by Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths
A couple weeks ago, I asked you who read these articles to send me your outreach success stories. Well, look at what one of you did:
“My father-in-law, who will be 90 in a few months, put on tefillin for the first time last week. At first he said, ‘Ninety-year-olds do not do this.’ Then he said, ‘Why?’ I answered, ‘For the experience.’ He said, ‘Why not,’ and he liked it.”
I wrote to him:
Tell your ninety-year-old father-in-law that one of the questions he is going to be asked at the gate that stands in front of the Heavenly Garden of Eden will be, “Did you put on tefillin?” A Jewish man’s soul that answers, “No,” will go in one direction, and one that answers, “Yes,” will go in another. Even if a Jew puts on tefillin only one time in his entire life, he will be able to answer that question, “Yes,” and that soul is saved from the lower tribulations.
You, in your kindness, by going out of your way to help him to put on tefillin for the first time in his life, saved this special man from those lowest pits. This rightfully should make you feel wonderful. Your father-in-law, however, will not totally appreciate your kindness until he hears that angel ask, “Did you put on tefillin?” At that moment, his soul is going to bless you.
Now, not to pull you off that pinnacle that you so rightfully deserve, but there are two obvious questions that we have to ask: Number one, How come it took you so long? And, number two, who’s next?
This wonderful mitzvah of yours should be both a source of great joy for you, and also a tremendous encouragement for you to go looking for the next person you can help.
(Illustrative photo, “Rabbi Yossi Eber of the Chabad Jewish Center of West Pasco, Florida helps a man put on tefillin.”)