After making numerous calls the night before and not succeeding in arranging any meetings, we drew up a list of homes that we would visit, hoping that someone would be home. There was no one home at the first three houses that we visited, and Hillel and I were starting to feel a little down.

At the fourth house, we met an older Jewish man and his great-grandchild. Hillel shared some Jewish stories with the kid, and I had a fascinating conversation with the elder. After such a fine time, we left feeling much better.

We got back into our car, I turned the key in the ignition, and it didn't start. Twice, three times...nothing. I went into a nearby shop to ask for a jump. There was a friendly lady working there. She gave me cables but was not able to leave the store to give us a jump.

So I took the cables and went looking for someone to help us out, and a man leaving the parking lot graciously offered his services. As I was hooking up the cables, he chatted with Hillel. Would you believe it? His wife's grandfather is the man whom we had just met!

He was there with his son, a boy who had always been upset that he had never been "bar-mitzvahed." So he donned tefillin right then and there, and we held an impromptu bar-mitzvah as I got our car rolling again.

In the presence of these beautiful rock formations, anything seems possible—even probable.
In the presence of these beautiful rock formations, anything seems possible—even probable.

Next, we went to a shop which we knew was of Jewish ownership. We found the owner and started shmoozing. At first, he was kind of cold, suspicious of our motives, telling us that "Jews do not send missionaries." But, as the conversation continued, we became friends. At the end of our visit, we asked him if he would like to put on tefillin and say some Jewish prayers.

So we went upstairs where he would be able concentrate on his prayers. After saying the Shema, he said his own prayer. He spoke from his heart. He prayed for more opportunities to pray while wearing tefillin. Then he made a silent prayer.

After removing the tefillin, he asked if he could buy a pair for himself. Clearly, he was in an emotional mood. We were happy to put him on the phone with a scribe in New York, and he was soon the proud owner of his own pair of kosher tefillin, to be delivered by airmail.

A few hours later, he called to tell us that a miracle had just happened to him. Almost immediately after we had left, the silent prayer which he had made had been answered.