What if…?

We’ve been asking and answering a lot of “what if” questions recently. It helps us begin to put boundaries around our understanding of (Ona’at Devarim–hurting with words). It’s a little tricky, but children are eager to share their ideas and opinions about our new theme.

This week, we’re wondering who bears the responsibility for the Ona’at Devarim. Is it Ona’at Devarim if no one knows that a person has been hurt? Is it the responsibility of the person who’s been hurt to tell others that she’s been hurt? Is it Ona’at Devarim if no one hears you?

Nitzanim children have MANY ideas.


Consider… two children were talking about a birthday party in the bathroom and a third child, who isn’t invited to the party, overhears them? If the third child gets upset that she isn’t invited to the party, but she never tells the other two children, is it still (ona’at devarim–hurting with words)?


Child A: No because they could have been just talking and getting their plans ready not they knew she was watching

Child B: It’s not because they didn’t purposely mean to say it in front of her, and also if they said, “You’re not coming to a play date,” that would be Ona’at Devarim.

Child A: They thought it was just them in the the bathroom. 

Child C: They don’t know so it wouldn’t be ona’at devarim if they don’t know. The whole point of it is if they know it they would feel bad but they don’t know that she’s sad. 

Child D: I think it was kind of because they didn’t know and it was on accident but she should speak up. 

Child E: So my idea is it’s not ona’at devarim if they don’t tell her because even though it’s still hurting her feelings she should just tell them and be brave to do it. 

Morah Sara: Is it ona’at devarim if people don’t know that they hurt someone’s feelings. What if I call someone a cheater but they don’t hear me call them a cheater so then they can’t get upset. Is it still ona’at devarim.

Child E: Yes because they still said something mean about her. 


Wow, Nitzanim! You’re really thinking deeply about our new theme!


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