Thursday, June 06, 2013

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How Many Times Do I Have to Tell You?

at the Western Wall with Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths

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     I have written about hashgacha pratis before; how it really happens everywhere to everyone, but here in Jerusalem it is particularly noticeable. Hashgach pratis is usually translated as divine providence, which means, G-d’s intervention. But at the highest perspective we know that G-d is doing everything, so divine providence has to mean, when we see that G-d has caused something to happen in such a way that His intervention was obvious.

     Now to the story: Pictured above is a group of very nice young Jewish men from London. The man in the center with sunglasses tucked in his shirt brought them, not only from London, but from being totally secular Jews to being entirely Torah friendly Jews, dedicated to raising Jewish families. The girls in the group were on the ladies side of the Kotel.

     About a year ago, this young man came up to me at the Kotel and asked my advice on a very important, life changing decision. He is a gifted outreach worker. This means that he is very good at sharing Torah Judaism with secular Jews. A Jewish organization in London offered him a job doing what he is so good at doing, but he did not know if he should take his wife and young child and go live outside the Land.

     I told him that strictly speaking a Jew is only allowed to leave the Land if he cannot find; a Torah teacher, a livelihood, or a wife. In these cases he should leave and go find them. But I think that a Jew should also go, if by going he will be able to help more Jews than he would be able to help if he stayed here. And, apparently, this is what the offer he received would allow him to do.

     How can I make such a claim? There are well known, very strict laws that we are not allowed to do certain things on Shabbos. For instance; we cannot make a fire, cook, build, and so on. But if by doing any of these things we would save a Jew’s life, then certainly we must do them. When you bring a Jew to Torah you not only save his life, you save all of his descendants’ lives, too. Without Torah, a Jew would most likely intermarry. He would not only lose the spiritual benefit of being a Jew in this world, but he would lose his Jewish share in the world to come, too!

     He told me that after I told him that he should take the job, he walked away thinking, “Who is he (Gutman) anyway? Who says that he is right? Why should I listen to him?”

     Just then an Israeli father who was standing behind him started loudly scolding his young son, “?כמה פעמים אני צריך להגיד לך וגם בגיל הזה” The father was yelling at his son, “How many times do I have to tell you, and at this age?

     In Hebrew “age” is pronounced “gil.” My English name, that many English speakers still call me, is Gil. So, immediately after strongly questioning my advice he heard that loud voice answer, “How many times do I need to tell you, and with this Gil, too?” He was startled by the obvious, loud, and immediate answer to his question. He took the job.

     He told me that he is very happy, and very successful, too. He then added that his success was all due to me. I quickly corrected him, “No it’s not! It’s all due to you!” I pointed my finger at him and said, “You are the one doing it.”

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