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I Cannot Tell A Lie

We all know the story. Father comes home from work one day, tired, irritable. He sees his favorite tree in the front lawn laying on its side. He storms into the house and demands, “Who chopped down the cherry tree?”

His son, contrite but confident replies, “I cannot tell a lie. I chopped down the cherry tree.”

Did it happen? Possibly. Who knew about it? Well, certainly the father did, so did the son and probably a few of the friends who asked little George why he wasn’t able to sit down for a few days. We’ve all heard the story but is it history or legend?

In the end, little, honest George Washington eventually grows up to be the First President of General Motors.

Hold on a minute, you say. Not General Motors (they weren’t part of the government until recently). He was the First President of the United States!

Well, how do you know that? The story wasn’t exactly covered by CNN. Or Fox News. How do you know THAT’S true?

In a word - witnesses. Millions of people in the orginal colonies voted, elected and recorded that GW served as our first President. And that’s how you get “History”. It’s all in the numbers.

The Jewish Holiday of Shavuot (May 19th and 20th this year) commemorates the giving of the Bible to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai over three thousand years ago. (Shavuot means “weeks” and it always occurs exactly seven “weeks” after Passover).

How do we know it actually happened? Witnesses.

The Bible tells us that there were over 600,000 men between the ages of 20 and 60 who heard Gd speaking to them from out of the flames. Most of them had wives and we can assume at least 1.7 children each (that’s the American average, Jewish families are usually MUCH bigger). Our Sages calculate that between two and three million people witnessed the revelation of Gd in the most miraculous event ever to take place in the history of the world.

This is history that has been passed down from those who witnessed it directly to your great-great-great-grandfathers, to your grandfathers, to your fathers and then, yes, to you. Tell the truth, isn’t this something you would want to tell over to YOUR grandchildren?

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by   Max Anteby

Comments icon May 17, 2010


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