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Parashat Mispatim
 
The Truth and 
Only the Truth

 

January 24, 2014

24 Shevat 5774

 

Candle Lighting: 4:55 p.m.


  

Dear Friends:

Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget
Anne Kelley
As Governor Chris Christie's staff recently found out, the truth always rises to the surface.

During the week of reading parashat Mishpatim, Rabbi Menachem Mendle of Kotzk explained to his chassidim the meaning of the verse: "Truth springs from the earth." (Ps. 85:12) He said that nothing grows from the earth unless it is planted there first. What, then, is the seed that leads to the sprouting of truth? The seed is a lie! No matter how deeply you plant a lie, the truth always springs forth.

In parashat Mishpatim we read: "Keep far from a false charge." (Ex. 23:7) Rabbi Moshe Yitzchak, the Seer of Keles, taught that a liar is worse than a robber or a thief. A thief does most of his work when no one can see him, often at night. A robber works both by day and by night. However, his victim is usually an individual rather than a group. A liar "works" all of the time, both day and night, and he victimizes everyone, the individual and community alike. Therefore, he is worse than a robber or thief.

When we are tempted to mislead others by telling a lie, we would do well to consider Friedrich Hebbel's words: "Remember, one lie does not cost you one truth, but the Truth."

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Leonard Rosenthal
Tifereth Israel Synagogue
San Diego, CA 92119 
 

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