at the Kotel with Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths
This time, I insisted. I could not let the guy go without putting on tefillin. He and his son are from Argentina. When I asked, he refused, and wouldn’t even listen to the idea. I tried to pull his arm, but he pulled back strongly. He was a big guy, and he was insistent. And then, as if to prove his credentials, not only did he speak in Yiddish, but he told me that his mother was a great-granddaughter of the Baal Shem Tov.
“What!” I yelled at the guy. “You are a great-great-grandson of the Baal Shem, and you are not putting on tefillin?” I grabbed him by the arm hard and kept pulling until he gave in. He read the Shema, and then I had him bless his son. You can see the emotions coming out. Then, he went to the Kotel and cried.
I looked up to Heaven and smiled. I said, “Hey, I just made the Baal Shem happy!” I smiled even more, but then I had to quickly hold back my emotions before I started to cry.