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Whom Should You Fear Most?
Once when Rabbi Shmuel ben Sosarti was in Rome, the Queen lost her jewels. Rabbi Shmuel found them. But before he could return the jewels, the Queen proclaimed, "The jewels must be returned within 30 days. After that, the person holding them will be beheaded!"
What did Rabbi Shmuel do? He waited a month, then turned in the precious jewels. At first, the Queen was overjoyed. But then she asked Rabbi Shmuel, "Didn't you know about my decree?"
Rabbi Shmuel answered, "Yes, your Highness."
"Were you out of the country so that you could not return them in time?" she questioned.
"No, your Highness," Rabbi Shmuel answered, "I remained in Rome."
"Then why didn't you return my jewels within 30 days?" she asked.
"I did not want you to think that I feared a mortal human being," Rabbi Shmuel replied. "I returned your jewels because I fear G-d!"
"Blessed be the G-d of the Jews!" she proclaimed.
"I couldn't agree with you more!" said Rabbi Shmuel.
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