The Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn (1880-1950), once told:

For Passover of 5650 (1890)--I was several months short of my tenth birthday at the time—a new suit of clothes was made up for me, together with a brand new pair of shoes.

In my hometown of Lubavitch, the preparations for the festival were conducted in a meticulous and thorough manner. On the day before Passover, a strict procedure was followed: first, all chametz (leaven) was searched out and eradicated from the yard, chicken coop, and stable. The caretaker, Reb Mendel, was busy with this for a good part of the night before and followed up with a double-check in the morning. Then, the chametz was burned, following which we would go immerse ourselves in the mikvah, dress for the festival, and bake the special matzat mitzvah for the seder. Finally, there were always the last-minute preparations to be taken care of.

Among these final odds and ends was a job entrusted to me: to remove the seals from the wine bottles and to partially pull out the corks. The latter was a most challenging task, for one had to take care that the metal of the corkscrew should not come in contact with the wine.

That year, I was busy at my appointed task in my father's room. I went about my work with great caution, careful not to dirty my new suit and—most importantly—not to dull the shine on my spanking new shoes.

My father noticed what was uppermost in my mind and said to me: "The Alter Rebbe (Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi) cites the following metaphor: A great nobleman sits at a table laden with all sorts of gourmet dishes and delicacies. Under the table lies a dog, gnawing a bone. Can you imagine the nobleman climbing down from his chair and joining the dog under the table to chew on a luscious bone?

My father's words so affected me that I was ashamed to even look at my new clothes. "This is true education," concluded Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak.