If you haven’t figured it out, I will not finish all 13 Midos by Tisha B’Av. It’s taken a lot more introspection that I thought it would to post on the Midos. I’m glad I’ve been doing it and will continue until they are completed.
I was going to tell this story in the previous comments section of Midah #7, but it deserves its’ own posting.
This is a true story and I only write it to emphasis Midah # 7 and the importance of trying to be a Mentch Yisrael. It isn’t meant as a rant or to cause friction between Jews.
Two summers ago, my family and I went to Upstate NY. We decided to drive into Woodbourne and get something to eat. I, of course, wanted to go check out the seforim store (which happens to rock). As I walk in, I say hello to the owner and ask if he’s having a nice day. “Baruch Hashem,” he replies.
We proceed to browse around and get a few items. A kippah for my son, a few kids books, a believe I got an Artscroll Mishnah, and a copy of the Chofetz Chaim’s Lesson a Day (a real deal for only $7.99). As I’m look around the store I notice a father with his two high school sons standing by the cash register. I see the father look at me and then hear him say, “People like him come in to a store like this? What would he want with seforim?”
Note: I was wearing a polo shirt and khaki pants.
Then the owner says to this man and his sons, “Yes, people like him shop here. And guess what? When he walked in, he said hello to me and asked how I am. When you came in you didn’t say a word to me. I’d take a customer like him anyday.” This guy is my hero.
What this man and his kids were wearing and where they fell on the hashkafa chart doesn’t matter.
You can look decent and be a mensch or you can go “casual” and be a mensch. Just be a mensch.