as explained at length in Toras HaChassidus.

It follows that when you will etch this in your consciousness,this will minimize and weaken the untoward events that result from a lack of self-confidence and being intimidated by others — as the verse states,2 “G‑d is with me, I shall not fear.” ...

P.S. It would also be highly advisable for you to check your tefillin to insure that they are kosher according to Jewish law, and to give several coins to tzedakah every weekday morning prior to prayers.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XIX, p. 297)

Unclear Speech

In reply to your letter of the 8th of Teves in which you write that your enunciation and articulation (chituch hadibbur) is in need of improvement:

Consult with a specialist in this field, for many new methods of effective treatment for this problem have lately been discovered. Since this is almost always connected with the thought process, the more you will be inattentive to your way of speaking and not overly upset by the fact that for the time being your speech is not all that it should be, the more this will increase the efficacy of your treatment and the improvement of your situation.

It is also self-evident that the more you increase the diligence and assiduousness of your Torah study and your scrupulous observance of mitzvos, the more there will be an increase of G‑d’s blessings to you in all that you require, particularly with regard to the above.

You are no doubt aware of [and conduct yourself according to] the time-honored custom of reciting the daily portion of Tehillim as divided by the days of the month following morning prayers. At least begin doing so from now on.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XIV, p. 274)

In reply to your letter of 11/18 in which you write about your speech difficulties:

Generally this is a result of nervousness, for which reason you should go to a specialist and follow his instructions.

From the above it is also understood that the more you strengthen your bitachon in G‑d, Creator and Conductor of the universe, Who oversees each and every person with individual Divine providence, the more you will lessen your fears and anxieties and improve your manner of speech. For [upon meditating on the above, you will come to the realization that] there is no reason to worry or get upset, for G‑d is the “Essence of goodness” and “It is in the nature of he who is good to do good.”

A practical piece of advice: When you feel that the word you are about to speak is difficult for you to verbalize, do not force yourself to say that word immediately; go back a word or two, or speak about something else. When you will relieve yourself of the tension [of trying and seemingly failing to clearly and easily articulate that particular word,] then the situation will improve in and of itself.

Since all matters require Heavenly assistance, you should observe the custom of reciting the daily portion of Tehillim as divided by the days of the month, following morning prayers, as well as giving several coins to tzedakah each weekday morning prior to prayers. Also, check your tefillin to insure that they are kosher according to Jewish law.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XVIII, p. 93)


.. You write about Mr. ... who is unable to string letters together into words:3

You should consult a specialist in this field. It would also be worthwhile to ascertain the individual’s developmental status in other areas. For quite often in situations such as these, the individual is sufficiently developed and functional in other areas — sometimes even more than the norm.

When such individuals are placed in a setting where they can utilize their developedareas, this sometimes has the effect of developing little by little those areas that are not yet as they should be.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XVI, p. 3)

Stuttering: Learn How Not to Be Intimidated

With regard to that which you write, that you have a problem with stuttering (kvad peh):

You should ingrain in your mind that Blessed and A-lmighty G‑d oversees each and every person with individual Divine providence, and that He is the Essence of goodness, for which reason you need not fear any person.

When you will be strong in your faith, then you will not be intimidated by having to speak in front of people and you will speak calmly. Little by little, your speech will then improve.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XV, p. 96)

Problem of Stuttering

.. Regarding that which you write about your stuttering problem:

Since we are to do what we can by employing natural means [to accomplish healing,] inquire and follow a doctor’s advice.

However — and this is of great importance — you should increase the diligence and assiduousness of your Torah study, Nigleh and Chassidus, studying in a manner that leads — in accordance with the directive of our Sages, of blessed memory — to enhanced observance of mitzvos.

In addition to the fact that G‑d has commanded us [to study Torah and perform mitzvos in the best possible manner,] it is also the path through which one receives the blessings of the “Healer of all flesh and Performer of wonders,” [namely that] the human healer acts as His emissary.

We readily observe the efficacy, particularly with regard to stuttering, of strengthening one’s bitachon in G‑d, Who oversees each and every person with individual Divine providence.

This is so, since to a large extent stuttering is caused by a lack of inner peace and contentment and by an insufficient degree of self-confidence, [both of which are ameliorated through increasing one’s bitachon].

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XXIV, p. 175)

Alleviating Stuttering By Heightening Spiritual Sensitivity
And Thus Being Less Nervous and Sensitive

You write about your manner of speaking, [i.e., that you stutter]:

Undoubtedly, your stuttering is [not physiological, but] merely a case of nerves. You can overcome this nervous condition by meditating on those matters that strengthen bitachon in G‑d, particularly as to how His individual Divine providence constantly extends to each and every aspect of all individuals. ...

This being so, it makes little difference what people think [about you]. All this will enable you to be much less sensitive to [the reaction of] others and to lessen your self-consciousness.

Surely the doctor who is treating you [for your general health] will be able to offer additional advice and provide more details on how to overcome your stuttering. Additionally, when your general health will improve, your nerves will become less frayed and the consequent result of these frayed nerves, [i.e., your stuttering,] will diminish as well.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XVIII, p. 21)

Spiritual Assists for Medical Problems Relating to Speech

.. As per your request, when I will be at the holy resting place of my father-in-law, the Rebbe, of sainted memory, I will remember you in prayer for a speedy and full recovery.

Since the physical is bound up with the spiritual, in a situation such as yours [where there is a problem relating to speech,] you should increase your “mitzvah speech,” i.e., [increase in speaking] words of Torah and prayer.

You should also be scrupulous in refraining from forbidden speech, and even from repulsive speech or [excessive speech] of permitted [but non-essential] words — as these differences are enumerated in the Commentary of Mishnayos of the Rambam, the end of chapter one of Avos. ...

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XI, p. 240)