web analytics
April 21, 2015 / 2 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


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.”

The rabbanit spoke with the woman for a while. She did not notice that the woman seemed a bit uncomfortable. While the rabbanit was unaware that Talia was the wife of the man who had cheated her husband, Talia assumed she knew.

When the women parted, Talia knew what she had to do. She immediately called her husband, who was in their hotel room.

“Yosef, you cannot believe who I just met. The rav’s wife is here at the conference. She spoke to me as if nothing was wrong between us. She didn’t show anger at all. How can we live with ourselves after what we did to the rav and his family? You must make things right.”

And that’s just what Yosef did. He went to the bank and renegotiated a payment schedule he could afford. He then went to see the rav and apologized profusely for his trickery. He repaid the rav for the money he had already given the bank.

The moral of the story: A picture may be worth 1,000 words, but one word not spoken may be worth 100,000 shekels.

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.

Current Top Story
Rav Aharon Lichtenstein
My Encounter with Rav Lichtenstein
Latest Judaism Stories
Torah scroll. (illustrative only)

For humans, reducing flesh is generally a good thing whereas its expansion is generally a bad thing

Hertzberg-041715

Lincoln was not a perfect man. But he rose above his imperfections to do what he thought was right not matter the obstacles.

Arch of Titus

Adon Olam: An Erev Shabbat Musical Interlude Courtesy of David Herman

Daf-Yomi-logo

Oh My, It’s Copper!
‘…And One Who Is A Coppersmith’
(Kethubboth 77a)

The omer sacrifice of loose barley flour was more fitting for animal consumption than human consumption and symbolizes the depths to which the Jewish slaves had sunk.

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

When Chazal call not eating treif food a chok, that refers to how it functions.

His mother called “Yoni, Yoni!” Her eyes, a moment earlier dark with pain, shone with joy and hope

Kashrut reminds us that in the end, God is the arbiter of right and wrong.

In a cab with Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach & Rav Elayshiv discussing if/when to say tefillas haderech

The successful student listens more than speaks out; wants his ideas critiqued, not just appreciated

Why would it not be sufficient to simply state lehoros from which we derive that in such a state one may not issue any psak?

What do we learn about overcoming loss from the argument between Moses and Aaron’s remaining 2 sons?

Each of the unique roles attributed to Moshe share the common theme that they require of and grant higher sanctity to the individual filling the role.

Because of the way the piece of my finger had been severed, the doctors at the hospital were not able to reattach it. They told me I’d have to see a specialist.

“The problem is that the sum total is listed is $17,000. However, when you add the sums mentioned, it is clear that the total of $17,000 is an error. Thus, Mr. Broyer owes me $18,000, not $17,000.”

More Articles from Debbie Garfinkel Diament
Lessons-in-Emunah-new

It all started with the recent deluge of rain we here in Israel were privileged to have.

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.

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.

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: