web analytics
October 20, 2014 / 26 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.



Above And Beyond

Lessons-logo

Note to readers: The names in this story have been changed.

Shimon’s mother came from a poor village, having never been taught how to read or write. His father, a relatively educated man, passed away when Shimon was two years old.

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.

When Shimon grew up, it was time to seek a livelihood and start his own family. He had no formal job training, but was blessed with traits that helped him find employment. He was responsible, honest and patient – and very gifted with his hands.

He eventually found employment that suited him, and afforded him a steady salary. His boss, Moshe, was very happy to employ the young man in his diamond polishing and cutting business.

Life continued, with Shimon now the father of three young children. He was proud of his work and happy in his lot.

And then, a dark day surfaced.

It was the end of a typical workday. Shimon stretched his back and prepared to close down his workstation. He carefully collected the gems he had on his worktable. When he tallied them, he was shocked to notice he was short one diamond. He searched all around him, including the floor, but the stone was nowhere to be found. With a sweating brow and a sense of dread, he approached his boss.

Moshe was generally a friendly man. He always asked after Shimon’s family and often complimented him on his work. But now the man’s face turned red, and an angry look transformed his features.

“Shimon, I’m not a stupid man. Valuable stones don’t just walk off by themselves. I was always good to you, even advancing your salary when you had a difficult month. Is this how your repay me?”

Shimon did not know what to do. He repeatedly denied any knowledge of the stone’s whereabouts. He was innocent, but treated as guilty.

His boss finally told him he would not report this theft to the police because he did not want Shimon’s young family to suffer. Instead, he told the hapless young man to immediately leave the premises – and never return.

Shimon was in a lot of trouble. Not only was he suspected of stealing, but his only source of income was now closed off to him. And he knew he would never be trusted again by anyone in the diamond industry. He also blamed himself for the stone’s disappearance, since he was responsible for its safekeeping.

Five lean years for Shimon and his family followed. It was not easy to find new employment without a letter of recommendation. The jobs he found did not earn much, and he never achieved personal satisfaction from his work.

One day, Moshe, his old boss, decided to have his work premises renovated. There were wood beams across the work area’s ceiling, and some of them had cracks that needed repairing.

Yosef was a young man who worked for the contractor Moshe hired to do the job. Yosef climbed up a ladder and looked at the beams needing repair. Something small and glittering suddenly caught his eye. A diamond was wedged into a crack in one of the beams. It had lain there for the last five years. Yosef, though struggling with own monthly bills, did not hesitate. He removed the errant stone and brought it to the immediate attention of Moshe.

Moshe had never forgotten his disappointment in his old employee, Shimon. But now, before him, lay proof of Shimon’s innocence. The stone had been wedged in the ceiling above Shimon’s old workstation. It somehow had gotten flung into the air during one of its processes.

Moshe, too, did not hesitate. He located Shimon’s phone number and immediately called him. He did not think twice about admitting to the grave injustice he had done to the innocent man. His apologies were heartfelt and his feelings of remorse at having deeply wronged an innocent man were profound.

In short order, Shimon was once again sitting at his old workstation. His boss also presented him with a check to cover the last five years, as Shimon had been so abruptly fired. Shimon harbored no resentment toward his former, and now current, employer.

This true story has much in the way of lessons to be learned by all of us. The three men connected to this story all had something in common. They all went above and beyond what might have been expected of them.

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 “Above And Beyond”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Agam Luria, from a kibbutz in the Jezreel Valley, was identified as one of the four Israelis killed in the Nepal blizzard.
Israeli Sherpa ‘Pony Express’ Saved Hundreds in Nepal Blizzard
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/above-and-beyond/2014/02/13/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: