When Hantman hears about the mystically multiplying Torahs, she pauses and says she has to gather her thoughts: "I hope you've read 'To Kill a Mockingbird.' At the end, a truth is concealed for the better good of the community. ... If there is any deception going on ... also think about what he's done that's good." She wrestles with what she has heard. "Destroying this man, if he is guilty of what you suspect, may very well be in service of the truth but in disservice of a greater truth," Hantman says. What, for Hantman, is the greater truth? "The Jewish reverence for the past, for heritage and for those who suffered and died because of the Nazis."I recently re-read Terry Pratchett's novel Small Gods and was struck by how much her statement reminded me of this one by Vorbis (head Quisitioner):
"And so it is with truth," said Vorbis. "There are some things which appear to be the truth, which have all the hallmarks of truth, but which are not the real truth. The real truth must sometimes be protected by a labyrinth of lies."Of course, Vorbis' "real truth" are actually lies while Hartman's "greater truth" are honorable pursuits, but both Hantman and Vorbis consider it proper that deception may be in the service of the greater truth. Both would make great kiruv workers.
Full article on Youlus here.
(By the way, Pratchett is always amazing, but this novel is particularly ripe with passages that will hit home with any religious skeptic. Expect more quotables here!)