from the Western Wall with Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths
I invited this Israeli to put on tefillin.
“No!” and he pulled away.
“It would be good for you, especially right now before the holiday.”
“It’s not for me!” and he pulled away again.
“You didn’t come to the Kotel to look at the stones. You came to pray about something.”
“I haven’t put on tefillin since my bar mitzvah, and I am not going to do it now. I do not want to do it!”
I patted him on his chest and said, “You may not want to put them on, but your neshama (soul) wants you to put them on.”
I gently slid the tefillin over his hand. He didn’t pull back, so I slid it all the way up his arm. He repeated the prayer, and I put the head piece on his head. I gave him the Shema to read. He read it reluctantly, as you can see in the picture above.
When he finished, I told him to pray for his family, for our soldiers, and for all the Jews in danger, especially because of murdering arab stone throwers.
He asked, “Can I go to the Kotel and do it?”
He stood right next to the Kotel for at least ten minutes. When he came back, he had a gorgeous smile on his face. “Thank you.”
Sometimes you have to be a little insistent to get the smile that you’re looking for.