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The Jewish Way of Asking

A man came to Rabi Nachman to ask for a blessing for a new home and good earnings. Rabi told him this story.

In one city two friends lived in the same neighborhood, each of them had an old cart, which can hardly move even empty. One of the friends went on his cart to another city to buy cloth for his shop. After he loaded the full cart with rolls of cloth, the horse could not move it. The owner of the store said that he has a special oil for carts and greased the cart wheels with this oil for free. After that, the cart immediately moved.

When a neighbor saw how good his friend’s cart was going, he asked him how he had repaired it. The man replied that he bought cloth in a nearby town and that there was special oil in the same store. The neighbor went to the store the next morning and asked him to sell him some oil. The store owner told him: “We sell cloth, but not oil. If you want to buy fabric, then oil will be a gift.”

If we ask for the performance of mitzvot, for example, to have guests on Shabbat, to fulfill better the commandments of tzniut by dividing the children’s room into two (for boys and girls), shalom bite, a new house and good earnings can be received as a gift, like oil.

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