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Showing posts from June, 2009

Teach your tongue to say ‘I don’t know.’ (Talmud Bavli, Berachot 4a)

This is one of my favorite teachings in the Talmud.Our human nature never seems to change:we hate to admit that we don’t know, that we’re not sure.Some of us would rather lie to others and even to ourselves than admit that we don’t know something.It’s as if there’s some deep-seated fear within us that being wrong is a terrible thing.
I love not knowing!When people come up to me and ask me a question about Judaism—or anything-- I’m happy to admit when I don’t know the answer.I’m grateful.That person has given me an opportunity to look something up and to learn. I even love it when I say something incorrect or confused, and someone points out to me that I was wrong.That’s the best of all!I am delighted when life shows me that I was wrong.How else can I find the Truth?How else can I be ultimately right? There are those who believe that knowledge is power, and they’re right.But the greatest knowledge, the greatest power of all is resting comfortably in the ultimate Truth that, as Socrates …