Las Vegas. City of pure Western entertainment; of money, media, and madness. Hardly the place to find inspiration, yet experience has taught me that He hides in the most forsaken of places.

My friend and I arrived, innocently enough, to help out at a trade-show featuring the most basic and bizarre baby products. From portable nursing cradles to disposable potties, my wildest imagination was sated at this thousand-booth show.

Our booth featured chic, modern playpens in a variety of bright neon colors. With no experience in the field at all, we made sure to memorize the fold of each model countless times, yet comically this did nothing to guarantee our ability to perform efficiently at the show.

Meir Levine, Sales VP, ran the booth, effortlessly drawing in new customers, but more importantly, (or so I decided), attracting unaffiliated Jews.

He has a casual way of doing it; not pushy, not the in-your-face kind of preaching, and people get interested. When the women want to shake his hand, he leans back, and with a broad smile, says, "sorry, only my wife". They understand right away, and they respect him. Then they start asking questions.

It seemed people were not interested as much in our ability to fold playpens, as they were in our religious practices, which seemed strangely out of place in the teeming Las Vegas Convention Center. Our neighboring booths soon became our friends, and when the traffic slowed, we no longer discussed the pros and cons of a specific baby product; we discussed Judaism and the meaning of life.

Perhaps the defining moment was when our first Jewish retailer wanted to put on tefillin with Meir. They stood together at the corner of the booth, and the young man began to bind the black leather straps on his arm.

All eyes turned to focus on the tefillin, and suddenly, the room froze.

The silence was deafening.

Eight-thousand figures slowly blurred into a miasma of black and white, until the only color that remained defined the two Jews engaged in prayer.

The world paused, teetering on five-thousand, seven-hundred and sixty-seven years of creation.

As I replay the scene in my mind, I am reminded of a story from my childhood about a tzadik – a righteous sage, who opened his window and breathed the air to determine if Moshiach had arrived. I was too young then to understand that spirituality has a scent; or that you can taste an era before it arrives in its entire splendor.

Everyone wanted to know if wrapping the tefillin was some sort of binding contract we did with new customers. They each had their own questions too.

Denzil was African-American. He was intensely curious as to a specific timeframe in which one had to put on tefillin, and how Jewish males adhered to it. I jokingly told him he would make a great yeshiva student.

Boris wanted high-resolution pictures of our playpens for his website. He wore a goatee and told us he was planning on opening a store in Brooklyn. But when he put on the tefillin, tears were streaming down his face and he was suddenly little Boris lost in Communist Russia. He kept fingering the black velvet yarmulke on his head; he wanted to keep it, and of course, we agreed.

Yaniv was Israeli, and he hadn't put on tefillin in fourteen years. The last time he did was on a plane-ride to Israel; some religious Jew wouldn't stop nudging him all flight long. I told him I hadn't come to sell playpens, and he promised me he wouldn't leave without fulfilling the purpose of our meeting.

Nick was six-foot three, and his grandfather was Jewish. Before we parted, he asked me a question that had been burning in him for over twenty years. His brother and sister had both died from a brain tumor and ever since, his life was plagued by the indomitable "why".

Did Judaism, perhaps, have the answer to his pain?

G‑d knows when you need Him to inspire your speech. I found myself telling Nick that the world was like a tapestry, and although the Artist had only shown us the back thus far - the knots and loose threads - we trusted He was weaving a most brilliant, beautiful piece.

Nick had tears in his eyes. He told me that he had carried this question for so long, but no answer had ever eased his pain.

And he told me I hadn't come to sell playpens.