Dvar for Ekev (Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25)
This week’s Parsha starts off with the word “Re’eh”, which means “See”. What are we seeing, and why do we need to see it? Rabbi Yehoshua Wender explains that in our lives we are all on a quest for truth. We are looking to find the real meaning behind everything in this world. However, we need to see everything in its proper light. In every thing in this world there is truth, and there could be falseness, and it is our job to not be tricked by the lies. So how do we know what’s true and what’s not?
G-d has given us a Torah that contains the ultimate truth, and that same protection from falseness. Living in this world is like being in a room of fun house mirrors. You walk in, and there are all these curvy mirrors that distort your image. Some make you look fat, others make you tall, and yet others make you skinny. The only way to get a true image of yourself is to look in a flat, uncurved mirror. The Torah is such a mirror: You can look in the Torah and find the truth, untainted, uncurved, undistorted. But it’s also possible to get a true image from looking at a curvy mirror, if you stand in just the right spot, at just the right angle, you can see your self the way you really are. The catch is that you won’t know that that’s your real true image unless you’ve looked at yourself in a straight mirror and have that image to compare with. The world is the same way: It is possible to see the world truthfully using other sources, but unless we have studied the Torah and know what truth looks like, we’ll never know if we’ve really found it.