"O L-RD, Who are my power and my strength and my refuge in the day of trouble, to You nations will come from the ends of the earth and say, 'Only lies have our fathers handed down to us, emptiness in which there is nothing of any avail! Can a man make gods for himself, and they are no gods? 'Therefore, behold I let them know; at this time I will let them know My power and My might, and they shall know that My Name is the L-RD".
Jeremiah 16:19-21

Time for Truth …

November 17, 2011

in Breslev,Judaism:,Noahide - The Ancient Path,Rabbi Lazer Brody,The Torah

Time for Truth

By: Rabbi Shalom Arush

Translated by Rabbi Lazer Brody 

 

A person cannot begin to attain a goal if he doesn’t know where he currently is. How can you look at a map and reach Chicago if you don’t know whether you’re in New York or Denver? What direction do you take, east or west? We must therefore know where we are in order to know where we’re going.

Did we create ourselves? Who created us and for what purpose? Such basic questions enable us to know where we are. Most people never ask themselves such questions and are therefore utterly lost. How can we possibly know what path to pursue if we don’t know what we’re doing here on earth?

Since people are disconnected or totally out of touch with truth, yet they stubbornly persist in doing what they please, they remain unhappy and unfulfilled. They’re constantly looking for entertainment or pastimes to fill their void in life.

Look at those whom modern society regards as the pinnacle of success. How many enormously wealthy and famous people have ended up in psychiatrists’ offices or as suicide candidates? What the good of becoming a nuclear physicist or a neurosurgeon if you can’t get through the day without a gin and tonic or if you always crave more money, more fame, and a woman other than your wife? Despite advanced academic degrees, moral turpitude remains moral turpitude.

Emuna is virtually the only tool whereby we can establish who we are, where we are, and where we’re going. A main principle of emuna is that the Creator has a specific purpose for every creation. In clarifying truth, I come to the conclusion that I didn’t create myself; therefore, I can’t know on my own what’s best for me. Once I acknowledge that Hashem created me, I am now prepared to seek his purpose in creating me.

Simply speaking, if there is a Master Creator, then I am a creation. And, if I am one of His creations, then He has an express purpose in creating me. This very purose is my true purpose in life.

Rebbe Nachman teaches (Likutei Moharan II:10) that the bulk of the world is far from truth because they fail to properly compose themselves. Most importantly, one should ask oneself, “What’s the purpose of all my appetites, urges and worldly pleasure seeking?”

Self-composure enables us to look at the true purpose of everything, particularly, what will result from our current endeavors. Are we on the right path, or not? Self-composure saves us from learning the truth in a long, hard, and ultimately bitter way.

One spares himself untold anguish by spending an hour a day in truth clarification and self-assessment. This would give him the self-composure to make the right decisions with minimum mistakes along the way.

There’s Only One Truth

As soon as a person looks for his truth, he won’t be able to find absolute truth. For example, if a person considers himself entitled to something that doesn’t belong to him, he’ll do anything to attain that thing, even kill or steal. According to “his” truth, he’s doing fine. But according to Hashem’s truth – absolute truth – he’s a murderer or a thief. A rose is a rose, even if one calls it a tulip or a pansy.

We must therefore establish what’s absolutely true in order to attain genuine gratification and inner peace. Pursuing one’s “own” truth simply means to perpetuate one’s lusts and personal appetites. There’s so much discord in the world because everyone is pursuing his “own” truth without objectively trying to establish what absolute truth is. All these “truths” are nothing but lies. The prerequisite to finding absolute truth is first deciding to stop living the lie of one’s “own” truth and to stop fooling oneself.

No one in the world is capable of depending on his “own” truth, even the brightest of individuals. One’s bodily urges and appetites are so strong that they taint the truth. We see this daily: how many people with high blood pressure continue to eat salty foods? How many overweight people continue to endanger their health by indulging in excessive and unhealthy eating? Ask them if they want a heart attack and they’ll answer emphatically, “no!” Yet, they continue to do damage to themselves rather than first establishing the truth and living their lives accordingly.

One’s judgment is clouded by subjective considerations, particularly bodily lusts. Their lusts and appetites become their “truth” that governs how they live their lives. Is it a wonder that so many people are unhealthy and unhappy?

If one really wants to break the vicious cycle of self-deception, then he should try looking for the Creator and for His truth rather than remaining bogged down in one’s “own” truth. It’s time for truth.

 

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