Lies We Tell Ourselves

May 11, 2018

 

Dramatic events continue to unfold before our very eyes. This week was no exception.

 

This past Tuesday the world watched in amazement as President Trump in a public address pulled the USA out of the Iran nuclear deal.

 

In explaining the reasons for doing so he said the following “At the heart of the Iran deal was a giant fiction: that a murderous regime desired only a peaceful nuclear energy program. Today, we have definitive proof that this Iranian promise was a lie”.

 

The Baal Shem Tov teaches us that everything we see or hear is in fact a personal message from G-d to each and every one of us. No doubt we must pay especially close attention to these dramatic events and try to discover its relevant message especially in our own lives.

 

In a most insightful passage from the Ethics of the Fathers we read “Rabbi Shimon the son of Gamliel would say: By three things is the world sustained: law, truth and peace. As is stated (Zachariah 8:16), " With Truth, and a judgement of peace, you should administer at your [city] gates.''

 

This teaching is one that is so brilliantly simple and most illuminating. Yet unfortunately it is so lost in contemporary political thinking.

 

The Talmud is teaching us that In order for us to achieve peace and harmony in the world around us or indeed in our own “small world”, we must first and foremost ensure that it be predicated on “truth”. It is a futile effort to attempt to bridge gaps or to reconcile differences by deliberately ignoring the facts. On the contrary, this will only serve to further frustrate the warring factions making any eventual reconciliation a much greater challenge.

 

Lies come in all shapes, sizes and colors. There are also lies which we hear and there are lies we tell. However the worst type of lies are the ones we tell ourselves. For at that point we seize to be able to differentiate between the truth and the lie.

 

Lying is not a sustainable strategy. It might last for a while. However at some point in the future it will always crash into harsh reality.

 

This is especially true on social media. We are all trying to pretend to be something that we’re not. It doesn’t work. Certainly not in the long term. Not even in the short term. Coz really we are fooling only ourselves. And what’s the big deal in fooling a fool.

 

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