One is never too old to take on new mitzvos. That is the lesson we learn from Yaakov G. who at 80 years young began wearing tzitzis. His motivation, aside from wanting to serve his Creator? His TorahMate, Aharon S.!
Yaakov, an older fellow from Colorado who is about to celebrate his 80th birthday, has been learning with his dedicated TorahMate from Lakewood for close to a year.
Amazing as it may seem, our Lakewood volunteer, even with so many years of Torah learning under his belt, learned something new from his TorahMate: namely that he could make an incredible difference in someone else’s life, especially considering that Aharon’s learning partner was considerably older than he. In the case of Yaakov and Aharon, both learned an important lesson: “As long as the candle is still burning, it is still possible to work and to make repairs.”
As we wind our way along the road of our Torah journey, we may encounter what feel like insurmountable obstacles. Sometimes family members are not so keen on our new lifestyle and may not be supportive. In the case of Yaakov, our senior TorahMate, just the opposite is true: Yaakov’s son-in-law has already embraced the Torah lifestyle. And he’s absolutely thrilled to see his father-in-law wearing the four-cornered fringed garment that reminds the wearer that he’s got 613 mitzvos to observe!
At 80, it’s normal to have “senior moments” that affect our memories. Wearing tzitzis serves as a constant reminder that Hashem chose us to be the lucky recipients of His holy Torah, a blueprint for life. What a wonderful aid to Yaakov’s memory to have those fringes not only close at hand, but as an actual part of his daily wardrobe. Tzitzis, even for an older man, may be the biggest fashion statement of all.
Aharon S. is proud of Yaakov’s impressive achievement. Next up for him?
By Varda Epstein