Sunday, July 24, 2016

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How to Help

​   by Reb Gutman Locks   

How to Help

A Chabadnik in Australia asked:

     Can you please send me an email covering your guidelines for mivtzoyim [outreach] and putting tefillin on Jews?

     I want to print it out and put it up at my local Chabad yeshiva.


Gutman's reply:


     The Torah calls all of our offerings to Hashem, be they the most expensive animal offerings, or even the simplest, least expensive meal offerings, a "sweet savor." The Mishna explains that this comes to "teach you that it is the same whether a man offers much or little, so long as he directs his heart to Heaven."[i] This explicitly tells us that directing our hearts is an essential aspect of the mitzvah.

     Of course, each of the physical details of the mitzvah must be correct, exactly as commanded, but if we want to receive more than the physical awareness of the results of doing the mitzvah, we have to direct our attention to the Holy One Who has commanded us to do that act. It is not enough to merely fulfill the physical details of the mitzvah. We are told that we have to purposely set our hearts, which means to consider the greatness of the One Who in His kindness has instructed us to do these acts.    

     All the more so is this true when we are trying to bring a Jew to a Torah life by helping him to put on tefillin, or her to light Shabbos candles. We have to show them more than the physical requirements of the mitzvah. Rarely will someone learn to love the Torah by putting on tefillin one time unless you also show them how to open their hearts when they do the mitzvah.

     The easiest way for them to learn to love the mitzvah is after they read the Shema, or light the candles tell them:

     Doing a mitzvah opens a door in Heaven. This means that a spiritual opportunity comes. Take advantage of this. 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. Send blessings to everyone you love. Ask Him to protect the Jews in danger all over the world. Say thank you for all the wonderful things you have, like your health. Ask Him to send you whatever you need, and to guide you in your life. Picture the good things that you want to bring into the world. Take a couple of minutes and talk to G-d.

    Then stand back quietly and watch what happens.

    Hashem bless you to be able to show many Jews the joy in doing a mitzvah.

[i] Minacot 13:11


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