Social media has allowed all of us to become “journalists,” meaning that we have that much more of a responsibility to pursue and speak truth. Indeed, in Hebrew, the word for “lie” is “sheker” — shin, qoph, resh. The shape of those three letters are balanced on thin footing, and are precariously balanced, and all come close together in the alphabet. In contrast, the word for “truth” is “emet” — aleph, mem, tav. The shape of those three letters rest on more firm footing, are spread out throughout the alphabet, and therefore have stronger bases.
So in the Babylonian Talmud, the Rabbis looked at those letters and asked, “Why does falsehood [stand] on one foot, while truth has a brick-like foundation? Because,” they answered, “truth can stand, but falsehood cannot.”
As part of Sinai and Synapses’ project Scientists in Synagogues, CNN anchor Dana Bash spoke at Congregation Shir Hadash, in Los Gatos, CA, in the heart of Silicon Valley. She spoke about how her Judaism influenced her journalistic work, as well as how the advent of social media has changed how we talk to one another. Below is an interview she did as part of their program, where she spoke about the interaction of ethical speech, journalism and the changing technology of how we interact with each other.