Being There, Being With
To the extent that the Internet and the proliferation of long distance learning deprive us of being in the presence of charismatic, kind, scholarly people, it will be a tremendous loss. When a Hasid said that he traveled miles just to see how his master tied his shoes, he was expressing this beautiful idea. What we learn from a great teacher cannot be put into a book, because it is in a look, an inflection, a quirk of personality or a tossed off comment. The greatest human lessons are found in the power of presence.