by Reb Gutman Locks
When I asked this Israeli to come put on tefillin he refused. I saw how stubborn he was so I softened him up before asking again.
“Give your son a blessing. Put your right hand on his head.”
They almost always cooperate with this one. After he read the blessing I asked, “What do you want Hashem to give to him? Say it out loud so the boy can hear you.”
“Good health, success in learning, be safe all his life, when he grows he should have a good livelihood…” Sometimes they can go on and on with this one. When he finished I asked, “Is he a good boy?”
“Gold, pure gold.
I repeated, “Pure gold!” and patted the boy’s cheek. The kids love it when I do this.
“Okay, now you can put on tefillin.”
He refused again, but this time his refusal was much softer. I pulled his arm and said, “Come, it will be good for you.”
He gave in and let me put tefillin on him. His son placed his cheek on his father’s hand while he read the Shema. When he finished I showed him how to pray for all of his loved ones, our soldiers, and the Jews in danger. He softened up completely. His boy liked it, too. You can see from their faces how much they enjoyed the mitzvah.
When the door doesn’t open, look for the key. Don’t just give up and walk away.