Elul 4 5775 – August 19, 2015


My gut reaction was sort of passive-aggressive: Respond with a super short, polite and vague email thanking T. for finally getting back to me and not asking her directly why it took her over two months to reply with what seems to be a rejection of my proposal of a publication, since it isn’t really mentioned in the email at all. I started drafting a sort of a polite, efficient, impersonal and insulted up yours note.

But then I thought again. In the spirit of these days of Prepent, with the ‘pretend death project’ looming over me with now 36 days until D-Day and the simulation of the end of it all – what kind of a response would that be. Where is my self respect and truth? what good am I adding to the world?

So I wrote a longer honest answer, allowing for my misunderstanding of the situation but also calling her out, kindly, on what seems by now to be a pattern of dismissal veiled with polite excuses. It felt good to be truth-telling and the rest is her hands. I’ve let go.

How often do we lie or offer half truths each day to friends and family and co-workers and strangers alike?

Big or small, white ones, massages of the truth, more elusive ways of saying something confrontational. Sometimes lies can be a serious matter of life or death or survival and it can be okay, if not 100% kosher, but more often it isn’t at all. For so many different reasons we dance around truth.

We can often get away with it but there is often a price to pay later, if only with the rust that stains our soul.

Many millions woke up this morning to the horrors of consequences of their questionable actions as the massive Ashley Madison list of emails and names is beginning to spill publicly online.

The gist of it in case you missed it is that one of the biggest online sites enabling people to engage in extramarital relations with the slogan “Life is short. Have an affair”has been blackmailed by a righteous acting group that threatened to go public with the names and email of every single subscriber unless the site goes down. Well, Ashley Madison and her sister sites are still up and running and this morning the names are starting to create tweetstorms and a lot of people will likely have to swallow hard and tell their spouse some truths. Betrayal becomes blackmail and causing lots of heartbreaks.

I’m far from justifying either side in this story but it’s just obvious that in our now no longer private world this is a stark reminder about the needs to create ways with which to live our lives with as much honesty and transparency as possible. There’ll always be room in our hearts, smartphones and back alleys for that which needs the dark to germinate and relish and become. Not everything needs to go public at all time and some partial truths are at times appropriate, if only for a while.

But on this day I want to shed some light on truths, that are sometimes real and hard, that help us all become a bit more of solutions to the world’s challenges and a bit less of the problem.

What’s one truth that you can share with somebody today?

Including ‘I love you’. Or perhaps, ‘I’m sorry but I Don’t’?

Day 4 of 40. Deep breath. Our journey to a better self continues.

– Amichai

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PREPENT DAY 3: Tea with Rabbi Kook & Oliver Sacks: Honor thy Mentors Today.
PREPENT DAY 5: When Kindness to Strangers Can Change Their and Your Life.