The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 1 January 2005 / 20 Tevet 5765

Why She Went Ahead

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
Library Library Library

I stood in enough lines in Auschwitz and I dont have the strength for any more standing in line!

This was the excited response of the elderly lady to the people standing in line at the checkout counter of an Israeli supermarket who had shouted at her for bringing her groceries to the front of the line and failing to wait her turn.

To substantiate her claim for special consideration, she rolled up the sleeve of her blouse to reveal the concentration camp number tattooed there.

One of those who had previously criticized the line-jumper turned to the lady behind her and blushingly said:

It was worth this embarrassment to learn a lesson not to jump to conclusions about the behavior of others which seems on the surface to be out of order. Instead of shouting at this lady we should have gently asked her for the reason she felt she deserved special treatment, and we would have avoided an unpleasant experience for all of us.

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