Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

The Cashier

Yocheved Lavon

“Baruch Hashem!” he said. “I have enough for another roll. One more shekel, right?” “Right,” she said with a smile, outwardly sharing his gratitude for his windfall. Inwardly, she was stunned. So that was how it worked; he would eat a little more for breakfast or a little less, depending on how many coins he could find in his pocket on any given day. And either way, it was enough for him. Without saying a word, she thanked him for that shining moment, for what he’d just shown her.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

There was so much poverty here.

Kids came in to buy treats, and sometimes, when they handed over their sweaty coins, the cashier would tell them, “Sorry … you don’t have enough.” A young assistant manager named Chanan, a husky Moroccan Jew, would reach into his pocket whenever he happened to overhear one of these exchanges, and quietly make up the difference himself.

Many times already, customers on a strict budget had asked her to keep an eye on the subtotal. “Tell me when it reaches 200,” they would say. In the “reserved” corner of their shopping carts, they would hold back the items they considered luxuries, or that they didn’t really need this week … or perhaps, she reflected, that they didn’t need for their next meal. Each one of these kollel families had its own way of ranking the priorities. If they could, they would buy the extras. And if not, not.

In the afternoon, a little girl, around eleven years old, came to the counter with a loaded shopping cart. “I have 300 shekels,” the child announced. “My mother said it might not be enough for all this, so you should tell me when it gets close to 300.”

“Okay,” the cashier replied, and began scanning the items. It might not be enough…. She felt a sudden ripple of excitement. Turning to the child, she said, “Trust Hashem. What you need, you’ll for sure get.”


To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

What’s in a Name?
Shoshana Friedman “What does Writer X have to say this week?”
Atonement — Fake and Real
Yonoson Rosenblum White confessionals and faux rituals
Four Walls Coming Full Circle
Eytan Kobre All the while, there’s been a relationship in the offing...
And Yet We Smile
Yisroel Besser We are the nation that toils to be happy at all costs
Out of This World
Rabbi Henoch Plotnick Dirshu Hashem b’himatzo — we are in Hashem’s company now...
Steven and Jonathan Litton
Rachel Bachrach The co-owners of Litton Sukkah, based in Lawrence, NY
Tali Messing
Moe Mernick Tali Messing, engineering manager at Facebook Tel Aviv
Sick Note
Jacob L. Freedman “Of course, Dr. Freedman. Machul, machul, machul”
Avoiding Health Columns Can Be Good for You
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Only one reliable guide for good health: our Torah
Endnote: Side Notes
Riki Goldstein Most Jewish music industry entertainers have side profes...
Me, Myself, and Why
Faigy Peritzman Where there’s no heart and no love, there’s no point
Can’t Do It Without You
Sarah Chana Radcliffe When you step up to the plate, you build your home team
Eternal Joy
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz The joy of Succos is the fruit of spiritual victory
The Appraiser: Part III
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer Make sure your child knows his strengths
Hidden Special Needs
Rena Shechter You won’t see his special needs, but don’t deny them
Dear Wealthy Friend
Anonymous There’s no need for guilt. I am truly happy for you