Wednesday, August 07, 2013

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Your Ways

by Reb Gutman Locks

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     It was really busy yesterday afternoon at the Kotel. Every summer it gets this way as Israelis are accustomed to taking “trips” over their summer breaks, and invariably, the Kotel is one of the choice destinations. Also, now there are Birthright groups coming, and there are many hundreds of Jewish athletics here for the Maccabiah sports event.

     I was dealing with a lot of young people from all over the world when I noticed a very small boy standing by my tefillin cart. He was looking up, trying to say something to me. He was maybe 5 years old, really small. I bent over a little, to hear what he wanted, but his voice was way too tiny for my senior citizen ears. As usual, I just smiled nicely, said, “Yes”, and assumed that he would walk away.

     I moved around putting tefillin on a couple more guys, and then I noticed that the little boy had not left. He walked over to where I was standing, looked up at me, and said something again. I reassured him again by smiling, and saying, “Yes,” and went back to talking to a group of boys from Argentina.

     When I finished with them I went back to the cart, and saw that the little boy was standing right by me, again. Again, he said something to me. Finally, I realized that he really wanted something, so I bent way over to hear what he was saying.

    “Please give me a blessing.”

     My heart melted. The kid was so tiny, so innocent, and was looking up at me as if I was the Source of blessings! Apparently, his mother had seen me running from one Jew to another, putting tefillin on them, and talking to them about marrying only Jewish girls, and she wanted her son to have a share in what I was doing.

     I gently put my fingers on his head and said, “May Hashem give you everything that you need in life, and may you be a big help to many Jewish people.” I stroked his soft cheeks, and the little boy walked away.

     So many precious things are seen in this simple story; a mother’s strong desire for her son to be like the old man who is helping other Jews to do mitzvahs, the little boy’s complete innocence, and expectation, and I was so impressed with his gentle, but insistent determination.

     “Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.”[i]


[i] Referring to the Torah: Proverbs 3:17

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