By COLlive reporter
Last week, bochurim Mendy Kapeluschnik and Chai Kohan were on Merkos Shlichus in Central America. They related an amazing story:
While visiting the small town of Antigua, in Guatemala, we met a 63 year old Jewish man that came from a cowboy family. In the course of our conversation, we discovered that he had never put on tefillin in his entire life.
As the conversation continued, the subject of his parents’ passing came up, and we asked him the dates that his parents passed away.
Miraculously, when we checked the dates on the computer, we discovered that it was the day of his father’s yahrtzeit.
“Today is the Yahrtzeit of your father,” we told him.
Tears began streaming down his face. He could not believe this miraculous occurance.
Now the only problem was to find a minyan. How would we find another 6 Jews in a small town like that?
Thank G-d, the owner of the bar that we were meeting in was also Jewish, and when we told him the story he ran to a local hotel that hosted many Israeli tourists.
The bar owner soon returned with four other Israelis, each of whom put on Tefillin.
Now we were 8. We needed another 2 for our Minyan.
I took a list from my pocket that Rabbi Pelman, the shliach of Guatemala, gave us before we left, of some Americans who had said they were not interested in meeting with us.
I explained to them that we needed a Minyan, so that somone could say kaddish.
“We’ll be there in five minutes,” they agreed immediately.
Before the man said kaddish, we said a few words, thanking everyone for coming, and explaining the importance of the day for the man’s father.
The kaddish took 5 minutes, which he said with tears pouring from his eyes.
At the end of this emotional meeting, he thanked us and said, “You guys are amazing, from now until forever we will remain in touch.”