Buying Truth, Speaking Truth, Acknowledging Truth

Selections from traditional sources

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2. (K) Lord, you have been favorable to your land; you have brought back the captivity of Jacob.

3. You have forgiven the iniquity of your people, you have pardoned all their sin. Selah

4. You have withdrawn all your wrath; you have turned from the fierceness of your anger.

5. Restore us, O God of our salvation, and cease your anger toward us.

6. Will you be angry with us for ever? Will you draw out your anger to all generations?

7. Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?

8. Show us your loving kindness, O Lord, and grant us your salvation.

9. I will hear what God the Lord will speak; for he will speak peace to his people, and to his pious ones; but let them not turn back to folly.

10. Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him; that glory may dwell in our land.

11. Loving kindness and truth meet; righteousness and peace kiss (confront) each other.

12. Truth shall spring from the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
 

13. Also, the Lord shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her produce.
 

14. Righteousness shall go before him; and walk in the way of his steps.

Your Midrash Navigator

In the creation story it says when ELoHYM introduces the idea to create man, the Torah states, "And ELoHYM said, Let Us make ADaM in Our own image and Our own likeness." (Genesis 1:26) Note that the Name of God ELoHYM is plural and that ELoHYM refers to Himself as ;"Us;" and ;"Our;" The following Midrash identifies who God was talking to when God decided to create the first human.

Midrash Rabbah--Genesis 8:5

"Rabbi Simon said, "At the moment the Holy One chose to create the first ADaM the ministering angels broke up into factions. Some of them said, ;"Create him;" while others said, "Don't do it." Thus it is written: "Lovingkindness and truth will meet, righteousness and peace will kiss" (Psalms 85:11)"

Lovingkindness said: Create him, for he will do acts of lovingkindness.

Truth said: Don't create him, for he is drenched in lies.

Righteousness said: Create him, for he will do much Tzedaka.

Peace said: Don't do it, for he is essentially quarrelsome.

What did the Holy One do? He took Truth and cast it toward the earth. Thus it is written, ;"And truth will be cast to the earth;" (Daniel 8:12).

The ministering angels said: Sovereign of the Universe, why do You shame the leader of Your court? Let truth rise from the earth. Thus it is written, "Truth will arise from the earth." (Psalms 85:12)

Your Midrash Navigator

Notice that the narrative is actually structured by a creative reading of the two verses of Psalms 85:11-12. So these verses in Psalms are being used as a commentary on the verse in Genesis "Let Us make ADaM in Our own image and in Our own likeness."

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Rabbi Avi Weinstein

Rabbi Avi Weinstein is the Head of Jewish Studies at the Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy in Kansas City.