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October 27, 2016 / 25 Tishri, 5777
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People Believe What They Want To Believe

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Now armed with this force, man can create fanciful worlds at his will and actually believe them. If man wishes to turn to evil, he can create rationales to make these ways sound noble and proper – at least enough to fool himself. If he wishes, he can do what is right or, if he wishes, he can turn to wickedness and even his brilliant intellect won’t prevent him. With imagination, he is capable of creating entire philosophies to explain how the behavior he desires is righteous, correct, and appropriate.

The result is that people don’t believe that which is factual, proven and true; they believe what they want to believe. And one of the greatest manifestations of this is the Egyptiansfollowing the Jews to their death. Despite living through the makkos, despite seeing the sea split into twelve sections, they didn’t believe it was a miracle. They attributed it to the wind because that is what they wanted to believe.

We see a parallel to this in our day, when educated people claim the world just evolved. No Creator. No Plan. No purpose. All of the complexity of this vast world just happened. You might wonder how anyone could be so blind.

The answer is quite simple: I don’t want to accept a Creator. If a Creator exists, then someone is in charge. If He exists, then there are rules – things I have to do, things I can’t do. That makes me uncomfortable. I am much more at ease denying the whole thing.

For a person to see the truth, he must put away his bias and ask himself what he honestly thinks. Forget the consequences. Forget a personal agenda. What does logic dictate? In that framework, a person will see the Creator as clear as day. However, if he doesn’t want to see the truth, nothing in the world will convince him – not the greatest miracles, not even the splitting of the sea itself. He is capable of believing exactly what he wants to believe.

Rabbi Ben Tzion Shafier

About the Author: Rabbi Shafier is the founder of TheShmuz.com. The Shmuz is an engaging, motivating shiur that deals with real life issues. All of the Shmuzin are available free of charge at www.TheShmuz.com or on the Shmuz App for iphone or Android.

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