Tuesday, January 04, 2011

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You Never Know

by Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths

image003 (6)Yesterday, I tried to talk a man from Chile into putting on tefillin. He refused. I got him to bless his two grandchildren and to say wonderful things that he wanted G-d to give them. I like fathers (and grandfathers) to bless their children, especially at the Kotel, because it gives them a loving experience to associate with being Jewish and with the Torah. It also usually softens them up so they will then agree to put on tefillin. Well, this time it didn’t work. Oh, they had a good time.… They really enjoyed the blessing. But it didn’t soften him up.

     I had to run and help someone else. I felt bad that I couldn’t stay until I convinced them, but the other Jew was about to walk away, so I had to go help him.

     Some five minutes later, the grandfather and his two grandsons walked over and asked me to help them to put on tefillin! I quickly put tefillin on them, but then I had to ask, “What changed your mind?”

   He said, “We walked away and began to discuss what a big mitzvah tefillin is, and that I haven’t put them on for 40 years, so I decided that we should do it. Thank you so much for helping us. This is your mitzvah.”

     “This is your mitzvah,” I corrected him. “It is you who are doing it,” I smiled.

     You never know. When you try to help someone, even if you do not seem to “get them” right then, you never know where your kindness will lead.

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