These pictures are of Jonathan and me. One is from when we were both in high school four years ago, and the other was taken a few days before Passover, when I returned to my hometown of Bettendorf, Iowa, as a roving rabbi, to assist Rabbi and Mrs. Cadaner of Chabad of the Quad Cities.

In my junior year of high school, Jonathan was the only other Jewish boy in my grade. For the most part, we socialized in different circles, but after I attended a Chabad summer camp, CTeen Xtreme, I embraced my Jewish identity and began to view my relationship with Jonathan in a new light. We had been the two Jewish boys who vaguely knew each other and didn't talk much. CTeen made me realize that Divine providence had placed us together.

I mentioned to Jonathan that I'd started putting on tefillin and asked if he’d be interested in doing it with me. Thus began a weekly routine of putting on tefillin together before school. As our awareness of Judaism grew, we translated our Jewish pride into action: getting an aliyah to the Torah, lighting the menorah, wearing tzitzit, putting up a mezuzah, and even wearing a yarmulke to public school.

After high school graduation, our mitzvah moments together seemed to become a thing of the past. I left the state to learn in yeshiva. Jonathan married his high school girlfriend and had a daughter. Phone calls became phone tag, and phone tag dwindled to silence.

My pre-Passover assignment was to distribute handmade shmurah matzah to Jewish people all over town. As I drove the familiar roads, I tried to think of people from my past who would appreciate some matzah, and Jonathan instantly came to mind. I decided to surprise him with a visit. It was great to be together again, and we spent several hours catching up. He's working with his father-in-law and raising a family. I'm continuing my studies to be a rabbi.

As though there'd been no interruption since our high school mitvzot together, he smiled and agreed to put on tefillin again. His wife snapped a picture and when she found an old tefillin photo from high school, edited the two pictures together.

We pledged to stay in touch, agreeing that in today’s virtual world there is really no excuse not to. I hope to be able to continue to share the light of Judaism with Jonathan and others, and that it will be a source of pride to the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory, who empowered all his followers to be leaders.