Tuesday, June 07, 2016

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Ahavas Israel

​    by Reb Gutman Locks
      

Ahavas Israel

Love of your fellow Jew

 

     It was late afternoon, Yom Yerusalem, and it was totally nuts at the Kotel. It was packed with singing, dancing, jumping up and down kids wearing or waving Israeli flags. The music was so insanely loud that when I walked by the bandstand I had to put my fingers in both my ears and even tried to squeeze my shoulders towards them to block it out. It was so intensely loud that I could actually feel it physically pounding on my chest when I walked by! Boom! Boom! Boom!

     Where I stand to help with tefillin was somewhat better. At least it wasn't pounding on my chest, but there was no way you could talk to someone, not if you wanted to be heard.

     The boy knew how to put on tefillin without help. After he finished reading the Shema he wanted to quickly run back to his group. He had already taken the strap off his hand when I motioned to him in "sign language". I pointed to him turning my right hand palm up, and then I pointed to the sky above the Kotel, and then back circling over the huge crowd of Israelis filling the Plaza. He got it right away. He went, "Oh!" and quickly wrapped the strap back over his hand, picked up his backpack, and ran off squeezing through the crowd trying to get back near the Kotel.

     A few minutes later he came back, took off the tefillin, and looked at me with the warmest look of appreciation and love, and sincerely said, "Thank you very much."

     That was it. But what really happened? It was impossible to talk there. I had something important to say to the boy but couldn't be heard over the music. I waved my hand just a little bit in the right directions and his instinctive love for his fellow Jew picked up on it immediately. Even though he was in a hurry he stopped, backed up, and ran off to ask G-d to protect and shower love onto all the Jews in the world.

     Sometimes it's the smallest things; the quickest moment that brings out the deepest truth. 

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