Mashal. A great man accomplishes a great feat. Climbs a great mountain.  A mountain that no one else could climb. That no one else thought to climb. When he finally reaches the top, after years of toil, etc. there he rests.

Comes to the top of the mountain a group of wealthy travelers, in their chartered helicopter. There they begin their picnic, enjoying the awesome view. They meet the great man there, and ask him: how did you get here?

I climbed.

They don’t believe him. Till this day they don’t believe him. For it is not in their imagination that such a thing could be done.

Thus the Torah teaches us: לא תסור מן הדבר אשר יגידו לך ימין או שמאל (דברים י”ז:י”א). Do not stray to the right or to the left from the word that they declare to you.  The Chachamim teach on this: even if they tell you your right is left and your left is right, listen and follow their words.  (פירוש רש”י ז”ל שם, ועיין רמב”ן ז”ל שם, ועיין ספרי י”ז:כ”ד)

We hear amazing stories of Tzaddikim: this one learns 119 daf Gemara each day. This one fasted 18 full-week fasts in one year, etc. etc. endless true stories of amazing accomplishments of Tzaddikim.

Many people, Observant people, listen to these stories and think: nice stories. But in their hearts that have much doubt that it is really true. Then, also when they listen to the teachings of these Tzadikkim and Chachamim they also think: Okay, I hear, but……………………….maybe later.

Because what is far from one’s imagination is far from one’s heart.

Who is wise, who will believe in the truth?

(For the truth requires belief. For we are far from knowing the truth, just as we are far from climbing a great mountain or from learning 119 daf a day. Therefore we must believe in the truth. That the truth exists, even if we don’t know it ourselves. And that there are great people who grasp the truth, who live the truth and who teach the truth. These are the Chachmei HaTorah who we are commanded to believe and follow their words. Totally, without any doubt at all.)

Who is wise and will believe in the truth?

featured image:
משא ומתן באמונה
הכוונה שיהא הן שלו צדק ולאו שלו צדק
לא ישקר אף בכל שהוא
ושיהא משאו ומתנו בנחת עם הבריות ודיבורו בנחת
וסוף הדבר שגם מסחרו הולך בשם טוב ופרנסתו מזומנת לו והכל מאמינים לו
והבוטח בהשם חסד יסובבנו
(מערוך השולחן, אורח חיים קנ”ו:ג’)
A person’s business should be in “good faith”. The intention is: his word is a word. When he attests to the value and quality of goods, it is absolutely true. In his dealings with people he is softspoken and calm. If he does this, at the end his business will gain a positive reputation, he will earn his livelihood easily and people will believe in him. “And he who trusts in Hashem is surrounded by His benevolence.”
(Aruch HaShulchan, Orach Chaim, 156:3)
Oil on canvas
ציור שמן על קנבס
80 cm. x 110 cm.