Yair, the ousted Jewish adviser to the Imam, entered the Imam’s palace with trepidation. He had incredible news to tell the Imam, but he feared the great Arab ruler would not want to hear anything that came from his mouth.

“You return to waste the Imam’s time?” Qazima emerged from the shadows and blocked Yair’s way. “How did you receive permission to enter the palace? I thought the Imam banned you for life!”

“The guards allowed me this favor,” Yair responded. “I always treated the Imam’s officers with kindness and respect and now it’s coming back to help me. Perhaps you should try being kind for a change; it may help you one day.”

“I’m doing just fine!” Qazima chortled, puffing out his chest as he fluffed his fancy new robe. “I’ve taken over your services! I am the Imam’s chief adviser now! However I’ve been acting until now seems to have brought me tremendous good fortune, so I’ll continue doing whatever I’ve been doing.”

“We’ll see how happy you are after I speak to the Imam,” Yair said, lowering his voice. “Your downfall is coming, Qazima!”

“Wait, what?” Qazima’s smile slipped from his face. “What news are you bringing the Imam?”

“Excuse me,” Yair said as he sidestepped Qazima and entered the Imam’s room.


“How dare you return here!” The Imam stared hard at Yair from his place on the massive throne. “My instructions to my soldiers were very clear. You are forbidden from entering these premises for all eternity!”

“Please, listen to what I have to say!” Yair begged the enraged ruler. “I bring incredible news from the Jewish community. They have told me that they can prove their innocence!”

“Go on.” the Imam said, his gaze boring into Yair’s eyes. “Talk quickly before I throw you out.”

“Someone in the community has sworn that he can identify the exact person or people that murdered your beloved son,” Yair said.

“And who offers such information?” the Imam asked cautiously.

“A-a child,” Yair said quietly.

“Ha!” Qazima laughed and roughly pushed Yair aside. “You truly have no limits to your treachery, Yair! Do you think our wise Imam will fall for your lies?”

“Our Chacham Bashi believes the child. He is willing to bring the child here and show you the truth.”

“Do not listen to his vile words any longer,” Qazima shrieked, holding out his hands to the Imam. “This man seeks to play on your emotions. He thinks you will be more inclined to believe fairy tales because of the state of grief you’re currently in.”

“Silence, you evil man!” Yair bellowed at Qazima.

“You’re no longer in position to give orders to Qazima!” the Imam said sharply. “Leave now and do not return again. Next time, I will let Qazima decide your fate.”

Yair left and Qazima smiled triumphantly. (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 716)