The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 28 April 2007 / 10 Iyyar 5767

The Price of Peace

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
Library Library Library
Closing in a porch with metal bars is a common practice in Israel in buildings with many apartments. Such a fence keeps little children in and cats out.

When a family on the ground floor in the Torah-observant town of Kiryat Sefer decided to close in its porch, it ran into opposition from the neighbor on the second floor. He expressed fear that the fence would enable a thief to climb up to his porch and break into his home.

This standoff led to a breakdown in the otherwise friendly neighborly relations. To the rescue came the neighbor on the third floor who offered to share with his protesting neighbor the cost of closing in his own porch to protect his home against burglars. Thus came to a happy end the battle of the porches.

But this is not the end!

A short while after the porches on the first and second floors were completed, a fire broke out on the third floor in the apartment of the fellow who brought peace to his building. The firemen who arrived on the scene were unsuccessful in breaking down the security door to the apartment but found an alternate route by climbing up the bars surrounding the porches of the two apartments below. The peace initiative of the resident of that third floor apartment thus saved his home from destruction.

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