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December 26, 2014 / 4 Tevet, 5775
 
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Always Give A Person The Benefit Of The Doubt


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Chazal taught: He who judges his associates (in questionable acts) with favor will be judged with favor from Above.

It happened once that a man who came from the Upper Galilee hired himself out as a laborer for a term of three years to a master in the southern part. On the eve of Yom Kippur, when his term expired, the workman said to his master, “Give me my wages so that I may return home and support my wife and children.”

The master replied, “I have no money just now.” “Then give me my money’s worth in grain,” said the employee.

“I have none,” replied the master.

Again the hired man begged him, “Give me then my money’s worth in land.”

“I have none,” was the same reply.

“Give me then the amount in cattle,” he pleaded, but the master again refused, saying, “I have none.”

“Give me my money’s worth in furniture,” the man begged.

“I have none,” was the reply.

Discouraged, the employee put his bundle on his back and went away sorrowfully.

Visits Laborer With Pay

After the holiday the master took the wages of the hired man and, in addition, three mules laden with food-stuffs, liqueur and spices, and went to the hired man’s house in the Galilee.

The employee was jubilant and he invited the master in for a meal. After they ate and drank together, the master paid him his wages and gave him all the extras he had brought along.

The master then asked the employee, “When I told you that I had not the money to pay you wages, of what did you suspect me?”

“I had thought that perhaps you had come across a bargain and had paid out all your ready money,” answered the hired man.

“And when you asked me to give you your money’s worth in cattle and I answered that I had no cattle, of what did you suspect me then?” the master continued.

“I thought that perhaps you had leased it to others and you could not touch it,” was the reply.

“When I said to you that I have no fruit, of what did you suspect me?” the master queried.

“I thought, perhaps, that you had not yet paid the maaser” (fruit from which maaser has not been set aside may not be used to pay debts).

“And when I said that I have no furniture, of what did you suspect me?” the master asked again.

“I thought that perhaps you had dedicated all your possessions unto Heaven and you couldn’t touch it,” replied the employee.

The master jumped up and exclaimed, “I swear to you that such was really the case. I had made a vow to give away all my possessions because my son, Hyrcanus, did not want to study Torah. Afterwards, when I came to my associates in the South, they released me from my vow.

“Because you judged me with favor, so may G-d judge you favorably.”

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“I’ll pay you whether you cure her or kill her,” shouted the loyal husband.

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When the soldiers heard this they exclaimed happily: “You mean this is the sacred Jewish fruit? Hurry, get on the horse. You are coming with us to the palace.”

Now let me ask you, what would happen to an infantryman if he deserted his regiment and went to serve in the cavalry? He would be court-martialed, wouldn’t he?”

Dug out beneath his bunk was a little chest which he guarded with his very life. It contained a small Sefer Torah, miniature size, but kosher, and a shofar.

So began a marvelous period of good fortune. He invested the twenty-four gold pieces in many types of businesses and everything his hand touched turned to gold.

Pressing close to the cage, the Ibn Ezra shouted the words, “Shema Yisrael…”

“You can have your choice,” said the wise king. “You can choose to take this gold, 100 pieces each, or I can give you each three pieces of advice.”

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More Articles from Rabbi Sholom Klass
Tales-of-The-Midrash-logo

The man was overjoyed to see his benefactor and gave them food and water besides shelter and safety.

Tales-of-The-Midrash-logo

Because of this I wandered about and found friends in similar situations who were also unhappy and I began to hang out with them.

Time passed and Zemira gave birth to a son but not even this could awaken Avinadav from his melancholy.

Yonadav was greatly impressed at the vast sums of money the young man had in his possessions.

“I do nothing worthwhile,” he modestly replied and refused to discuss any of his deeds. For the man was a very modest and humble person.

While he slept, he dreamed of Eliyahu HaNavi, who was trying to awaken him from his sleep.

“I’ll pay you whether you cure her or kill her,” shouted the loyal husband.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/kidz/midrash-stories/always-give-a-person-the-bene%ef%ac%81t-of-the-doubt/2013/02/05/

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