Mr and Mrs Stein lived a very simple life. They owned a clothing store in the not so great part of town. Mr Stein kept the back office and Mrs Stein handled the selling. Their customers were very loyal and had no problem with the Steins closing the store every Saturday.
If you needed the Steins you either looked in the store or the Shul. Life was good, their children were off to the big city with families of their own and they wanted for nothing. Six years went by and time for Mr Stein to do the yearly books. Like he did on the seventh year he zero’d out his accounts receivable. Like every seventh year his accountant went ballistic.
“Your loyal customers are stealing from you!” he would scream in a sarcastic tone. They know what you’re going to do and when you’re going to do it. They are taking advantage of you! On and on he would yell and scream at Mr. Stein.
The Stein’s customers would come into the store within a week of getting their state- ment and every man and woman would come up to the Steins, thank them and shake their hand.
Never did the Steins pull away their hands empty. There was always cash. No one asked, it just happened.
The Steins would take a portion of this cash and donate it.
The roof leaked one year, word spread and a roofer came, no he would not take money. The car broke down, no the mechanic would not take the Steins money.
50 years the Steins were in business. It was time to retire. The whole town came out for the celebration, the Mayor gave a speech, customers would tell stories about the store and every man, woman and child hugged Mr and Mrs Stein.
They turned off the lights for the last time, locked the door for the last time and turned to see that the crowd was still there. It was Friday and the sun was going down, everybody knew that. Everybody knew where the Steins were headed, but no one left.
Mr and Mrs Stein started towards the Shul just like every other Friday. The crowd was still there but now behind them. Every one was headed to Shul, every man, woman and child.Mr and Mrs Stein looked at each other, then the crowd following them, then at each other. He smiled, she put her hand in his and off they went …
In this week’s Parsha, Behar Bechukotai. God tells us about the sabbatical years and the jubilee. We are to grow our crops and extend credit for six years. In the seventh year we are to let the land rest, forgive outstanding debts and rotate possession of property. Just like Shabbat we rest.
Can you imagine the bank writing off your house or car note. Not likely, but how about we let go of regret, grudges, the everyday mundane.
Once a week, every seventh day we can be like Mr and Mrs Stein. Hand in hand … Shabbat Shalom,