In the portion of Kedoshim, we find the mitzvah of making and keeping honest measuring tools. Whether they are for calculating weight, dry measures or liquid, they need to be accurate. It is forbidden to possess inaccurate measuring tools, even if you have no intention to use them.

With many mitzvahs, G‑d signs off with “I am the L‑rd” or “I am the L‑rd your G‑d.” After this mitzvah, He signs off with, “I am the L‑rd your G‑d who took you out of Egypt.”

What is the connection between honest weights and measures, and the exodus from Egypt? Also, why is it a sin to merely own them, even if you have no intention to use them?

The simple answer brought by Rashi is this: G‑d took us out of Egypt to be a paragon of honesty. He also suggests that just like G‑d could discern in Egypt who is a firstborn and who is not, so can He tell if someone falsifies his weights.

Perhaps there is a deeper reason. This is the way of the evil inclination: He doesn’t tell you to steal or rob another. You would never go for that. First, he says, “What is so bad to own these false weights? You’re not even going to use them.” Then he goes a step further. “What is the big deal if you use them? They are just a drop off.” And step by step, he drags you down until he’s made a thief out of you.

Owning false weights and measures are first steps. They are the beginning of dishonesty, even though no one was hurt by them. They represent ill intent and bad choices, which is the prelude to more trouble down the line.

This is where Egypt comes in. Though Hashem decreed that the Jewish people would suffer by the hands of the Egyptians, each individual Egyptian had the freedom to choose not to oppress them. At a certain point, each individual Egyptian made those first bad choices that brought them to oppress the Jewish people.

G‑d is saying: I took you out of Egypt, the place of ill intentions and bad choices. I want you to be better than them. I want you to be a beacon of goodness and honesty. And honesty is the starting point for all the mitzvahs and what defines you as My people. That is why I took you out of Egypt.

To dispel dishonesty, we first need to remove the self-acquired bad influences and temptations. You will find it freeing, like a weight being removed from your shoulders. And finally, being honest in business and with your acquaintances is the way you influence them to want to be more like you, and to follow in G‑d’s ways.

And one more thing: By connecting honesty with the exodus from Egypt, G‑d gives us an indication that honesty is a prerequisite to bringing the future redemption. May it come soon.