Thursday, August 16, 2018

Teshuvah - A Personal Story

With nothing exciting to do at home yesterday, I jumped on a train into New York City with no plan in mind. When I got to Penn Station, still with no idea what to do, I went to my fallback plan. The Chabad Mitzvah Tank is always on Fifty Seventh Street at Fifth Avenue on Wednesday afternoons. So, that's where I went.

The first time I experienced the Tank was at that location on February of 2013, the coldest day I'd ever felt in New York. I was out doing my street photography thing when Rabbi Stone asked me if I was Jewish and to help make up the minyan (a group of ten men for prayers). The thought of a warm place was irresistible. Once on the Tank, he wrapped me in tefillin, which I hadn't put on in about fifty years. Afterwards, on my walk back to Penn Station, I was warmer than anytime that day, and I was buzzing! Since that day I haven't missed a day of wearing tefillin.

Fast forward to yesterday. While I was chatting with Rabbi Stone on the air conditioned Tank, a businessman came in and the rabbi wrapped him in tefillin. Afterwards he (the businessman) said to me, 'I got my tefillin charge for the week.' For the week? After he admitted that he had a set at home, I got him to commit to putting them on every day. There was a reason why G-d brought me to the Tank that day.

Rabbi Stone blowing the shofar:

Rabbi Stone assisting a young man to put on tefillin:

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