Last week we went out with the ‘Operations Tank’ for a regular activity day around downtown Manhattan.
Towards the end of the day, the heifer stood outside the ‘tank’ Akiva Zetloff And tried to find last Jews towards sunset…
After several attempts, he met a Jewish guy who wanted to put on tefillin, and even told him that this was the first time he put on tefillin.
The guy finished the ‘tefillin laying’ and left the ‘tank’. This was the last ‘tefillin’ for that day, after which the student Akiva locked the ‘tank’ and went back to his house.
The day ended with a joy that we won in the last moments to ‘catch’ another Jew and another ‘scalp’, but there was no special excitement because we are sad to meet a lot of ‘scalp’ – those who have never put on tefillin…
The continuation of the story showed us in the sense, how much we can not describe and understand what the power of one action and mitzvah is !!!
In the evening, after we have returned to our house, Rabbi Pevzner continues, I receive a long message, and here it is:
“I’m not sure where to send this message, but, since this number appeared on the vehicle we met, so send things here… Hope things get to their right destination…
“My name is Lori and I live in Southern California. Our eldest son Jacob becomes a ‘Bar Mitzvah’ at the beginning of the Corona plague – May 2020. My mother, decided to give him a respectable Bar Mitzvah gift – a trip to any place he chooses across the United States. My son chose a trip to New York.
“Because of all the corona limitations in the last two years, we have only just been able to finally schedule this special trip.
“He arrived in Brooklyn yesterday (14/6), to finally start the exciting trip that has been waiting for him for so long… This is his first time in New York, and the excitement was great and great.
“Today, on the first day of the trip, he decided to go out and see the ‘big city’.
“When they got to Union Square they came across a ‘tank mitzvah’ on the street, and a guy who convinced them to go inside…
“There my son got to put on tefillin for the first time in his life!
“I do not know if he fully understands the meaning of it, but I wanted to admit and say how happy it was for my heart to get a picture of him when he was decorated with tefillin…
“We are not a religious family, but I have always spoken and told my children that they are Jews, and wherever in the world they come they will belong to the Jewish people and the Jewish community by virtue of being Jews as well.
“Your right to receive Jews on the street like this (without looking at their ‘religiosity’) and show them that we are part of ‘one people’ – this is a very special Moshe !!!
“In the past, my children attended the ‘Gan Yisrael’ camp of Chabad (Silver Gan Yisrael in Huntington Beach) and every Friday they brought home from the camp a challah in honor of Shabbat. This thing made me start lighting Shabbat candles… I felt uncomfortable that we only had challahs without candles… And so, we started ‘celebrating’ Shabbat together as a family every week… which affected and greatly united our family.
“Being Jewish is an important part of our identity, and what happened today with our son only added another solid chunk to its Jewish base.
“The picture of our son with the tefillin so moved us, that it made us immediately contact the local Chabad house, and celebrate ‘Bar Mitzvah’ tomorrow for another son who turned 13 about a month ago…
“So just want to say thank you for the work that Chabad does everywhere in the world…”
You will know that your action has an effect!