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Ben is a very nice teen from America. I was surprised that he knew the beginning of the blessing that we say before doing a mitzvah. I asked him if he had ever put on tefillin. He had never even seen them before. “So how did you know that much of the blessing?” I asked.
He said that he learned it in shul (synagogue). “How can you go to shul and never have seen tefillin?” I asked.
I told him how to pray for his family, and sent him to the Kotel. As soon as he began, he started to cry. He stood there some 5 minutes praying for his loved ones, and crying.
What a waste for this boy not to have been introduced to tefillin before, and thank G-d that someone was there to help him when he came to the Kotel. He was so ready.
The Jewish soul that resides within and enlivens each of us, can sit there an entire lifetime without ever showing itself to the Jew! Then, thank G-d, something can happen that sends the Jew on his lifelong journey, searching for his own Being.
Send Your Mother a Present
Michael is visiting from America. His Hebrew name is Tzvi. Tzvi’s mother just passed away. He cried when he told me. He loved her very much. He had never put on tefillin before, but when I was putting them on his arm he said, “Seven times.”
I asked, “If you have never put tefillin on before, how did you know to wrap them 7 times around your arm.”
He said, “I’m a Jew, aren’t I!” As if to say, doesn’t every Jew know such a basic thing as this!
I explained to him why he should put them on regularly, and do other mitzvahs, too. I told him something that I had heard from the Rebbe (Chabad). It is a very powerful teaching that always helps to ease a mourner’s sorrow.
“When a person passes away, they go to a place so far away that they cannot contact us, but we can send them a present whenever we want. If we will do a mitzvah in that person’s name, the spiritual benefit of that mitzvah will elevate that person’s soul in Heaven.”
He said, “Thank you. My mother would like that.”
I told him to put a charity box in his home, and whenever he missed his mother, he should put a coin in the box, and ask G-d to bless her. He cried, and called me “An angel who helped me.”