Tuesday, May 23, 2017

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To Fill What?

   by Reb Gutman Locks
      

To Fill What?

 

     Early this morning when we were all wearing our tallis and tefillin right before we started to daven and this tourist came up to me and asked if it was okay for him to "approach the Wall."

     He looked like he might be Jewish but I couldn't tell and I saw that the tallis he was wearing was from an arab or x-ian store, definitely not a proper tallis.

     "Are you Jewish?"

     "Yes, yes, I am."

     "Is your mother Jewish?"

     "Yes, she was Jewish."

     "What's your name?"

     "David."

     "David, do you have tefillin to put on?"

     "To fill what?"

     "Tefillin."

     "What's that?"

     "Come with me. You can borrow a pair."

     "I have to go soon."

     "It will only take a couple of minutes."

     "Okay."

      I put tefillin them on him. It was a little frustrating as he could not pronounce any of the words of the blessing anywhere near the way they should be said.

     "Are you sure your mother is Jewish?"

     "Yes, and my father, too. What are these?"

     "You've never seen tefillin before?"

     "No."

      I explained that they are a sign that we will do what G-d wants us to do and that we will think about what G-d wants us to think about.

      I asked him what he was doing in Israel. He said that a lady friend of his was a "believer" and she brought him.

     "A believer? Don't marry her if she's not Jewish."

      He said that she was just a friend.

      After he repeated the Shema in English I had him stand by the Kotel and pray for all his loved ones, for his needs, and for the Jews in danger. When he finished we returned the tefillin. He thanked me and he looked happy, but maybe still wondering what was going on.

      A fifty-five year old Jew from Las Vegas who had never even seen tefillin before came all the way to the Kotel to put them on for the first time in his life. Will those few minutes change his life? I don't know, but I do know that Hashem brought him here for a good reason, and Hashem had him ask me if he could go stand by the "Wall" for a good reason.

 

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