Why, of course, I tell the truth! But, then again, maybe I bend the truth from time to time….
Judaism teaches us that God is Truth. And yet, we humans, who are created in the image of God, don’t always tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Most of the time, we try our best to tell the truth. But, sometimes, for the sake of peace, or for the sake of being considerate of people’s feelings, or for some other reason, we find ourselves embellishing what we know to be true. Or, we find ourselves telling partial truths and leaving out plenty of significant parts of our stories.
When the ideal of truth comes up against the complex reality of our lives, we live with the consequences of our choices in relation to truth telling….
Our weekly Torah portion is filled with examples of people struggling with the issues of truth telling.
Rebecca was not open with Isaac. She did not face her truth and speak with candor. Instead, Rebecca resorted to subtrafuge. She asked Jacob to disguise himself and to present himself as his brother, Esau, as a way of securing both the birthright and the blessing from Isaac. Jacob went along with the scheme. Isaac’s vision was dimmed so that he could not recognize the truth that presented itself before him. And, despite his hesitation, he chose to accept Jacob’s narrative of deception and to bless Jacob in place of the blessing he had intended to give to Esau.
Our weekly Torah portion reflect the reality that facing our truth is especially Truth. Torah challenges us to face our truths, even when truth seems illusive or inconvenient. With a measure of humility, and with the help of our Torah stories, we can strive to face our truths and to speak them with candor.
Happily, our Torah portion also reminds us that there are plenty of blessings to go around. So, perhaps, subtrafuge is not the best or the only way to secure our blessings for the good!
May all of our prayers and hopes be answered for the good, speedily and in our time!
Rabbi Gilah Dror
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