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January 21, 2017 / 23 Tevet, 5777
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A Time To Throw Away

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As morning came, Eliphelet and Yigal put their plan into action. They began to shout and quarrel violently and the captain and sailors hurried to the deck to see what the commotion was about. When Eliphelet saw that the entire crew had assembled to watch he called out:

“Very well, if that is how you want it, the money will belong to neither you nor to me. It shall belong to no one!”

And as he said these words, he seized the bag of gold and as the startled crew looked on, he flung it overboard into the sea. As the chagrined captain beheld this he hastily called together his crew for a meeting.

“The mad Jew has thrown away the gold. There is no longer any reason for us to kill him.”


The Ship Docks

Within a few days, the ship landed at one of their usual stops. Eliphelet hurried away and rushed to court. There he told the judges all that had transpired. Police were hurriedly sent to the dock and all the crewmen were rushed to the courtroom.

After a brief investigation, the judges reached a decision. Calling upon the captain to stand before them, one said:

“It is obvious that you planned to kill this man and his son. Had he not cleverly outwitted you, you would have the blood of two people on your conscience. In reality you are deserving of death for your foul plan but we will give you one chance to save your worthless neck.

“If you repay this Jew the amount of gold that he was forced to throw away, we will allow you to live. If not, you will hang by your heels from the highest tree.”

The terrified captain was only too glad to comply with the judges’ demands and he quickly paid Eliphelet every penny he had lost.

Afterwards, the judges asked Eliphelet: “Where did you learn such wisdom as you exhibited during your ordeal?”

“I am a Jew,” replied Eliphelet, “and the words of our sages and wise men are my eyes in everything I do. In this most critical time of my life, I followed their advice too. The great King Solomon wrote: ‘There is a time to throw away.’ I did exactly what he said and it saved my life.”

Rabbi Sholom Klass

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