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janger! Are you alright?” Jeffer and Yair peered into the gloomy pit and saw Djanger struggling to climb out.

“I’m fine!” Djanger grumbled, huffing and puffing to heave his hefty frame out of the dingy hole. “Give me a hand!”

“Here!” Yair leaned down and let Djanger grasp his strong forearm. Yair hoisted Djanger out with a loud grunt.

“Thank you,” Djanger said, his face red. He brushed at the mud and pebbles that were clinging to his white, elegant robe. “I’m not even sure how I managed that. What a clumsy man I am sometimes.”

“Your robe ripped in the back, my friend,” Jeffer said, pointing to a long rip at the end of Djanger’s robe. “There’s something stuck there.”

Jeffer bent down and removed a small piece of lead that had attached itself to Djanger.

“Why would a piece of lead be lying at the bottom of a rope pit?” Yair wondered aloud.

“I don’t know, but do you want it?” Djanger asked. “Perhaps you can sell it for a few cheap coins in the marketplace.”

“Perhaps,” Yair said unenthusiastically as Jeffer tossed him the muddied lead.

“We’re sorry our experiment didn’t work out in your favor, Yair,” Jeffer said, shaking Yair’s hand.

“Yes, it’s a pity, but Jeffer was right,” Djanger said as he nodded his head sagely. “Only Hashem can make someone wealthy, or make someone, well, not wealthy.”

“Take care,” Yair said softly. “And good luck.”

When Yair returned home he found his old friend and neighbor, Benayahu, sitting outside while taking puffs from a long pipe.

“Shouldn’t you be fishing, Mr. Fisherman?” Yair asked his friend. “Why are you lazing about at home?”

“Shouldn’t you also be at work?” Benayahu retorted. “But if you must know, the seas haven’t been good to me lately. I’ve spent the entire week boiling underneath the sun in the ocean, trying to catch something, and not one fish has ventured even close to my net!”

“The seas don’t control your parnassah, Benayahu. Hashem does!” Yair reminded his friend.

“You’re right, but I’ve gotten so frustrated at returning home empty-handed every day, that I just couldn’t bring myself to go fishing today,” Benayahu complained, waving away a ring of smoke that was hovering in front of his nose.

“Maybe I can help you,” Yair said with growing excitement as he placed his hand inside his pocket and felt the lead that had come from Djanger’s cloak. “I have a nice piece of lead in my pocket. You can use it to weigh down your fishing lines so they don’t float to the surface of the water. Maybe that will help.”

“Yes!” Benayahu shouted happily, tossing away his still-lit pipe and leaping to his feet. “The piece of lead I used to own has been destroyed by the fish gnawing on it. It’s not useful anymore. Maybe a new piece of lead will help.”

“Take it and hatzlacha rabah!” Yair handed Benayahu the lead piece.

“I’ll tell you what, tzaddik!” Benayahu said as Yair began walking away. “The first fish I catch with your lead — I’ll bring it straight to you!” (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 719)