The Other Side of the Story - Amusement Park

The Color of HeavenArtscroll

The Other Side of the Story - Giving People the Benefit of the Doubt

Some people pay little regard to the mitzvah to judge others favorably; so entrenched are they in their negative outlook, they feel that any attempt to change their attitude wouldn't work. Well, we at Ohr Somayach insist that itů

WOOD WORK

My parents visited us in Israel. My father and I went to Me'ah Shearim one day to order some wood for an item we were going to build. The owner of a small shop offered to make the item for us in his shop for a reasonable price. We gave him the exact dimensions for the item and he gave a price of 130 shekels. We agreed and gave him a 50 shekel deposit.

A few days later we picked up the finished item. We paid him 80 shekels and left with the item. When we got home, my wife told me the owner had called to tell us we owed more money, and that I could come by his shop to pay him. We didn't have his phone number, so there was no way to reach him to clarify the matter. Neither my father nor I remembered owing more money. We felt sure that we had paid for everything as agreed.

My father thought the owner was just trying to get more money out of us, and I was embarrassed. I assured my father that since the owner was rather old, he probably forgot that we had given him a deposit. In any case, I had no intention of giving him any more money.

A few days later, I was in Me'ah Shearim. I felt bad about the incident — both because my father thought that the man had tried to cheat us, and because the elderly store-owner had forgotten the deposit and thought we still owed him money.

Since I had the receipt for the deposit with me, I decided to go out of my way to the shop to show him and settle his mind. When I got to the shop, and showed him the receipt, the owner smiled and shook his head. He gently reminded me that at our first meeting, as my father and I had been on our way out the door, as an afterthought, we had asked him to make a small addition to the item. He had agreed, but since it required more work he had told us it would cost extra. My father and I had forgotten all about it!

The owner told me that he wasn't worried about the small sum of money, but called because it wasn't good for a person not to pay for something they had agreed to.

(Name@Withheld)


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Based on "The Other Side of the Story" by Mrs. Yehudis Samet, ArtScroll Series

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