The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 26 July 2008 / 23 Tammuz 5768

The Surprise Bargain

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

A Jew of substantial means was looking for a home in Bnei Brak with more room than his current location. When he heard about a particular apartment in a desirable area he quickly went to visit its owner.

When the seller stated his asking price of $200,000 the prospective buyer, who expected it to be closer to $300,000, was surprised. Rather than jump at this opportunity to get a real bargain he asked the seller why he was selling at such a low price. The answer was that he had $200,000 worth of pressing debts and had been advised by his local rabbi to sell his home at a price that would quickly draw a buyer so that he could settle his debts.

The buyer excused himself and went to the above-mentioned rabbi to verify the story he had just heard. He then returned to the seller and plunked down $200,000 in cash. He informed the seller that he refused to allow him to lose so much money because of his desperate situation and was therefore lending him the money to pay his debts and to enable him to sell his apartment at its full value.

By thus passing up the opportunity to gain a financial bargain he succeeded in gaining a bargain of a mitzvah of helping a fellow Jew.

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