Tuesday, July 21, 2009



Good morning. As we near Tisha b'Av, here's a relevant topic from a few years ago.

Tisha b'Av commemorates many tragedies, but one of the main ones is the destruction of the second Beit haMikdash. We are taught that this devastation was triggered by intramural strife, so it is appropriate that we spend some time on studying social relations. Our new topic is: Honesty.

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch taught (Horeb, paragraph 369):

"Gd, Who created man to be just - that is to say, to leave and give to all entities in all relations that which is their due - has also endowed his mind with the faculty of mirroring the reality of things in their various relations so that man may be able to perceive the entities and their relations, and on the strength of that knowledge, give to them what the teachings of justice lay down as their right. This reproduction of reality in the mind is Truth. Truth, therefore, is a precondition of Justice...

"But just as Gd has endowed the human mind with the faculty of mirroring the reality of its owner's external world, so also He has given him the faculty of revealing to others the reality as known to him by means of his language. And thus, the individual can live not only according to his own experience, but the whole of mankind can co-operate for the improvement of the human mind, the individual can inherit the spiritual treasure of all mankind, and, by becoming richer in truth, also become richer in justice, and lead a life of action instead of a life of mere experience."

Have a good day,

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