A businessman once came to a famous Rabbi and told him he has an opportunity to enter into a certain business where he can make a great deal of money. In order to succeed, however, he will have to pull a few unethical tricks.
The Rabbi referred to this week’s Sidra to the verse which tells us about the Ten Commandments. The Torah says: לֻחֹת כְּתֻבִים מִשְּׁנֵי עֶבְרֵיהֶם מִזֶּה וּמִזֶּה, “…Tablets inscribed on both their sides, they were inscribed on one side and the other.” (Ex. 32,15) Why, asked the Rabbi, were we told this? He answered, to tell us that whichever way we read the Torah, it tells us the same laws – you must not steal.
There are people who try to distort the meanings of the laws of the Torah by twisting them one way or another to suit their own fancies. The Torah’s laws are given for us to live a moral and ethical life. Trying to twist the meaning so that we can avoid living the honest Torah’s intent, distorts its function and its purpose.