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Cheshvan 22

I despise falsehood and I abhor it; it is Your Torah that I love (Psalms 119:163).

Although we may condemn falsehood and champion truth, many of us are not beyond stretching the truth a bit when circumstances appear to warrant it. It is after all very easy to rationalize and to justify a white lie. On the other hand, some things are so repulsive and disgusting that we instinctively avoid them. We feel revolted by the very thought of coming into contact with something grossly polluted, and no amount of cajoling from anyone would help us overcome this revulsion.

True love of truth requires that we not only avoid evil, but that we despise it. Those who love God should despise evil, says the Psalmist (97:10), and in the verse cited above, King David goes one step further. The hatred of falsehood and evil should be so intense and profound that the very thought of them is abhorrent; we should instinctively reject them in the same manner that we shun something so foul that it contaminates anyone who touches it.

We may think that we possess true love of truth, but the litmus test is how much we despise falsehood. Unless falsehood automatically repels us, we have not yet achieved true love of Torah.

Today I shall...

try to intensify my dislike for anything false, to the point that lying and deceit become physical impossibilities for me.

With stories and insights, Rabbi Twerski's new book Twerski on Machzor makes Rosh Hashanah prayers more meaningful. Click here to order...

May 21, 2009

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