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"Tallis, Tallis"

Friday, 31 May, 2013 - 1:17 pm

On Tuesday evening I went to visit a senior member of the community in the Jubilee Hospital. We had a good conversation; it seems that it gave him some comfort and he appreciated our time together. As I was getting ready to leave, I wished him "good night" and headed towards the exit of the unit, but it seems that G-d had other plans for me...

When trying to open the door, I realized that I would need the help of a staff member to let me out, so I started looking around for a nurse. 

I wandered around for a few minutes, but didn't see anyone available to unlock the doors. Suddenly, I heard a voice behind me calling with excitement "Tallis, tallis", I turned around and saw an older man with a white goat beard, who I've never met before, pointing to the Tzitzit strings hanging from my pants... I walked over and the fellow continued "do you have Tefillin too?" at this point I realized that he really knew what he was talking about... Standing in the hallway of the hospital we had a conversation about his bar mitzvah ("the last time I put on Tefillin") and he was overly excited when I told him that next time I'd make sure to come in the daytime and bring Tefillin along.

The next day I stood beside the man in his room,  his eyes were filled with tears of joy, as he recited the "Shema" with a Tallit and Tefillin.

This time when I was ready to leave, there was a nurse right there ready to open the door for me. As I stepped out she asked "What did you do to Dr. J?! I have never seen him so happy since he was admitted here...”

This Shabbat we will be reading in the Torah the commandment of Tzitzit. The Torah says that one shell wear them "so that you will remember". It seems that it may make awaken someone else's fond memories too... 

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