by Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths
Two French cousins in their late twenties came to Jerusalem to bury their beloved Grandmother. One of the young men had never put on tefillin. His cousin brought him over to the tefillin stand for us to help him.
After he read the prayers, I had him pray for his family and for all of the things that he wanted. He showed almost no emotion. I had to talk him into taking a picture of him wearing tefillin. He insisted, “I do not need a picture.” I explained, “But your family does need it.”
I told him that his grandmother’s spiritual position is now is fixed, and she cannot improve it. But, even though she cannot improve her place, that he can elevate her soul by doing a mitzvah, and asking G-d to give her the “credit” from that mitzvah. This is, in fact, what we do when we pray. We apply our merit to the thing(s) that we are praying for. Unlike physical credit that dwindles when you use it, spiritual credit increases when you use it.
He smiled. It was the first time he had showed any real emotion. He liked the idea that he could help his grandmother. I patted him on his chest and said, “Do you know what your grandmother would want from you more than anything else?”
“What?” he asked.
“Jewish grandchildren,” I said. “Your grandmother would want you to marry a Jewish girl so that you can give her Jewish grandchildren.” His eyes watered a little. One of the other men from the tefillin stand whispered to me that he did not have a bris. (He was not circumcised.) When his cousin first brought him to the tefillin stand, he had asked if an uncircumcised Jew could put on tefillin.
I told him that in order to have Jewish children, he had to have a Jewish wife. I made him promise that he would marry only a Jewish girl. He easily agreed. The idea of helping his grandmother really opened up his heart.
I went on, “In order for your children to be spiritually sensitive Jews, and to have a greater spiritual role in this world, you have to be circumcised before they are conceived. This is what your grandmother would want.”
He said that he would do it. I told him be sure to take a rabbi with him when the doctor does it, to make sure that it is kosher. He liked the idea. He even wrote down my email address, saying that he wanted to send me pictures of his Jewish babies.
Will he follow through and actually do these things? I feel that he will. We will see. But what is certain is, if we (and I am including you in this “we”) do not try to help these totally assimilated Jews, their chances of having Jewish families is almost zero.