A man participated in a Torah class and afterwards asked the rabbi: “I can make 500,000 shekels providing lighting fixtures to a mosque should I do it?” This man wasn’t religious but felt that the rabbi’s advice would be valuable. He could never imagine how valuable. “Tomorrow I’m supposed to sign on the deal; they want a very expensive fixture, should I do it?”
The rabbi said “I don’t know but I can get an answer from Rabbi Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz. His driver is my friend who can go right in and ask him.” He called on the spot and the driver went right in to ask Rabbi Lefkowitz the question. Rabbi Lefkowitz’s response was: “The deal is not forbidden to do but you won’t see any blessing from it.”
The man heard the answer and said he would back out of the deal because the rabbi said so but he added that “you should know I have a big competitor that will get the deal as soon as I back down from it”. Knowing his competitor would get the business made the test more difficult but the man stuck to his decision and strengthened himself with the knowledge that G-d provides livelihood and the rabbi told already told him this deal had no blessing in it. “If the rabbi says so I will listen to his ruling though it is quite difficult” said the man concluding the conversation. As predicted his competitor got the contract.
The guard cocked his weapon and said: “leave right now!”
A month later at the Torah class the man approached the rabbi and shared the following story with him:
“Let me tell you what happened! My competitor got the deal and got a down payment of 50,000 shekels to buy materials for the elaborate lighting fixture. He would get the balance upon completing the installment of the fixture.”
“He bought 300,000 shekel worth of material and put it in the mosque to come back the next day and put the lighting fixture together. The next day he knocked on the gates of the mosque and the guard came over asking him what he wanted. The man explained that he came to put together the lighting fixture they agreed on the day before. The guard called the mosque administrator to double check and then began shouting at him “What lighting are you talking about? No one at all hired you here! Get out of here now!”
“The man delayed a bit trying to see what he could do and the guard cocked his weapon and threatened to use it if he didn’t leave. The man left empty handed literally running for his life leaving behind a fortune of equipment and materials never to see them again. He was so scared he didn’t file a complaint against the people at the mosque and lost 250,000 on the deal.”
If you listen to the advice of the sages you won’t lose from it!
Story courtesy of Dirshu