Equal Partners
by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners

By Roland Ezri

"Women are the backbone of all societies. They do a substantial part of the work, and play a major role in raising the future generation yet they are largely powerless. The decisions that count are made by men and foisted upon women."

Writings by Roland Ezri

The Second Exodus – Egypt – CLIV. Stories My Grandmother Told Me (6 of 10)

Solomon’s judgment

A poor man was walking down the street when he came across a street vendor grilling Kebab. He would have loved to buy some of this kebab to eat with the bread he had with him. Unfortunately, he had very little money on him. So, he took out his bread and ate it with the smoke escaping from the grilled meat.

As he was leaving, the grillman called him: “Where are you going? You haven’t paid me.”

“Paid you for what? I haven’t bought anything from you,” replied the man.

“Yes, you have. You’ve eaten your bread with the smoke escaping from my grill,” said the man.

A big argument ensued, and a crowd gathered around them. A man in the crowd then told them: “You need a wise person to settle this dispute. I happen to know that a well-known judge is visiting our town, would you like him to decide your case?”

“Who is he?” enquired the kebab man.

When he said his name, everybody in the crowd gasped.

This peacemaker then went to the judge, told him that his help was needed, and would he be willing to settle this quarrel. Yes, the judge was willing to judge this case. And so he followed the man down the street.

The judge heard both parties. He then asked them whether they were willing to accept his proceedings and abide by his judgment. They both agreed.

Next the judge asked the man who had “purchased smoke” to give him a coin.

“But I haven’t …” he started.

The judge stopped him, and reminded him that he had agreed to cooperate.

The man then reluctantly took a coin from his pocket and handed it to the judge.

The judge then bounced the coin over the marble counter of the kebab’s purveyor many times. He then asked the two combatants, and the crowd, if they had heard the coin. The response was a chorus of “yes.”

He then turned to the Kebab man and said: “You’re charging that person for the smoke that came out of your grill, right?

“Right,” replied the man.

“Fine,” said the judge. “This man has just paid for your smoke with the sound of his money!”

The security guard

A businessman was getting ready to travel when he received a call from his security guard. This man was responsible to ensure the security of his business’ premises at night.

“Sir, are you traveling today?” the guard asked.

“Yes, but how do you know that?” asked the owner.

“I had a dream yesterday night that the plane you intend to take crashed, and that all occupants were killed. Please do not go,” said the guard.

The owner was shaken to hear that, for only his wife knew he was flying. He therefore cancelled his trip.

Sure enough this plane crashed, and all its occupants were killed.

On the following day, this business’ owner called his security guard and fired him!

You can well imagine the ruckus that ensued in the classroom when the teacher told us this story. Children are very sensitive to fairness. You will often hear them saying, “but it’s not fair.” And the inevitable response of the parents or teachers will be, “you’re right, but the world is not a fair place.” Actually, it would be if we allow our children to retain that sense of fairness; but, well, we all know it doesn’t work that way. Later on – despite the values imparted by parents and teachers – when they are grown up and “wiser,” they will lie, cheat, deceive, steal or even kill. Such is human nature.

When the class calmed down, the teacher pointed out that none of us had asked the obvious question, namely, why did this man fired his security guard despite the fact that he had saved his life?

The owner had in effect told him: “While it’s true that you saved my life, you’re a security guard, you’re supposed to protect my assets. However, you obviously went to sleep, for otherwise you could not have dreamed about the plane crash.”

Was this fair? None of us thought so. It’s obviously a difficult question. What would you have done if you were in the shoes of the business owner?

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