The Other Side of the Story - Upside Down Plate

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

Before telling others to wash their hands, you may have to...

Upside Down Plate

Following Shabbat Mincha, we all dashed to wash our hands, bless, and partake of the third meal. Seeing long lines at the wash basins, I decided to reserve a seat first. Scooping some herring, pasta and salad into a plate and turning a cup upside down beside it, I went to wash.

When I returned to my seat someone was sitting in it! I couldn't believe it. He saw the plate of food and the international "reserved" sign, a turned-over cup; yet he sat down anyway!

"I believe this is my seat," I said.

"It is?" he asked.

"Whose plate did you think that was?"

"I thought it was mine. Do you want to sit here?"

"No, no. You sit right there," I said. I found another place and sat down thinking, "How can a person sit down at a place obviously reserved with food on the plate and say it's his?"

I hadn't been seated five minutes when he came over and said, "I am so sorry; I really must apologize. You see, every week I sit in that seat; and every week a friend of mine - who I just found out is not here today - puts a plate of food there for me. I am really sorry."

I wanted to go straight through the floor! I know this man. I've eaten in his home. He even loaned me a warm muffler one cold January night. And all I could think of when I found him in "my seat" were negative thoughts.

You don't know the whole story until you know the whole story!

(M. B. via the Internet)

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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