Between davening mincha and ma’ariv in shul, my husband overhead the following story:
One of the men in shul was telling his friend how he’d been in the supermarket, when he accidentally bumped into another trolley. He hadn’t been concentrating (you’ll see why in a minute) – and during his daydreaming, he’d accidentally gone into the back of the person who’d stopped in front of him.
His fellow shopper went ballistic and started yelling and cursing at him loudly at the top of his voice, causing him no end of embarrassment as everyone else in the shop gathered round to see what was going on.
All the man had in his trolley was a loaf of bread, and the man he’d bumped into started screaming at him that he didn’t even need a trolley, if all he could afford to put in it was a loaf of bread!!!
At this point, the first man broke down a little, and stiffly explained that he didn’t have a lot of money to put a lot of other things in his trolley….
At that point, something softened in the other shopper, and he started apologizing for all the nasty things he’d just said, and all the criticism he’d heaped on his head. The first man accepted his apology, but still looked pretty down and broken-hearted.
The second shopper now had a complete change of heart and decided to make some real teshuva.
He told the first man that he was going to fill up his trolley and pay for it all, to say sorry for abusing him in public and drawing attention to the fact that he didn’t have a lot of money. He literally dragged the first shopper round the supermarket, piling as many things as he could into the trolley.
Good as his word, he paid the whole bill when it came to more than 800nis (around $230) patted the first shopper on the back, and then carried on with his own grocery run. A little later, the second man came out of the supermarket and spotted the first shopper sitting down on a bench, crying.
He came over to him and asked him: ‘Why are you crying? I made it up to you now, didn’t I?’ The first shopper nodded, and explained what was going on:
‘A little while ago, my wife told me we had no food in the house,’ he said. ‘All I had in my pocket was 10 nis (around $2.50), but I told my wife that I would got to the supermarket in any case, and that Hashem would help me.