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    Where to find truth – Nitzavim

    The portion warns us against thinking that we have to ascend to heaven or cross the oceans in order to find the truth (Deut. 30:12-14).

    Where then is the abode of truth? “It is very near to you, in your mouth and heart” (verse 14).

    It reminds us of the Midrash of the person who wandered the world to find treasure, and eventually discovered what he was seeking in his own garden.

    Actually the two things, the Biblical verse and the Midrash, are not telling us the same thing at all.

    I can try to explain why by means of a personal experience which other people probably share. I needed a certain book and I combed all the local and online bookshops until I found that someone in another country had it for sale. I wanted to drink thirstily from the wisdom of a certain great scholar and I had to travel across the world to become his disciple. Had I stayed at home and looked in my garden I would never have achieved either aim.

    Yes, there are times when what you seek is there in your house and you never realised it. That’s not necessarily what the Torah is saying. It’s not saying, don’t go seeking, don’t go looking. It says, wherever you find the truth that’s where you will find your self. The truth you have found will now be part of you.

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