Monday, September 6, 2010
100910 HE IS KING! HE IS MOSHEL!
Rosh Hashana is the Coronation of G-d as King. We accept the yoke of His kingdom, His rulership. A king can only be appointed by the people who endorse his authority. But he then becomes a ‘moshel’ (dictator) who asserts his will over the rest of the people who resist his authority, according to Rav Zev Leff. The following story is an example of the King, the Moshel.
Feivel was a well-known tailor in his community. He had a modest shop, but even the rich and famous came for Feivel’s clothes. Yet, he never made any distinction between the wealthy and the poor for he was also well-liked for his humble ways and his honesty in business.
So, when the King sought out a tailor for a very important event, his daughter’s wedding, Feivel’s fame reached all the way to the throne of the King. One of his servants told the King of how meticulous Feivel was when sewing garments which ranged from tailored suits to royal robes.
Immediately the King sent his royal carriage for Feivel. Feivel shook in his boots at the very thought of an audience with the King. But, at he stood before him, all the materials necessary for the King’s royal rode was brought to him. It was to be white embroidered with colored threads of purple and red. The lapel was to be laden with silver and gold.
In all humility Feivel promised it would be a magnificent garment, truly fit for a King.
In the days that followed, all kinds of people embarked upon the doorstep of Feivel’s shop. His demanding customers said: “:Oh Feivel! You have favor with the King. You have to enlarge your shop! Increase your prices! Hire some help and let them do the work! Then you can relax and take it easy! Do this! Do that! You have plenty of time to do the King’s garment before the wedding!”
Feivel, the humble little tailor, soon turned into a wheeling, dealing businessman. He enlarged his shop, hired others to do the work, and he sat up late at night counting his money. Humility turned into pride and arrogance, and the quality of the work suffered since the help had no experience.
The day was quickly approaching when he was to submit the royal robe to the King, so Feivel hurriedly put it together boasting to himself: “This is no problem. After all, I’ve been doing this for years! I can practically put this thing together in my sleep!”
Once again, he appeared before the King. Yet, it was apparent that he had changed. Instead of the humble Feivel, he was somewhat pompous as he presented the garment to the King.
The King’s face turned red, and he stood upright in a rage! Knowing they were suddenly confronted by a Moshel, everyone in the court fell on their faces, as he bellowed out in indignation: “This is NOT the royal robe I ordered! Do you honestly think I would wear this to my daughter’s wedding? You have even ruined the material, and haven’t embroidered the royal seal into it! The gold and silver has been sloppily set into the lapel! GUARDS! TAKE HIM AWAY!”
Feivel fell to his knees, begging and pleading that he be given another chance! He would work day and night and definitely present the King with a garment that would be the finest ever made in time for the special occasion.
The Moshel calmed down and said he would give Feivel another chance. BUT, he also promised if one little detail was wrong or out of order, off to the dungeon Feivel would go. NOT EVEN ONE LITTLE MISTAKE WOULD BE ALLOWED!
Feivel ran out of the court and down the road to his shop as fast as his short legs would carry him, his peyote and tzitzits flowing in the wind. Once inside the safety of his shop, he just sat down and wept, crying out: “How stupid I have been! Full of pride and arrogance! I had the King’s favor! Now I have the Moshel’s wrath!” After some time, he contemplated on what to do: “I love the King! I want the King’s favor! I will make him the most glorious robe a King has ever had!”
Feivel went to work straight away. Every thread was woven with a fresh humility. The seal was embroidered with the royal colors of purple and red, and each and every precious stone on the lapel was embossed with gold and silver. Soon Feivel had completed his finest garment ever. But he had not done it for his own ego; he had done each and every stitch out of love for the King.
Waiting in fear and trembling, the King’s horsemen came to escort him while he clung to the new garment. He humbly bowed before the King and laid the garment at his feet. Everyone present was silent, almost holding their breath, as they waited for several minutes while the King inspected the garment. They shook in their place pondering: “Poor, poor Feivel! What will be Feivel’s fate?”
The startling sound of the King’s voice broke the silence! “Arise Feivel!” Worriedly Feivel peeked out of his closed eyes as he arose, and was finally relieved as he saw a smile across the King’s face!
“Feivel! You have done an incredible job! It is better than what I even imagined! You are free to go! Let this be a lesson to all! You will prosper in every good work that is done in humility and love for your King and his subjects!”