May 20, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
May 20, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

“Where were you?! I was standing by the door for forty five minutes! Did you forget about me?” Eva was clearly very upset and Yael didn’t know how to react. So, she kept quiet as Eva continued her rant. “You know how important this interview is for me, and that I would have wanted to be here on time. Now, I look irresponsible, and I will probably get rejected. Thanks a lot!” Yael still didn’t know what to say. Yael knew what Eva was talking about, but she was still completely bewildered. Yael didn’t remember making plans to give Eva a ride to camp interviews, so she didn’t know why Eva expected Yael to give her a lift.

A few seconds went by, and Yael felt she had no choice but to ask. “Eva, did you think I said I would take you? I remember when you asked me about it, but we never finalized.” Eva looked confused. “What do you mean we never finalized? I asked you if you could take me and you said ‘yes.’ What more was necessary?” Careful not to turn it into an argument, Yael measured her words carefully. “I remember you asking me about giving you a ride. You said ‘Yael, do you think your parents might be able to drive me to the interview?’ I realize now that you were officially asking me, but I really thought you just wanted to know if it was possible. I thought you’d follow up with me to confirm. I even said ‘just let me know’ as you were walking away, because I was expecting you to get back to me. I’m guessing you didn’t hear me say that, but I really didn’t think you were counting on me!”

Eva was not satisfied. “Yael, you know how people say not to let an excuse ruin a good apology? Well, I guess you don’t want to let an apology ruin your excuse! I’m so mad at you! It’s one thing to forget me, but it’s another not to apologize!” And with that, Eva turned around and stormed away, leaving Yael close to tears.

For the rest of the week, Eva refused to talk to Yael. She sat on the other end of the school bus, refused to work together on any class work, and looked the other way when they passed in the hallway. When talking about Yael to her friends, Eva would only call her “Y,” but not like the first letter of her name. Instead Eva said it was spelled “w-h-y,” as in “WHY was I ever friends with her?”

This feud between Yael and Eva was making it awkward for their friends. The truth is that it wasn’t really a feud; the anger was only one way. The other girls tried to intervene, but Eva was adamant. “I’m not talking to Yael unless she apologizes sincerely. And even if she apologizes, it won’t be sincere because I know she doesn’t think she needs to. So I guess I’m never going to talk to her again.” When asked if maybe it wasn’t Yael’s fault, Eva was even more upset. “Well

Whose fault is it, mine? Did I leave myself behind? Whose else could be at fault besides Yael!”

So just when it looked like the end of a friendship, it was a groundhog to the rescue. When Eva arrived home after school on Thursday, she was greeted by a strange sight. Her next door neighbor, Mrs. Fiedler, was (sort of) sitting on Eva’s front lawn and Eva’s mother was crouching down, trying to help Mrs. Fiedler stand up. She really seemed to be pulling on Mrs.Fiedler’s arms, but Mrs. Fiedler wasn’t budging. Eva noticed that this was due to her right leg being completely sunken into the lawn. Eva ran over and helped the two ladies, and eventually, they freed Mrs. Fiedler from being swallowed up like Korach.

However, Mrs. Fiedler’s leg wasn’t the only thing that came out of the hole in the lawn. Following her foot was a nice-sized brown groundhog. Apparently, this critter was responsible for digging underneath the lawn, causing it to be weak enough to collapse. The groundhog scurried across the lawn and disappeared into the bushes in the backyard.

With the fun part over (and sure Mrs. Fiedler wasn’t hurt) Eva’s mother noticed that the screen on Mrs. Fiedler’s phone had shattered when she fell. Eva’s mother felt terrible. “Helen, I’m so sorry about the phone. Let me know what it costs to fix. I’ll pay for it.” Mrs. Fiedler waved her away. “Nonsense! You didn’t cause my phone to break!” Eva’s mother wasn’t convinced. “But it’s my lawn and my property. I must be the one at fault.” Mrs. Fiedler smiled. “Dear, there doesn’t always need to be someone at fault. Unfortunate things happen; it’s part of life. People are always quick to find out who’s to blame, but I don’t like living that way.” And with that, both mother and daughter learned a valuable lesson. “Mom,” said Eva. “I’m gonna walk over to Yael’s for a little bit. There’s something I need to fix.”

Parshat Mishpatim tells us what happens if one person’s animal damages another person’s property. If the animal wasn’t expected to do damage, the owner of the animal pays for half of the damages. But why not pay in full? Isn’t the owner responsible for the animal’s actions? The answer is that the owner could not be expected to prevent something he or she couldn’t have predicted. Through this law, Hashem is teaching us an important lesson. We don’t always need to find someone to blame, and life is much better that way.

By Yair Daar

 

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles