I discovered with a certainty last night that someone I care about was lying to me. I had already guessed it, and was 99% sure that they were trying to play me the fool. I had chosen to not confront them, several times, for two reasons:
1) If they would choose to change to a better way of behavior, it would be easier to do so if they felt they had a good reputation to live up to. Aaron the Cohen (priest) was noted for treating people as if they were better than they were, and this impacted positively on them.
2) We are instructed by our sages to give others the benefit of the doubt, especially in cases were it will not hurt us to do so. So I decided to leave a 1% possibility in my mind that maybe this person was actually acting in the way they had claimed to be.
This is not the first time this has happened to me. Several years ago a relative with an alcohol addiction problem lied to me, and I believed them until the evidence was overwhelming. I am an honest person. I am as “straight” as a finely precisioned ruler. Years ago when I was “hippyish”, the poster/incense store owner called me ‘Abe Lincoln” for returning a few pennies I owed him. Thus it is hard for me to acknowledge that someone in the family would have the gumption to tell me an untruth, and painful as well. It is not as if I would have been angry at them. Two of my children have more than left the fold of Orthodoxy, and they told me the truth. I respected that. One even told me, when I asked a question he didn’t want to answer, “Mom, Don’t ask. You don’t want to hear a lie.” This son has at least learned to be honest.
Does this person feel that they were protecting themselves? That they were shielding me? In my mind, besides making me into a laughing stock, all they have managed to do is to destroy the possibility that I will ever believe them again about anything. Enough is enough. If you call “wolf” too often, you won’t be believed.