The Broken and the Whole

Erev Yom Kippur 5777 • 2016

By Rabbi Pamela Frydman

There was a young man who drove an old jalopy and one day he ran out of gas. The weather was cool and so he walked to the nearest gas station, which was about a quarter of a mile away. He lugged a heavy gas can back to his car and as he approached, he noticed that there was another old jalopy right up ahead and both cars looked exactly alike. He put down the gas can and took out his keys to unlock the car, because he wanted to be sure he knew which car was his. But just then his cell phone rang. He tucked his keys back in his pocket and answered the phone. When he finished the call, he tucked away his phone, flipped open the gas door, unscrewed the gas cap and poured the gas into the tank. Then he pulled out his keys and went to unlock the trunk so he could put away the gas can. But his key did not work and that is when he realized that he had just donated two gallons of gas to a complete stranger.[1]

The man walked over to the other car, tried the key, and it worked like a charm. Then he walked back to the gas station to refill the gas can. The gas station attendant chided the man, saying, “you know, when you run out of gas, you can just use the little bit of gas in the can to get your car going again, and then you can drive over here and fill up instead of walking back and forth. The young man was too embarrassed to explain his predicament, so he just smiled and shook his head.

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