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Once a highly respected rabbi chatted with some Jewish visitors at his house in Jerusalem. An unknown man, a Moslem, knocked at the door. The rabbi invited him to come in and asked, in Arabic, what happened. The Moslem was a shopowner. He told that his shop was visited that day by a Jewish customer. After the Jew had left a golden ring on the desk had disappeared. The Moslem said that only the Jewish customer could have stolen the ring since they were alone in the shop. The rabbi asked him some more questions to be sure he told the truth. Then he invited the Jew to the house.
The moment the Jew entered, the rabbi rushed towards him, whispering in Hebrew: "Please, I beg you for the sake of all that is holy, deny that you stole the ring from this Gentile [non-Jewish] person!" The Jew, thrown off-guard, told him: "That is exactly what I was planning to do." Then the rabbi said: "Very well. Now that you have virtually confessed your deed in front of all these witnesses, hand the ring immediately over to its owner and be grateful that we will not take steps to punish you." The thief then gave back the ring and left unpunished.
Arab Educational Institute, Moral Stories from Palestine. Culture and Palestine Series, Bethlehem 1999. For more information: email@example.com