I am a sofer working in Melbourne, Australia. One day, Mr. Leon Schnall came to see me, together with his rabbi, to buy many mezuzos for his new home. I gave Leon the choice of two types of mezuzos: standard mezuzos, which would cost at total of $650, or higher quality mehudar mezuzos, which would cost a total of $810. Unsure, he asked his rabbi which ones he should get. His rabbi explained to him the idea of hiddur mitzvah--that if you spend extra effort or money to beautify a mitzvah, 'Hashem will repay you.' Leon chose to purchase the mehudar mezuzos and wrote out a check for $810.
Some weeks later, I got a phone call from Leon, and he began to tell me an amazing story. When he had come to buy mezuzos, he was putting his old home on the market. Initially, the real estate agents had told him he could expect to receive between $600,000 and $660,000 for the unit. However, on the morning of the auction, the agent told Leon that he would "probably get around $650,000." Unexpectedly, the unit sold for a whopping $810,000.
A few hours after the auction, still stunned by his good fortune, Leon was sitting at the upsherin of his rabbi's son. It was there that he remembered the words of his rabbi, that "Hashem will repay you," and realized that the amount he received at the auction corresponded perfectly with the price of the mehudar mezuzos. Even more amazing, perhaps, was the correspondence between the price of the standard mezuzos and the expected auction price. For the extra $160 that Leon spent, Hashem repaid him a thousand-fold!
From the forthcoming book by Rabbi Aaron L. Raskin.
Last updated: Thursday, May 31 2012 8:39pm