It’s amazing how we rush to judge people without knowing the true story.
I was just at Sam’s Bagels on Malchei Yisrael Street in Jerusalem, and as I walk out the door a man walked up to me with a 7 year-old girl holding his hand. He turned to me and asked for some money for food.
I looked at him and my heart broke, seeing a little girl with no food to eat, and seeing a man who has to beg for food in front of his daughter.
I took out all the shekels I had (1,300 which is over $300) and gave it to him, right then and there.
I started walking back to work, and as I got to the corner I saw the man walking over to a teenager with a knapsack. He walked over to the teen, handed him the money, and in return the teen gave him something.
Seeing this, I was very upset. I thought, “This man is going around scamming people with a little girl just to buy some drugs, what’s going to happen to this girl?”
I decided to follow him, and I see him collecting and going back to the teen over and over.
So I walked up to the teen, I looked him in the eye, and I said, “If you want to sell drugs, that’s your business, but how can you watch someone collect money with a little girl to buy drugs?”
He didn’t answer me, and I saw tears well up in his eyes. Just then the man saw we were talking and walked up to us. I started screaming at him, asking how he could do this.
The man listened to what I had to say, and then responded, “I’m so sorry, but you see that teenager, that’s my son.” He pointed to the little girl “and that’s my daughter.”
“I lost my job a few weeks ago and ended up on the street, and now I’m walking around begging for food.”
To prove it to me, he took out his driver’s license, his son took out his, and his son emptied his knapsack. There were no drugs, only some clothes.
I apologized and walked off, feeling very ashamed of myself.
I have hurt an innocent man in front of his kids, and judged him unfairly.
How careful we have to be before we judge someone, “Al toden chavairo ad shetagiea limikomo.” Never judge someone until you are in his shoes,
What a valuable lesson I have learned today!
Sincerely, Yossi F.