Friday, June 4, 2010

A Flotilla of Falsehood and the Tedious Truth by Rabbi Moss

Question of the Week:
What do you say to this Gaza flotilla episode? Did you see the real story behind it on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/user/idfnadesk ? As usual the media and world opinion condemns Israel for defending itself. When will truth prevail?

Answer:
In the battle for truth, there is an important lesson we can learn from the Hebrew language.

The word for truth in Hebrew is Emet. The word for falsehood is Sheker. Both words are made up of three Hebrew letters. The difference is that the three letters of Emet are the first, middle and last letters of the alphabet (aleph, mem, tav), while the letters that make up Sheker (shin, kuf, reish) are consecutive letters, bunched together in the alphabet.

The holy tongue is here giving a profound insight into the difference between truth and falsehood. Truth is a broad and all-encompassing perspective, while falsehood is no more than a misleading and narrow snapshot.

To know the truth you need to know the full picture, from beginning to end. You cannot understand a situation without knowing the background, the events that led to it. And you don't know whether an event is a victory or a defeat until its consequences unravel.

On the other hand, to view a scene in isolation, out of context, ignorant of the facts and unaware of the backdrop, will invariably lead to false impressions.

Sadly, modern mainstream media is prone to falsehood. Catchy sound bites, dramatic images, angry reactions and loose accusations are far more newsworthy than lengthy explanations, detailed analysis and historic perspective. In the grab for airtime, a tedious truth will not compete with a flotilla of falsehood.

But in the end truth will prevail. This crisis, like others before, will pass. People of good will and integrity around the world are already seeing beyond the false headlines. Newspapers are disposable, and for good reason. Truth is not.

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