So here is a simple story - an old Yiddish folk tale - that may have some bearing on the times in which we are fortunate to live.
Once upon a time ...
Jared and Ivanka (names randomly chosen) lived in a tiny shtetl in - where else? - Russia, a land they all loved, even (some say especially) before the Revolution.
Ivanka's father, who just happened to live next door to the happy couple (Ivanka's parents had been divorced for years) dropped by one Friday morning and asked to borrow Ivanka's cholent pot for Shabbos.
What could Ivanka do? She and Jared and the kids (did I mention the kids?) would be spending Shabbos with their friends in the shtetl three down and one across. So Ivanka gave her father the cholent pot, so he could have hot food for Shabbos.
"Be careful with this, Papa," Ivanka said. "It's the only cholent pot we've got, and we can't afford another."
Shabbos came, and Shabbos went.
On Sunday afternoon, Ivanka's father stopped by to return the cholent pot he had borrowed.
"Papa, the handle has broken off and the pot is cracked!" Ivanka exclaimed. "And I asked you to be especially careful with it! Now what will we do?"
"Before you blame me," said Ivanka's father, "there are three things I must tell you in my defense."
"First - I never borrowed your cholent pot."
"Second - I have returned the cholent pot in good condition, just as when I borrowed it."
"Third - the cholent pot was broken when you lent it to me."