by Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths
I was on my way to the Kotel (Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, Israel). The Rova (Jewish Quarter) was rather crowded, as it can be these days. I was walking down the steps by the Chabad Shul (Synagogue) and there was a small boy in front of me slowly bouncing his bicycle down the steps.
When he reached the bottom step I noticed something colorful fall from his hand. I asked, “Did you drop something?”
He looked down, and then he looked up at me and started crying loudly, “Aaaagh!”
I looked down and saw his unopened Popsicle had bounced out of his hand and fell through the slots in the sewer cover. Oh, no, major disaster!
“Yaaaha!” he cried to me. He was almost hysterical.
“Okay, don’t worry. How much did it cost?” I asked.
He held up a finger. (one shekel)
“Okay, I will stand here and watch your bicycle. Take this and go buy another Popsicle.” I said, and I gave him two half shekels.
He looked at the coins and asked, “Do these two make one shekel?”
I said, “Yes. Go to that store right there at the top of the steps and get one. Here, better take this instead.” And I took back the two half-shekels and gave him a two-shekel coin in its place.
He squeezed the coin tightly in his hand and ran back up the steps. He spoke with the owner in front of the store, but then he called to me that they did not have the kind of Popsicle that he lost. I told him to go back to the other store at the far end of the street, and that I would wait for him.
A couple of minutes later the boy returned with the biggest smile his little face could possibly hold. He had to show me what he had. He held up TWO POPSICLES! HOORAY! I cannot imagine the child being any happier.
A group of Israeli tourists watched the entire scene, and when they walked by they called out, “col hakavod lecha” (a saying that more or less means, ‘You did great.’)
To tell you the truth, if you think the little boy was smiling, you should have seen my face. I was much happier than he was. He was happy because he went from the disaster of losing one Popsicle to getting two in its place. I was happy because I turned a little boy’s painful sorrow into great joy. And all this for only two shekels (about US$0.52), too!