CHASSIDISHE STORY ON THE PARSHA
A Surplus of EsrogimSukkos was fast approaching, and there was a terrible shortage of esrogim in Warsaw. The Jewish esrog vendors’ shipment of esrogim was delayed. Yidden anxiously wondered where they would purchase esrogim for the coming Yom Tov.
A non-Jewish merchant arrived in town with carts full of esrogim. Naturally, the townspeople were ecstatic, but the esrog vendor was a keen businessperson. He sensed his products were in high demand and set exorbitant prices on the esrogim.
The Yidden were in a dilemma. “Are we required to spend so much money on an esrog?” they wondered. Finally, some people approached the Chidushei Harim and told him about the non-Jewish merchant asking for astronomical prices for his esrogim. “Are we obligated to spend so much money on an esrog?” they wanted to know.
“Don’t worry about it,” said the Chidushei Harim. “With Hashem’s help, everyone will have an esrog for Sukkos.”
The Chidushei Harim summoned the Jewish esrog vendors to a confidential meeting, and they left his chambers with smiles on their faces.
All Jewish esrog vendors showcased esrogim in their windows the next day. The non-Jewish merchant, who wanted to raise the price of his produce, was astonished to see others selling esrogim, too. As he opened his store, he pondered, “Who is going to buy from me when they can buy from them? During this time, the market value of esrogim must have dropped!”
While the non-Jewish merchant was wondering what to do, a few Jews entered the non-Jewish esrog merchant’s store. The merchant, eager to make a deal, drastically reduced his prices. Word of his reduced prices spread fast, and by the end of the day, all his esrogim were sold, and he left town content with his sales.
Years later, it was finally revealed the secret between the Chidushei Harim and the local esrog vendors. The Chidushei Harim had advised the vendors to display wooden esrog replicas in their windows to deceive the non-Jewish merchant, forcing him to lower his prices. The brilliance of the tzaddik enabled the Yidden of Warsaw to make a Bracha over an esrog that year.
Filed under Parshas Ha'azinu |