Project of IISHJ


Celebration (1988) 

Honesty begins with behavior. What we really think and feel is reflected in what we do. Too often we imagine that we know what we want and believe. We check our conscious mind and encounter numberless ideas and convictions which claim to be the essence of our being. But they are frauds. Our tongue speaks love, but our hands speak hate. Our mouth exudes serenity, but our eyes exude fear. Our lips utter friendship, but our whole body screams anger. We feel sincere and imagine that we are sincere. We feel honest and imagine that we are honest. 

If we listen to our hearts alone, we shall never discover the truth. It is only when we coldly watch our own behavior that we confront our reality. Our deepest convictions about ourselves and others can never really be hidden. They boldly proclaim themselves through our actions. While our mouths spin tales of fantasy, our bodies speak with honesty. When we plead that we cannot act on our own beliefs, we are self-deceived. We always act on what we believe. When we run away from what we say we love, then our love is an illusion. And when we embrace what we say we hate, then our hatred is unreal. We are what we do. 

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Note on sources: The Jewish Humanist  was the monthly newsletter of The Birmingham Temple. The periodical Humanistic Judaism was the quarterly journal of the Society for Humanistic Judaism. The Center for New Thinking was Wine’s adult learning program beyond Humanistic Judaism. Selections from Wine’s books are appropriately cited.
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