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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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