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Passion for the Truth

by Yehudis Golshevsky

The lack of truth and honesty in the world distressed Reb Noson no end. One morning he was so upset, he was unable to pray with his usual joy. He prayed apathetically until he reached the verse “Who protects truth for eternity.” These words ignited the rest of his prayers with enthusiasm and joy.

He explained the deep encouragement he found in this verse through a parable:

A nobleman had a resplendent garden with every species of plant – except for one rare, precious species. He searched all over and finally found one seed of this species, which he planted in his garden.

The species was rare because it was difficult to grow. Before it grew, it was in great danger. Watering it too much or too little would kill it, and it was a favorite food of birds and insects. The nobleman hired guards to watch the seed vigilantly, for even one moment of inattentiveness could cause irreparable damage.

“The same is true regarding truth and honesty,” said Reb Noson. “Unadulterated truth and genuine honesty are precious and rare. They get so little respect in this world. God perpetually guards truth and honesty with great care. The time will come when people will see their greatness, as the verse states, ‘Truth will sprout from the earth’ (Psalms 85:12).”

It was the custom in Breslov synagogues for someone to share words of Torah between the afternoon and evening prayers. Some stayed to listen, while others learned alone or left.

One of these speakers had many listeners who enjoyed his enlightening ideas. Once the speaker got into a passionate argument with one of his regular listeners regarding a certain matter. They couldn’t come to an agreement and each was very upset with the other. Everyone was certain that this man would stop attending the daily lecture. But they were mistaken. When asked why he continued attending, he explained, “I always gain so much from the Torah he shares every day. Why should our dispute make me abandon the good?”

People were astounded at this man’s commitment to truth and spoke highly of his honesty.

Eventually the two forgave each other and became the best of friends.

Based on Maasiyos u’Meshalim, p. 40; Siach Sarfey Kodesh VI:176

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