"Do not falsify measurements... You must have an honest balance, honest weights, an honest dry measure, and an honest liquid measure"—Leviticus 19:35-36.

Among the many commandments related in this week's portion is the prohibition against false weights and measures. This negative command not only bans the actual use of false measurements – which is already covered by the law against theft – but even the passive act of holding them in one's possession even if they are never used.

Why does the law against false measurements differ from all other types of theft so that a person transgresses just by owning an object that may later come to be used dishonestly?

It isn't possible to maintain one set of values for working our program and then another for our day-to-day life "out there"...Holding on to false measurements means, both literally and figuratively, holding on to a skewed set of values. Even if in actual practice, one only uses honest measures – that is, a proper set of values – the mere fact that he keeps with him another set of dishonest measurements already constitutes a certain duplicity of character.

In spiritual terms, we see that man's evil inclination does not usually urge him at once to commit an outright sin. Man's selfish, animalistic drive concedes to him that in actual practice he should behave in an upright fashion. It suggests merely that he should harbor in his heart another "set of measurements" with which he may judge what is wrong or right. It seems harmless enough. After all, he hasn't actually dealt falsely. He's just reserving the right to assess things from an "alternative" perspective. Of course, long before he succumbs to actually implementing these false measurements, the person has already fallen prey to a most insidious spiritual illness. He has indulged himself with a relative view on morality.

If we are serious about our recovery, we accept that rigorous honesty and all of the other sterling character traits demanded of us are not just important when it comes to all matters pertaining directly to sobriety. To "practice these principles in all our affairs" means that we view every aspect of life with a single, accurate and honest measurement. We know that, ultimately, it is not possible to maintain one set of values for working our program and then another for our day-to-day life "out there." Indeed, whenever it is that we do slip up and start to blur lines of right and wrong in other areas, we find that our sobriety is invariably compromised as well. There can be no schism, no fragmentation between the scruples we adhere to in recovery and those we maintain in the rest of our dealings.