Monday, February 1, 2010

The Precious Pears





Back in the early 1970’s, there were a few books written for children featuring heart-warming stories with Jewish themes. Published by Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch (Lubavitch), they were:

The Call of the Shofar, and other Stories, published 1971 and,
The Secret of Success and other Stories, published in 1973.

These books were authored by Chana Suber-Sharfstein/Nissan Mindel, and illustrated by Zalman Kleinman.

One of the stories was titled “The Precious Pears”. The main character is a poor, older man who is no longer able to work and is offered a job gathering fruits from an orchard located deep in a forest. When he finishes the job, he is offered payment in “pears”, which he reluctantly takes – having preferred money. It turns out that these pears have the taste of Gan Eden, and he is able to sell them for a steep price and retire from the profit.

I was recently learning Baba Metziah 118a where the Halacha is pretty clear that if someone hires a person for a job, he may not pay him in goods, unless this was stipulated originally.

I sometimes wonder how many of our nurtured notions influence us later in life, causing us to have a skewed vision of Halacha.

3 comments:

  1. Those books bring back such wonderful memories. The famous story of how the Rothchild family amassed their wealth, along with the Broken Mirror are classics.

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  3. There are opinions, that food qualifies as money. The rationale being, that this law is based on byomo teetain scharo, paying him on that day. That is because the worker needs to eat. If you provide him with food, you have dispensed your obligation. See Hagaot Maymoni on Rambam Hilchot Schirot 9:10.

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