There’s a wonderful, supposedly true story about a revered rabbi. A woman comes to him with a Halachic question. According to the story, the question was not a very sophisticated one. Indeed, the answer to it was very obvious. The rabbi told the woman he would research the question. He spent time going through tomes. He then turned to the woman and provided her the answer.
After she left, the rabbi’s students who had observed the interaction, asked the rabbi: “Rav, why did you spend to much time on that question? And why did you check the volumes? You obviously knew the answer. It was easy.”
The rav replied, “Yes, it was a simple matter that required no research, no thought. But if I did not accord the woman’s question respect and give her time and research, she might never return to me with another question. And the next question might be a problematic one that DID require time and research.”
Is anyone familiar with this story and, if so, do you know the particulars of it? Many thanks for any assistance.