By Moshe Newman
Today I was carrying my tefillin as I always do when I go walking.
Just days before Tisha B’Av, a time when the Rebbe urges us to show baseless love for another Jew, I met Eliyahu, a Jew who did just that.
Here is the story:
As I was walking, I saw an older man, roughly 80 years old, approaching me, and he started singing. He looked at me and said, “don’t worry, I’m Jewish.”
Then he said, “don’t worry, my wife of 55 years is also Jewish.” He then told me that his meeting me in this area was a sign from Heaven, and he proceeded to tell me his story.
This man, Eliyahu, a Sephardic Jew from London, was visiting the US. He does not put on tefillin regularly, or very often, but he is a very successful businessman that made a lot of money throughout his career. Unfortunately, Eliyahu’s brother spent alot of time throughout his life fighting with Eliyahu over money, which forced Eliyahu to even have to go to court against him. This caused Eliyahu and his family much pain.
But, Eliyahu tells me, his brother is on the edge of passing away, and just hours ago (today) Eliyahu decided to call his brother’s son to let him know that he should tell his father, “all of the fighting that happened over money throughout his lifetime is forgiven, and he should know that everything is okay between us.”
Eliyahu wanted his brother to know that he still loves him regardless of what happened in the past, and that his brother should have a clear mind regarding all their disagreements.
It was just following Eliyahu’s kind act of love that he bumped into me on a lonely road near the ocean and put on Tefillin for the first time in a very long time. He told me that he believed that our meeting happened because he reached out to his brother, who is likely to pass away soon, with an act of baseless love.
Eliyahu added, “you should know that I met the Rebbe of Lubavitch in Brooklyn to receive a dollar roughly 29 years ago…he was from another world…”