After four bochurim’s flight was canceled, they tried their hand at mivtzoim, but the Israeli man they met refused to don tefillin. Half a week later, they met him halfway across the globe and he had something to say.
Four bochurim, Shnuer Baitelman, Yossi Holtzberg, Yisrael Zakaria, and Yaakov Marcus had a flight to France on Sunday.
Unfortunately, the was canceled and rebooked for Tuesday. But they did not find out about the change until they arrived at the airport on Sunday. Upon arriving, they were told they would have to return in two days for their new flight.
Being that they had spare time until their ride back came, they decided to spend the time doing some Mivtzoyim. They weren’t successful in getting anyone to put on tefillin, but they met an Israeli named Kevin who was also on their flight. The bochurim asked Kevin to don tefillin, but he said he was busy and can’t put on, despite their repeated requests.
But Hashem had other plans!
Fast forward to Wednesday, the day after their flight, the bochurim decided to take the opportunity to go to the famous Eiffel Tower.
They brought along Tefillin, but they weren’t getting anywhere. As they were waiting for their elevator to take them down from the tower, they heard someone call out to them “Rabbis, rabbis!” They turned around, and to their surprise, it was Kevin!
“Your the boys from LAX airport, right?”
“Yes, we are! Do you want to put on Teffilin now?”
And this time he agreed!
After wrapping tefillin, he said, “On Sunday, after I rejected your tefillin offer, I felt ashamed. I used to put tefillin on when I was younger, and I stopped. When you asked me on Sunday, it inspired me to put on later that day. And today the only reason why I asked if you are the boys from the airport is because I wanted to ‘redeem’ myself, and put on Teffilin!”
And together they sang their Jewish pride on top of the magnificent Eiffel Tower!