A Chassidisher Ma'asehThe other night I heard a story that had been told by Mendel Morozov about his father R' Chonya. After his marriage, R' Chonya went with his wife to buy furniture. Looking for a good tabble - one to gather around for Shabbos meals, farbrengens and the like - they went to a table merchant.
The first table shown to them was gorgeous - it was hand crafted with mahogany wood, inlaid with ebony and the like . . . When Chonya asked for the price, however, he was told it cost 10,000 Rubbles. Such a sum was more then he'd ever make in a year, and far too much to spend on a table.
'Well' said the salesman. 'If that one's too much for you, then I can show you something that's very similar - but on at a better price.
Shown the next table in the showroom, Chunya looked at the second table. Seemingly it was just as nice as the previous table.
'This table,' said the salesman. 'Is only 5,000 Rubbles.'
Why was it so much cheaper? There was a scratch on the bottom of the table that ,slight and unabtrusive as it was, devaluation the table by half.
Though the table was half price, however, it was still beyond the young couples' means.
The salesman took them to another, far simpler, table. This one only cost 300 rubbles.
Far cheaper then the previous two, it was still more then Chonya wanted to spend,
"Do you have this table with a scratch?" Chonya asked optimistically.
"No." Laughed the salesman. "This table is made of simple pine. A scratch will not affect its value."
Unable to buy any of the tables, the Morozovs left.
Though table-less, the young Chonya took a lesson from experience:
A tammim is like a fine table - he's worth a lot, but even the smallest scratch can devalue him. A misnaged is like the other table - mit a kratz, un a kratz, er iz alamal di zelbe (with or without a scratch, he's worth the same.)
But a tammim - even a scratched one - is always worth more then a misnagid.
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