But once you have told a lie, and maintained it for more than two decades, how easy is it to be honest and be believed? Like the famous parable, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, Yaakov does not believe his sons when they return from Egypt and declare Yosef still alive. The Torah states that 'his heart did not believe', which is an interesting distinction. Maybe intellectually he understood the truth, but his heart could not accept the double facts of his ten lying sons and Yosef being alive.
The midrash explains that in order to ease Yaakov's heart, this earth-shattering information was shared through music. Serach, the daughter of Asher, played the harp for Yaakov and sang to him of Yosef's status. The music calmed Yaakov and made him able to accept the truth. Serach was rewarded with remarkable longevity.
I had hoped that the importance of honesty we discussed in Vayeshev would have made a bigger impact on my children. Sadly fibs are still be uttered so this week, in the very little free time we had, we talked about Serach's great mitzvah of telling the truth.
We were going to make 'harps' for a physical representation of the truth. But there wasn't time. So we only spoke about the differences between string, wind, and percussion instruments.
If we had made them, with rubber bands and boxes, coat hangers, or baking pans they would have looked something like this:
We did try it. I found a pyrex dish worked best for a base. The girls each chose something from the recycling bin and made some music.