Passing Phrase - www.learnhebrew.org.il

Achad Bapeh Ve'echad Balev

Literally: One verbally and one in the heart
Idiomatically: Say one thing and think another / Hypocritical

The Talmud (Pesachim 113b) relates three things that God hates, and one of them is the above phrase. It is also found in Baba Metzia (49a). In the story with Joseph (Genesis 37:4) the brothers are not willing to speak peacefully to him. The medieval commentator Rashi (1040-1105) sees this as a compliment, in that they did not say one thing and think another but were straight with him. In October 1940, the newspaper Mashkif (Observer) reported that Ben Gurion surprisingly praised Jabotinsky (his rival), and Jabotinsky replied that he believed him:

משום שלא האמין שאדם בעל שיעור קומה יהיו לו אחד בפה ואחד בלב.

"Mishum shelo he'emin she'adam ba'al shiur koma yihyu lo achad bapeh ve'echad balev."

Because he would not believe that a man of his stature would say one thing and think another.

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