I can’t tell you if this story is true or not since I read it in a newspaper. Yet it is a story with many angles, adversity, and arguments. I’m going to tell you first the story as I read it. And then I will tell you the woman’s moral of the story. What do I mean? You’ll understand, soon.
Shimon, while driving his car leaving Bnei Brak to Jerusalem, (over an hour’s drive) passed the Coca Cola bus stop as he was leaving the city. Noticing an older frum yid waiting there, he offered the gentleman a ride after they both established they had a similar destination, every Jew’s destination; Jerusalem.
As they traveled up the hill to Jerusalem, the elderly man asked Shimon if he wouldn’t mind would Shimon drop him off at his real point of destination in Kiryat Moshe which is the first neighborhood as they would enter Jerusalem on their right. Shimon basically said though kindly, yes he would mind, but offered to let him off right next to the bus stop that was going into the neighborhood. He even went as far to explain that he had a lot of errands to run and really didn’t have time to drive his passenger, which he had just done the incredible hesed of driving him free between the two cities closer to the true point of this man’s desire.
At this point of the story, the whole situation becomes difficult. The older man speaking as an elderly statesman explains to Shimon if he wanted to do the mitzvah the proper way, it was really required on Shimon’s part to fully complete the job by taking him all the way to his final destination, especially since it wasn’t really that far. Otherwise, it would have been better not to have taken him at all in the first place. The elderly ‘statesman’ went on with his mussur, “what a shame it is that you are losing such an opportunity.”
Shimon was shocked and quite taken aback by the man’s ingratitude. ‘That’s it, I’ll show him’, he thought to himself. Silently, he entered Jerusalem and before the older man could get off, Shimon turned the car around at Lifta’s exit and headed right back to Bnei Brak. Letting the older gentleman off, while both men fuming, at the coca cola factory in Bnei Brak just where the story had started and then Shimon returned to Jerusalem.
The story, of course, didn’t end there.
Now, Shimon was very busy with many errands to run, so due to the lost two hours of his day, his time went much faster than he had allocated. And it wasn’t just a regular day, that evening his son was hoping to get engaged to a young lady whose parents lived in a Jerusalem neighborhood. Knowing in advance of the possibility of the happy occasion might concur, Shimon had planned the day to be in Jerusalem so he could be there for the very momentous evening. As I’m sure you could guess, as he entered the kallah’s house who should he see? The elderly man was sitting at the table since he was the grandfather of the kallah.
Needless to say, both parties called off the shidduch.
Now seriously who was right? Who was wrong? In the newspaper, the story was used to explain good compromising techniques for businesses and their workers and emphasized all the people in this story who got hurt. Count them, two, four, eight? It adds up.
The problem with this story is that it is a man’s story. Why?
There is no way this could have ever happened between the mother of the chatan and the grandmother of the kallah. Why? Are women more poised? More compromising? More flexible? No. (Well maybe, but that isn’t the point.) How do I know? Can you imagine the scene? Two women are driving from Bnei Brak to Jerusalem, a whole hour and a half and they wouldn’t have discovered they were about to become related? Not possible! Women are communicators and love to share stories, especially such exciting news.
The idea two men would have sat in the car for over two hours together and never learned this basic information – is how we know that 9/10’s of speech was given to women.