A certain Belzer chosid is the owner of a wedding hall. Once a young man came to see the owner. He asked to reserve a date for his upcoming wedding.
In the course of their conversation, the young man said: “You should expect to get calls from people cancelling the reservation and trying various ways to hijack the wedding. Please don’t pay attention to any of them. I am reserving it and I am definitely going ahead with it!”
Seeing the look of astonishment on the face of the owner, the young man continued: “I am a baal teshuva, who returned to my Jewish roots through Chabad Lubavitch. My father is not a religious person, and he is very opposed to the change that I made in my life. Unfortunately, he tries to do whatever he can to thwart my plans.”
The owner tried to be understanding of the chatan’s situation, and agreed to keep the hall for his wedding day.
The night of the wedding arrived. The owner came to greet the chatan and saw that he arrived with his father at his side. At a discreet moment, he asked the chatan how did this happen?
The chatan told him: “My father finally came around. He said that I am, after all, his child, and he wants to participate in and enjoy my wedding.”
Indeed the father was an enthusiastic participant in all of the dancing and merrymaking. He danced like a young man, thoroughly enjoying his son’s wedding. But then the unthinkable happened. Apparently he overdid it. In the middle of the dancing he suddenly collapsed on the floor. The owner, seeing this, felt terrible. Here this man was finally cooperating with his son who became religious and now this has to happen to him?! Suddenly he had an idea.
In his office he had two dollars which he had received with a blessing from the Lubavitcher Rebbe. He decided to give one of the dollars to the father of the chatan.
He ran to his office to get the dollar and quickly returned and handed it to the father.
When the son saw his father holding a dollar, he asked incredulously: “What is this; Where is this dollar from!?”
The father told his son that he had just received a dollar from the Lubavitcher Rebbe!
Now it was the turn of the chatan to shriek in excitement. He cried out:
“Years ago, as I was on the road to becoming a baal teshuva, I went to the Rebbe for dollars. On one occasion, I asked the Rebbe for a dollar for my father as well. The Rebbe replied: “When he will put on Tefillin, he will receive a dollar.” Well the years passed and then Gimel Tamuz* happened. Now it did not seem feasible that that the Rebbe’s promise would be fulfilled.
Today, when my father had a change of heart and told me that he was planning to come to my wedding, I asked him if he would put on Tefillin in honor of the occasion. He agreed and for the first time in his life put on Tefillin and said the appropriate blessings and the Shema. And now, the Rebbe has fulfilled his promise and my father received the Rebbe’s dollar!”
But the story does not end here.
The Belzer chosid, owner of the hall, decided to watch the video available through JEM (Jewish Educational Media) of the day this young man received his dollar from the Rebbe. He managed to obtain the footage and watched as the Rebbe gave the young man a dollar and he asked for a blessing and dollar for his father. He saw how the Rebbe answered him that he would receive it when he put on Tefillin. Then to his utter surprise, right behind the young baal teshuva, he saw himself approaching the Rebbe. On the video he saw how the Rebbe gave him a second dollar and said: “You’ll know to whom to give this dollar.” This very dollar was now given to the father who had put on Tefillin that day!
From Rabbi Akiva Wagner, as heard by him from a Tosher chosid, an einikel of the Spinker Rebbe, and a friend of the owner of the hall. This chosid heard the story directly from his friend, the owner.