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    Inventing a lie – Sh’lach L’cha

    The spies who went to check out the land of Israel did not see its good points. They “spread an evil report of the land” (Num. 13:32), though this is not an entirely correct translation.

    Nachmanides looks at the Hebrew words vayotzi’u dibbat ha’aretz, and points out that they literally mean, “they invented a lie”.

    Something like that is going on all the time these days. The resurgence of antisemitism is based on a tissue of lies. Where is the recognition that the Jewish people have a long and distinguished history and the world would be much poorer without their contribution to civilisation?

    Where is the acknowledgement that the Jews have as much right as anyone else to have their own identity, their own narrative, their own dream, their own homeland?

    Isn’t it interesting that judges used to say all the time that Jews were almost free from delinquency because of their values and ethics, and now even the judges act in delinquent fashion by denying the existence of Jewish ethics and values?

    What an indictment of an age that it listens uncritically when people invent lies and spread evil reports. What a further indictment it is when supposedly level-headed academics go in for slogans and stereotypes. Who was it who said that some people are so open-minded that their brains fall out?

    Maybe that’s what Nachmanides has in mind when he comments, Motzi dibbah hu k’sil – “One who invents a lie is a fool”. No-one in their right mind would do such a thing.

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