Tuesday, June 14, 2016


San Francisco

​   by Reb Gutman Locks   

San Francisco


     His long hair was left loose but his beard was tied into a pony tail! He was wearing long, baggy shorts, had blue eyes, and a big smile when he walked into the Kotel.

    "Hi, where're you from?"

     "San Francisco."

     "You look it." (Referring to the hippie days)

Big laugh

     "What are you doing in Israel?"

     "Traveling with my girl friend. She's over there." He pointed to the women's side. "She's Jewish."

     (Uh, oh! Not my favorite job to tell a non-Jewish man that he should not be with his Jewish girlfriend)

     "Anyone in your family Jewish?"

     "Yeah, my mother. She's the only one."

     "Are you sure she's Jewish?"

     "Yeah, we all know it."

     "Well, if your mother is Jewish then you are Jewish. Come, I'll take your Jewish blood pressure."

     "What are these?"

      As I put the tefillin on him I explained that tefillin are a sign that we will do what Hashem wants us to do and we will think about what Hashem wants us to think about. He read the Shema in English and I showed him how to share the mitzvah with his loved ones by praying for them.

     "You're Jewish so you have to marry a Jewish girl."

     "Yeah, she's right over there."

     "Go to a local Chabad rabbi so the wedding will be proper, and the babies will be born with that spiritual advantage."

      For his whole life he thought he was a gentile. He walked into the Kotel area as a stranger visiting the Jewish land. He had a Jewish girlfriend but he himself was an outsider. Then all of a sudden he found out that this Holy Land is actually his land too… and best of all (at least in his eyes) the girl he loved was really for him. A very happy day.



  1. The Jewish educational system in San Francisco, and other states of US, must be truly lacking if in the 21st century, so many Jewish people never learnt in their school years the basic facts of what authentically determines Jewish lineage.

  2. I don't think the Jewish educational system is to blame. If you've been raised in a secular household and are the product of a mixed marriage ... what can one expect? I just hope this young man is inspired to start exploring Judaism. He's had his foot in the Palace door this whole time and it took Rabbi Locks to point it out. B"H! Now he can begin his journey to seek the Face of the King. What a blessing! At the very least, he's got a new sense of belonging and a compatible partner. Those are things I'll never have!

  3. Well, if it were commonly taught and emphasised in Jewish schools, nominally orthodox, at least it will more than likely infiltrate the rest of the populace, Jews and Gentiles alike. Besides if one was at all curious about his or her ancestry, there are nowadays so many reliable sources from which one could access this knowledge ie. internet, books, rabbis, teachers, family trees etc.


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