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    I am not a liar – Mishpatim

    The Torah says, “Keep away from anything false” (Ex. 23:7).

    In the Ten Commandments we are warned against distorting the truth; in the sidra we are not only told not to tell lies but not to be anywhere near an untruth.

    The rabbi of Lublin once gave advice to the Chasidic personality, the Seer of Lublin. He told him to minimise his greatness and not let people acclaim him. He should just say to people, “I am just a simple person like anyone else!”

    The Seer did precisely that and when people heard him saying he was an ordinary person they praised him because of his modesty.

    Sometime later the Seer said to the rabbi, “I did what you advised but it didn’t work. People praised me all the more!”

    The rabbi now said, “Tell your followers you are a great man, a Talmudic giant, a tzaddik!”

    The Seer said, “I can’t do that. I am prepared to say I am an ordinary Jew because that’s the truth. But if I show off that means I am really great and that’s just not true. It would make me a liar!”

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