Menachem and Tzemach

Just before sunset tonight I met two young Lubavitcher Jews, Menachem, 21, and Tzemach (he goes by Tzemi--sounds like Timmy), who's visiting from Chicago. A traditional Hasidic song was playing from Tzemi's phone in his pocket, like a soundtrack for just that moment, and he said Menachem was taking him "to see all of the cool places," when I asked if they'd just come from temple (they hadn't--what do I know?). As we talked I could make out Hebrew letters through the semi-transparent bag in Tzemi's hand and asked what it was. And so it came to be that this evening I saw my first tefillin, or phylacteries. I asked why they had it with them, and Menachem said in so many words that he was basically carrying it in case someone had forgotten to say their morning prayer.
Wow, more often than not, I leave the mountain with that much more to learn, as if standing in the foyer of a mystical portal in the universe that's suddenly revealed itself only by way of conversation. I often wonder just how many observant Jews that I meet on the mountain are aware of the Leo Frank case and its connection to Stone Mountain