By Yosef Katzman
Every week on Friday afternoon, Chabad bochurim would be seen visiting an office building in New York. Their task on this Mivtzoim route is to encourage Jewish people to do Mitzvos, put on Tefillin, light Shabbos candles, etc.
In the building worked a Jewish lawyer who kept refusing to put on Tefillin. Week after week, the bochurim would come and get turned down.
When coming to this building each Friday, the bochurim would meet a peddler selling neckties. He constantly would ask them to purchase one, and they would refuse, saying Yeshiva students don’t wear ties.
One week, the tie seller harassed them so much that one of the bochurim agreed to buy one and asked for the price. The guy said $15, to which the bochur said, “nah, too much.”
Finally, the peddler agreed to sell the tie for the bargain price of $5. The bochur said, “deal.”
He took the tie and put it in his bag, but the seller said, “No no, you must put it on!”
The bochur answered, “I don’t know how do up a tie.”
So the seller said, “I’ll help you,” and knotted the tie and put it up in its place on the bochur’s neck.
The bochurim then continued on into the office for their regular weekly mivtzoim, which included asking the stubborn lawyer to put on Tefilin.
Shockingly, the lawyer turned to the boy with the tie, and said, “you with the tie, come on, I’ll put on tefilin with you only.”
And so he did.
When the guys asked the lawyer what changed, he answered the following:
“I had a dream recently, in which a Rabbi appeared to me and he asked me; ‘why don’t you put on Tefilin? I send you my boys every week and you refuse them.’ So I replied, ‘these are your messengers? They’re slobs, they don’t dress nicely, they don’t even wear ties.’ So the Rabbi answered, ‘Ok, next time I’ll send you someone with a tie.’ And today, you came dressed with a tie on, so I knew that I had to put on Tefilin.”
The boys were amazed by the story, so they asked the lawyer to try to describe the Rabbi, and he described our holy Rebbe – the Lubavitcher Rebbe – on whose direction the boys go to help Jews put on Tefilin!
What is amazing as well is what happened later.
Occupying an office next door to the lawyer is a Litvisher Yid. He was so moved by what he saw and heard that he shared the story with his acquaintance, a Satmar chossid.
This chossid was so moved by the story that he decided to start regularly dedicating time to learn chassidus from the Chabad Rebbes.
At a wedding this week, this chossid asked if we can learn together the Rebbe’s Torah and told me the entire story that inspired him.
And now it’s our turn to get excited, and start learning even more of the Rebbe’s teachings and do even more mivtzoim with renewed energy.
Happy learning, and a very happy 60 days of the joyous months of Adar.