Only in Israel:
Watch Chabad emissary brings tefillin to live radio show

'Breakfast Club' hosts on Radio 103FM ask for tefillin on air and Chabad emissary hurries to arrive: Shai Goldstein: 'It's like a battery.'

Mordechai Sones ,

Chabad emissary assisting in donning tefillin
Chabad emissary assisting in donning tefillin
iStock

Only in Israel: Radio 103FM "Breakfast Club" hosts made a passing comment on air expressing desire to wear tefillin, and were shocked and delighted when local Chabad emissary Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Beckerman arrived to their studio to facilitate Jews connecting to their Creator.

"At 7:30 in the morning I was told they said on 103FM that 'if someone would come with tefillin, I'd put them on now,' but I couldn't go because I was giving a class in Chassidus," Beckerman tokd Arutz Sheva. "I had a feeling this was an important mission - if a Jew wants to do a mitzvah on air, maybe someone else will want to as well. So I found someone to take my place giving the class, and went to the station.

"They were in complete and utter shock when I arrived, they couldn't believe it," Beckerman says. "They acted as if it were some dramatic event, and I thought actually it is - a Jew putting on tefillin is a dramatic event but because we do it every day we just make it into a habit. But those who don't observe the mitzvah daily and they see someone ready to come just for that purpose - it really makes an impression on them."

The ensuing scene began to resemble anything but a prayer venue as a more reticent host began mocking his colleague who started donning the tefillin with the Rabbi's help. The two exchanged barbs as the Rabbi continued what he'd come to do, but soon the entire studio was on their feet spontaneously singing and dancing.

After finishing his prayers, host Shai Goldstein commented that wearing tefillin for him was "like a battery". Rabbi Beckerman proceeded to the host who had been making fun and helped him on with the tefillin, too.

Tefillin
iStock

How do you feel when people start mocking or making light of your work to bring tefillin and other mitzvos to the public?

"The mitzvah is written in the Torah, it's not an invention of the Rebbe or Chabad. Before the Six-Day-War the Rebbe did announce that in order to save Israel from the upcoming great war, an effort should be made for as many Jews to don tefillin as possible. The verse in the Torah says the nations will see the Name of G-d called upon us and they will fear us, and the Talmud explains this to be a reference to the head tefillin - when they see, it causes fear. So Chabad Chassidim took this activity very seriously. My tefillin go with me wherever I go in case someone needs to wear them; if I were to show up somewhere without my tefillin it would be like a soldier showing up without his rifle."

One of the hosts seemed very reluctant.

"Sometimes people refuse, but every Jew has a G-dly soul, even if it's covered by inclinations that darken it. That's how a Jew is built: He has a soul, but it's covered with an animal soul that keeps the body alive. His inner desire is to observe the Creator's commandments, and his inclinations are something external that need to be cleared away.

"When I meet a Jew who sees I believe in him it affects him. That's what happened today; one wanted, the second one didn't, and when I approached him you could see his inner conflict. But I had compassion on him; his G-dly soul was very obscured but at the same time he did want to put on the tefillin; he understood it was something that belonged to him.

"The Rebbe was once asked why we go out and seek people to put on tefillin. If he wants to come, he'll come; what do you want from him? Why go to him?

"The Rebbe answered that if firefighters entered a burning building and found someone sleeping who wants to be left alone to sleep, what should the fireman do? He saved a live here; I'd want someone to save my life. This is the life of a Jew."

The Chabad House in Givatayim has been active for 27 years, says Rabbi Beckerman. "In the last election here Meretz circulated a poster with a picture of the Mayor in tefillin, saying that a vote for him would mean Chabad takeover in the city. It hurt them badly in the elections. People don't like that; tefillin are a part of the Jewish People and a part of Jewish life."




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