The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 16 May 2009 / 21 Iyyar 5769

Saved by a Switch

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
Library Library Library

When a shop was opened below an apartment building in a city in the center of Israel its owners exhibited some of the baby cribs and other furniture they were selling by placing them on the pavement outside the building. This disturbed one of the building's residents and he asked them to refrain from thus interfering with his access to the building. His request went unheeded and he summoned the shop owners to a rabbinical court in Bnei Brak.

The judges heard the complaint and even sent someone to see whether it was justified. Upon determining that the exhibited furniture was not on an area used by pedestrians, the court dismissed the charges. Impressed by the noble manner in which the complainant had accepted the ruling against him, the head of the court approached him before leaving the room and whispered into his ear: "What do you know if someday you may need their merchandise?"

A week and a half later the two-year-old son of this fellow climbed up on the balustrade of their fourth floor balcony while his parents were in the kitchen and fell. Paralyzed with fear the parents rushed downstairs expecting the worst only to have the shop owner hand them a perfectly healthy child whose life had been saved by falling into a baby crib with a deep mattress exhibited on the pavement.

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