Shabbos Parashas Vayakhel

Sefer HaMiddos, Shaar HaDaas (Gate of the Intellect), Chapter 13, beginning
We now explain the blessing that follows the morning Shema:
True and certain, established and enduring, right and steadfast, beloved and cherished, delightful and pleasant, awesome and mighty, correct and accepted, good and beautiful is this word unto us forever and ever.
The term true denotes a fact whose truth is self-evident, without need of proof. An example is given by the Gemara in Sotah 9b:
It is written (Shoftim 16:18): “And Delilah saw that he [Shimshon] had told her all that was in his heart.” How did she know? Said R. Chanin in the name of Rav: “From here we see that words of truth are recognizable [meaning, according to Rashi, that they sit well with the listener].”
Now, Shimshon was an established liar in his dealings with Delilah, having lied to her three times. Thus, in view of the one making the statement, it was more likely to be false than true. Nonetheless, the statement itself was recognizable as true.
We see from this, and we must know and firmly believe, that a person has a natural sense, which Hashem implanted in him, whereby he can recognize the truth without any proof. We can draw an analogy with seeing. One way to determine the nature of an object is through an identifying mark. Another way is through the object having previously made an impression on the eye, even it has no identifying mark. Thus, in a discussion of returning lost objects in Bava Metzia 24a, our Sages taught, in their pure wisdom, that recognition by sight based on a prior impression on the eye is better than an identifying mark. The same holds with the sense of hearing: In some cases, a person believes what he hears because of compelling evidence or a compelling logical proof, while in other cases he believes something without any proof, just because his heart tells him it is true.
Now, the law stated in Bava Metzia that a lost object can be returned solely on the basis of a prior impression on the eye applies only to a Torah scholar, who is able to see things clearly. Similarly, the fact that a person believes something does not mean it is true unless the person has clear mental perception. A person’s belief cannot be trusted if the person is a fool who believes anything, today believing one thing and tomorrow its opposite. It is different with a person who has a skeptical nature, and does not tend to believe what he hears. With such a person, if he believes some proposition, this is reliable testimony that the proposition is self-evidently true.
Yirmiyah 10:10 states: “Hashem, God, is true.” In connection with this statement, the Rambam in Hilchos Yesodei HaTorah 1:4 states that Hashem alone is absolutely true – nothing else is true in the way He is true. In order to us to be able to conceive of any entity that may or may not exist, we must first have firm knowledge of the One who necessarily must exist. There must not remain in our minds any doubt of Hashem’s existence and His unity – that there is no power aside from Him.
This is the meaning of the word true at the beginning of the blessing that follows the morning Shema. It is self-evident that no entity can exist in this world without having had a Creator, and no wisdom can exist without having been transmitted, out of graciousness, by a Primal Intellect.
David Zucker, Site Administrator

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.