at the Western Wall with Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths
This little boy came all the way from South Africa with his family to Jerusalem. I put tefillin on his father, and even though his grandfather refused, I pulled him in, too.
Often, non-religious Jews think that tefillin represent restriction, obedience, having to learn a difficult subject; in short, they feel that the mitzvahs impose a total loss of freedom. But when I showed his grandfather how to picture his loved ones and pray for them, it truly reached him. He took my hand and thanked me warmly for showing him how to not only take advantage of his visit to the Kotel, but how to express his love for his family.
Before I sent them to stand by the Kotel to send blessings to their loved ones, I bent down and told the little boy that he should pray, too. I said, “G-d really loves little children. He listens to everything you say. Go ask G-d to bless your Mommy and Daddy and Grandpa and Grandma and everyone you love.”
Some five minutes later they returned, and with a big smile, the boy proudly announced, “I prayed!”
The boy learned a valuable skill that day.