Sunday, November 29, 2015

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A Used Car Salesman

​by Reb Gutman Locks   

A Used Car Salesman


      Sometimes you have to work hard to convince people to have a good time. This American tourist is a 69-year old, retired anesthesiologist. He had put on tefillin only once before in his entire life. It was for his son's bar mitzvah at the Kotel 39 years ago.

     When I first tried to help him he strongly refused. I tried a number of different things but he would not give in. I ended up shaking his arm many times. He finally let me help him.

     After he read the shema, I sent him to the Kotel to pray for his family and the Jews in danger due to this recent wave of terrorism. He stayed close to the Kotel for a long time. Then, when he finished praying he walked around, back and forth smiling for another ten or fifteen minutes while still wearing the tefillin. You could see from his face that he was enjoying himself.

     At first I had to insist, and even though he was not entirely pleased with my insistence (to say the least) you can see from the picture that he was very happy that he finally agreed.

     He left the Kotel, and ten minutes later he returned, smiling. He walked around the Kotel area for some ten or fifteen minutes. Then he left again, and ten minutes later he returned. He walked back and forth all around the Kotel area smiling. He said, "I love it here."    

     Although sometimes they can look at you as if you are a used car salesman, helping Jews to put on tefillin is more like polishing diamonds. The objective is not only for them to fulfill the physical mitzvah, but for them to enjoy doing it so they will want to do it again. Then, the more times they do a mitzvah the more the cloud that covers their soul thins out, and the more their soul's holiness shines out into the world.



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