Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Signs of Truth 2

By Rabbi Daniel Travis

To Sarah he said, "I am giving your brother a thousand pieces of silver. Let it be a kesuth einayim for you and for all who are with you, for all that has been done." (Bereshith 20:16)

The commentators search to find a reasonable explanation for the idiom kesuth einayim (literally "a covering for the eyes"). Some interpret its usage as referring to the fact that Avraham had proven that Sarah was indeed his sister. Avimelech's attitude toward this was that Avraham could justify referring to Sarah as his sister when he was speaking with people who knew them, for they would realize that Sarah was also his wife. However, he advised Avraham, telling people who did not know them that she was his sister would surely cause them problems (as it had in Gerar, where Avimelech was king). Avimelech therefore gave Sarah such a large gift that she would never forget what had happened in his land. His gift would serve as a constant reminder of the complications that can result from misleading others.1

In the course of our day-to-day routine it is very easy to forget about the Torah injunction to distance ourselves from falsehood. It is therefore recommended that we make personal signs to help us remember to always speak the truth. We can write notes to ourselves, for example, and look at them before engaging in any business transaction. One who occupies himself in Torah study throughout the day can keep such signs on his table or on the walls of the beith medrash to remind him to speak only the truth.2

In addition to the reminders that we can make, the Torah has given us a number of signs in the form of mitzvoth. This is expressed eloquently in the piyut of Yam L'Yabasha (commonly recited after a brith milah), in which we say that God has placed signs of truth on the body and garments of a Jew, with the commandments of brith milah and tzitzith. Introspection and thought about all of these signs will help us to recognize the crucial importance of truth in our lives.

On a very solemn note, the contemplation of death can be a jolting reminder of man's true purpose in the world. The connection between death and truth can be seen in the word emeth - which is an acronym for aron (coffin), mitah (the stretcher that the deceased is carried on in the funeral procession), and tachrichim (shrouds).3 All three of these are physical reminders that a person's time in this world is limited, and that he should make it his business to find and pursue truth.


1. Rashba cited in the Beis Yosef's commentary on the Torah on Bereshith 20:16.

2. Orchoth Tzadikim, Shaar HaEmeth.

3. Baal Haturim, Bereshith 47:29.


Priceless Integrity, Copyright © 2001 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org.

Subscribe to Priceless Integrity and receive the class via e-mail.


 


ARTICLES ON VAYIGASH AND CHANUKAH:

View Complete List

Just Two Words
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5758

Candle Lighting Blessings
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5761

The Aleph-Beis of Relationships
Rabbi Label Lam - 5769

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Hasmoneans Take a Stand: A History of Chanukah, Part II
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5774

Maintaining Family Unity
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5770

Redeeming Factors
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5766

ArtScroll

A New Perspective
Shlomo Katz - 5768

A Matter of Approaches
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5759

Don't Rehash The Story of My Sale To Egypt
Rav Frand - 5768

> Lessons of a Liquidation Sale
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5764

Chanukah Vs. Purim
Shlomo Katz - 5760

Sparing Embarrassment Of His Brothers Was Worth The Risk
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5773

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Potentially
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5767

Maintaining Strong Family Bonds
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5772

The Wagons that Yosef Sent
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5763

Shabbat Shalom
Shlomo Katz - 5773



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information