Tuesday, January 08, 2019

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Why Do they Refuse?

   by Reb Gutman Locks

Why Do they Refuse?


     He is a 77-year-old Israeli living in Washington State, never put on tefillin before, strongly refused to cooperate, but gave in to my insistence, and as you can see, he had a great time.

    Why does a Jew refuse to do such a pleasant, meaningful mitzvah especially at the Kotel?

     They all have their own invented reasons. Obviously, none of their reasons are valid, but to them they are. It seems to me that the most "popular" reason to refuse is that they are afraid if they put on tefillin it will open a door to them being bossed around and they will no longer be able to do such things as eat at their favorite restaurant, or they will have to turn off the TV on Shabbos, grow a long beard, and "who knows what!"

     The truth is, we do wish that this one mitzvah would lead to such things, and if they have a good enough time doing it, it very well might lead to them wanting to do more, but the reality is that their freewill goes with them wherever they go, so they will continue to live the life they choose each day.    

     But it does happen from time to time that someone will come up to me and say such things as, "You won't remember me, but seven years ago you put tefillin on me here at the Kotel, and you showed me how to pray for my family, I want you to know that I have been doing it every day since." Baruch Hashem!


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