A few days ago I mentioned to Leibel that despite the fact that we’ve met at least three hundred Poles on our travels throughout the Czech Republic, not one of them had been Jewish. Leibel responded by rhetorically asking me, “You know why?” We both looked downward in silence; no more needed to be spoken on the subject . . .

We were stationed by our mitzvah booth in the old Jewish quarter of Prague. As I saw a man and his son walking in our direction, I approached them with a smile. “Shalom, where are you guys from?” I asked. “Poland!” With our prior conversation on my mind, I began to say that we’ve spoken with a lot of people from Poland, but never had we met a Jewish Pole. The man innocently smiled as he turned his hand and pointed towards himself. I lit up with excitement, “Really, you’re Jewish? It’s so great to meet you!” I shook his hand and he returned my energy, as he explained that his mother’s mother had been Jewish.

He went on to say that he wasn’t raised Jewish, and wasn’t really sure if he was even Jewish at all. I quickly reassured him that he is 100 percent Jewish, just as much a Jew as I. He told me his name is Robert, and the conversation turned towards the tefillin that he saw I was holding in my arm. As I explained a little how the tefillin affect us, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually, he seemed very interested—as was his son. It turned out, however, that his son is not Jewish.

Before we knew it, Robert was rolling up his sleeve, eager to begin. We put on the tefillin, said Shema together, and spoke about the unity of the Jewish people, who are like one body. We spoke about the seven Noahide mitzvahs incumbent on all mankind, and I gave Robert’s son, Peter, a card with the name of a website that he could visit. Robert walked away with his son, but kept looking back over his shoulder at the tefillin, smiling . . .