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“You shall not lie to one another.” (19:11)

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One day, a number of the prominent householders of Brisk came to their rav, Horav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik, z.l., the Bais HaLevi, complaining that the kefirah, heresy, spouted by members of the Haskalah, enlightenment movement, was rampant. These people were being eminently successful and making serious incursions into the observant community. Regrettably, this was the scenario in many Jewish communities. Why were they succeeding? After all, everything they were expounding was founded in falsehood. Rav Yosha Ber turned to them and queried, “Why are you surprised? Truth always prevails.” “Rebbe, how can you say that? How can you refer to apostasy as emes, truth?” they asked, somewhat incredulously. The Bais HaLevi explained, “The kofrim, heretics, are battling for their sheker, false ideals, with emes. They are devout atheists. They truly believe in what they are doing. This is why they are successful.”

Unfortunately, we cannot say the same in regard to our level of observance. We demonstrate a lack of integrity in our adherence to mitzvos. Moreover, quite often when we battle for the emes of Torah, it is for the wrong reasons. Even when one fights to preserve the truth, it must be based upon virtue and principle.

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