The Art of Jewish Deception

Questions to Ponder:

1) Your dream job out of college is hiring, but they want someone with 10 years experience. Do you skip the application altogether or go in there and carry yourself like a seasoned executive?

2) Your sister has a friend you would really like to date. You ask your sister to make the introduction, but she tells you, no way, my friend Rachel is looking for someone much more religious than you. You've always had an interest in Judaism, but never really taken action, what a perfect time to put things into practice! Can you boost your religious observance and score a date with Rachel?

3) New Years is coming up and your have big plans for 2019. You really want to improve your life and some re-branding is in order. You change your first name, make whole new social media accounts, and start walking the walk of the person you're looking to be. Bold innovation or character assassination?

(ז) מִדְּבַר־שֶׁ֖קֶר תִּרְחָ֑ק...

(7) Keep far from falsehood...

(יח) וַיָּבֹ֥א אֶל־אָבִ֖יו וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אָבִ֑י וַיֹּ֣אמֶר הִנֶּ֔נִּי מִ֥י אַתָּ֖ה בְּנִֽי׃ (יט) וַיֹּ֨אמֶר יַעֲקֹ֜ב אֶל־אָבִ֗יו אָנֹכִי֙ עֵשָׂ֣ו בְּכֹרֶ֔ךָ עָשִׂ֕יתִי כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר דִּבַּ֖רְתָּ אֵלָ֑י קֽוּם־נָ֣א שְׁבָ֗ה וְאָכְלָה֙ מִצֵּידִ֔י בַּעֲב֖וּר תְּבָרֲכַ֥נִּי נַפְשֶֽׁךָ׃
(18) He went to his father and said, “Father.” And he said, “Yes, which of my sons are you?” (19) Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau, your first-born; I have done as you told me. Pray sit up and eat of my game, that you may give me your innermost blessing.”
(ז) וַיַּ֥רְא יוֹסֵ֛ף אֶת־אֶחָ֖יו וַיַּכִּרֵ֑ם וַיִּתְנַכֵּ֨ר אֲלֵיהֶ֜ם וַיְדַבֵּ֧ר אִתָּ֣ם קָשׁ֗וֹת וַיֹּ֤אמֶר אֲלֵהֶם֙ מֵאַ֣יִן בָּאתֶ֔ם וַיֹּ֣אמְר֔וּ מֵאֶ֥רֶץ כְּנַ֖עַן לִשְׁבָּר־אֹֽכֶל׃ (ח) וַיַּכֵּ֥ר יוֹסֵ֖ף אֶת־אֶחָ֑יו וְהֵ֖ם לֹ֥א הִכִּרֻֽהוּ׃
(7) When Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them; but he acted like a stranger toward them and spoke harshly to them. He asked them, “Where do you come from?” And they said, “From the land of Canaan, to procure food.” (8) For though Joseph recognized his brothers, they did not recognize him.
(יג) וַיֻּגַּ֥ד לְתָמָ֖ר לֵאמֹ֑ר הִנֵּ֥ה חָמִ֛יךְ עֹלֶ֥ה תִמְנָ֖תָה לָגֹ֥ז צֹאנֽוֹ׃ (יד) וַתָּסַר֩ בִּגְדֵ֨י אַלְמְנוּתָ֜הּ מֵֽעָלֶ֗יהָ וַתְּכַ֤ס בַּצָּעִיף֙ וַתִּתְעַלָּ֔ף וַתֵּ֙שֶׁב֙ בְּפֶ֣תַח עֵינַ֔יִם אֲשֶׁ֖ר עַל־דֶּ֣רֶךְ תִּמְנָ֑תָה כִּ֤י רָאֲתָה֙ כִּֽי־גָדַ֣ל שֵׁלָ֔ה וְהִ֕וא לֹֽא־נִתְּנָ֥ה ל֖וֹ לְאִשָּֽׁה׃ (טו) וַיִּרְאֶ֣הָ יְהוּדָ֔ה וַֽיַּחְשְׁבֶ֖הָ לְזוֹנָ֑ה כִּ֥י כִסְּתָ֖ה פָּנֶֽיהָ׃ (טז) וַיֵּ֨ט אֵלֶ֜יהָ אֶל־הַדֶּ֗רֶךְ וַיֹּ֙אמֶר֙ הָֽבָה־נָּא֙ אָב֣וֹא אֵלַ֔יִךְ כִּ֚י לֹ֣א יָדַ֔ע כִּ֥י כַלָּת֖וֹ הִ֑וא וַתֹּ֙אמֶר֙ מַה־תִּתֶּן־לִּ֔י כִּ֥י תָב֖וֹא אֵלָֽי׃

(14) So Tamar took off her widow’s garb, covered her face with a veil, and, wrapping herself up, sat down at the entrance to Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah; for she saw that Shelah was grown up, yet she had not been given to him as wife. (15) When Judah saw her, he took her for a harlot; for she had covered her face. (16) So he turned aside to her by the road and said, “Here, let me sleep with you”—for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law. “What,” she asked, “will you pay for sleeping with me?”

חד בי שמשי חזייה לברתיה דהוות עציבא אמר לה בתי למאי עציבת אמרה ליה כלי של חומץ נתחלף לי בכלי של שמן והדלקתי ממנו אור לשבת אמר לה בתי מאי איכפת לך מי שאמר לשמן וידלוק הוא יאמר לחומץ וידלוק תנא היה דולק והולך כל היום כולו עד שהביאו ממנו אור להבדלה
The Gemara relates that one Shabbat evening, Rabbi Ḥanina ben Dosa saw that his daughter was sad. He said to her: My daughter, why are you sad? She said to him: I confused a vessel of vinegar for a vessel of oil and I lit the Shabbat lamp with vinegar. Soon the lamp will be extinguished and we will be left in the dark. He said to her: My daughter, what are you concerned about? He Who said to the oil that it should burn can say to the vinegar that it should burn. A tanna taught: That lamp burned continuously the entire day, until they brought from it light for havdala.
ואמאי קרי ליה בעל כנפים שפעם אחת גזרה מלכות רומי הרשעה גזירה על ישראל שכל המניח תפילין ינקרו את מוחו והיה אלישע מניחם ויוצא לשוק ראהו קסדור אחד רץ מפניו ורץ אחריו וכיון שהגיע אצלו נטלן מראשו ואחזן בידו אמר לו מה זה בידך אמר לו כנפי יונה פשט את ידו ונמצאו כנפי יונה לפיכך קורין אותו אלישע בעל כנפים

The Gemara asks: And why did they call Elisha Man of Wings? Because on one occasion the evil kingdom of Rome issued a decree against Israel of anyone who dons Tefillin. Nevertheless, Elisha would don them and defiantly go out to the marketplace. One day, an official saw him; Elisha ran away from him, and the official ran after him. When the official reached him, Elisha removed the tefillin from his head and held them in his hand. The officer asked him: What is that in your hand? Elisha said to him: It is merely a dove’s wings. He opened his hand, and, indeed, it was found to be a dove’s wings. Therefore, they would call him Elisha, Man of Wings.

(א) אִם בְּחֻקֹּתַי תֵּלֵכוּ (ויקרא כו, ג), הֲדָא הוּא דִכְתִיב (תהלים קיט, נט): חִשַּׁבְתִּי דְרָכָי וָאָשִׁיבָה רַגְלַי אֶל עֵדֹתֶיךָ, אָמַר דָּוִד רִבּוֹנוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם בְּכָל יוֹם וָיוֹם הָיִיתִי מְחַשֵׁב וְאוֹמֵר לְמָקוֹם פְּלוֹנִי וּלְבֵית דִּירָה פְּלוֹנִית אֲנִי הוֹלֵךְ, וְהָיוּ רַגְלַי מְבִיאוֹת אוֹתִי לְבָתֵּי כְנֵסִיּוֹת וּלְבָתֵּי מִדְרָשׁוֹת

(1) If you will walk in my statutes: This is what is written (Psalms 119:59), "I considered my ways and I turned my feet to your testimonies." David said, "Master of the universe! On each and every day I would consider and say, 'To place x and to the home of y am I walking,' but my feet would bring me to the synagogues and to the Houses of Study. - this is what is written, "I considered my ways and I turned my feet to your testimonies."

(ב) בכל לבבך. בִּשְׁנֵי יְצָרֶיךָ (ספרי; ברכות נ"ד); דָּבָר אַחֵר בכל לבבך שֶׁלֹּא יִהְיֶה לִבְּךָ חָלוּק עַל הַמָּקוֹם (ספרי):

(2) בכל לבבך LOVE GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART — The form of the noun with two ב instead of the usual form לבך suggests: Love Him with the good inclination and the bad inclination.

רבא רמי כתיב כי גדל עד שמים חסדך וכתיב כי גדל מעל שמים חסדך הא כיצד כאן בעושין לשמה וכאן בעושין שלא לשמה וכדרב יהודה דאמר רב יהודה אמר רב לעולם יעסוק אדם בתורה ומצות אף על פי שלא לשמה שמתוך שלא לשמה בא לשמה:

A mitzvah performed with ulterior motives garners reward, as Rav Yehuda said that Rav said: A person should always engage in Torah study and performance of mitzvot, even if he does so not for their own sake, as through the performance of mitzvot not for their own sake, one gains understanding and comes to perform them for their own sake.