Printed from ChabadVI.org

100 years later...

100 years later...

Friday, 3 May, 2013 - 3:18 pm

 Email

Getting regards from a grandparent is always a great thing, but getting it from a grandfather a few decades after he is gone, is nothing less than mind boggling.

A few months ago, a member of the community introduced me to Don, a Jewish man who she met through a friend. Don wasn't involved in Jewish life for many years, but when we met he was very open to getting back to Jewish practice and we connected very well.

Last week I offered Don to put on Tefillin. When I heard that Don never did it before, I got very excited. Being there when a fellow Jew puts on Tefillin for the first time is always a special experience; however with Don it was absolutely amazing. Although prior to putting them on it was totally  astrange act to him, after he put them on, he felt so inspired, that he decided right then and there, that he would like to do it often...

photo 2.JPGThis Wednesday, Don came to the JLI class holding a beautiful velvet bag. "Rabbi" he said "This is my father’s Tefillin, it hasn’t been in a shul probably since the 30’s, and it will mean a lot to me if I can put them on".

Before opening the Tefillin bag I looked at the embroidery on top. I saw remaining parts of some Hebrew Letters. With difficulty I was able to make it out. It read"אייזיק מוריס" - "Isaac Morris". "This is my grandfather Issac’s Tefillin I guess” Don said. Then I read more, under the name, "ניסן תרע"ג" – “ Nissan 5673” – April - 1913, was written, apparently is when the Tefillin was purchased. Writing the date on a Tefillin bag is not very common, but in this case it had great significance – exactly 100 years after they were bought – Isaac’s grandson got inspired to do this Mitzvah himself!

I have a strange feeling that it was Grandpa Isaac that set it all up, so his grandson Don would adopt his lonely Tefillin...

As to be expected, the 100 years old Tefillin are not in the best shape. Don asked me to get a new pair for him so he can put them on daily. He will place them in a beautiful bag – a bag that represents another 100 years of the unbroken chain of our people. 

Comments on: 100 years later...
5/3/2013

Morah Faiga wrote...

Thank you Don and Rabbi Kaplan for this story. Although, as a woman, it's not my Mitzvah to put on Tefillin, I am deeply moved each time I see a photo of man wearing them...no matter their age and stage of life.
5/3/2013

Elisabeth Gelb wrote...

Shabbat Shalom dear Rabbi and family,
An amazing and heart warming story. Wishing Don Mazel Tov on his journey home.
Elisabeth
5/6/2013

Susan Kristofferson wrote...

What a beautiful and moving story - L'chaim!