From the COLive Inbox:
This is the first time in years that Rabbi Shmuel Lew went on the Mitzvah Tank. He does Mivtza tefillin; but mostly in his office, or on his travels. What happened now?
On Thursday night at Hakofos in Lubavitch House of London, at about 2 am, there was a crowd. But there was a small circle, only about 5 people dancing, and he felt an urge to join them.
They said to him: This is an exclusive group; only people who go on the tank at least once a year are in this dance.
Rabbi Lew answered, “this is the group that I want to be part of; I promise to go at least once this year on the tank.”
And so he joined them.
Later, they asked him when he will choose the day to go; will he wait until the end of the year, 29 Elul, or near then, to fulfill his pledge?
He said no, he will go the first chance after Yomtov; who knows, maybe he will then go a second time!
And so, there he was, which was good, since none of the regulars could go that day (except for one).
Amongst the people whom he met were two young men with shaven heads, piercings, etc. Yes, they were Jewish, and they said they were actually on their way to Rabbi Yossi Simons, to put on Tefillin. They were brothers, from a frum family.
Turns out, they also were on the way to keep a resolution. At hakafos at Heichal Menachem shul in London, they had promised Rabbi Simon that they would come to him (at Tzivos Hashem) that day, to put on Tefillin. They apologized to Rabbi Lew, but wanted to keep their word to Yossi.
Simchas Torah Hachlotos are a powerful force.