A rabbi’s viewpoint | VailDaily.com

A rabbi’s viewpoint

Rabbi Debra Rappaport
Vail, CO, Colorado

Truth, EMET in Hebrew, is God’s own seal, according to the rabbis. It comprises the first, middle, and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

Arthur Green sums up its essence: “Truth has to be broad and open enough to encompass all letters, all words, all of existence.

By contrast, SH’KR, or ‘lie’ consists of three letters huddled together near the end of the alphabet. They make their own closed little circle, and do not allow the light of truth to shine in.”

If you have not been in Eagle County recently, you probably missed the Nazi-style imagery that a robbery victim used to describe the perpetrator — and that the Sheriff’s Office reported verbatim, and both our local newspapers reprinted verbatim, without quotation marks.

(If you want the full story, please look at vaildaily.com and search on “Jewish” and see the articles dated June 24-30.)

The small-minded uttering and insensitive repeating of the phrases reflects the essence of the SH’KR, the lie.

On the other hand, the responses that poured in from around the community were phenomenal, opening Vail Daily readers to the essence of EMET, the light of truth.

I was moved and impressed at the thoughtful, articulate letters to the editor from community members, including Adam Sutner, Jane Imber, Jay Jaffe, Michael Schneider, Eileen Kleiman, Joseph Breman and Bruce DeBoskey of the ADL.

Taken together, these letters called out all facets of the “lie.”

Kol ha-kavod, all honor, to you.

I am relieved at the zero-tolerance immediately and articulately expressed, and at the deeper truth for all community members that has come out of this episode.

May we all have the courage to speak EMET in the face of narrow-minded ignorance and insensitivity.

Rabbi Debra Rappaport

B’nai Vail Congregation

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