The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 6 August 2005 / 1 Av 5765

Whose Land Is It?

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
Library Library Library

Rabbi Meir Simcha Hacohen, the rav of the Latvian city of Dvinsky in the last century and author of the "Ohr Somayach" (for whom Yeshivat Ohr Somayach is named) was famous for the brilliance and sensitivity which made him such an outstanding judge and arbitrator.

Two men once came before him to resolve a dispute between them over ownership of a certain property. When his efforts for reaching a compromise failed, the rav told the litigants that they must join him in a visit to the disputed land. He there placed his ear to the ground and then turned to the two claimants to inform them as to what he heard the land say:

"Each of these men says I belong to him but the truth is that both of them will belong to me."

This shocking reminder of mortality moved the two to reach the compromise suggested by the rav.

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