Rabbi Simcha Siev was suffering from the heat at his desk in the LA offices of the Chabad Persian Youth Center, when he decided to finally order a fan. He quickly found a cheap model on Amazon, and sprang for “within the hour” shipping. He had no idea that what would happen next, would change lives.
Less than an hour later, there was a knock at the door. The delivery person was a young Persian man. He explained that he was nervous to enter into a shul, that he had never done so before, and thought that he may need an invitation. He thought that maybe he should leave the package at the door.
“I’m not Jewish,” he explained, wondering if he could enter. The rabbi warmly welcomed him in. It wasn’t long before the delivery man explained that he was Muslim, because his father is Muslim. However, he does have “Jewish ancestors.” Rabbi Siev’s curiosity was peaked. The man continued…
When the delivery man’s grandmother had passed away the previous year, she had told him a secret: His family is from the city of Mashad, where, in the last century, the Jews were forced to convert or to hide that they were Jews. She told him that his mother was Jewish.
Rabbi Siev was floored. It was at that moment that he realized that this delivery man was as Jewish as him.
The rabbi ran, ecstatic, to fetch a pair of tefillin. In moments, the tefillin was on, and the Jewish delivery man was saying the bracha for the first time.
The delivery man is very connected to the Muslim world. His grandfather built the biggest Mosque in Iran, and his uncle sings the Muezzin every day from loudspeakers in Tehran. He is the only one of his siblings that knows he is a Jew.
Yesterday he entered a shul, wore a yarmulke, and met a Rabbi for the first time. There is no doubt that this is an experience that the young delivery man, Rabbi Siev, and all those who were present in the office will remember for years to come.
(source: FB Simcha Siev)
The delivery man’s name and face were concealed to protect his privacy.