Shmuli pointed to two guys sitting over to the side and said, "They're Israelis. The one on the left is living in Hawaii. He said that he put on tefillin today, but I doubt it, and the second one refused. Maybe you can get them."
I walked over and asked, "Which Island are you living on?"
"By Makena Beach"
"No. On the other side."
"Over by the waterfalls?"
"Yeah, close to them."
He was impressed that I knew the Island. Not so many charedi-looking Jews know Maui. It helps a lot to be friendly with the ones you know are going to refuse before you ask them to put on tefillin. It can open the door.
They were coming from India, having visited their guru. Such Israelis are very difficult to convince to do anything at all with the Torah. They have already strongly rejected it for many years. They see the Torah as restrictive and their guru's teachings as enlightening. But due to my background I was able to get them both to put on tefillin and to pray deeply for the things they wanted to bring into the world.
After we took off the tefillin I said, "There are so many things that I would like to share with you but at least let me show you two major differences between the Torah's teachings and the way your guru thinks."
That put them on the defensive even more.
"Look at your body. It seems to be solid, but really it is some 99.9% empty space and zillions of molecules."
"And each molecule is made up of zillions of atoms and 99.9% empty space."
They were fine with that, too.
"And the atoms are made up of quarks, and then gluons, and on and on, smaller and smaller forms until you finally come to what the body is really being made of. Nothing! The entire creation is being made out of nothing."
"That's right," they insisted, "It's all an illusion!"
"That's one of the big differences I wanted to show you. Yes, it is being made out of nothing, and yes at any moment it might revert back to nothing, but right now it is something. It is a real creation, albeit temporary, and made out of nothing. The world has been created for a purpose; it is a holy opportunity if you use it right. It might be a delusion to most people, but it is not an illusion."
"No. It's nothing, a dream, an illusion. Like something being raised up by a magician's wand."
"No, it is a real creation. It is being put here for a purpose. Think about it for a while."
And the other thing I wanted to share with you is that G-d is Infinite."
"Of course, we know that."
"And the Infinite has to be all or else It would not be Infinite."
"The Infinite is all, but you are finite. You are not the Infinite."
"I am a part of the Infinite."
"No, the Infinite has no parts. It is always One."
"I am a piece of the Infinite."
"You cannot break off a piece of the Infinite. The Infinite is always One. It is All, and It is everywhere. You are not everywhere. Your guru says that he is a "G-d realized being" so he is G-d. No. G-d is all. Your guru is not all. The Infinite is all including the finite, but the finite is not the all. The finite is just one little finite entity. Only the Infinite is G-d."
A couple of their friends walked in. The friends were obviously on the same "spiritual" trip as they were so it strengthened their negative attitude towards Torah.
They walked away seemingly unchanged. Actually, the one on the left had an especially warm experience praying for his loved ones.
Will they change? Not immediately, at least not that I could see, but the information is in their heads now, and when they are ready it could very well help them to come home.