at the Western Wall with Reb Gutman Locks on Mystical Paths
An American tour guide was speaking to his group of some 20 young Americans at the Kotel. I waited until he finished and then I jumped in and gave my usual pitch about how the most important thing is for them to marry only a Jewish girl.
I told them, “Then, no matter what you do with your life, you can always come home with your family, and we will be here waiting for you. But if you, G-d forbid, marry a non-Jewish girl, then most likely we will never see you again.”
The guide laughed out loud, threw his hand up to “high-five” me and said, “You said the same thing to me when I was here nine years ago!”
I went back to the tefillin stand and a few of the boys lined up to ask me questions. The first one asked if he should leave his secure business in his home town in Ohio to join his Jewish girlfriend in New York. “She said that I should go out and be adventurous.”
“No way!” I told him. “Especially with the world economy the way it is. Stay where your business is and invite her to come be with you there. You want to have a family, not an adventure.”
The second one asked me about converting his non-Jewish girlfriend whom he loved. I showed him that the central prayer we say every day when we read the Shema tells us not to follow our hearts and eyes, that they will lead us astray. “Yes, we have to have our hearts involved, but our intellects must rule over our desires.”
I explained how a conversion just to marry someone is not a kosher conversion, and the children would not be Jewish. And, “How is she going to keep kosher, and keep Shabbat if you aren’t?” He understood.
The third one was a little older. He was living with a ch-ristian young women for some time. They took a break, and she moved to Wyoming to be a nurse. But, after nine months he rejoined her, and he is presently living with her in Wyoming. He is an engineer, but has no work there.
I asked him, “Where is G-d?”
He answered, “Everywhere.”
“Good. You understand the greatest spiritual truth. Now, what happens if you have kids with her? You are going to love them very much and you will want to teach them the truth that G-d is Infinite, that He is everywhere. You will have to tell them that their mother’s god is not G-d because he is a limited being.”
“And what do you think she is going to say to you? She is not going to give up her god for you. There is going to be terrible friction.”
He nodded his head showing that he knew that what I was saying was true.
“Do yourself a favor. Take another break. Go back to New York where you have work, and this time don’t sit at home alone being lonely. Go to your local Chabad House Friday nights for Shabbos dinners. Be with young, happy Jewish people. Look for all of the Jewish singles events you can find.”
“Of course you will want to go back to her if you are lonely. But, you were created a Jew for a good reason. There is a Jewish girl meant for you out there somewhere, and she is looking for you. But she is not going to be looking in Wyoming. Look for her, too. But look where such a Jewish girl will usually be found so you can make a Jewish family.”