The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 20 June 2009 / 27 Sivan 5769

A Quarter-Back Signal

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll
Several years ago a rabbi from out-of-state accepted a call to a community in Houston, Texas. Some weeks after he arrived he had an occasion to ride the bus from his home to the downtown area. When he sat down he discovered that the driver had accidentally given him a quarter too much change. As he considered what to do he thought to himself, "You'd better give the quarter back. It would be wrong to keep it."

Then he thought, "Oh, forget it, it's only a quarter. Who would worry about this little amount? Anyway, the bus company charges too much fare; they will never miss it. Accept it as 'a gift from G-d' and keep quiet."

When his stop came, he paused momentarily at the door, and then he handed the quarter to the driver and said, "Here, you gave me too much change."

The driver, with a smile, replied, "Aren't you the new rabbi in town?"

"Yes," he replied.

"Well, I have been thinking a lot lately about going somewhere to worship. I just wanted to see what you would do if I gave you too much change. I'll see you in Shul on Shabbos."

When the rabbi stepped off the bus, he literally grabbed the nearest light pole, held on, and said, "Oh, Ribbono shel Olam (Creator of the world), I almost sold a Jew for a quarter!"

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