Midah #7- A personal story

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.

15 thoughts on “Midah #7- A personal story

  1. chaverah

    i am so happy that the owner of the seforim store answered back that way! thank god there are decent people left in this world. What a great ending! wonderful! and the other guy, what a jerk!

    Reply
  2. anonbobhehe

    That is very nice of the store owner and so disgusting of the other guy. Good story to illustrate the point.

    Reply
  3. Pragmatician

    Sorry you had to hear that from that snub, but I love this story, and kudos to the store owner
    Great guy.

    It’s just shows how superficial some (too many) frummers are, the way you dress and the Yeshivah your kids attend are much more important than things that should truly matter.

    And I’d like to mention my appreciation for the fact you greeted the store owner upon entering.
    I worked in a store for awhile and it’s very pleasant when people acknowledge you when they come in

    Reply
  4. A Frum Idealist

    I have heard two very similar stories where “modern” guys that I know subbed in a chassidishe school, and at one point they heard the kids whispering to each other “geb a kik, de goy trugt tzitzis – take a look, the goy is wearing tzitzis”.
    This is made clear in pirkei avos, “al tistakel bakankan, ela bema sheyesh bo” and of course….
    “Derech Eretz KADMA L’Torah”. How often did my father hammer that into my head. 🙂

    Reply
  5. Neil Harris

    Frum Idealist: Does your father make Torah tapes? 🙂

    The only way…I know the man and his kids were stunned by what the owner said to them. And, yeah, it happens to be great shop.

    Reply

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