The Other Side of the Story - Thinking Ill

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

Failing to judge favorably can ruin friendships. The following incident, sad but true, shows the outcome of....

Thinking Ill

Dear Ohrnet,

Here is a true story told to me by my son. My son heard it from the "boy" in the story, who is today my son's Rosh Yeshiva:

Rabbi Zelig (name changed) had an elderly friend who became ill and was hospitalized in Jerusalem's Sha'arei Tzedek Hospital. The sick man wondered why Rabbi Zelig had not come to visit him, and he was upset about that.

Finally, one Shabbos, Rabbi Zelig (who had 18 children of his own and struggled to make ends meet) decided to visit his ill friend, and started walking to the hospital.

Shortly thereafter, unbeknownst to Rabbi Zelig, his son fell down the stairs and was bleeding profusely. Rabbi Zelig's wife grabbed the boy and hurried to the hospital.

Meanwhile, Rabbi Zelig arrived at the hospital and found his way to his sick friend's room and greeted him. But the sick man said to Rabbi Zelig, "I know you wouldn't have come here to visit only me. It must be that you came here for something else and while you were here you dropped in for a visit."

Rabbi Zelig answered, "No no no! I came to visit only you."

A minute later, to Rabbi Zelig's great surprise, his wife suddenly appeared in the room with their bandaged child. "See!" said the sick man. "I told you! You came here because of your son! Why did you lie to me?" The sick man refused to listen to Rabbi Zelig or his wife's explanations.

And from that day on, the sick man refused to talk to Rabbi Zelig.

(Submitted by a Reader)

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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