Most of us take honesty for granted, so when the Torah tell us (Exodus 23:7), “מִדְּבַר-שֶׁקֶר, תִּרְחָק – stay away from fake things (lies)”, it doesn’t always ring as such a big religious experience but, if there has been one thing that I have tried to convey is that even those types of experiences, the ones that seem small and like daily good-behavior things can be ways of connecting to God and our Jewish Heritage.
Another key point to consider is the fact that the Torah doesn’t tell us, “Don’t lie”, it says, “stay away from fake things”, which is a much broader statement. This means that we have to do our best to make our selves into people who represent truth and honesty and who are far away, both physically and ideologically, from the ideas of deception and fake attitudes. This extends far beyond just what comes out of our mouths. This attitude has its roots in a concept we have discussed a number of times before, being like God. God is the objective truth, everything he does is completely and utterly real and true, because he is the creator of reality, therefore he defines what is real and therefore what is true. Being true people means being people that emulate God by defining and representing what is real and true in the world and not misrepresenting things. Some examples of being fake that have nothing to do with what you say are:
- Wearing clothes that represent you in a certain way which isn’t the way you are.
- Stretching the truth to make people think you are something different than you are.
- Being a show-off.
- Borrowing your friends car for a date, just to impress the person.
- Lying to yourself about what you want in life.
There are tons of other things, but the important thing to understand is that the Torah and Judaism doesn’t want us to tell the truth, what it wants from us is to be true and the obvious outgrowth of that is telling the truth. Be true to yourself, and the world.
Today’s Jewish mission, is be true and be honest, don’t tell any lies today, and try your best to be as true a person as you can be by staying far away from fake things.