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Tying with Tefillin

Friday, 19 September, 2014 - 12:38 pm

An Israeli young man, who was living for the last year in the central Island, came to visit me last week.  As soon as he entered our home he burst out crying.

"I didn't see a Jewish face for months now, and while I have come here with a very clear goal in mind it's becoming increasingly difficult,"  He explained his extreme emotional expression.  "I miss the connection with my family and my people."

After a great conversation about his life in Israel and on the Island,  I offered my new friend to lay Tefillin.

"I would love to do it,"  he said.

When he completed his prayer with great concentration he turned to me, "This is exactly what I need to do!  Something that transcends time and space, to connect with Hashem and with the Jewish people. I don't feel lonely any more"

The next day I got an email from the young man asking me to confirm the essential prayers for every morning.  At the end of the email he wrote:

"Thank you for reconnecting me with the Tefillin. I didn't miss a day (expect Shabbat) since we met, and I'm now going to do it every morning.  I don't know how I managed (actually I didn't) without it..."

This encounter taught me a new depth in the Meaning of Tefillin.  When you lay Tefillin you don't only tie them to your arm but you tie yourself with the Almighty and with your people.  A connection that is always there, though needs constant tightening.

This is the power of every Mitzvah.  May we have the wisdom to take full advantage of it in the coming year.

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