by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths
This Morning at the Kotel...
As usual, I was learning at the Kotel this morning. It was many hours before sunrise. I looked up and saw an unusual scene. Really, I should not say unusual because something unusual is always happening at the Kotel. This time it was an elderly Japanese man with two young Japanese women. They were coming through the gate in the fence that separates the men’s section from the women’s section.
I went over to them. Recalling my few remaining sentences in Japanese from fifty years ago, I told them that the women were to go to the women’s side and that the man should stay on the men’s side. I told him that he needed a head covering. I took him to the stand where the yarmulkes are kept and went back to learning.
The man walked over to me and said (in slow English), “I am an attorney. I am representing the Jewish boys who are in prison in Japan for carrying drugs into the airport.”
I remembered the case. It was in the local news a couple of months ago. Apparently, some crook convinced those religious boys to take a few religious items and deliver them to someone in Japan. He gave them free tickets to visit a famous Rebbe for their service. The boys did not know it, but those items were hollowed out and filled with dangerous drugs. It turned out that the crook gave them free tickets to hell. Smuggling drugs anywhere in the world is a serious offense, but in Japan it is particularly serious. They face spending the next twenty years of their precious lives in prison for those “free” tickets.
He continued speaking very slowly, as if he was measuring every word: “They asked me if I would come to the Wailing Wall and have someone pray for them.”
My heart ached. I immediately called out looking up, asking Hashem to help those poor boys. The man folded his hands respectfully in front of his chest and looked up reverently with me as I beseeched Hashem to help them. When I finished praying he was very happy that he was able to fulfill his mission. I turned to him and said, “May G-d bless you so that you will be successful in helping those boys.”
He thanked me and said that he knows that the boys are innocent and that he will try as much as he possibly can to have them released.
Before writing this, I wondered why I should tell you this story. Now that I have written it, I think that it is to have you pray for them, too.
BS"D - בסיעתא דשמיא