Tuesday, July 11, 2017

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Absolutely Not!

   by Reb Gutman Locks

Absolutely Not!


     A tourist from Canada was walking out from the Kotel when Shmuli ran over to try to get him to stop and put on tefillin. He refused. I joined in. He refused. I shook his arm and said, "Come on, you'll have a good time. I promise you," he refused. Again and again no matter what we would say he really did not want to put on tefillin.

      I moved behind him and picked him up and bounced him saying, "Come put on tefillin. It's good. You'll have a good time."

     "No! Why do you want me to put on tefillin?"

     "Because you're Jewish and your mother would want you to do this."


      Shmuli laid the tefillin strap on his hand and said, "Just say the blessing."

      I started the blessing for him to repeat and was surprised that he repeated the words. I put the tefillin on him and had him read the Shema in English.

     When he finished I explained, "Now take just one minute and do this. This is why we wanted you to put on tefillin. When you do a mitzvah it opens the door to Heaven. Take one minute. Close your eyes and picture everyone you love with light on their faces and smiling and ask G-d to bless them. Pray for your family and for everything that is important for you.

     He did it, but I couldn't tell if he really meant it. But he stayed there with his eyes closed for a couple of minutes.

     I waited until he was finished and then took some pictures for him. Then he really surprised me.

     After I took off the tefillin I asked him, "Was this a positive experience?"

     He nodded his head and said, "I'm glad you got me to do it. It was a very good experience. Really. Thank you."

     I took this quick picture and he walked away.

     Ha! Shmuli and I felt great…maybe at the beginning we seemed to him to be pests, but in the end he was glad we "got him."

     For all of you who are blessed to go out and try to help others to do mitzvahs see that it was not the tefillin that he saw to be so enjoyable, it was the taking advantage of the mitzvah to share love with his loved ones. This is why it is so important for you to have the Jews you help to do more than just the physical mitzvah but to also show them how to direct their hearts to Heaven. We want more than just having them do the mitzvah. We want them to experience the beauty in the mitzvahs so they will want to do them again.


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