A Tailor’s Legacy


A match was proposed that would unite the leaders of two great Chassidic communities: the grandson of Rabbi Israel of Ruzhin for the daughter of Rabbi Tzvi of Rimanov. A meeting was arranged between the Ruzhiner and the Rimanover to discuss the proposal.

“I have always maintained,” began the Ruzhiner, “that yichus (lineage) is the most important factor to consider in a marriage proposal. Allow me, then, to tell you of our family’s origins.

“My great-grandfather was the Great Maggid, Rabbi DovBer of Mezheritch. My grandfather was his son, Rabbi Avraham ‘the Angel.’ My great-uncle was Rabbi Nachum of Chernobyl, and my uncle was his son, Rabbi Motteleh.

“Now,” urged Rabbi Israel, “tell us something of your yichus.”

Said Rabbi Tzvi of Rimanov: “My parents passed away when I was a lad of ten, so I don’t know much about them. My relatives apprenticed me to a tailor, who raised me and taught me a trade. In the five years I was with him, I learned two things which guide my life to this day: mend the old, and take care not to ruin the new.”

The Ruzhiner smiled broadly and exclaimed: “A most worthy match! A most worthy match!” and called for l’chaim and refreshments to celebrate the union.


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