The Story of Lord and Taylor

It Helps to have a Great Partner

by Rabbi Jonathan Gewirtz

There was a tailor named Mendel in the old country and he was worried about his business. Mendel was down to his last money and was torn between buying a sign and getting food for his family. Mendel decided to pray.

"Dear G-d," he said, "I don't know what to do. If I buy a sign it may bring in business, but I need to buy groceries for my family... and if the sign doesn't bring in sales, we will starve."

G-d replied, "I'm your partner, Mendel, buy the sign. Don't worry, your family won't starve."

So, Mendel bought the sign and business took off. The tailor fed his family and all was well. However, as time passed it became evident that Mendel couldn't keep up with orders all by himself. He contemplated hiring on a helper, but wondered if he could afford it. So, he asked G-d if getting help would be a prudent move.

"Go ahead," G-d tells Mendel, "I'm your partner, Mendel, hire some help, you'll do okay."

And so Mendel did. And business took off beyond his wildest dreams.

After a time, the tailor decided to move his business to America, where the sky was the limit. But he needed a larger site that would accommodate the growing demands of his business. As he surveyed certain locations, he found a perfect storefront, but the rental price was really steep.

"G-d," Mendel again prayed, "I found the perfect place to relocate my business. But the cost of the lease worries me. I don't want to get in over my head."

"Go ahead and a get a lease on the store, Mendel," said G-d. " I'm your partner, Mendel. Trust me, you'll be okay--I haven't steered you wrong yet, have I?"

So Mendel signed a lease on the 5th Avenue store and profits from his business went through the roof. Out of heartfelt gratitude, Mendel proposed to the Almighty that he dedicate the store to Him.

. . . And the next thing you know, "Lord and Taylor" had dozens of stores throughout the country.

Disclaimer:  The above story is a joke, however it carries an important message which is to teach us that our livelihood comes only from G-d and we should partner with G-d for all our needs.


  1. What is the point of this fairy tale which is not true?

    1. The story is a mashal that hopefully will teach us to make Hashem our Partner for parnassah.

  2. I understood the Mashal. My question is why is it necessary to use a fake story ( which some might mistakenly believe is true) ? Surely there are real stories that could be used as a teachable moment.


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