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The Earthquake (Part I)


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And so speaking, he sat down to write a letter to his friend Uzziel informing him that he had agreed and looked forward to seeing him once again.

The weeks passed and one day, as Yonadav and Zemira sat on their summer porch eating, one of their servants came up and said: “A man has arrived and he says that he is from Hebron.”

“Quickly, send him up,” said Yonadav, “this must be my good friend Uzziel.”

When the man arrived however, Yonadav saw that he was much younger than Uzziel.

“Peace be unto you,” claimed the stranger. “I am Avinadav, the son of your friend Uzziel.”

“Welcome, dear boy,” replied Yonadav. “Where are your parents?”

“My parents are both dead’” replied Avinadav. “Some time after your letter arrived my father took ill and never recovered, and my mother could not overcome the terrible shock. She, too, took ill and died.”

“Woe to the ears that hear these words,” wailed Yonadav. “I am truly sorry to hear such misfortune. But, grieve no more Avinadav for you have found a second home here with myself and my daughter, who will be your future wife.”

Freeing The Servants

The following morning the young man, Avinadav, called together all the servants he had brought with him and said: “My servants, you have served my father and myself faithfully. Therefore, I am giving you, on this day, your freedom. Go in peace!”

And so saying, he distributed to each of his servants a sack of money and a donkey and sent them on their way.

Yonadav Amazed

When Yonadav saw the actions of his future son-in-law, he was greatly impressed. But he was amazed at the vast sums of money that the young man had in the numerous trunks in his tent.

“I know that your father was a wealthy man insofar that he had many fields, but I had no idea that he had so much money!”

When Avinadav heard these words, a cloud seemed to pass over his countenance. He did not reply and that entire day he ate no food and kept to himself.

Yonadav saw this change in him but he attributed it to the fact that Avinadav still felt sorrow and pain due to his parent’s death.

The Marriage

At the end of the first week of Avinadav’s arrival, Yonadav called together all of his friends and acquaintances and the wedding of the young couple was celebrated with great gaiety.

All through the wedding feast and into the seven days of feasting the cloud of sorrow never left Avinadav. His bride persistently asked him: “What is troubling you, my husband? Tell me and perhaps I can help.”

“Do not ask me,” replied Avinadav, “for there is no one who can help me with my problem.”

(To Be Continued)

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

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

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In their perverted justice they also declared the following law: Anyone who was injured by another so that blood flowed from his wound, was compelled to pay his attacker since he bled him!

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Tales of the Gaonim-logo

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

Tales of the Gaonim-logo

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.

He lacked for nothing materialistic and could have lived the rest of his life, had he chosen to, in the luxury and laziness that dominated the Roman upper class life.

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?”

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