One of the pillars of Creation we are taught, was truth. One of God’s many holy names we are taught, was Truth. From the very beginning, Judaism taught the centrality of truth here on earth and in the heavens above. Pure. Unassailable. Uncompromising.
How ironic that such a fundamental principle of our faith has been viciously used against us generation after generation.
Pharaoh accused us falsely of being a 5th column, drowned our first born and enslaved us.
We were accused falsely of being Satanic, because of Michelangelo’s horned statue of Moses.
We were accused falsely of poisoning the wells during the Black Plague and ruthlessly slaughtered.
We were accused falsely in vicious Blood Libels of using the blood of Christian children in the preparation of matzah.
We were accused falsely in the notorious forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, of being an international cabal, hell bent on ruling the world.
The Nazi propaganda machine falsely accused us of unspeakable crimes, starting with the Big Lie, ending with the Holocaust.
We as a people have seen the deadly consequences of what happens when truth is twisted or ignored. We as a people have seen the horror that occurs when truth is dismissed because it doesn’t fit a narrative. When the pursuit of truth is rooted in emotion. In bigotry. In rage. In identity politics. In self righteousness and not in the authentic pursuit of the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, we enter a place of profound danger when law and order and civility crumble into anarchy. It is mob rule. It is the law of the jungle. It is the survival of the loudest.
Sometimes the truth is disturbing and sometimes the truth is pleasing. Sometimes we like the truth and sometimes we don’t, but the truth is holy and must be honored unflinchingly. If we allow ourselves to be driven by feelings not facts. By arrogance not wisdom. By ideology not principle we will end up in a dark, chaotic place where we all, sooner or later, will be victims of moral brutality or worse. Think Martin Neimoller. First they came...
There is a lot at stake when we do what feels good in the moment but doesn’t do good in the long run.
The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help us God, or all is lost.