Sunday, December 03, 2017

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If You Will Help Someone Else

   by Reb Gutman Locks   

 

         A Jew from Brazil came up to me by the tefillin cart and asked if he could put on tefillin.

     I said, "Of course, and I will help you."

     But he did not want my help. He was insistent, "I can do it myself. I am a Jew."

     I tried to help a little, but again he made it known that he could do it by himself, and that he did not want any help from me.

     He walked around with the tefillin on while he was saying the Shema by heart. Then, without talking, because he was still saying the Shema, he led the soldier in the picture over for me to help.

     The soldier was born in Ukraine and his family moved to Israel when he was a very small child. He is 18 years old and had never put on tefillin before.   

     While the soldier was reading the Shema the man from Brazil started to take off his tefillin. I put my hand on the strap trying to stop him, and told him how important it was for him to say his personal prayers, too, and not to just to say the Shema, but he wouldn't listen.

     Whatever I said, he refused. He was really stubborn. No matter how I tried to explain how important it was for him to talk to Hashem in his heart, he insisted that reading the Shema was what he was supposed to do… and he took off the tefillin.

     I told him that our prayers are vessels that Hashem fills for us, but we have to make the vessels by praying. He refused, and said that saying the Shema was what he was supposed to do.

     Just then the soldier finished, and I had him talk to G-d in his heart, to pray for all the personal things he wanted. I told him what an important day it was being the first time he ever put on tefillin. The boy stood there a long time and was taken by the experience.

     The Jew from Brazil saw how strongly the personal prayer affected the soldier and he said, "That is so beautiful." You could see from his face that he really meant it. He changed at that minute.

     He couldn't hear it from me, but he saw it in the Jew he brought over to be helped.

     Look what happened. A Jew strongly refused to accept my help and would have left without having learned the value of directing your heart to Hashem, but because he went out of his way and cared enough to bring another Jew over to be helped, a Jew who had never put on tefillin before, Hashem made that Jew the messenger who could get him to learn this very important lesson, a lesson that is going to change his spiritual life forever.

     You help someone else… and G-d will help you.

 

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