The Other Side of the Story - Abracadabra!

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


"Abracadabra!  Hocus Pocus! Now you see it! Now it’s out of focus!" This incantation is fit for a magician to utter when he transforms his walking stick into a multi-colored handkerchief.

At a magic show we expect to be fooled; we’re not surprised when a pigeon emerges from an empty hat. But optical illusions are limited to magic shows. In real life, our perceptions present us with a true picture of reality. Or do they....

A man and his wife were out jogging not far from Jerusalem’s central bus station. As they neared an incline the husband took his wife’s handbag in order to make it easier for her. Then he sped ahead.

At that moment, a Jerusalem police officer happened along. What sight met his eyes? A woman running after a man who had just "snatched" her handbag from her shoulder. The alert officer grabbed the alleged purse-snatcher and put him in a vice-like arm lock. "Lady! Is this your handbag?" he called.

The woman was too out of breath to answer; she could only watch in horror as the policeman proceeded to arrest her husband. She finally caught her breath and explained to the officer what really happened, but not before their son’s best friend Benny wandered past and witnessed the embarrassing "arrest."

The Creator wants us to use our perceptions; in the above incident, the policeman acted dutifully. Yet,

our senses trick us over and over again, and we nevertheless continue making superficial assessments to judge negatively. How might Benny report what he saw? How might others react to his report? Less than favorably, unless they’ve been trained in the art of looking at the Other Side of the Story.

The Other Side of the Story Archives

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

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