There is a famous saying, “You don’t get what you deserve; you get what you negotiate.”
I often wonder if that’s really true—because I am not the type of person who thinks that you always need to ask for extra things, just to get what you merit. While I can’t say that I have discovered the answer, I will say that I have set up my business where my clients are always given full consideration and favorable terms without feeling like they have to clamor for it. I would, however, suggest the following to anyone who is navigating through an important transaction: always make sure to tell the other person what your objective is and what is important to you during your dealings. I just read a great story that emphasizes this principle.
As a child, Reb Yitzchak Tuvia Weiss shlita (the chief rabbi of Jerusalem for the Edah HaChareidis) lived in a town about four kilometers from Pressburg (today known as Bratislava, Slovakia). He remembers when the Germans notified his town about the upcoming evacuation. They were told that everyone would be required to board the trains and be transported to a work camp—where they would be safe—but all those who remained behind would be shot.
The local rabbis and community leaders didn’t know whether to encourage people to listen to the Germans or tell everyone to hide and escape. Rabbi Weiss (still a child) was sent to take counsel from the rabbinic leadership of Pressburg. The chief rabbi of Pressburg replied that they were in great danger, no matter what they did. He also told him that the king of England agreed to save 1,000 children. He said, “I don’t know who to save and who has precedence over whom. But since you came here, take a ticket and save yourself.”
Rabbi Weiss gave the bleak report to the community leaders of his town and then went home to pack his bags quickly. He said goodbye to his parents and went on the transport. Soon, he was safe on English soil, together with the other children.
The king of England wanted to see the children he saved. The children stood on both sides of the road, and the king drove between them. A courageous boy was standing next to Rabbi Weiss. When the king’s chariot came near, this boy jumped forward. The king’s guards wanted to remove the boy, but the king said he wanted to hear what the child had to say. The boy thanked the king for saving so many children, “but I’m sad because I left my parents behind. How can I be happy with my rescue when I’m worried about the safety of my parents and family?’ The king asked him for his parents’ information. Two weeks later, his parents and extended family came to England.
Rabbi Weiss emphasized that this daring boy took advantage of the king’s presence to make a personal request. There were another 999 children there, but none of them thought to come forward to speak with the king. Only this boy did, and he benefited so much from it.
This is an incredible reminder that we should take advantage of these days and our ability to beseech our King of kings at this time of year. Our default might be to go through the motions of the prayers and service and feel as if it is enough. It might very well be—but why not take advantage of the opportunity to specifically detail the things that are important to you and what you are hoping to accomplish if granted another year in good health? Wishing that all of your prayers and requests are answered l’tova—Gmar Chatima Tova!
Shout out and happy birthday to Sara Golan, Dov Goldman, Rachel Isaacs, Yonatan Isser, Sivan Krug, David Lederer, Elliot Rosenfeld, Yossi Sausen and Rabbi Ariel Schreier.
Shmuel Shayowitz (NMLS#19871) is president and chief lending officer at Approved Funding, a privately held local mortgage banker and direct lender. Approved funding is a mortgage company offering competitive interest rates as well as specialty niche programs on all types of residential and commercial properties. Shmuel has over 20 years of industry experience, including licenses and certifications as a certified mortgage underwriter, residential review appraiser, licensed real estate agent and direct FHA specialized underwriter. He can be reached via email at [email protected]