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Bill Gates: Anything May Be Purchased, Except the Shabbat of a Jew

Published on Monday August 30th, 2021

Kawey Bernhard, a Torah observant Jew from South Africa is the author of a bestseller, which explains how to apply certain attributes of the tiger world to achieve success in the competitive business world. His worldwide bestseller set off a commotion in corporations and high-end business circles. Later, Kawey became a much sought-after speaker at international business conferences.

One day, the phone rang in Kawey's office. A man named John introduced himself, as one of the directors of Microsoft. He invited Kawey to give the opening speech at a congress for important international CEOs, in the presence of the company founder, Bill Gates.

Kawey, who was very excited about the opportunity, immediately inquired about the conference's date. To his great surprise, he discovered that the congress' opening date, when he was invited to speak, was none other than the holy Shabbat. He immediately responded the he could not participate given that he is a practicing Jew who observes the Torah and the Mitzvot, and never works on Shabbat.

John immediately tried to persuade him. He offered to double and even triple his fees for the opening lecture, but Kawey stood firm.  Attempting to persuade him, John did not give up. He ended up offering astronomical sums. But Kawey could not be bought. He refused to work on Shabbat, regardless of the consequences. Having no other choice, the management delayed the opening of the convention to Sunday, so Kawey could deliver his speech.

A few months after the conference, Mr. Kawey again received a call from John, the director who had invited him to the conference. He confided that a few days earlier, he had traveled on Bill Gates' private jet. They spoke about the conference's success and about Kawey's remarkable opening speech. John told his boss about the incident with Kawey, he recounted the astronomical sums of money he offered, and Kawey's stubborn refusal to desecrate a Jewish Shabbat.

Hearing these words, Mr. Gates replied, "Now I understand there are things that money can't buy. I can purchase any plane, yacht or building, I can buy talent, but I cannot and will never be able to buy the Shabbat of a Jew. "

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