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It's not enough to know the truth

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

According to a famous saying, the longest distance in the universe is not between planet earth and some remote galaxy but between the head and the heart. There are many things we know intellectually but have difficulty internalizing and bringing into the heart.

The dire warnings on cigarette packages are clear for all to see, but does that mean such messages necessarily influence people to stop smoking? Videos we see on TV urging caution on the roadways are of critical importance, but does that mean all of us stop looking at our cell phones while driving?

Knowledge is not enough. We need to change when we understand the truth and live in its light. This is relevant when it comes to staying on a diet or to getting up at the same time each morning; it is relevant to upholding eternal truths as well.

In this week's Torah portion Moshe Rabbeinu stands opposite the nation and declares: "And you shall know this day and take it into your hearts, that the Lord He is God in heaven above, and upon the earth below; there is none else."

Our commentators ask us to pay special attention to the word order in this declaration: "And you shall know this day," followed by "and take it into your heart." The first stage is to know, but the second stage is to immediately take this knowledge into the heart. To remove the barrier between knowledge and action, to succeed in living according to what we know and want. Everyone is invited to think of examples of how they would benefit from closing the gap between head and heart.


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