Everything is foreseen, yet free will is granted…the mystical side of Judaism and life
by Reb Gutman Locks
Half of my job at the tefillin cart is to encourage Jewish men who do not know enough to put on tefillin to put them on. Another half of my job is to convince Jewish men who have put them on every day of their lives to reach out and put them on someone else.
These religious boys were waiting for their Rebbe to arrive. They gathered around my tefillin cart and asked me why I was reaching out to the non religious Jews trying to get them to put on tefillin. It is not their custom to do such a thing. In fact, they think that it takes precious time away from learning Torah.
I asked them what the Torah says we are supposed to do if we see another Jew’s donkey has fallen down.
They were quick to answer, “You have to help him pick up his donkey.”
I answered, “If we are obligated to help him pick up his physical donkey, how much more so are we obligated to help him pick up his spiritual donkey! But here you are watching Jews whose spiritual donkeys have fallen down walk by and you are not trying to help them!”
I brought over a boy and started to put tefillin on him. Then I grabbed one of the religious boys, pulled him over and pushed the tefillin strap into his hand so he had to finish putting the tefillin on the other boy. It was probably a double bar mitzvah! The first time either of them had put on tefillin.
When a candle is used to light another candle not only does its light spread, it gets brighter. When you help a Jew to do a mitzvah not only does his light shine, your light shines brighter too.