Counting the Omer: Day 17 — Look for Truth and Deeper Truth
By Ginger Jacobs
Truth? Is that my truth or your truth? Is it the truth of the Israelis or the Arabs? Is there an absolute truth? And if so, who is to determine what is and what isn’t the true truth?
Shakespeare said it “To thine own self be true and then thou canst be false to any man.”
How can we be true to ourselves? We must continually challenge ourselves, ask ourselves questions that help us look deeper into ourselves. When we get upset with someone else, is it because of what that person did or because we see the same in our self?
If we start out each day with a recognition of our blessings then we might be on the road to truth, what is true for us. If I see something as a blessing, then it must be true for me. Part of that process, though, is recognizing that not everyone sees the same blessings. What is awe inspiring for me might leave someone else indifferent.
Judaism leaves the “truth” open. We are taught to question (and not just the 4 questions at the Seder) and challenge. We are taught to think for ourselves and come to our own conclusions. Didn’t Hillel and Shammai set the perfect example of no absolute truth, they kept challenging each other as to which one had the true answer.
As a child I was taught to question and I taught the same to my children. Questioning was not just about facts or origins but everything. To question is to learn. Maybe that can lead to personal truths. Over the years, I have learned to trust my answers to the challenging questions.
May this season help us all to search for the truth within us and learn to recognize the truth that others develop for themselves.