“A ritual is a physical expression of a value,” says Dennis Prager in his 2004 lecture on Deut. 26. “It took me about 50 years to figure that out. I wish you knew how much struggle is behind a simple line.
“We have that in secular life. When I shake your hand, it says I come in peace to you. If someone were to refuse to shake your hand, you would read a great deal to that.”
I’ve had a lot of people refuse to shake my hand, always people who’ve been offended by something I’ve written. I take it as an extreme form of hostility. When I can shake hands with someone, I feel like we have a chance to talk things through.