The Other Side of the Story - Tallisjack

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

Give your fellow the benefit of the doubt, even if you think he has performed a...


I recently bought a new tallis and tallis bag for the first time in more than 30 years. During the week, I store it in a cabinet at our shul (synagogue) until it is needed on Shabbos. One Shabbos, I arrived to find the tallis and bag missing. I was distressed.

When I entered the main sanctuary, I saw someone wearing what appeared to be my tallis (of a distinctive style), with the same bag (also distinctive) nearby. Apparently, this man had borrowed my tallis, thinking it wouldn't be missed. I didn't know how to raise the subject without the risk of embarrassing him or appearing accusatory, such was my state of mind over losing my new tallis. So, I said nothing.

At the kiddush, I saw what looked like my tallis bag sitting in our social hall. Assuring myself that the "borrower" had already gone home, I opened the bag and found some of my personal items inside; indeed, it was mine.

I mentioned to a friend where I had found it. "Yes," he replied, "It's been sitting there all week." Apparently, I forgot to put it away the previous Shabbos!

A couple weeks later, I saw that other person in shul again, with his tallis and tallis bag, that just happened to match mine!

David Weiner, Dallas, Texas

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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