American Jewish businessman and philanthropist David Chase would spend time on his private yacht. In 1981 he began putting on Tefillin with a pair the Rebbe purchased for him.
At sea, Chase would regularly ask his captain, Dick Winters, what direction the boat was facing so that he could face Jerusalem while praying, as customary.
After a few days, Winters was perplexed by Chase’s repeated questions and asked if his employer had been learning the principles of marine navigation.
“Oh no,” Chase replied, explaining that he needed to know the information for religious purposes.
The following Sunday, when the yacht docked at Block Island in the Atlantic Ocean, Winters made an unusual request to leave his post for an hour, together with his wife.
“Of course,” Chase replied, inquiring why Winters wished to leave his duties.
“When I discovered that you recite daily prayers,” Winters explained, “you made me feel guilty that I don’t follow my own faith. So I would like to leave for one hour to attend Church with my wife.”
Chase recalled, “I later told the Rebbe what had happened and he got a big ‘kick’ out of it.”
(As told in “Turning Judaism Outward” by Rabbi Chaim Miller)