Tuesday, July 24, 2018


An Argument

   by Reb Gutman Locks

An Argument


     There was an argument in the minyan this morning. A friend of mine read that I put tefillin on a Jew who was a x-ian minister.

     He said, "You should be more careful not to put to tefillin on a kofer (a denier)."

     I insisted, "You never know what effect a mitzvah can have on a Jew. It could very well save his life."

    He argued, "A guy like than should not even be allowed in here. Go ask the Rabbi."

    I asked the Rabbi. Not that I needed an authority to tell me that it is alright to put tefillin on such a Jew, but I thought that maybe my friend would listen to the rabbi.

     The rabbi said, "If he is a Jew he must put on tefillin."

     It didn't change his feelings on the subject.

     Often religious men come up to me at the tefillin cart and ask, "How do you know that they are clean," meaning that I shouldn't put tefillin on them.

     Sometimes I get frustrated with their attitude and say, "Why do you think that your fellow Jew is dirty?" That usually shuts them up, but not always.

     My general rule is; we don't keep the sick people out of the hospital.



  1. Except, there are gedolim who say the leniencies that we ordinarily apply to a tinok shenishba kofer do not apply if that person is a meisis which your typical jewish [l'chumra by birth to a jewish mother] evangelical pastor is. They, who proactively try to get others away from yiddishkeit have even stronger sanctions than an ordinary kofer.

  2. Agree with the last commenter, WT72. A Jew is a Jew and it's a great mitzvah Reb Gutman does; but if that Jew is a kofer and became a pastor, he should not be treated as an ordinary Jew until he abandons this chet of being a notzri pastor with all the avoda zora. When he repents and discards his avodah zora is when he can put on tefilin.

  3. From a forwarded message ( don't know the author) ""Once, when I put on tefilin with a Jew on an airplane, a religious man approached me and asked why I trouble myself with putting tefilin on a "sheigetz" (G-d protect us). I asked him, "If this Jew were to drive near Me'ah She'arim on Shabbos, would you yell at him: 'Shabbos, Shabbos!'?"

    "Certainly," he replied.

    "If so," I continued, "when he does a transgression he is a Jew; and suddenly when he does a mitzvah he's a "sheigetz?"

    "The Rebbe saw things exactly the opposite: [When a Jew) Does a sin, this is not really him, it is the "sheigetz" within him. When he does Mitzvah, however, then he is expressing who is really is, a wonderful Jew!"


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