DAY #9: Thou shalt not bear false witness--Are you as honest as you think?
Perhaps you would not lie under oath, but any form of lying against another person’s good name, even to aggrandize yourself or your business is a sin. You never know where those words will land in a critical situation and they may even lead someone to commit suicide or may have legal implications or gross financial repercussions. The Sforno says that bearing false witness includes spreading slander about people surreptitiously, “defaming someone and ruining his reputation.” Be wise. Don't talk and don't listen. "The Talmud teaches that if King David wouldn't have listened to slander he could have avoided the break-up of his kingdom." (Rabbi Elie Munk)
God created the world through the power of speech: “And God said, ‘Let there be light.’ And there was light,” etc. That creative power of words and the tongue also have the potential to destroy. Lying and bearing false witness undermines the very fabric of society and is antithesis to the very acts of creation. For God created order from chaos and when we lie and subvert the justice system we revert back toward chaos. Humans, unlike animals, were given the gift of speech and thus must sanctify it in all its uses. (Rabbi Elie Munk)
Thus Ninth Commandment correlates to the Fourth Commandment, "Remember the Shabbat day to sanctify it." For one who observes the Sabbath acts as a true and compliant witness affirming that God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh. You are My witnesses," says the Lord, "and My servant whom I chose," in order that you know and believe Me, and understand that I am He; before Me no god was formed and after Me none shall be. (Isaiah 43:10) Do not bear false witness against God by not keeping the Shabbat. Our job is to be a witness to God and to speak about God and teach the knowledge of God to all the nations of the world. [Rabbi Aaron Raskin]
“Give thanks to the Lord, call out in His name; make His deeds known among the peoples. Sing to Him, play music to Him, speak of all His wonders.” (Psalms 105:1-2)