In the aftermath of the horrific terror attack in Manchester, England, which left 22 dead and over 60 injured, thousands gathered for a vigil in memory of the victims.
Manchester residents, as well as people from the surrounding areas, came on Tuesday to Albert Square in support of the families of the victims and the survivors of the atrocity.
Rabbi Schneur Cohen of Chabad in Manchester took to the bustling Albert square to promote unity, sharing the message of the Rebbe to add in acts of goodness and kindness to bring about more peace and harmony in the world.
He was joined by students of Yeshivas Lubavitch Manchester: Mendel Chein, Levi Deren, Mendel Ehrenreich, Nochum Freedman and Menachem Schmukler, and volunteers from Cteen Ben Bursk and JJ Martin.
They put on tefillin with men and passed out water and food to the police officers who had been standing with them, protecting the area since the terrible events of Monday night.
During the day, the bochurim saw this as an opportunity to make a Kiddush Hashem by speaking on various European newscasts, on channels such as MTN UK, BFM TV France, Channel 5 Croatia and Ria 3 Italia, spreading Jewish ideas and messages of the Rebbe.
At once point, a 52-year-old man approached the Chabad table which was decorated with signs proudly proclaiming “Pray for Manchester – pray for the wounded – we are Manchester, we are together.”
The man asked what the booth was all about. In the bochurim’s conversation with him, it was discovered that the man’s mother is Jewish.
“Would you like to put on Tefillin?” they asked.
The man replied that he had never done it before.
And so, in the middle of a busy street, filled with supporters and passersby, he agreed to put on Tefillin, celebrating a Bar Mitzvah right then and there. They sang a song and took some pictures, and wished him “Mazal Tov.”
The Bar Mitzvah was a small glimmer of light in the darkness of the day, bringing hope that through spreading the Rebbe’s message of adding in deeds of goodness will lead us to the Redemption with Moshiach, they said.