He is 36 years old, from the Ukraine, and had never seen tefillin before. As always, after reading the Shema (Hear O'Israel…), I showed him how to pray for his loved ones by picturing them with light on their faces and smiling…, to thank G-d for all that He has given him, and to pray for the things that he needs. He put his heart into it and you could see his face change as he prayed. When he finished I asked him, "How was the experience?"
He answered with a warm smile, "Beautiful!" and thanked me sincerely.
I asked him why after all his years did he finally put them on now. He answered, "Because you asked."
I told him that he had to marry a Jewish girl. He laughed, held up two fingers and asked, "What? Do you want me to get married to two women?"
"Oy! I'm late." I wish I would have met him ten or fifteen years ago. Maybe his life would have been entirely different.
One small kindness, like helping a Jew to learn about tefillin can change his life forever. This is the major difference between physical kindness and spiritual kindness. Surely it is good and needed to be kind in physical ways. Of course, we are to do such things as to give charity or to give someone a hand crossing a busy street, but when you show a Jewish woman how to take advantage of the spiritual opportunity that comes with lighting Shabbos candles, or when you help a Jew to open his heart when he puts on tefillin so he begins to become aware of G-d's presence, that kindness that you show them often changes their lives forever. One or two minutes of your time is all it takes.