During a private audience with the Previous Rebbe, a lumber merchant shared his business concerns with the Rebbe. The Rebbe’s advice to him was to be more careful in the performance of mitzvos. The merchant responded unenthusiastically to the Rebbe’s suggestions, as he had hoped instead to receive practical business advice.

In surprise, the Rebbe reacted: “You surely agree that I am a greater expert in matters relating to Judaism and Torah than I am in the area of lumber. It is well known to all that I have dedicated my life to the ways of Torah and mitzvos and Jewish living, as did my parents and grandparents. Still, you are confident in consulting me about an area in which I do not specialize—and—you would gladly accept my directives.

“In the area of my expertise, however — Torah and mitzvos — you don’t bother asking my advice. Furthermore, you appear uninterested when I explain to you the physical and spiritual benefits [of performing mitzvos carefully].”

Igros Kodesh of the Rebbe, vol. 13, p. 195