• Home
  • Parashah Insights
  • Ask the Rabbi
  • Festivals & Fasts
  • Articles
  • Books
  • About
  •  

    I’ll tell you a secret – Nitzavim

    There is no point in asking most people to keep something confidential.

    Almost always the secret gets out. Hardly anybody can keep a tight rein on their mind and tongue.

    True, a few can be trusted, but experience underlines the Biblical verse, “He that goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets, but he that has a faithful spirit conceals a matter” (Prov. 11:13).

    This verse in fact plays a role in the development of the Jewish concept of privacy; in Judaism a privacy law has existed from Biblical times whereas in Western law it is not much older than about a century.

    Secrets figure in the week’s Torah portion in the verse, Hanistarot laShem Elokenu v’haniglot lanu ul’vanenu – “The secret things belong to the Lord our God; the revealed things are ours and our children’s” (Deut. 29:28).

    Maybe it is human nature to seek to know the inner secrets of the Creation but the sages discouraged this search, adamant that man has enough to do with the “revealed things” which are given into his charge.

    Apart from anything else, things that belong to God require a Divine mind, in comparison with which the human mind, however great, is too limited and ephemeral to understand the full sweep of the universe.

    This does not prevent man from investigating the scientific structure of the world and the human body, but these are “revealed things”.

    To seek to find out the really deep things, especially the nature of the Creator Himself, does not and cannot succeed.

    Comments are closed.