When her friends would ask her why she always wore the same outfit to school everyday, she would blush and say "Um, because it's my most favorite dress!"
Even though she was sad that her parents had to work so hard and that she didn't have a lot of toys, she never was jealous of any other girl. In fact, her best friend was the exact opposite of Shaindela.
Rivkela's family was very wealthy. She had hundreds of pairs of outfits and dresses to choose from, she also had every Nintendo ever invented, and lived in a beautiful big mansion. Rivkela and Shaindela were best of friends. They enjoyed the same interests, the same books, and were in the same first grade class by Mrs. Morah. They always sat next to each other on the bus and enjoyed each others company.
One day, as Shaindela was getting off the bus, the janitor, Mr. Schlamazale stopped her. "Shaindela", said Mr. Schlamazale. "I meant to give this to you." and he handed her a brown envelope.
"This isn't mine.." said Shaindela.
"Yes it is", said Mr. Schlamazale, "I saw it fall out of your knapsack yesterday when you went into Mrs. Morah's classroom. I saw it fall out of a knapsack of a little girl with brown hair, so I knew it must be you!"
"But there are a lot of girls with brown hair in my class!" said Shaindela.
Just then, Mrs. Morah told Shaindela to come to class, as they were going to bake cookies. So Shaindela quickly took the envelope and put it into her knapsack. The whole time she was in school, she forgot about the envelope and was busy working and learning. When school was finished, she ran to the bus and chatted non-stop with Rivkela. When she got home that evening, she was busy doing her homework, and helping her mother. Shaindela completely forgot all about the envelope sitting on the bottom of her knapsack.
A few days later, when Shaindela got onto the bus, she saw Rivkela sitting there looking sad.
"What's wrong?" asked Shaindela.
"I don't know what I did with it!" replied Rivkela.
"Did with what?" pressed Shaindela.
"My Daddy gave me some money to give to Mr. Rabbi Principal, and I lost it!" sobbed Rivkela
"Don't worry, Rivkela. I'll help you look for the money." replied Shaindela.
"I already looked everywhere! I looked in my cubby at school, in my closet, and I looked in all my 147 dresses! I lost my Daddy's money!" cried Rivkela.
"Well," said Shaindela, "it's like Mrs. Morah always says. We have to help a fellow Jew. Don't worry, I'll think of something!"
The entire bus ride to school, Shaindela was deep in thought. Finally, when they arrived at school, she had an idea! She got the entire class together and said: "Rivkela lost some money her father gave her. She looked everywhere and can't find it. We have to help a fellow Jew, so I decided we are going to all work together to make some money."
"But how can we make money, we are only in first grade?" said one of their friends.
"Well," said Shaindela, "you are good at baking. So you can bake cookies and sell them. And you," pointing to another friend, "are great at babysitting. You can earn money that way. And you guys," pointing to more friends, "can wash cars!" And on and on, until everyone was assigned a job to help make money to replace what was lost.
Shaindela took it upon herself to make certain that everyone was doing their part. Everyday, she would call all the girls in their class and ask them how much money they made.
Finally, when Shaindela thought they had collected enough money, she told Rivkela to bring the envelope to Mr. Rabbi Principal.
"My Daddy asked me to give this to you." Rivkela said to Mr. Rabbi Principal.
"Thank You", he replied, taking the envelope from her.
When the Principal got back to his office, he opened the envelope and onto his desk fell out...
78 pennies, 6 nickels, 3 dimes, 2 paperclips, 1 wad of chewed up bubble gum, and 100 bills in Monopoly money.
"Hmmmmmm" said Mr. Rabbi Principal to himself.
After school at Rivkela's house, the girls were thrilled that they were able to collect money to replace the lost money. As they were chatting, there was a Ring from the doorbell.
"Rivkela" said her Mommy, "could you please get that?"
Rivkela went to open the door, and standing there, in her doorway, was Mr. Rabbi Principal!
"Hello Rivkela", said Mr. Rabbi Principal "is your Daddy home?"
Mr. Rabbi Principal and Rivkela's Daddy were talking for a long time. Finally, Rivkela's Daddy asked her to come over.
"Did you give Mr. Rabbi Principal the money?" asked Rivkela'a Daddy.
"Umm, yes..." said Rivkela.
"Did you give him the money I gave you in the brown envelope?" continued her Daddy.
Just then, Shaindela remembered all about the envelope in her knapsack!
"I'll be right back" Shaindela exclaimed, and ran to get the envelope.
"I'm sorry Daddy" cried Rivkela. "I lost the money you gave me, and was too embarrassed to tell you. So Shaindela said that we always have to help a fellow Jew. She got all the kids together and gave us each a job to do so we can raise money. Shaindela even gave some of her own money! And then, when we thought we had enough money, I gave it to Mr. Rabbi Principal."
"I have it!" cried Shaindela returning. "Mr. Schlamazale gave the envelope to me, thinking I dropped it, but it was Rivkela. I put it into my knapsack and forgot all about it until right now!" She handed the envelope to Rivkela's Daddy.
Afterwards, everyone was happy. Rivkela was happy, because her Daddy was not upset at her. Rivkela's Daddy was happy that his money was found, and even Mr. Rabbi Principal was happy.
But... the story doesn't end here...
That night, as Shaindela was getting ready to change and go to bed, there was a Ring at the doorbell.
"Shaindela" said her mother, "could you please get the door?"
Shaindela went to open the door, and standing there, in her doorway, was Mr. Rabbi Principal!
"Hello Shaindela", said Mr. Rabbi Principal "is your Daddy home?"
Mr. Rabbi Principal and Shaindela's Daddy were talking for a long time. Finally, Shaindela's Daddy asked her to come over.
"I am so proud of what you did!" said Shaindela's father. "Mr. Rabbi Principal told me all about it! He said you organized all the kids together to help out a fellow Jew."
"Well.." said Shaindela, "I just did what Mrs. Morah always says..."
"But I have even better news" interrupted Mr. Rabbi Principal. "When Rivkela's Daddy heard how hard you worked to help Rivkela out, he wanted to thank you. So, he decided that from now on, your Mommy should stop working, and your Daddy should only work one job!"
"What? But we can't afford to do that!" said Shaindela's Daddy.
"You can!" continued Mr. Rabbi Principal "because when I told Rivkela's Daddy how hard you and your wife work, he decided that to thank Shaindela, he was going to pay all your bills. That way, you can spend more time with Shaindela and her siblings, and less time working!"
"And finally" said Mr. Rabbi Principal "he thanks you Shaindela, for helping out your fellow Jew!"