He is an American, pain management doctor originally from Iran. When I asked him to put on tefillin he refused. I tried again. He refused again. I tried again,… and again,… and again, but nothing worked.
"You didn't come all the way from America just to look at the stones."
"You have done it before."
"Do you have a mezuzah in your house…in the mezuzah it says to put on tefillin."
On and on, but he wouldn't budge. He was calm, friendly, unfazed... Then I tried one more thing, "It will only take one or two minutes, and I will show you a prayer that will change your life."
He said, "Okay."
I was totally surprised. I put the tefillin on him, "First read the Shema then I will show you the prayer."
After he read the Shema I said, "When you fulfill a commandment…, when you do a mitzvah, it opens a door in Heaven. This means that a spiritual opportunity comes. 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. Thank Him for all of the good that He has given you. Ask Him to protect our soldiers and the Jews in danger. Take a couple of minutes and talk to G-d." And I stepped away and watched.
With his attitude, I expected him to be there for maybe 15 seconds at the most but a full minute went by and he didn't move. He stood there with his eyes closed talking in his heart to G-d. Another minute passed, then another, until he ended up praying like that for well over five minutes. I noticed two women looking at us from behind the wall that separates the prayer area from the tourists. I couldn't really see their faces… all I could see were two sets of very white teeth coming from two huge smiles.
"That was a positive experience wasn't it?"
He nodded that it was.
"You did great, and your wife loved it too"
"Where is she?" He looked around trying to see where she was. I pointed to the two women with the huge smiles. He finally smiled too. We took a few pictures, and I took the tefillin off.
"You had such a good time, next time don't be so slow to come to do a mitzvah." And he left.
It makes you feel so good when you work hard and finally succeed in helping someone learn how to open his heart and talk to G-d.