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Dvar Torah by Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski, M.D.

Dvar Torah by Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski, M.D.

The Torah states: “In the beginning of G-d’s creating the heavens and the earth (Gen. 1:1) … G-d blessed the seventh day and sanctified it because on it He abstained from all His work which G-d created to make (Gen. 2:3).

These two verses encompass all of Creation. The opening three words end in the Hebrew letters taf, aleph, mem which comprise “emet” (truth), and the closing three words end in aleph, mem, taf which spells “emet.” Reb Simcha Bunim of P’shis’che cites the Talmudic statement, “The seal of G-d is emet” and comments, “It is customary for an author to place his name in the opening of his book. G-d placed His Name, emet, in the opening chapter of the Torah. Emet thus envelops all of creation, a testimony to G-d as the Creator.”

Divrei Shaul notes that all traits can be a matter of degree. There can be greater beauty and lesser beauty, greater wisdom and lesser wisdom, greater strength and lesser strength. Only one trait cannot be more or less: truth. Something is either true or it is not true.

G-d is identified with truth. Just as truth can never be altered, because altered truth is no longer truth, there can be no change in G-d (Malachi 2:6).

The Talmud says that emet is broad-based, consisting of the first letter of the alphabet, aleph, the middle letter, mem, and the last letter, taf (Shabbos 55a). Truth, therefore, has stability and durability. Falsehood, on the other hand is the Hebrew word sheker, consisting of three letters near the end of the alphabet. Sheker is top-heavy and cannot endure.

To the extent that a person lives with truth is the extent one identifies with G-d. Any falsehood distances a person from G-d.

2020 Sandton Shul Batmitzvah Ceremony