I think that was the first time anyone ever asked me that, especially since I infrequently encounter people who knew him. But when I walked into an unfamiliar French shul on Friday night, an adorable older man addressed me with that very question. The family I was staying with for Shabbat had told him about me, and we quickly got along. Taking me under his arm, he said he'd take me to Lille to visit my grandfather's shul and to meet a community of elders who knew him and his parents. At the Shabbat table in front of a house full of guests, my new friend recounted the d'var Torah (word of Torah) that my grandfather had presented to him some 65 years ago. Later, he offered to give me and some friends a private lesson in Torah and/or Jewish philosophy, and promised to introduce me to the young male (and female) Jews in the area. He also assured me that I wasn't the only one who shed a waterless tear when we first met.
Okay, enough family history for now. The rest of this post shall speak for itself - partly because I just began a three week, three credit class, and it's a beckoning! But mostly because these pictures truly tell their own story.
Two of my dear American friends came to visit. Over the course of the week, we went to Versaille, Musée de l'Orangerie (home to Monet's water lily paintings), a Jewish family that gave me a crash course in Parisian Judaism and all but adopted me, Haagen Dazs on the Champs Élysée....
Open Market in Versailles
Inside the Château (Palace) - Hall of Mirrors
Endless amounts of gold
Me, loving Montaigne
[...key creator of the essay as a literary form! "Essay," from the French verb essayer = to try/attempt! Montaigne subscribed to Skepticism, and believed that while we could never know the final word on anything, we could make an attempt to broach any topic. Thus, the essay.]
[P. S. We weren't listening to the Shins or anything, rather a guided tour by the little men inside our headphones.]
"Whatever, I just came from the gym."
[Sorry, I had to take a moment.]
~ Good Night ~