The first four Jews I helped with tefillin yesterday afternoon put them on for the first time in their lives.
The Jew pictured above lives in New Zealand. He was born in Prague in 1938. His father visited Vienna in 1939 and saw what the nazis (may their name be blotted out forever) were doing to the Jews there. He ran back to Vienna to warn his family, but no one would listen to him. He grabbed his wife and baby (pictured) and fled to New Zealand where they lived the rest of their lives. They were the only ones in his family to survive.
A Lawyer from America
A Russian who now lives in America
Four totally unrelated lives; these men do not know each other, they never met, not even once. They have lived their entire lives far, far away from each other, in location, and in deeds. Yet, they walked up to the Kotel the same day, within a few minutes of each other and put on tefillin for the first time in their lives.
The Torah tells us that not only are we brothers and sisters from the same father and mother (Avraham and Sarah), but that we actually share one soul, and that our lives are judged as one. While in this world we are not only judged for our own behavior, but by the behavior of all of the Jewish people, even those who are no longer alive! A great reason to love your fellow Jew.