Let My People Know

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz: “The shortest distance between two points is not always a straight line.”

In this world, pure truth exists only in theory, not in actual practice.

No material in the world can be 100 percent pure.

Man has never succeeded – and apparently never will succeed – in finding or creating such a material, for this world, by its very nature, is not suited for absolute purity.

In our spiritual work, the question we face is often not that of truth versus falsehood, but how much truth can we manage to introduce into things that we concede can never be completely true and pure.

It is our struggle for the truth, not our achievement of absolute truth, that defines us.

In the reality of this world, the shortest distance between two points is not always a straight line.

To leave a room via the shortest route, in most cases one would have to break through the nearest wall.

In reality, however, it is more advisable to go through the door.

The route that is theoretically the straightest and the simplest is usually practically unfeasible.

It is for this reason that we are called the People of Israel; we are children of Jacob in that he represents our spiritual path, reminding us of the problem of “Give truth to Jacob” that is built into our world.

This is our struggle with life, just as Jacob must struggle with his path, which is fraught with danger on both sides – from both the bandit and the wise man.

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz