That Friday evening I was just beginning to lead a weekend retreat at the Kirkridge Retreat Center in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, when we received word about the terrorist attacks in Paris. Like everyone else, we were grief-stricken, but we regrouped and became even more determined to dive deep into our retreat.
The Torah is famously laconic about the emotional lives of its central characters. We are left to imagine what Abraham was feeling as he walked up Mount Moriah with his son Isaac at his side, or what Rachel felt when she discovered that her older sister Leah had laid with Jacob in the marital bed intended for her.
I have a pretty enthusiastic American Literature professor here at the University of Southern California. Actually, enthusiastic might not be the right word for it; I think the words "intellectual agitator" best describe his personality. He's one of those guys that want you to question everything that you know and believe, but in a good way.