Help from the Tzaddik

The Amulet that will destroy the competition

Hatzkel was a typical Hungarian Jew he was so busy making a living he did not even have the time to make sure his hat sat properly on his head. For years he worked hard to realize his dream of a steady and stable Parnosa but it had continued to elude him. “משנה מקום משנה מזל”  – “Change your residence and change your fate,” thought Haskel to himself. And so he did: He got up and moved to the “Goldene Medina,” perhaps there he would make his fortune.

In the “Goldine Medina” he imagined his financial dreams would materialize and he would be a success. He opened a Laundromat in New York City and believed with a full heart that this would provide him with a steady and substantial income so he could live the good life. However his dream of financial peace and security did not come to fruition. Two Italian non Jews took note of Haskel’s initial success and opened up a Laundromat in direct competition to his operation. Sure enough, they lured his customers to their store that was located on the opposite side of the street.

Poor Haskel was completely beside himself. Parnosa must be guarded from all sides, he lamented. After all those years of blood sweat and tears struggling to make a decent living he had finally achieved  some success and now it was quickly disappearing before his very eyes.

However Haskel did not give up hope. It so happened that one of his close friends was about to embark on a trip to Hungary. Haskel took advantage of this situation. He called his friend and asked him to make visit to Rebbe Yeshaya of Kraestir and ask for help and guidance.

His friend promised Haskel that he would go to Rebbe Yeshaya on Haskel’s behalf and ask for advice and guidance regarding what Haskel should to deal with his situation and how best to guard his Parnosa. Haskel returned to work and served the few remaining customers he had in order to protect what little was left of his livelihood. All the while he dovened to Hashem that, in the end, everything would work out for the best.

After several weeks Haskel’s friend finally returned from Hungary. He brought with him a special Amulet written on parchment that Rebbe Yeshaya had written for Haskel. Haskel guarded this holy Amulet and took it with him everywhere and waited to see what would happen.

In the meantime Haskel’s Italian competitors did not sit on their laurels.  They did everything possible to destroy Haskel’s business.  They even devised a plan to burn down Haskel’s store. Of course they would not be the ones to perpetrate this crime but rather hired a criminal to do their dirty work.

Late one night their hired hooligan set out on his mission to burn Haskel’s store to the ground.

Under the cover of darkness he crept from building to building in search of Haskel’s laundrymat. However, the light of the moon was not bright enough to clearly identify the entrance to Haskel’s store and so the thug spent a very long time looking for it until he finally found it. He set it ablaze and left it and all its contents to burn to a crisp and then ran from the scene of the crime.

The next morning all of New York was abuzz with the news that the Laundromat of the two Italians had gone up in smoke!

In the dark of night their messenger had mistaken the Italian’s  store for Haskel’s and burned it instead.

Haksel continued to carefully guard the Amulet he received from Rebbe Yeshaya. He was clearly convinced and believed with all his heart that it guarded his Parnosa even better that Haskel had done for himself. Only after Rebbe Yeshaya זיע”א left this world for the next did Hasklel have the courage to open the Amulet. To his great amazement he found a quote from the first book of the Torah that tells the story of how the evil men of Sodom tried to enter the home of Lot and they were struck blind by Hashem so they could not find the entrance to his house….  And so it was!

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