Monday, February 27, 2012

RELIGIOUS INTEGRITY: Lying to preserve peace

Our Tora is very strict with the prohibition of lying. In Shemot 23:7 the Pasuq says:midebar sheqer tirchaq "Keep yourself away from lying". 

There are exceptional cases, however, in which lying might be justified. The rabbis mentioned the case in which one would lie to promote or keep peace in the family. Provided this lie will only prevent harm, and it won't cause harm to anyone else. 

The Rabbis learned this important principle from the brothers of Yosef. As we know, when Yosef was young he was betrayed by his brothers who kidnapped him and sold him into slavery. After many years, Yosef became the ruler of Egypt and his brothers needed him. Yosef behaved toward them without resentment, but they thought that Yosef still held a grudge  against them, and he behaved positively just to protect his father from more anguish. When Ya'aqob abinu died, the brothers thought that now Yosef will exert his revenge and punish them So they lied to Yosef. Bereshit 50:15-18   When Yosef's brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, "What if Yosef bears a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrong which we did to him?. They then sent a message to Yosef, saying, "Your father ordered before he died saying: Thus you shall say to Yosef, "Please forgive, I beg you, the transgression of your brothers and their sin, for they did you wrong. Please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father."

Exceptionally, the rabbis justified the actions of Yosef's brothers because the brothers understood that otherwise the harmony of the family would have been permanently compromised. The Rabbis also observed that this kind of white lies are limited to cases of family peace, and they are permitted only when no harm is caused to another human being, like the case of Yosef and his brothers. 
(To be continued....)
Click here to watch this recent and very important interview with Norman Finkelstein, a famous enemy of the State of Israel. Please, read between the lines to see the clear agenda of those who claim to protect the Palestinian people's interests.