real stories from the Kotel by Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths
Here is a lesson that we try to teach over and over again: If a Jew will not transgress what seems to be a minor commandment, he surely will not transgress a “major” one.
Pictured here is a very nice Jewish guy from America. When I put tefillin on him, I saw his foolish tattoo. I didn’t say anything until he finished with the prayers, but as I was about to take off the tefillin, I told him my “joke” about a prayer that he should say every day.
“Dear G-d, if I have to make any mistakes today, let me make them in pencil.”
He understood, and he laughed. I asked him if he was married… did he have any children? He said yes, and that he did. I told him that his sons are going to see his tattoo, and then they will want one, too. He shrugged a little, as if to say that it was already done and there was nothing that he could do about it. I asked if his children were Jewish. He said that they were not. Ouch!
The sad truth is that since his kids are not Jewish, they can get tattoos (if they are stupid enough), but what hurt was that this very nice Jewish guy has, at least up until now, thrown away his Jewish inheritance. What a treasure to lose!
If someone would have cared enough, he would have been told that tattooing was not something that a Jew should ever do. Had this been taught to him from his early youth, he would never have married a non-Jewish girl. What a shame that someone did not tell him.
Whenever a young Jew from outside Israel strongly refuses to put on tefillin, I ask him if he would marry a non-Jewish girl. Almost all of them say that they would! The Torah says that the mitzvahs guard our lives. This is one example of how.