Hymie Cohen goes home to his wife, Rivka—the woman he loves, the woman to whom he has devoted his entire life. He finds a note on the refrigerator:
“Dear Hymie, I have left you. I have run off with your best friend, Moishe. I have cleaned out our savings accounts and sold all our possessions. Don’t try to find me. Good-bye forever, Rivka”.
Hymie Cohen is devastated. Despondent. He finds the one possession she left behind: a gun. He is about to end it all.
He thinks: “Wait. It is true I am ruined, betrayed, alone. But I am only in my early fifties. I can build a business again. I am fat; I can slim down. I am bald; I can get a hair transplant”.
A year later, he has done all these things. He is driving to the Arabella Hotel and Spa near Hermanus in his new John Cooper Works Mini soft-top convertible, in his Hugo Boss suit. The wind is in his new hair. He’s thinking of all the beautiful women half his age he has slept with in the past few weeks.
At that moment, a lightning bolt comes down and crashes into a massive pine tree which falls across his car, breaking every single bone in his body. In the moments just before he dies, he looks up to heaven, and he asks:
“God? Why? Why would you do this to me?”
After a moment, God replies: “Hymie? Is that you? I didn’t recognise you!”
Barry Varkel, an attorney of the High Court of South Africa and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales.
Author of Nigiri Law