She Shall Be Praised
The faith and courage of extraordinary women
By Avraham Erlanger
Mesorah Publications, Ltd.
The wife of Reb Zusha of Hanipole gave a beautiful piece of cloth to a tailor so that he might sew her a dress. When the tailor completed his work he carried it to the Rebbetzins house. Setting it down, he sighed deeply.
Whats the matter? the Rebbetzin asked. Why do you sigh like that?
In great pain, he replied, My daughter has become engaged to a fine young man. One day, seeing me sewing a womans dress, he thought that it was for his bride. Learning that it would not be hers has filled him with anguish.
The Rebbetzins compassion overwhelmed her. She picked up the dress and handed it to the tailor. This is a present for your daughter, the kallah, she said.
Later, relating the tale to her husband, Reb Zusha immediately asked her, Have you paid the tailor?
What do you mean? she asked in surprise. I gave him the whole dress as a present! Whats there to pay for?
Reb Zusha answered, That poor tailor labored a full week for you, and not for his daughter. With tired eyes, longing to be finished, he worked on and on so that he might earn a little money for his family. Now what will he eat? Just because you were good enough to give him a present for his daughter, does that mean that he should be cheated out of his due wages?
The Rebbetzin wasted no time. She left the house at once, to go pay the tailor.