Monday, December 12, 2016

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​Reaching Out

   by Reb Gutman Locks
     ​Reaching Out


     I was sitting at the Kotel waiting for Shabbos prayers to begin when a neighbor complained, "You see those two young guys over there?"

     He was pointing to the two young Chabad boys who were by the tefillin stand looking for someone to help.

     When I see those boys my respect goes sky high. Look around at the many thousands of Jews who come to the Kotel every day and ask how many of them are concerned with bringing Jews they do not even know to mitzvahs? It's rare to find a single one except for those who are helping at the Chabad stand. When I see them standing there I think how great the Rebbe was that even many years after his passing his Chasidim are still running to follow his good teachings.

       My neighbor continued, "Those boys are very rude!"

     "What are you talking about?"

     "Okay so I am wearing a ski cap instead of a yarmulke, it's cold out! But that's no reason them to ask me if I am Jewish"

     "They are new. You see how young they are."

     "You should train them before you let them go out."

     "That's what they are doing now. They are learning by reaching out helping. And maybe if you would wear your tzitzis out they would be able to see that you are a religious Jew?"

     "They are out! You can't see them because I'm wearing a sweater."
     "So how are these boys supposed to know that you are a religious Jew if they do not see a yarmulke or tzitzis?

      Let me tell you something. Many times I ask a Jew to come put on tefillin and he starts screaming at me, 'Are you Jewish? Did you put on tefillin today?' they yell, and they walk off totally insulted that I asked them to put on tefillin.

    "Then the next guy I ask says, 'Yes, I did. I put them on every morning, but thank you for asking, and thank you for being here trying to help those who do not know to put them on."

     "Now which one of these guys do you want to be? Next time a boy asks you to come put on tefillin say, 'thank you, I already did today.' and appreciate what they are trying to do."

     If you are not going to stand there with them then at least appreciate what they are doing.



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