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Stories of Tzadikim / 38 The Tailor and the Poretz

Hold on to Shabbos with
Stories of Tzadikim
With Rav Yussie Zakutinsky

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A gut voch, let me tell you a story. There are certain towns in Europe that are not so big, but on the map of Yiddishkeit they’re very big. Peshischa is one of those big cities. Many tzadikim came from there. One of the Rebbeim that came from there is Reb Yerachmiel of PErshischa, a little less known Rebbeh. 

There’s a story with him one day, he gets a knock on the door. Who is it? Yankel the tailor. It happens to be he was a successful tailor, very talented at what he does, so he comes into the Rebbeh and you can see on his face he was very nervous and concerned about something. He says you know I’m a good tailor, I have a good reputation around town and other cities as well. I’m the tailor to go to, 

The following story just took place, that I got a message a few weeks ago, the job of his entire career, that the porutz of the entire area is making a wedding and he heard about me so he reached out to me that I should make his suit. This is mamash a huge deal, first of all it’s a lot of money, and once I get into that market in his circle it’s going to skyrocket. I was very excited about it. 

Yankel says I put all my effort into it, put in so much time and produced maybe the best suit I ever made. The Porutz looks at it, feels it and he starts screaming at me. You’re the tailor everyone’s talking about! You give me a shmatta, the colors are wrong, it’s uncomfortable, forget it. So I come out of the office,  not only am I upset about all the time and money I put into it, and I lost the deal, my reputation is lost and my whole business is going to go down the drain. 

The Rebbeh said I understand the situation, this is what you have to do. Do you still have the suit? Take out every stitch and put it back together exactly like it was. Yankel says to the Rebbeh it’s the same suit, the porutz didn’t like it then why would he like it now? 

Yankel goes back to the shop, takes out every single stitch, and he pushes to get a meeting with the porutz to get a second chance. Yankel shows the same suit just re-stitched, and the Porutz looks at it before he even touches it and says ah, this is the suit I was looking for. He feels it, says it’s perfect. I’ll pay you well, this product that you just made now if you can make it for my entire family. 

Yankel goes back to the rebbeh for an explanation. The first time I showed him the suit it was terrible, then when I re-stitched it all of a sudden he liked it? What changed? When you made the suit the first time, your head was full of pride. You felt over-inflated, I'm the best tailor in town. Whenever there’s an inflated ego, whatever comes from it doesn’t last. When you re-stitched it, you did it from a broken-heart and yearning for Hashem. That has Chen, it’s filled with beauty. 

When the Porutz saw it, he had chen because it was made with desperation and longing for Hashem. Sometimes it’s that way with us, we go through disappointments, menios, we think to ourselves we need to somehow get through it to get the bracha. But really, the bracha that comes is because we had a broken heart and challenges.

In that place of a broken heart, of tefillah and longing from Hashem we can make wonders. 

We should be zoche to have a week filled with hatzlacha, bracha and siyata dishmaya b’vias goel tzedek b’mheirah b’yamenu amen.


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