The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 19 July 2003 / 19 Tammuz 5763

Silver Lining to the Cloud of Terror

The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Can some good come from terror?

Perhaps this story, which appears in the new work "Aleinu Leshabeach" of Rav Yitzchak Zilberstein, provides some sort of silver lining for the cloud of terror which darkens the lives of Jews in Eretz Yisrael.

Two Jews were in the final stage of a business deal conducted in the lobby of a hotel. To conclude the deal the prospective buyer had placed a large wad of dollar bills on the table to be handed over as soon as an agreement was signed. Then came an announcement on the P.A. system that the hotel must be evacuated immediately because of the discovery of an object suspected of being a terrorist bomb. In his haste to run for his life this fellow left the money on the table. When he returned it was gone and all the attempts of the police to find the thief were of no avail.

A day later another Jew who had heard of the incident visited the lobby of that hotel and noticed a large flowerpot standing in a slightly tilted position. When he walked over to investigate he saw a dollar bill sticking out, and when he came even closer he discovered that this was the place where the thief had concealed the stolen money.

After tracking down the victim of this theft and informing him of the good news he was surprised to hear from him that he had already despaired of recovering the money and it was therefore the property of the finder. The finder stubbornly insisted that the money belonged to its original owner and hit on an idea how to break this bizarre impasse.

"Do you have a son?" he asked. "Yes," answered the other, "and he is waiting for me in the car below." Well," continued the finder, "I have a daughter, so how about introducing them!"

This brilliant solution eventually led to a successful shidduch with the disputed money given to the young couple to establish their home.

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