A rabbi once found himself in the presence of a sanctimonious individual who was decked out grandly in all the rabbinic garb and trappings of a self-styled saint. Perceiving that this was all mere window-dressing, while the man behind it all was somewhat base, the rabbi said:
"In the Biblical verse which lists the Thirteen Attributes of Divine Mercy, we find the word 'truth'. This is somewhat surprising, for truth characterizes the Attribute of Strict Justice, middah ha-din, rather than the Attribute of Mercy, middah ha-rachamim. Indeed, if G-d were to judge us by the strict criterion of uncompromising truth, demanding of us an absolute degree of truth in the performance of His commands, who could possibly survive such a test?"
"Fortunately, though," the rabbi continued, ""the attribute of truth is sometimes itself an attribute of mercy. Let us suppose the Almighty sees a man who passes himself off as a saint , flaunting the cloak of a sage, and garments of purest white. One might expect the Almighty to judge such a man according to the exacting standards demanded of righteousness. In fact, though, He judges him only according to the measure of truth - according to such a man's truthful measure - for He sees what goes on inside His heart, and knows in fact that he is nothing more than a simple, base fellow."
"And this answers our question as to what 'truth' is doing in a list of merciful attributes. For what greater demonstration of mercy and lovingkindess could there be, than the fact that G-d judges such a man according to his true measure?"
Let him who is convinced that his views are true and right express them . . . at every opportunity . . . without considering how much support or how much opposition he will encounter. Only falsehood is in need of many supporters in order to win the day; falsehood must have the authority of numbers to make up for what it lacks in justification. Truth, by contrast, will always prevail, even if it takes time. Noble, courageous and pure, expressed with all the fiery zeal and conviction and with all clarity of sure awareness, stated again and again at every opportunity, truth will ultimately gain respect and admiration even of those who do not accept it. The only truth that can be lost beyond recall is that truth whose adherents no longer have the courage to speak up candidly on its behalf. Truth has never gone down in defeat as the result of opposition, it has done so only when its friends are too weak to defend it. - R' S.R. Hirsch