|R'Shlomo-Mishpatim-Keep Away From Lies|
|Written by Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach zt"l|
I want to learn a little bit from the Holy Baal Shem Tov on truth. I just want to bless it to you. The first thing is a person has to make up his mind, "I want to tell the truth, and I don't ever want to lie." And then G-d will help him, and whatever he does will be true. Because we always think "I'm just 'telling' a lie, but my life is truth." It's not true. If I utter words of lies then I become a liar. My life becomes a lie, and even the truth I say is also a lie.
You know you don't have to lie to lie. Sometimes you tell the truth and you're also lying. So therefore the Baal Shem Tov says if mammash you are strong, you don't ever want to lie. Then everything you do becomes real.
Then [the Baal Shem Tov continues with] something very deep. Anything you do for the sake of G-d cannot be done with your lying. Because let's say for instance, when I'm doing something for the sake of G-d, that means I'm giving G-d a gift. When you give somebody a gift then it has to [have] a little wrapping, right? The gift, [is] when you do something for G-d. The wrapping has to be in truth. [It] has to be [wrapped] in truth.
Let there be truth in the world. Let there be truth in our hearts. Let there be truth in the world. It takes a lifetime to get to the truth. Emet, emes, emes, emes.
Then he says, a lot of people don't lie in their words, but they're lying in their thoughts and they're lying deep down in their souls. So he says you should mammash be ready to die, G-d forbid, when you lie to yourself and your soul. It's much easier not to lie to people – not to lie to yourself, is the hardest thing in the world.
It says there is nothing in the world that G-d says to 'keep [far] away' from. [It] just [says] don't do it ... [for example] it's forbidden to eat ham, but G-d doesn't say [to] keep away from it. It's [just] forbidden, right? [It says to] keep Shabbos. It doesn't say to keep away from not keeping Shabbos. But [concerning] lying, G-d is begging me, "Please don't lie." On a simple level it means ... if I had a friend who is lying, I'd say 'he's lying and I'm not lying'. [But] if you're close to people who are lying ... [you would beg them not to lie.]
Reb Zusha zt"l says something very deep. One word of lying makes you a stranger to G-d. It's hard to talk to a stranger! With every lie you utter, you become a stranger to G-d – the most horrible thing. Can you imagine if the greatest thing in the world becomes a stranger to you?
Then he says something very beautiful. This too I want to wish you, holy Chosson and Kallah. Imagine children when they're born, who teaches children to lie? Their parents! The Baal Shem Tov was very strong [on this]. He said, "People, don't teach your children to lie, because if you don't teach your children how to lie, it would never occur to them to lie." Children lying? How can anybody lie? ... So he says, "Mammash, I'm begging you ... and you have to tell your children not only not to lie, you have to tell them all the time that the holiest thing is the truth. Get it [through] to them. Then they'll grow up and they'll tell the truth."
Then he says something very beautiful: If you're honest, then you won't be proud and you won't be arrogant. Because the whole thing of arrogance comes from lying to your self, right? I wish you a lot of emet.
I want to wish you one more thing. There is an open truth and a hidden truth ... this is the deepest holiest truth in the world ... the most hidden thing in the world is G-d ... the most hidden thing in the world is to love people ... because it's so true ... anything that is so true, is hidden. It's hidden [and] it's very holy.