This is Why I Did It
Yussi is a 40 year-old Israeli who had not put on Tefillin since his bar mitzvah.
He called me from the Kotel and said, "I come to the Kotel all the time but I never put on tefillin. I saw your video (Gutman's Story Goes to Hollywood ) and now I want to put them on. I don't expect you to come, but I called just to tell you that I am doing it because of your video."
"Can you wait ten minutes … I will come help you."
"Okay, I'll wait."
I put tefillin on him and was surprised that he knew the blessing without help. He said, "I remember it from my bar mitzvah."
After he read the Shema I walked with him over to the Kotel and explained what an important day it was for him. After all these years he decided to try to find his answer by putting on tefillin. "Hashem is going to listen to whatever you say now. The door is open. Pray for your loved ones, our soldiers, the Jews in danger, ask Hashem to guide you in life, to show you what He wants from you so you will succeed in what you have been sent here to do. Take a few minutes and share your blessing with others."
He stayed by the Kotel for a long time. He covered his eyes with his hand the entire time. When he came back to take them off he was smiling. Something changed for the better.
The Yussi(s) out there are why I put up with the embarrassment of hundreds of thousands of people laughing at the many mistakes I have made. The videos and recent articles about my years of searching are more enjoyable to see and read than they were to live. Thank G-d, I'm here now!
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