Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tuesday's Thoughts on the Daf - Shevuous 30

Shevuous 30 marks the beginning of the fourth perek of Shevuous and the discussion about witnesses and judicial procedure.

Towards the bottom of Shevuous 30, the gemara takes a break from discussing the laws of witnesses and judges and remarks that a person should always judge others for the good. Rashi explaind that the gemara is not talking about court cases, but instead is discussing a person who sees another commit an act which could be viewed as wrong if he is not given the benefit of the doubt.

The discussion reminded me of a story I heard from R' Goldvicht last year (and more recently again from R' Goldvicht a few weeks ago) about a butcher store.

The story involves a man who was walking to the subway when he passed a kosher butcher store. The man saw a treif meat truck parked outside the store and the driver was entering the store. As the man watched, the driver entered the store and was allowed to walk behind the counter. Moments later, the driver exited the store with a smile on his face.

The man then called up the Rav Hamachshir for the store and asked him to pull the kosher certification. The Rav asked - did you see the driver take anything into the store? No, was the answer. Did you see him carry anything out of the store? Again, the answer was no. The Rav Hamachshir said - well then I have no reason to take away the hashgacha.

The man was not happy with the attitude of the Rav and decided that he would no longer shop at the store. He also told all of his friends about his decision and the reason he would no longer buy there. Soon, many people stopped buying at the store, although the owner was never told the reason that his customers were not returning.

A number of months later, the store owner died and his family tried to take over the store. However, within two years they realized they could not make the store profitable and the store was closed.

Approximately six months later, the same man was walking outside the now closed store when he saw the treif meat truck parked outside. The man approached the driver and asked why he was there. The driver answered that he had a flat tire and was waiting for AAA. The driver then said - what ever happened to the store that was here? When the man said that it was closed, the driver responded that it was a shame. The driver then related that years earlier his truck had broken down outside the store. He went inside and was greeted warmly by the owner who invited him behind the counter and let him use the phone. The driver said that the owner was a very nice guy and it was a shame the store was gone.

The man became very distressed and approached R' Reuven Feinstein and asked whether there was some way to remedy the situation. He was told that there was no way to get complete teshuva in this world. However, he could take a minyan to the grave of the store owner to ask mechila. Additionally, he could take on the financial support of the widow and children for the rest of his life.

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