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Parsha Behar: Staying True


This week’s parsha explores how we can live in a world of truth.

A story is told of a man who lived his life on a constant quest for the absolute truth. During his frequent travels, he one day receives word that the “world of truth” exists in a certain cave. Upon entering the cave, he sees an old sage and thousands of lit candles. “What are all these candles for?” asks the man.

“Each candle is for a person in the universe,” replies the sage, “and if a candle is dwindling it signifies that the individual’s life is coming to a close.”

“And where is mine?” asks the man.

The sage points to a candle that has almost burned out, whereupon the alarmed man quickly pours some wax from another candle into his own – this is the man who is seeking the truth!

Jokes aside, this story illustrates the world we live in – where the path of truth is a challenging one. Challenging indeed, but I believe that is the beauty of it, for imagine it wasn’t so – envision a world in which the quest for truth required no effort – would we hold it so precious?

It is precisely because truthfulness is rare, that when we work to attain it, we appreciate it so much.

The Talmud tells us that the eternal World of Truth is actually an upside-down version of our world – that things that may seem valuable on Earth – honor, wealth, etc. – are not necessarily important in the World of Truth.

Indeed, what the masses may deem proper or necessary in life, is not always a reflection of what is truly right, and therefore, it is up to each individual to stand up for the truth.

So don’t feel alone when you make that challenging decision you know is right, even though no one else is walking with you – our patriarch Abraham walked to the beat of his own drum, and so did President George Washington. Good things are scarce…and priceless.

Be bold and embrace the truth!