There is Only One Truth
The truth is always one, right? Only when you get into lying, does everybody say something else. So imagine if there would be one ounce of truth in the world, then there would be peace in the world. And the closeness between a husband and a wife depends on how much truth there is between them. If there is truth, they’re always one. If they lie to each other…. The more they lie, the more they become two.
So since this is a holy wedding, I’d like to bless you holy Chosson and holy Kallah with a little bit of emes, a little bit of truth. You know the sad thing is, the Baal Shem Tov says that nature doesn’t lie. Dogs don’t lie, a bee doesn’t lie, a fly doesn’t lie. It’s only human beings, strangely enough, crazily enough, who do. Gd has given us the privilege to lie. Because there are two kinds of truth. The truth of a tree is very holy, but it doesn’t reach that height, because it has no free choice. But if I have free choice to lie, yet I tell you the truth, that means my truth comes from a higher level. You know, imagine you ask me for a favor and I have no choice but to do you this favor. From how much depth does my favor come? But if I could not do you the favor, and I still do you the favor, it’s real. Much more real. Imagine if Gd would have no choice but to create the world, what kind of a world would it be? But the world was created by complete freedom of choice. He could create the world or He could not create the world. He created the world.
You know the Medrash said, if people were born knowing who they have to marry in this world, it would be truth, right? But that kind of truth would not come from the depths of the soul, because they had no choice. The kind of truth of free choice comes from the deepest place in the world.
The holiness of a wedding is because most of the time I only have my free choice, but here there’s two free choices when two people meet. Let’s say in the morning I have free choice to put on tefillin or not to put on tefillin, right? So that’s one free choice, right? But a wedding is two people coming together with free choice. Mamash, a very deep thing.
I want to learn a little bit from the Holy Baal Shem Tov on truth. I just want to bless you with it. The first thing is, a person has to make up his mind, “I want to tell the truth, and I don’t ever want to lie.” And then Gd will help him, and whatever he does will be true. Because we always think, “I’m just telling a lie, but my life is truth.” It’s not true. If I utter words of lies, then I become a liar. My life becomes a lie, and even the truth I say is also a lie. You know, you don’t have to lie to lie. Sometimes you tell the truth and you’re lying. So therefore the Baal Shem Tov says if, mamash, you’re strong, you don’t ever want to lie, then everything you do becomes real.
This is very deep. Anything you do for the sake of Gd can not be done with your lying. Because, let’s say, for instance, when I’m doing something for the sake of Gd, that means I’m giving Gd a gift. When you give somebody a gift, it has to have a little package, a little wrapping, right? The gift, when you do something for Gd, the wrapping has to be in truth. Has to be in truth.
The Holy Baal Shem Tov says that whenever he has a chance to do a little bit of lying, whenever he wants to lie, he thinks of the letters. The letters of emet should stand in front of you. You know, just thinking of the letters aleph, mem, tav will give you strength. So the Baal Shem Tov says, let the word emes be in front of you all the time. Mamash, walk around saying “emes, emes, emes, emes.” It will get into you. “Emes, emes, emes, emes.” Let there be truth in the world. Let there be truth in our hearts. Let there be truth everywhere. It takes a lifetime to get to the truth. Emes, emes, emes, emes.
Then the Baal Shem Tov says: a lot of people don’t lie in their words, but they’re lying in their thoughts and they’re lying deep down in their souls. So he says you should mamash be ready to die, Gd forbid, when you lie to yourself and your soul.
It’s much easier not to lie to people; not lying to yourself is the hardest thing in the world. It says there is nothing in the world Gd says to keep away from. He just says don’t do it. You know, let’s say, not to eat pig; it’s forbidden to eat it. But Gd doesn’t say keep away from it: He says it’s forbidden to eat it, right? Keep Shabbos. It doesn’t say keep away from not keeping Shabbos…. But for lying, Gd is begging me, please don’t lie. On a simple level it means, you know, if I had a friend who is lying, I’d say he’s lying and I’m not lying. But if you’re close to people who are lying….
Reb Zussa says something very deep. One word of lying makes you a stranger to Gd. It’s hard to talk to a stranger. With every lie you utter, you become a stranger to Gd – the most horrible thing in the world. Can you imagine if the greatest thing in the world becomes a stranger to you?
The Holiest Thing is Truth
Then he says something very beautiful. This, too, I want to wish you. Holy Chosson and Kallah, imagine children when they’re born. Who teaches children to lie? Their parents. The Baal Shem Tov was very strong. He said, “People, don’t teach your children to lie, because if you don’t teach your children how to lie, it would never occur to them to lie.” Children lying? How can anybody lie, you know? You have to teach them how to lie… So, he says, “Mamash, please, I’m begging you. And you not only have to tell your children not to lie, you have to tell them all the time that the holiest thing is the truth. Get it in to them. Then they’ll grow up and they will tell the truth.”
Then he says something else very beautiful. If you’re honest, then you won’t be proud, and you won’t be arrogant. Because the whole thing of arrogance comes from lying to yourself, right? I wish you a lot of emes.
I want to wish you one more thing. There is an open truth and a hidden truth. You know, sometimes, it’s so deep, so true, its completely interior. This is the deepest, holiest truth in the world. The most hidden thing in the world is Gd. Another most hidden thing in the world is to love people. Because it’s so true. Because anything that is so true, is hidden. It’s hidden, it’s very holy.
Now Chosson, a very holy thing. You have to put the veil over the Kallah, because we want that, between you and your Kallah, should only be the truth. But on the level of hidden truth, everything has to be hidden. Everything has to be holy.
You know, friends, a lot of people think they are servants of Gd, but everything is so open and they brag about it. And they make it their business to let you know they’re religious. I’m this, I’m that. And it’s the truth. But it’s a very sad kind of truth. It’s not Gd’s truth. It’s not deep truth. It’s not holy truth. It’s not hidden truth. So we bless you holy Chosson, holy Kallah, that your house should be the holiest.
You know, remember examples from all the stories: the dynasty of Ropshitz was hidden; with Reb Mendele Vorker, everything was hidden, mamash, hidden. A baby is crying when it’s born. Because the baby, before it’s born, was hidden away. And this is the holiest thing, to be hidden. Then, suddenly, it comes into a world where everything is open. So the baby cries. I want to wish you that your house should have the taste of this holy, holy, hiddeness.
When you go to the chuppah, you are not only becoming the best husband in the world, you are also becoming the best father in the world. At that very second.