What's P'shat?

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Closeness, Closure, and Claustrophobia (Vayigash)

What's P'shat?

Body language communicates volumes. Our facial expressions, hand gestures and eye movements all influence the ways in which we are perceived by others. So does the distance at which we interact. In fact, cultural anthropologist Edward T. Hall considers this final consideration so critical towards understanding the dynamics of a given human relationship that he introduced a new term,“proxemics,” just to describe its study. Hall was also the man who gave us the concept of “personal space.” As it turns out, we can learn a lot from a person’s posture and position. In fact, this week’s Torah portion provides a powerful case in point. 

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