Photo Credit: Jodie Maoz

The New Year is now upon us and with that comes a feeling of renewal. Hopefully we’re all feeling a spiritual rejuvenation and are eager to be better this year in our service of Hashem.

To maximize the possibility of true and lasting change, it is necessary to be completely honest with ourselves about our true spiritual level.

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Rebbe Nachman tells us just how destructive and damaging lying can be: “When a person repeats a lie twice, it becomes the truth for him. Having repeated it twice, he believes it is the truth. Not only does he deceive himself; he even has the power to deceive others and to cause such concealment that it seems as if even G-d agrees with him.” (Chayey Moharan #550)

Did you catch that last part? “…it seems as if even G-d agrees with him.” This means we are capable of deluding ourselves into thinking Hashem agrees with us even when our behavior is in clear violation of the Torah!

The only solution is to recommit ourselves to being completely honest. With Hashem’s help we can make a fresh new start this year based on truth.

If we have an addiction to our smart phones, let’s be honest about it. If we habitually mistreat our loved ones, let’s get honest about it. Whatever the issue may be, getting honest with ourselves about the problem is always the first step.

When we call out to Hashem about our shortcomings in a brutally honest fashion, He is always there to provide the needed assistance. But if we lie to ourselves with rationalizations and excuses? We’ll convince ourselves that even Hashem agrees us. What a pity!

May Hashem help us to use this time of spiritual rejuvenation to get honest with ourselves and begin the process of truly changing for the better. Amen.

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Rabbi Nosson Rossman is a rabbinic field representative for the Orthodox Union. He can be reached at nathanlrossman@gmail.com.