Tuesday, July 30, 2013

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Avoiding Lies

via Lma’an Yishme’u

There was once a young man who, since his childhood, had always done as he pleased, and had committed many aveiros (sins). One day, feeling remorseful, he went to Rebbi Shimon ben Shetach and told him he wanted to do teshuva (repent). Rebbi Shimon told him that all he had to do was to watch himself from telling lies and he would be saved from transgression. "No problem," said the young man. Rebbi Shimon had him swear, and the young man went home.

Some time later, the young man was in his neighbor's home and, not managing to control himself, he stole all the gold and silver. As he was leaving, he thought to himself, "What will I tell the neighbor when she asks about her possessions? If I deny taking them, it will be a lie, and what will be of my oath?"

He then returned whatever he had stolen, and understood the wisdom of Rebbi Shimon.

אוצר המדרשים, ס׳ חסידים החדש ע' יג))

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