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The Important Rope

By Rabbi Jonathan Tawil

Winter had settled in, and storms were conjuring up, but the family of four had to make their way to an urgent appointment hundreds of miles away.

In those days the only way of travel for such a family was with an expert wagon driver that knew the terrain.

They took the best man in town and set off on their urgent journey.

Although it was freezing they made good progress for the first two days, but then a storm settled in, and heavy rainfall started to make the pathways in front of them full of mud. It wasn’t long before the horses started to react to the freezing temperature, difficult muddy terrain and pouring rain.

In haste, they veered of the path, heading down a steep hill off the path. One of the wagon wheels got caught in some thick mud and broke away.

The horses came to a halt and the carriage was damaged, without this wheel they were going nowhere.

The family was lucky to escape unscathed, but there was no way to move the wagon forward without re-attaching the wheel to the carriage.

What were they going to do?

The wagon driver with his pride at heart told them that he would sort everything out.

“Wait here, I know the area, I will go and fetch some strong rope from a nearby village.” He said.

Of he went arriving at the village after a two hour walk.

It was close to midnight and all the shops were closed. The village seemed asleep, yet he heard strong music and laughter coming from a large tent at the centre.

He didn’t know, but inside the tent was the King himself. He had come to stay the night on his way back to his Palace and the village had put on a massive banquet for him.

The wagon driver approached the music, not caring about who was in and noticed that outside there was some thick rope sticking out of the tent.

This is exactly what I need – some really strong rope, he thought.

There was no other way to get rope so late at night and even though it was ‘wrong’ to cut this rope, he really needed it.

Convincing himself it was the only way forward, he took out a knife and started to cut away. It took him a while, but eventually the rope cut.

Off he sped with the rope.

One major problem; this wasn’t just an ordinary rope; it was a central rope connected and designed to hold up the entire tent.

It was also connected to many fire torches that were glowing in the dark.

As soon as the rope cut, the tent and fire torches started to fall down, there was mayhem, people were killed, some injured, others burned with the flames.

As the chaos ensued the king managed to safely escape and issued a warrant for the perpetrator.

Who was this enemy that managed to cause so much damage? Who wanted to assassinate the king?

Soldiers were sent forth to search the tracks and they soon caught up with the culprit – rope in hand.

He was flung in jail awaiting a quick trial back at the palace.

The day of the trial arrived and the prosecutor brought testimony after testimony of the atrocity and its effects.

The defence then stood up and approached the king.

“Your honour, the defendant was careless, and he is sincerely sorry and repentant at the outcome. He has not stopped crying over the damage caused.

Let’s focus on what he really did?

He only cut and stole a piece of rope.

He didn’t realise what the effects would be, his whole intention was for the rope.

Please forgive him.”

The court was adjourned and after great thought the king banged on the table exclaiming we have the verdict.

The defendant is guilty he stole. He must pay –  50 pence for the rope!

What an outcome, what a King.

Would we expect such a thing from a human king?

We are blessed to have such a King.

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