I went to a pro-Israel rally down in Baltimore, MD and here is what came out of it. This is a post from the Facebook page.
I want to say first off thank you to G-d for allowing me to participate in this evenings' event. I am a VERY secular Jew, as I was raised mostly outside of religion. I have however always felt solidarity with my brothers and sisters yet guilty at the same time for not knowing how to be "Jewish". I will say though that I have always stood with Israel and the Jewish people and have a jewish heart and soul. As well as the cultural identity being of Russian heritage, I am very much genetically a Jew, and proud to say that.So I came to the Rally to support Israel and I do support Israel, with my whole heart. I stand for Israel. As I was walking through the crowd a young man came up to me and asked if I'd wear the Tefillin. I was unsure, ashamed I did not know exactly what to do so, I declined. A declination filled with self doubt and un-surety. As I moved through the throngs of chanting, dancing, singing, people I felt a sense of belonging come over me. I liked it, maybe for the 1st time ever I let it touch me. It touched me in a very human, loving way. I stood by Charles street watching cars drive by with flags flying and I even laughed out loud.I walked around looking for the Hopkins kids who we were supposedly standing opposite from. I saw none. So, satisfied I fulfilled my spiritual commitment to G-D by attending, decided it was time I make my exit. As I walked down towards Mount Royal another Hasidic young man, a bit older than the 1st, asked me to pray with him for Israel. He suggested I wear the Tefillin. This time G-D got me. I realized it was a Mitzvah to G-D and to Israel, as well as to myself so I allowed him to wrap my arm and head. Together we said the prayers, I following his lead. I know some of the words from my long ago time in Hebrew school but, could not tell you what I was saying.He wraps my head and we pray some more. After we finish the prayers, he explains to me what was said, what the wearing of Tefillin means and, how after all this time, all this anguish over my failure as a jew, I have now celebrated my "Bar Mitzvah". Honestly, I felt so loved that I wanted to cry. I felt the touch of G-D on my heart and, I can finally say after my 48 years of life on this planet..."YES", I am a Jew"!
I also got the chance to lay tefilin for the first time on Sunday and again today. My experience was the exact same thing! I felt so connected and it is something I can never explain.