(Directing the Heart)
I saw him walking back from reading the Shema at the Kotel. He wanted help taking off the tefillin. I quickly ran over and told him, "When you do a mitzvah it opens a door in Heaven. It's as if Hashem is listening with both ears. Take advantage of this. Close your eyes and picture everyone you love one at a time with light on their faces and smiling and ask G-d to bless them. Ask Him for all the things that you need … to send you the right girl at the right time … and to make you smart enough to recognize her. Don't forget to thank Him for all the good that He has given you. And pray for our soldiers … that Hashem should protect them. Talk to G-d. You're not a tourist here; you're a Jew coming home."
He stood there for well over ten minutes with his eyes closed doing what I told him to do. Even when someone bumped into him he didn't open his eyes. When he finally finished he thanked me with tremendous appreciation. You could see that the experience touched him deeply.
There are at least two things to learn from this. First, when you help someone do a mitzvah it is not enough for them to just do the physical mitzvah. Okay, so that is something, and they will get that much credit in Heaven for doing it, but doing just the physical mitzvah is unlikely to change their lives. For them to see a noticeable change in their lives you have to show them how to use kavanah, you have to show them how to direct their hearts. If you can get them to open their hearts and softly talk to G-d they will love doing the mitzvah and they will want to do it again. They will be practicing Chassidus.
The second thing we can learn about helping others go through the gate that a mitzvah opens is to ask… are you taking advantage of it, too? Sometimes things become so automatic that we forget about the spiritual advantage a mitzvah gives us. When you do a mitzvah are you warming your life with awareness of Hashem by opening your heart and talking to Him intimately?