Rroving rabbis, travelling the world in the heat of summer, certainly attract attention in their black and white rabbinic attire. Amongst the colorful inhabitants of Oahu, Hawaii, our conservative clothing is even more conspicuous. In fact, on one of our downtown excursions in search of a Jewish businessman, one local told us, "You two aren't from here. You need to get some Aloha shirts!"
But standing out is our preferred method, and it has paid off. That same day, while walking on a busy street, we heard a shout of "Shabbat Shalom." We turned around to see a man give us a smile, and briskly walk by. We hurried to catch up with him and he told us he’d just left his office for a brief errand and happened to see us. We sat down with him on a small ledge, introduced ourselves, and explained that we were visiting Oahu to help Jews learn more about their heritage. At first he seemed hesitant, but it only took a few moments until he warmed up.
During the course of the conversation, we mentioned a Jewish idea that really sparked his interest. He wanted to learn more, but had to go back to work, so we set a date for a Torah class the following week. One discussion has led to the next, and we've been in contact ever since.
Divine providence placed us in the same place at the same moment. And our traditional garb allowed our new friend to make the initial connection.