The village tailor of Lubavitch had sewn a dress for Rebbetzin Rivkah Schneersohn, wife of Rabbi Shmuel of Lubavitch. The Rebbe’s young child, Sholom Ber, was present when the tailor brought the new garment to his mother. Displaying a child’s natural curiosity, the four-year-old reached into the visitor’s pocket and pulled out a sizable bolt of cloth – the remains of the Rebbetzin’s dress.
The tailor reddened and stammered an explanation: he had simply forgotten about the leftover cloth, he certainly had no intention of withholding from the Rebbetzin what was rightfully hers, etc.
After the tailor shamefacedly left, Rebbetzin Rivkah said to her son: “See what you did! See how you embarrassed the poor man…”
Later, the child came to his father in tears and asked him how he can rectify the fact that he had shamed someone. But when the Rebbe asked his son to tell him what exactly happened, the child refused. “Is it not enough that I embarrassed a fellow Jew?” exclaimed little Sholom Ber. “Must I also commit the sin of gossip and speaking ill of one’s fellow?”
This Rebbe Rashab story was told by the Rebbe, Cheshvan 20 5737, November 13 1976.