Embracing Lies
With A Deceitful Heart (1) ©

By Dr. Akiva G. Belk

This essay study is dedicated in the loving memory of Mr. Paul Sakash, may he rest in peace.

There is a story of two young men growing up in America. One was loving, caring and conscientious of his fellow man. The other was selfish, lying and deceitful to his fellow man. Both were raise by strict fundamental Jewish parents. The father worked and the mothers were homemakers. They attended the same private school and the same Orthodox shul. They lived on the same floor of a ten story apartment across the hall from each other. The boys were taught the same values by the same teachers. Both parents stressed strict adherence to Torah mitzvahs and values. Yet the boys were very different.

One day the boys came home on different busses. The boy who was serious about his Yiddishkeit was the first to arrive home. As he was getting off the bus there was a gang of ruffians waiting for him. They pushed him! He lost his balance and began to fall. As he hit the ground the seforim fell from his arms scattering on the sidewalk. Then the gang of ruffians began to circle him kicking and spitting as the went. The doorman saw what was happening from the lobby after returning from assisting a lady with her packages. He called the police from the lobby then ran out towards the gang shouting, "The COP'S are coming! The COP'S are coming! Leave him alone!" The gang dispersed as the doorman arrived to the aid of the injured boy lying on the sidewalk. Soon the police arrived and and called for medical assistance. The boy was taken to the hospital and released several days later with many injuries. Thank G-d he soon recovered.

Later that day on a different bus a similar incident occurred but the circumstances were completely different. The second boy was also severely beaten and rushed to the hospital.

The first boy was beaten by the gang of ruffians because they hated what Jews stood for. Jews stood for everything they hated. They hated Jews because Jews wouldn't cheat you out of a nickel, because Jews wouldn't steal one grape from the fresh produces section of the super market and the word of a Jew was filled with honesty and integrity! They hated Jews because they dressed modestly! Jewish women didn't wear mini skirts and let it all hang out. Instead they women wore long dresses with sleeves and covered their hair. Jewish men were not concerned with style. The only style they knew was black. Black hats, black kippas, black coats, black jackets, black pants black slacks black black black. All the men and boys dressed in black. Their hair was short with long long curly peyos. The gang of ruffians hated the Jews because they were very religious. They didn't attend church (actually shul) just twice a year, that is on Christmas and Easter. They attend shul three times a day everyday of the week. Then when they attended it wasn't for forty-five minutes or an hour it was usually for hours at a time. Then they kept to them selves shopping only in kosher stores and restaurants and by sending their children just to private Jewish schools.

It was for all these good morales and values that this first Jewish boy was beaten. He was beaten because he was respectful to his parents because he didn't read filth, because he didn't attend local rock concerts and for many many other acts of righteousness.

The second boy was beaten because he got caught cheating in a game of cards in the back room of an adult bookstore. Then he lied! Then he tried to escape with the money he had swindled but he got caught. In desperation he pulled a knife on his captures and they beat the hell out of him. Later they dumped him in the alley garbage where he was found by a prostitute who called medics. Obviously the second boy didn't act Jewish.... didn't dress Jewish.... didn't live by the Torah.

One boy was beaten because he was righteous and one boy was beaten because he was the exact opposite of righteous. One boy exemplified the Torah and suffered. One boy violated and ignored the Torah and duly suffered.

If the story ended here we could say the righteous boy suffered for bringing honor to the Torah and the other boy suffered by dishonoring himself, his family, all Judaism and especially the Torah. But the story now takes a curve in the road. Years later after both boys attended Yeshiva they enter business together. The first young man was now even more loving, caring and conscientious of his fellow man and the second young man even more selfish, lying and deceitful to his fellow man. One might think how can such a relationship exist? The answer is very simple the yetzer tov and the yetzer raw in each of us is such a relationship.

To the outside observer the proper conclusion to this story must be that the young man with the evil intent is strongly influenced by the young man with the righteous intent and that their business is conducted in righteousness with integrity.

...then on the other hand


Wishing you the best,

Dr. Akiva G. Belk

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