My wife and I had been speaking at the University of Michigan. At the Detroit airport, returning to New York, we had to wait for a shuttle bus. There was a man behind the counter, apparently from Haiti. He acted like a functionary, exhibiting no warmth or friendliness. As we left for the bus, I said “Thank you,” and reached out to shake his hand. This gesture had a remarkable effect. He suddenly emerged from behind the counter, bowing to us and smiling. 


“Vayishlach … Jacob sent angels ahead of him to Esau….” (Genesis 32:4) 


“Jacob departed from Be’er Sheva and went toward Haran….” (Genesis 28:10)  


“[Yitzchak Avinu] went up … to Be’er Sheva. Hashem appeared to him that night and said, ‘I am the G-d of your father Avraham. Fear not, for I am with you. I will bless you and increase your offspring because of Avraham my servant.’ He built an altar there, invoked Hashem by Name, and there he pitched his tent …. Avimelech went to him from Gerar….” (Genesis 26:23-26)  


Recently, my wife and I visited Ma’aras Hamachpaila, the Cave of Machpaila in Chevron, the burial place of our Fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and our Mothers Sarah, Rebeccah and Leah as well as Adam and Eve. Standing before the ancient stone building, we felt the kedusha wash over us. 



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