Crown Heights Torah scribe (sofer) Rabbi Yehuda Clapman told the following story being shared on social media:
One year before Sukkos, the chossid Reb Elye Gross asked me if I already bought an Esrog?
When I replied that not yet, he suggested that I go to a certain individual to purchase an Esrog by him, because this Jew simply needs the livelihood.
I obliged and I went to this person to search for a nice Esrog.
I looked around for a while and I couldn’t find any Esrog that pleased my fancy.
While there, another individual comes in, picks an Esrog, asks how much, pays and turns to leave.
Empty handed, I joined this individual on his way, and as we exited the house I turned to him and asked, what nice Esrog were you able to find here, I’m here for a good while and I couldn’t find anything reasonable.
“For me, a mehuderdike (beautiful) esrog is to give a Jew Parnassa (income) for Yomtov!” he replied.
I was very impressed by his answer, to say the least.
On Yomtov, we met in shul, and in my curiosity I checked to see what Esrog is he really using. I was thinking that for sure he bought himself another beauty of an Esrog elsewhere (as he was capable of doing), and that this other Esrog that I saw him buy, he bought just to support that merchant for Yomtov.
When I saw the Esrog that he was using I was astonished, he actually used that Esrog that I witnessed him buy.
I was so touched by what I witnessed, that I decided that I must write to the Rebbe this beautiful story of pure Ahavas Yisroel.
Somewhat hesitatingly I went to the Rebbe’s office, and I asked the secretary if it would be appropriate to write this story to the Rebbe?
The Mazkir (secretary) was not pleased with my question, and he responded: Every day the Rebbe gets letters full of negativity and sadness, and here you have a beautiful story of pure Ahavas Yisroel which would give the Rebbe so much pleasure, and you are hesitating to write?
I got the message, and I went to a certain Jew in Crown Heights who had a beautiful handwriting, plus he was a masterful writer and poet, I told him the story, and he went ahead to write for the Rebbe a whole Megila, telling the story with poetry and charm, he used special paper and he wrote with gorgeous lettering and style, and off I went to the Rebbe’s office to hand the letter for the Rebbe.
Next day I got a call from the Rebbe’s Mazkir (secretary), he said I have no answer for you from the Rebbe, but, I will describe to you what happened with your letter.
“I put your letter on top of the pile of letters I brought into the Rebbe, I wanted your letter to be the first letter the Rebbe saw so he can read it first, and sure enough the Rebbe took your letter immediately and started reading. I stayed by the door and watched, here is what I saw:
“The Rebbe started reading, and I noticed that he was not reading it fast as he would do many times, but rather I saw that he was concentrating and reading your letter word by word and line by line, and as he progressed in reading your letter line by line, I saw the Rebbe’s smile grow bigger and bigger and bigger!
Your letter caused the Rebbe much Nachas (pleasure and joy)!
Let’s all celebrate a beautiful Yomtov of Achdus (unity) in these last moments of Hakhel (the year of gathering which terminates on the second night of Succos).
Gut Yomtov, Lchaim, Lchaim v’Livrocho (cheers and blessings).