It felt like any other summer day in Midwood, Brooklyn. I was strolling along in the blazing 90-degree weather when I saw a few children wearing kipot quickly run to the curb as their ball rolled right into the street. Being the Good Neighbor, I crossed the street, picked up the ball and threw it back to the kids with a smile and kudos for not walking into the street on their own. Just as I began walking away, a young man in his twenties wished me a vibrant “Good Shabbos.” I was shocked.

I looked around to see if there were any other Jews around. I brushed it off as a funny coincidenceTo whom was he talking? Perhaps he was talking to the woman down the block, I thought, but she was so far ahead of us. Either way, I brushed off this incident as a funny coincidence.

A few weeks later I was walking outside my apartment building when I spotted a Chabad-looking couple, which was not very surprising, as I have a Chabad center on my block just a few doors down. As we crossed paths, the woman, with her hair covering and fancy Shabbat outfit, smiled, looked me directly in the eye and wished me a “Good Shabbos.” I smiled back, barely choking out the words “Good Shabbos.” Was I on a prank show?

Again I looked around. There was not another person in sight. Okay, I thought, she must have been talking to me!

What’s the big deal? Where is the big shocker? Jews have been wishing each other a good Shabbat for a very long time in communities all over the world.

For me, though, it was a huge deal. In both instances I was wearing pants, carrying a purse and listening to music on my phone, with no outward signs that I was Jewish. Yet, here I was, on the holy day, being greeted as a Jew. In both instances, though my mouth was initially agape, my lips turned upward into a huge smile. I felt that my inner essence must have been shining for the world to see, if it was so blatant that I was a fellow traveler, despite my outward appearance.

Each time I was welcomed with a “Good Shabbos,” it felt like I was being seen. The impact of those two simple words was tremendous. I was being ushered into the Shabbat day as a member of my community, although I looked and behaved differently. The resulting feeling was unconditional love and acceptance.

I kept mulling it over: The impact of those two simple words was tremendous!There must be something about me that looks Jewish. Is it my face? My demeanor? How did they know that I was Jewish in both instances? To this day, I don’t really have an answer. But I think from now on I am going to start saying “Good Shabbos” to more people. Worst-case scenario, the person has no clue what I am saying to him or her. Best-case scenario, I touch the heart of another Jew, just as others did for me.