Frieda and her son Simon moved to Waterford, a town in southeastern Ireland, eight years ago. Coming from a town in England where there wasn't much of a Jewish community, the fact that Waterford has no synagogue or Jewish life did not concern them very much. And though they don't hide their Jewish identity, they didn't really expect to meet other Jews. Together, they run a shop selling alternative clothing and jewelry.

On a recent Sunday afternoon, we were wrapping up a meeting with a Jew in an Irish hamlet when we asked whether he knew of any Jews in the surrounding areas. "I believe there's a guy Simon," he responded after a moment's thought, "Together with his mum, he runs a shop at the Waterford mall." He then gave us the approximate location of the mall. We immediately made our way over, but to our dismay, the mall was already closed. A Google search at a nearby internet café got us to the shop's website. We weren't sure who reads the company emails, but we figured that an email to the company contact address couldn't hurt.

Early the next morning we received a call from a woman who was both shocked and thrilled that rabbis wanted to visit her and her son. Though we had already left the area, we made up a time to meet later that week.

In classic Irish style, the outdoor tables of a local pub served as a great location to meet with Simon, Frieda, and a few of their friends. An analysis of Guinness and beer production served as a great springboard for a discussion about kosher – the Jewish dietary laws. But it didn't stop there. After much dialogue on the topic of assimilation and intermarriage – and a Tefillin wrapping in the middle of a parking lot – Simon confided that although there is nary another Jewish soul in Waterford, his unwavering commitment not to marry out of his faith was renewed with our discussion.

It's been a few weeks, and I've traveled a few thousand miles since, but the story of Simon, the lone young Jew whose fire burns bright, continues to remind me of the unvanquishable spirit of the Jewish soul.