by Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths
I talked this young American tourist into putting on tefillin yesterday. He is a Ph.D candidate in clinical psychology, almost ready for his degree… a normal, nice, intelligent, Jewish guy. But he had never put on tefillin before. He is far from knowing anything at all about his (our) spiritual inheritance. He really knows almost nothing about our traditions and history.
When I took his picture, I used my regular talk to get him to smile. I said, “Now you have to make a promise and keep it, or your camera is going to blow up! No matter what happens, you have to marry only a Jewish girl!”
They almost always smile when I say this, and that’s when I snap the picture. If that doesn’t work I add, “Do you know why you have to marry only a Jewish girl? So your mother doesn’t break both your legs!” That one almost always gets them.
But with this guy, who is so far away. I didn’t know what to expect. When I told him that he had to marry a Jewish girl, I was happily surprised to hear his answer. He laughed loudly, looked up at the sky and said, “Thank you, Grandma!” Still laughing, he said to me, “You are a channel for my grandmother’s voice. She is speaking through you!”
Okay, so what do we see here? He is so, so far away from knowing anything about his spiritual life that he probably doesn’t even know the first thing about keeping Shabbos. His family never showed him these things. But his grandma, G-d bless her soul, told him over and over again, “You have to marry a Jewish girl.” This much he has heard before. And I think that, because of his love and respect for his grandmother, he will probably be careful to marry only a Jewish girl.
It is sad that he did not also hear it from his mother and his father. It is a valuable treasure that he had heard it so many times from his mother’s mother. And your grandchildren… are they hearing it? How about your friends’ grandchildren? If their grandma doesn’t know enough to tell it to her children’s children, can you jump in and give them this wonderful gift?