The Other Side of the Story - An Elephant With Nasal Congestion

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

To justify questionable behavior, we need not go hunting on an African Safari. The most exotic excuses are often right in our back yard. Take the following story, which I call...

An Elephant With Nasal Congestion

I walked into the staff room at my Yeshiva just as a friend of mine, Michael, was saying to Rabbi Nosson Slifkin: "You smell like an elephant!"

How could I judge Michael favorably here?

The real story is as follows. Rabbi Nosson Slifkin gives Torah tours of the zoo, explaining Torah lessons to be learned from different creatures. He had just come back from giving a tour at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, where an elephant sneezed on him! Just before I walked into the room, Rabbi Slifkin told my friend Michael about his spray with pachydermal phlegm, and they were kidding around about it. Thus, I entered the room to the cry of "You smell like an elephant!" But it was all said in good fun.

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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