web analytics
October 21, 2014 / 27 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



A Word Is Worth 100,000 Shekels

Lessons-052413-NIS

The rav was not a wealthy man, but earned enough to live comfortably. He earned his money by serving as the rav of a religious community in Yerushalayim. He also received some royalties from sefarim he had written over the years. He was well known, and many people approached him for a berachah, advice and help. They were not turned away.

One day a young man whom the rav recognized as someone from the neighborhood approached him with a request. Yosef (name and other details have been changed) told him that he was in dire need of a loan. He was not requesting a personal loan from the rav; rather he was asking for the rav’s signature. Yosef explained that he had already applied for a loan, but was required to procure the signature of someone trustworthy who was willing to serve as a guarantor. If he were unable to make his monthly payments the bank would turn to the guarantor, who would then have to make good on the loan.

“I would never ask the rav to sign this paper if I was not absolutely certain I could repay it on my own. I prefer having someone discreet like you to sign this loan for me.”

The rav had never been asked to do this before, and decided to consider the issues involved.

“Before I can commit to this, I must know the amount of the loan you are requesting. If I feel it is not too large a sum for me to handle in case you could not repay it yourself, then I will gladly sign it for you.”

Yosef had a sheepish grin on his face as he quietly said, “It is for 100,000 shekels.” The rav knew this amount was out of his reach, and he regretfully turned Yosef down.

“Perhaps,” he suggested, “you can figure out a way to substantially reduce the loan. If that were the case, I would sign as guarantor in good conscious.”

A few weeks went by, and Yosef returned to the rav. In his hand were some papers.

“It is all taken care of. The rav can rest easily and sign for my loan now. I did what you suggested, and the amount of the loan is much reduced.”

The rav, as usual, was very busy. He had a roomful of people waiting for an audience with him. He did not take the time to read over the amended form, but took Yosef at his word. He signed on the spot indicated by Yosef.

“I hope this loan helps you,” he said.

Several months later, the rav received a letter from the bank. Yosef had reneged on his loan. It was now the responsibility for the rav to repay it. The amount owed was 100,000 shekels.

The rav was in shock. He had been trustful, and had not checked the amount before signing on as guarantor. He now had to figure out a way to repay this debt, which had suddenly become his responsibility. He did not consider going after Yosef.

The rav made an appointment with the bank and pleaded his case. A reduced payment schedule was established. The rav began to think of ways to cut his family’s expenses in order to meet the monthly payments.

He did not want to upset his wife, but realized he could not keep the situation hidden from her. He told her how he had signed as a guarantor for someone. He told her how the man had tricked him into signing for such a large loan. He told her how he was now obligated to repay it. He did not tell her who the man was. He did not want to bring his wife to a state of anger or resentment against the man or his family.

About a year later, the rav’s wife had to travel out of the country for a conference.

She felt lonely, not knowing anyone in the large conference hall. Suddenly, her face lit up. A few feet away stood a woman she recognized from home.

With a big smile on her face, she approached the woman.

“Talia, it’s so nice to see you. How are you and your family? How wonderful to see someone I know while I’m so far from home.”

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “A Word Is Worth 100,000 Shekels”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Photo of the Latin inscription set against the Rockefeller Museum, seat of the Israel Antiquities Authority in Jerusalem.
Rare 2,000 Yr Old Monument to Emperor Hadrian Found in Jerusalem
Latest Judaism Stories
God-and the world

The creation of the world is described twice. Each description serves a unique purpose.

Questions-Answers-logo

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

Lessons-in-Emunah-new

To the surprise of our protectzia-invested acquaintances, my family has thrived in our daled amos without that amenity, b’ezras Hashem.

Business-Halacha-logo

Shimon started adjusting the branches on the roof. In doing so, a branch fell off the other side of the car and hit the side-view mirror, cracking it.

I, the one who is housed inside this body, am completely and utterly spiritual.

Should we sit in the sukkah on a day that may be the eighth day when we are not commanded to sit in the sukkah at all?

For Appearance’s Sake
‘Shammai Did Not Follow Their Own Ruling’
(Yevamos 13b 14a)

If one hurts another human being, God is hurt; if one brings joy to another, God is more joyous.

I’m grateful to Hashem for everything; Just the same, I’d love a joyous Yom Tov without aggravation.

Bereshit: Life includes hard choices that challenge our decisions, leaving lingering complications.

Rabbi Fohrman:” Great evils are often wrought by those who are blithely unaware of the power they wield.”

The emphasis on choice, freedom and responsibility is a most distinctive features of Jewish thought.

The Torah emphasizes the joy of Sukkot, for after a season of labor, we celebrate our prosperity.

The encounter with the timeless stability of the divine occurs within the Sukkot.

Hashem created all human beings and it should sadden us when Hashem, their Father, does not see nachas from them.

More Articles from Debbie Garfinkel Diament
Mother of Naftali Frankel, Rachel Frankel, seen crying over the body of her son, during the joint funeral for the three murdered Jewish teens, in the Modiin cemetery, on July 1, 2014.

Loving tears shed by Jewish mothers for their beloved children from Rachel Imeinu to Racheli Frankel.

Lessons-Emunah-logo

A few seats away, I noticed a man with a Mishnah in hand, talking intently into a cell phone. I soon realized the man was participating in a Daf Yomi shiur, utilizing his traveling time well.

I insisted that one decoration, a dancing sevivon (dreidel) man, remain hanging in recognition of the chag. Some in my family questioned the appropriateness of this decision. Was it proper to have decorations hanging in what would soon become a house of shiva?

Shimon’s early years were not easy ones. His mother struggled to support both of them. She never acquired the knowledge needed to help her son through school years filled with homework and tests.

Chaim (not his real name) was walking down the street, feeling very discouraged. It seemed that lately, the news was filled with stories depicting the disparities, distrust and dislike between the different streams of Jews living in Israel. Much of it revolved around the different religious affiliations or non-affiliations that people adhered to. There were times when Chaim felt the situation was hopeless, with no way to bring people together as a cohesive group – despite their differences.

Like many religious Jews, our bookshelves contain a variety of sefarim. Among the sifrei Mishnah, the Gemara, the Chumashim, among others, there is one sefer that has special meaning to my family and me.

The rav was not a wealthy man, but earned enough to live comfortably. He earned his money by serving as the rav of a religious community in Yerushalayim. He also received some royalties from sefarim he had written over the years. He was well known, and many people approached him for a berachah, advice and help. They were not turned away.

Like many children, some of my grandchildren tended to rush through the berachot they recited each day. Somehow, the first few words were inclined to run together. The last few words often got swallowed up, especially those that were part of berachot made before eating something they really liked.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/jewish-columns/lessons-in-emunah/a-word-is-worth-100000-shekels/2013/05/22/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: