The Almighty said, “Let us make adam (man) in our image and our likeness.” (Bereshith 1:26)
As mentioned in the previous essays, God consulted with the attributes of Truth, Peace, Kindness, and Charity before creating man. Although the vote resulted in a stalemate, God “cast Truth to the earth” and created man.1 God is Ultimate Truth! Is it possible that His approach to dealing with the potential falsehood of man was simply to discard Truth?
Actually, when God tossed away the Truth he wasn’t discarding it at all. Rather, He sent Truth to the earth and gave it to the Jewish people in the form of Torah.2 Torah is the embodiment of Truth, and by studying it we can come to understand God’s will, which is only Truth, and can learn how to fulfill it in all our actions.
Nevertheless, many years after this incident, the troubling question remains: were Truth and Peace correct in their assessment? We live in a world in which lying and strife are commonplace. How can God’s decision be reconciled with the concrete reality of everyday life?
God’s creation of man can be justified by the Torah’s instructions for dealing with the fraudulent behavior that the Heavenly Court anticipated. A judge who feels that an injustice is being perpetrated in a beith din may not use the standard procedures for judging the case. Instead, in order to clarify what really took place between the two litigants, he must question and cross-examine the parties involved until he is able to determine what really happened. Only then may he start to judge the case using the regular halachic parameters.3
An individual who is prepared to lie in beith din is supporting the criticism of both the attributes of Truth and Peace, for he is furthering both falsehood and contention. However, by interrogating those involved until he finally arrives at the truth, the judge is showing that the claims of Truth and Peace were not sufficient grounds to veto the creation of man. Man’s untamed nature has a tendency towards falsehood and contention. God gave His Truth to man in the wisdom of the Torah which instructs man in the proper path to change his nature to one of truth and peace. If man follows the Torah, he will be able to overcome the inclinations of his untamed nature, and thereby insure that Truth will triumph in the end.
Priceless Integrity, Copyright © 2001 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org.
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