I was at the corner of Grove and Baldwyn, just minutes away from my mid-afternoon coffee, when they stopped me. Two boys, in conservative but rumpled suits, big black hats shielding their faces from the sun.

They wanted me to light a candle.

But not just any candle; they wanted me to light a candle for G‑d. To change the world. To bring perfection. I wondered if soon they’d tell me it was the key to wealth.

I said no.

I was searching for meaning all my life.

I knew money was not the key. Even the Citi ads agreed.

I needed more. Fulfillment. Career. A sense of self-worth. A group of friends. A part in changing someone’s life. And I got it all, but it wasn’t enough.

On that day, I knew I needed more. But I was prepared to give more community service, a more challenging job. Not G‑d.

I don’t need G‑d in my life. I live in this world, not in nirvana. I don’t need ritual, repetitive cultish behavior to give color to my world. I certainly didn’t need a plain white tea light to replace my lavender-scented pillar.

I needed meaning.

So I said no.

Weeks later, they stopped me again.

This time, they were carrying branches and fruit. They wanted me to wave them in the air, to shake them in all directions. For G‑d. For world peace. For unity.

What a ridiculous way of avoiding reality.

I said no.

But the next day, I said yes.

I figured, what harm can come from a little foreign culture? So I shook the fruit. And there were no fireworks, no visions of G‑d, no glow of accomplishment. Just like I expected.

But later that night, there was something different. Nothing big, nothing I could quite put my finger on. Just a very slight feeling of good.

So the next day, I waved the branch again. I repeated the strange syllables, and waved the fruit around. But not for world peace. Just to catch that elusive feeling.

Now, I light candles every Friday night. I stopped putting milk in my chicken à la King. I read words of praise daily from a little book. To G‑d.

What changed?

Oddly enough, it hasn’t changed the things I do. I still have my career. I still have my friends. I still volunteer at the women’s shelter. But it’s more.

Nothing has changed. Nothing has changed in my 5-dimensional world.

But I’ve discovered a sixth dimension I never knew existed.

I would never have believed it if I heard it. Reading about it would make no difference. Sound can be understood only in the context of other sounds.

Not until I shook a branch could I have reference for that dimension. And not until I began doing more could I really feel its presence.

Those boys could have talked me blue in the face, but it would be meaningless on its own. I had to actually do it myself.

And now I know why they stopped me.