by Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths
I was waiting for the Evening Shabbos prayers when a Chabad rabbi came up with a group of some 14 or 15 Birthright boys. I walked up to the boys and called to them to come stand close enough to hear what I had to say. I gave them my standard talk on such occasions. “Okay guys, the most important thing is; you have to marry a Jewish girl! If your mother is Jewish, you are Jewish, and if you are Jewish, you want your children to be Jewish, so you have to marry a Jewish girl. That is your real Birthright.”
“Next…, I have been at the Kotel 6 hours a day, every day, for over 27 years, and I have learned something that I want to share with you.” That always gets their interest up. “G-d is equally everywhere, at all times. There is no more G-d at the Kotel than in your home town. So then why do we come here to this place? Because here at the Kotel G-d listens better. G-d wants to bring us close to His Torah, and this is the home of the Torah. To take advantage of this, go stand close to the Kotel, close your eyes, picture everyone you love one at a time, with light on their faces and smiling, and ask G-d to bless them. Also ask for all the things that you need, and be sure to thank Him for all the good that He has done for you.”
I motioned for them to go do what I said, and I stood back. Some 9 of the 14 boys walked over to the Kotel and did what I told them to do. The Chabadnik and I watched them as they leaned on the Kotel with their eyes closed. You could see their hearts opening...some even with tears in their eyes. It is a very rewarding thing to see…changing a bunch of Jewish lives in just a couple of seconds. They stood there like that for quite a while.
The Chabadnik said, “That 10 second talk was exactly what they needed. This is without doubt the most important experience of their entire 10 day trip.”
I looked over at the 4 or 5 boys who didn’t do what I told them to do, and for a split second I looked back at the 9 who did listen…, and I almost felt good. After all, I got the majority to change their lives. But then something pushed me. I went over to the ones I did not get. Two of them walked away when they saw me coming. I asked one of the boys who didn’t walk away, “Do you love your mother?”
He said, “Yes.”
I asked, “Would you like to send her a present?”
He nodded, “Yes.”
I pointed to the Kotel and said, “Nu?”
He walked over, stood close to the Kotel, and prayed. One of the other boys followed him. I went back to the Chabadnik and pointing to the last two boys, I said, “Those two are the Rebbe’s. The first boys I got on my own initiative.” Don’t we all want to help our fellow Jews find the importance of G-d in their lives? “I could have been satisfied with having gotten the majority of them to listen, but when I saw the ones who didn’t listen standing there doing nothing, the Rebbe pushed me to go after them, too.” He always encouraged anyone who would listen to help the Jews who do not even know enough to show up.